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missing files


New Member
Sep 7, 2019
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic - latest version
Operating System
Windows 10
I currently use a laptop with all my files stored on either one or two portable hard drives. I often need to disconnect the Portable hard drives to use the laptop in other locations away from home.
I have had problem in the past where windows would change the drive letter for my portable hard drives and the files would be missing. However this had not happened for a number of months.

I recently ran a backup and then discovered that the LR folder changed the folder back to the original drive letter for my portable hard drive and a large number of files were no longer visible.
As we are talking or around 40000 images missing, I was hoping someone could please offer some guidance on how I can best recover the images?
In my poor defence, I had not been running the backs when shutting down LR as it was filling up the C drive on my lap top. I recently discovered that I could change the location for the backup folder to my D drive which is the larger partitioned folder in my laptop. However after reading some of the blogs and the quick start guide now realize that backing up was somethings I should have been doing more often. I also presume that the problem has come about when running the recent back up and as I think that the last back up would have used a different drive letter this has led to the corruption.

I had been trying to rename the hard drive and moving the files that were visible to a different hard drive, with the plan of changing the hard drive letter back to the other letter 'H'and hopefully then being able to see all the files that were stored when that drive letter was used eg 'J' .
Hoping that this makes some sense and someone will be kind enough to offer some guidance, would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.
Jan 6, 2018
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
When you connect an external drive (disk or key), Windows try to assigne the same letter than previously. But if this letter is already assign, it assigns the first available letter in alphabetic order as path to this drive. If you connect a drive while a key is already assigned the letter D, the drive will be assign the letter E (if available). The next time you will connect the same drive, if nothing is assifned to D, it will be assigned the letter D as path. This change to the path is ennoying, especially for programs that references this external drive (backup software, Lightroom, etc.)
To avoid this drive letter assignement problem, Windows allows to "Mount" external drives (as well as USB keys) in a folder, which creates a permanent path to the drive.
To do this :
- In Windows 10, press <Winkey>X and select "Disk management"
- Right click on your drive and select "Modify letter and path"
- In the dialog box, select "Add"
- In th dialog box select "Mount in a the following empty NTFS Folder" and click on "Browse"
- Browse to an empty folder on your local disk or create one.
- Validate
Now, you will able to use this folder as path to access your external drive. This path will never change.

On my PC, I've created a folder called "External" at the root of the C partition. Inside this folder, I have creadted a folder for each external drives (for easy usage, I've named these folders with the same name as my external drives).
For exemple, my external drives labeled "BackupPhoto" and "BackupAudio" are now accessible thru the path :
Instead of their drive letters (In fact I've even removed the drive letters to avoid confusion)

An other solution is to assign a letter close to the end of the alphabet (like T or V), which have few probabilities to be already assign.