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Moving LR Image Folders - not Catalog - to New External hard Drive

Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
115
Location
Southeastern US (Currently)
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
LR CC v10.2
Operating System
  1. macOS 11 Big Sur
Hello all -

My 2TB external hard drive is finally full, and I need to move my LR folders to a new 5TB external hard drive. My LR Catalog now resides on my MacBook Pro SSD, which is where I want it to stay. However, I prefer to keep my photos organized on separate external hard drives, hence the need to move them. The goal is to leave the LR catalog where it is, and have the catalog point to the new drive to reference the images. I followed, or tried to follow, the directions here to move the picture folders from one external hard drive to another, and found them to be incredibly confusing. I have not had success.

My LR catalog was admittedly a bit unorganized before I attempted the move, Now, it is a complete jumble and in total disarray. A couple of days ago, I was a millimeter away from ditching LR and going back to Camera Raw and PS. (If I could have tossed it all and reopened my darkroom, I would have!) I have seriously contemplated deleting the catalog completely, and re-importing and reorganizing everything - I haven't done that. But amid all the gasps of horror and wails of anguish at the thought, understand that every single Image I've worked in LR is saved as a Master PSD file and JPEG file across multiple multiple hardrives as well as in the cloud. Accordingly, and I could be mistaken, I don't believe any of my prior work would be 'lost' per se, except those processed image files within the LR Catalog. However, as those processed files are already saved elsewhere as final master and output files, the likelihood I would go back to LR to rework them is practically nil.

Having said that - I'd much prefer to get LR back to where it was and put some time into re-organizing the catalog in the correct way within LR. I'm ready to try this move again, but need to have better guidance at what I'm doing. Any help is appreciated.

Many thanks -
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
13,188
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
115
Location
Southeastern US (Currently)
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
You don't say what directions you followed, but normally we would suggest following these instructions (Option 2 in your case): How do I move only my photos to another hard drive, leaving the catalog where it is? | The Lightroom Queen
Those are the instructions I followed - or tried to. I was quite confused by steps 1 & 2, particularly the steps to 'show the folder hierarchy' and the instructions around selecting a 'parent folder.' I have hundreds of folders and each one is indicated to have a 'parent folder.' Should there be a single 'parent folder' for the entire catalog? If there is, I'm not seeing it, or it's not there - it seems each folder has it's own 'parent.' (I did say my catalog was in disarray!)

The image files copied to the new external hard drive just fine. But the folders inside LR were just a mish-mash. Images from one folder were showing in another, some images were just showing as a blank gray square, and so on.

What am I screwing up?
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
13,188
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
You probably need to post some screenshots of both the Folders Panel in the catalog and a Finder view of the actual folders on the hard drive.

I am concerned about what you may have attempted, if you have relinked folders incorrectly it might make more sense to start over. Do you have a catalog backup from immediately before the attempted move?
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
115
Location
Southeastern US (Currently)
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
You probably need to post some screenshots of both the Folders Panel in the catalog and a Finder view of the actual folders on the hard drive.

I am concerned about what you may have attempted, if you have relinked folders incorrectly it might make more sense to start over. Do you have a catalog backup from immediately before the attempted move?
Thanks Jim, for your input and responses.

For the moment, I have decided to not put further effort into to fixing the LR issues. I've quite a lot on my plate, and after consulting with two very close and trusted photographer friends, one of whom is responsible for getting me to use LR way back when, I've decided to got back to my ACR/Photoshop workflow and remove LR from my workflow completely. When I'm not so pressed to get jobs done, perhaps I'll revisit LR.

For me, LR was strict a replacement for ACR. I never used LR presets or Smart Previews; I never strayed into the Map or Book modules, etc. I rarely used it for batch work, and my own system I usee to organize my images worked well for me. Going back to ACR will add one step into my workflow, but that's it. The truth is, this may be the end for me and LR. If I do go back, I will likely scrap the old catalog and begin anew. We will see.

Thank you again -
 
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