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New PC

zen35738

New Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
3
Lightroom Version
Classic Release 9.0
Operating System
Windows 10
This post is partly about moving Lightroom to a new PC but some of the issues I have found in doing just this. I downloaded the e book of advice on how to proceed and this was helpful. The issue I have had is more about the way new PC's are now configured, particularly in respect of file locations. My PC has a 512GB SSD, a 1TB SSD and a1TB SATA drive. The 512 is my C: drive and I am running windows 10 Pro. Lightroom CC is installed. My setup is configured for all new documents to be saved to one of the other drives. I install any apps on the C: drive and all my pictures are stored on two other SATA drives which I have moved over from my old PC and keeping the same disc letters so Lightroom knows where to look for them. On my old PC the Catalogue files were in the lightroom folder, within pictures under my user name. I copied this folder from my old PC to the new file location on the new but because of my change of file location it is currently on the L: drive. There is also a lightroom folder, with catalogue on the new C: drive but I have pointed Lightroom at the old catalogue. I am able to see the majority of previews but not all. At the end of all this my question is should I move the content of the old lightroom folder (with catalogues etc) to the new C: drive or is that likely to completely mess things up. On one of my transferred old SATA drives I can see all the content but the other drive just displays blank boxes with exclamation marks. If I move my mouse pointer over the mark it shows a dialogue "photo is missing. Any help or advice would be most welcome.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,908
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
I got lost in there somewhere so let me see if I can give some general answers. First I want to make sure we are talking Lightroom Classic (that's in your heading) and not "CC" which most people mean the cloudy version.

In classic there are a lot of files -- the book (I assume you mean Victoria's, but just in case here is a description). Look through it, many things you may not even use and not have to worry about.

I would specifically NOT move the ones that are in the folders labeled XXX Previews.lrdata, it is typically huge, and is rebuilt on the fly. If it is moved and somehow "disconnected" it will sit there taking up huge amounts of space. NOT moving it means that for a while it is slow to display old images, but if you like you can select all photographs, build previews, and it will build them all overnight.

If you did move it just make sure it is in the right place, e.g. same folder as the catalog, same name except for Previews.lrdata appended. I'm a fan of periodically letting it rebuild, while I have no proof, I am convinced LR "leaks" and fails to clean up previews at times, and this saves space.

Next, make sure you are running the same version of lightroom with all the pieces. It may be too late for that, but if your new PC is a newer major version, the first thing it will do is copy the catalog and change the name (and so change the name of all the associated pieces also) and create confusion. If you had multiple versions on the old system, make darn sure you know which are real, and which obsolete (and maybe which are backups -- depending on size they may or may not be zip files).

The simplest (not necessarily the best) approach is to put the catalog and all images on the same paths on the new computer as it was on the old. But if you want to NOT do so, then just make sure you open the catalog from where you put it (not the wrong catalog or some backup) and then go through and one by one change each top level folder to where it is on the new arrangement.

The most important thing is to be methodical -- know exactly where each piece came from , and where it goes to, and account for it afterwards. Don't trust your memory, make yourself a checklist.

The part that confuses me in your comment is the one about "I am able to see the majority of previews but not all. ". Since Lightroom builds previews on demand, I do not quite understand that statement. Do you mean it can't find some images?
 

zen35738

New Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
3
Sorry if my post was a little confusing. I did of course mean LR Classic. The same and most current version is installed on both of my PC's. In respect of the comment about not being able to see all previews, let me clarify. The vast majority of my images are stored on the 2 SATA hard drives I transferred across from my old PC. These use the drive letters "E" and "F". When I first opened up LR on the new PC and could not see any previews on either drive. The "E" drive gradually repopulated itself therefore no issue with that. The "F" drive however did not display anything other than blank squares with an exclamation mark (see attached JPG). The comment against each exclamation mark was either "photo is missing" (faint) or "Lightroom has encountered problems reading this photo" (bold). I have checked permissions on this drive and can see no problem with that so I am currently at a loss to understand why one drive is ok and the other not. I will try your suggestions re placing files in their original locations. If I do this it will replace any files of the the same name in that location. Would you envisage that causing any problems? I am attaching a screen grab of the LR folder contents from my old PC that I have moved over to the new, could you indicate which of the older cat files I can safely delete. ( I imagine any of those from older versions of LR would be OK to delete.)
 

