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Moving Source RAW folders, can't find inLRCCC

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Jan Davies

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Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info): LR Classic CC 7.1 updated today 2/12/18

I want to move a batch of RAW source image files from 1 external HD (G:\ ) to another (D:\ ). While in Lightroom Library file directory I cannot find these files/folders. Seems like Lightroom needs to know where the source files are right? What am I missing or overlooking?

BTW, all these source folders on the G:\ drive are fully evident in the LR file directory when I go to "Import" files.
 
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If the files have been imported, you can find them in LR. If you can find them in LR, you can right click to expose the context menu and choose "Go to folder in Library". This will highlight the folder in the Folder panel. The drive D:\ may not be showing in the LR folder panel. If there is a parent folder on D:\ that you want to be the receiver of the folders that you want to move from G:\ it needs to exist or you need to create it using Windows Explorer. Once it exists, click on the (+) in the Folder panel header and choose "Add Folder" This will open a Windows Explorer dialog and you can then navigate to the parent folder on D:\ and select it. After this it is a simple process to select the folders in the Folder panel that you want to move from G:\ and drag them to the (now showing in the Folder panel) parent folder. And drop.
There are other ways to do this, but this is the foolproof method.
 

Jan Davies

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Thank you very much Cletus! I will refer back to your instructions, but I walked through the concept in LR and think I understand the process better now. My D:\ drive is a backup copy of my G:\ drive. Will I have to delete the duplicate files on D or perhaps delete what's on G and have the missing files search connect with the D location. Sorry to muddy the waters.... :( What do you think would be the best way to proceed in this case? [FYI, the G drive is an SSD external and I use it as an extension of my laptop for photo editing because it is faster than a standard portable drive.]
 
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Thank you very much Cletus! I will refer back to your instructions, but I walked through the concept in LR and think I understand the process better now. My D:\ drive is a backup copy of my G:\ drive. Will I have to delete the duplicate files on D or perhaps delete what's on G and have the missing files search connect with the D location. Sorry to muddy the waters.... :( What do you think would be the best way to proceed in this case? [FYI, the G drive is an SSD external and I use it as an extension of my laptop for photo editing because it is faster than a standard portable drive.]
The process that I described will MOVE not Copy folders from files with actual files G:\ to D:\ while updating the reference pointer in the catalog. I don't think it is a good practice to mix backup files with working files on the same volume. In fact Backup image files should never be included in the LR catalog. My recommendation would be to dedicate an EHD to backup and get yourself some real backup software that works continuously to version and backup all of your critical files including your image files and master LR catalog file. If you want to move inactive original image files to an archive disk and still keep them in LR, then get a disk dedicated to inactive file storage. These older image files can still be accessed in the LR catalog and when the original is needed to print or export, it will only be slightly slower than when they are on the SSD.
 
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I would like to add the following. At the level of the Lightroom user interface (UI) moving files or folders around on a single disk or to an second disk looks exactly the same at the system level two very different activities are going on.

When the source and target of the move are on the same hard drive only the file system path is changed on the hard drive and for each of the affected image files. The images them selves are not copied. This happens very quickly although you can sometimes notice a slight delay while Lightroom updates the path for each image in the catalog data base and redisplays the new folder structure. One important side effect is that your backup software doesn't follow the move so it has to backup all the images in the new location.

When the source and target are on different hard drives the process is quite a bit more complicated. Every image has to be physically copied from the source to the target then deleted from the source and finally the catalog is updated as before. For a small number of files this will happen pretty quickly. But for a large number of files this will take a lot longer. There are a couple of risks that come along for the ride.

One is the risk of copy errors. While small it is not zero. If something goes with the physical copy to the new location you could potentially end up with corrupted files in the new hard drive and you originals deleted from the old hard drive.

The second risk is of some kind of external interruption like a power failure in the middle of the move. Lightroom will probably not be able to recover gracefully from this.

For the above reasons when moving images between two hard drives you may want to consider using an external application and moving them outside of lightroom. An application like ChronoSync or Carbon Copy Cloner on the Mac offers an option to verify each file after it is copied to the new hard drive. If there is a disruption during the copy it can be easily restarted with no chance of corrupted catalog. After the copy is fully complete it is a simple task to instruct Lightroom where the location is of the copied folder(s).

In any case backup, backup and did I say backup before you attempt any significant reorganization.

I hope that this helps understanding the risk and benefits of choosing between the different methods.

-louie
 
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