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Moving to a new desktop - LR wants to re-import all of my images?

Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
236
Location
Alberta, Canada
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic 9.3
Operating System
Windows 10
I am moving to a new desktop. I am managing to get all the previous files moved over. I re-installed the CC apps and that has gone okay. I moved all the files for the Lightroom catalog, etc. My images are on an external 8TB drive, which is attached to the new desktop. So far so good.

When I open up Lightroom, I was able to tell it where the catalog was, at least the last one I worked with and I was able to point it to the HDD folder holding all my images.

Once all the relative locations had been worked out, it found all the images, including their file numbers and associated dates, etc. The images were in their correct folders, but for some reason, LR wants to (RE) Import all my existing images, which is not what should be happening, IMHO. I need to understand why things just don't proceed along as if the move was transparent to the application.

Can someone with a lot more knowledge than I have help me figure out what I am doing wrong, or not doing and need to do, as the case may be. Thanks.

WesternGuy
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
639
Location
Palo Alto, CA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
DO NOT RE-IMPORT

You opened the wrong catalog. Not sure why but in LR under file menu, select recent catalogs and select the one you used in the prior session.

Once this catalog opens (BTW it should NOT ask you update to a newer version as that means you probably selected the wrong one), change the settings in LrC to "always open this catalog". Some people advise to use "Open most recent" (which is the default setting) but I find this setting problematic if for some reason you needed to open some other extraneous catalog (for example an older back up catalog) as it will then continue to use that one rather than your real one.

If you can't figure which catalog to use, Use File Manager and search for files with the extension of ".lrcat". Ignore any in Backup folders. Of those remaining find the one with the most recent date/time stamp excluding the one you just opened and is asking you import all your images.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
236
Location
Alberta, Canada
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Califdan, thanks for the insight. This is what I did. I went looking for a catalog in the default location - C: Users \ [your username] \ My Pictures \ Lightroom \ Lightroom Catalog.lrcat and found one. This is the one I used to open my pictures with. Obviously, as this is the one that wanted to re-import all my pictures, I did not re-import them. I am thinking there must be another catalog some where other then the default location. This one is dated 2020-07-29 at 5:00 pm. I will look for find one with a more recent date.time stamp and see what I can find.

WesternGuy
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
639
Location
Palo Alto, CA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
Just to make sure I understand. When you opened the catalog which want's you to re-import images, I'm assuming the catalog was empty (no images are present in the grid or film strip and no folders are present in the Folders panel. If the import dialog opened automatically, close it to get back to the grid view of the library to see if the folders panel is empty and there are no images in the grid.

If there are folder and images, then please explain how Lr is asking you to re-import all your images? A screen shot is worth a thousand words.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,193
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
The catalog file (*.lrcat) on your old computer is the file that you need and want to open on the new computer. Because Lightroom Classic defaults to a standard name for new installs, there may be multiple files with the same name and it is important for you to copy the right one from the old computer to the new one.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
236
Location
Alberta, Canada
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Cletus, I understand that. I moved a lot of folders/files to my new computer and was pretty sure that one of the files that was moved was the "old" catalog file. It would appear that this may not have been the case. I will go back to my old computer and see what I can find. I believe that I should be able to find it from within Lightroom on the old machine - Edit > Catalog Settings. I will check to see if this is the file that was moved to the new desktop, if not then I will replace the one on the new machine and start over -- Windows—C: Users \ [your username] \ My Pictures \ Lightroom \ Lightroom Catalog.lrcat -- and go from there.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
236
Location
Alberta, Canada
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Cletus, I found the most recent .lrcat file and copied it over to the default location for the catalog and that seems to be okay. The problem I have now is that Lightroom does not seem to be able to find my images. They are stored on an external drive (F:) and while Lightroom is able to find the drive, it does not seem to be able to find the folder "Lightroom Photos" that is on the drive. The question is how do I point LR to the photos on the drive?

LR File Listings 2.JPG
LR File Listings 2.JPG

The app has the correct number of total images - 74085 ± - at the top. It also shows the correct Drive - SEAGATE 8TB Drive Image - and the drive label "F:" is correct if I hold my mouse pointer on the drive name. Under "Time Lapse Photography it shows all the folders which should show up as having images in them, except they all have "?" beside them and I am not clear as to why they show up as being sub-folders of Time Lapse Photography - this is confusing to me. The F drive looks like this:

LR F drive Folders 1.JPG


and the Lightroom Photos Folder looks like this:

LR Photos F drive.JPG


I do hope this rather long response will help provide enough information so that I can get up and running again. Thanks for your help with this.

WesternGuy
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
236
Location
Alberta, Canada
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Nothing is ever easy. For some reason, as you can see from previous posted images, Lightroom thinks that a folder called Time Lapse Photography is the top level folder for all the images in my collection - latest view -

LR Classic 20200803 - 1.JPG

It shows up underneath Lightroom Photos and as one of the folders underneath this top-level folder - Lightroom Photos. The top-level Time Lapse Photography should not be where Lightroom shows it and I do not understand why Lightroom is showing it there as well as where it is, in reality, as a folder under Lightroom Photos. If you look at a previously posted image, Time Lapse Photography (TLP) does not show up under Lightroom Photos when Windows Explorer is used to display its contents.

Can I move, within Lightroom, the folders that start with 2006-2009 and end with the "real" Time Lapse Photography folder up underneath Lightroom Photos. Can I assume that this will render the high-level TLP folder empty and, as such, can it then be removed?

I have done this 4 or 5 times before - moving LR catalog and images - and have never had this amount of frustration with the process, in fact I have never had any problems with it before now.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
10,082
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Don’t try to move anything, reconnect the folders by following the advise in the link that Cletus gave you.

It looks like something rather simple happened. Somehow you ‘reconnected’ the Lightroom Photos folder, but you selected Time Lapse Photography by mistake. The result is that Lightroom now thinks that TLP is the folder that contains all the date folders, and of course that is not true so they show up as missing.

It should be possible to solve all this in one swoop in the following way (make a catalog backup first, just in case it goes sour): right-click on the Time Lapse Photography folder and choose ‘Update Folder Location’. Then in the dialog that follows, select the Lightroom Photos folder. You will get a warning dialog about existing folders and do you want to merge them. Click the Merge button and the whole folder hierarchy of Lightroom Photos should be restored.
 
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