Attachments

Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,908
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
It is easy to re-connect a moved folder (i.e. one whose drive letter or path changed). Read this:

Lightroom thinks my photos are missing—how do I fix it? | The Lightroom Queen

I would not physically move (as in copy) the files, but just point lightroom at the new location.

If you think it is at the same path as before, but lightroom still is not seeing it, I think you need to dive deeper into the problem rather than copying the files. I would start by determining exactly where Lightroom thinks the files are, and where they actually are.

Go into file explorer and find one of the files. Look at the address bar (click on it if needed) and get the exact, full path with drive letter all the way down to the folder, e.g.

f:\somewhere\my\photos\lightroom folders\niks pics

Then go into lightroom, and find out where Lightroom thinks the folder is. You can't get that with a right click from a "?" folder, but find one in the same place, e.g. in the below 20191115 is missing, but I can see exactly where 20191119 is which is at the same level, so I know 20191115 should be at t:\photos\linwood\2019\20191115.

misplaced.jpg


Since you already found it you can compare, say you had something inserted, and now it is a t:\photos\linwood\2019\morephotos\20191115, you can just right click on it in lightroom, and browse to the new location.

HOWEVER, if you find it is right where you expected, then there is a different problem - permissions, corruption, or something. I would not try moving it around to fix it, I think it is better to find out why it is not appearing first. Otherwise it's like a doctor who wants to give you medicine before they ask what's wrong. :)

If you need further help, provide a screen shot of explorer where the folder you are looking for actually is, corresponding to the folder pane in lightroom.

HOWEVER.... and maybe I should have led with this...

Your second screen shot shows lots of catalogs. Some, like "Lightroom Catalog-3" clearly have been upgraded, e.g. "Lightroom Catalog-3-2" is how lightroom changes the name when it goes through a major version upgrade.

But the other naming quirks are created by a human, so it looks to me like you have at least six different, manually created catalogs:

Lightroom 4 catalog
Lightroom 5 catalog
Lightroom Catalog (and upgrade Lightroom Catalog-2)
Lightroom Catalog-3 (and upgrade Lightroom Catalog-3-2)
Lightroom Catalog-4
Lightroom Catalog-5

From the dates it looks like Lightroom Catalog-3-2 is what you have most recently used, but 3 others were also used in June 2019, and the naming sequence from -3 to -4 to -5 (human created I am pretty sure) is then out of sequence with the dates, as though at some point you made new catalogs then went back to using old ones.

Are you sure you know what catalogs have which photos in them?

I think most here would agree that it is generally unwise to have more than one catalog, unless you have some really, really good reasons.

Keeping the old catalog after an upgrade is usually a good idea -- but only for a while. Then remove it (or at least rename it to something like OLD_DO_NOT_USE_FROM_2017) so you don't accidentally shift. LR's penchant for just reopening the same catalog as last time means you can end up accidentally doing new work in the old catalog, which just makes a mess.

Also, once you decide to get rid of an old catalog, delete the associated folders Previews Helper, Smart Previews and Sync. Be sure to get the ones of exactly the same prepended catalog name. Previews in particular may have a lot of space taken up, and even if you did need it later it gets recreated.

But if you have been using multiple catalogs that could be contributing to your problems?
 

zen35738

New Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
3
Thanks for the responses. Much good advice and help and I have now resolved the problem, it transpired that it was a permissions issue on the second drive that I had moved.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
11,809
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
", but if your new PC is a newer major version, the first thing it will do is copy the catalog and change the name" How can a new PC copy and change the name of a catalogue by it's own actions independently of LR.
What Ferguson was implying is "if Lightroom on your new PC is a newer major version...."
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,908
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
THanks, Jim... yes, I meant to write "if your new PC has a newer major version" of ligthroom. I'd like to blame spelling verifier but probably my fingers.

The real danger with the way Lightroom does upgrades is you end up, over enough version upgrades, with all these old catalogs sitting around. Add in a few you may have also created, and you may suddenly find it difficult to figure out which is the right one.
 
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