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Photos disappeared from External Hard Drive

warrenay

New Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2020
Messages
1
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic CC
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.13 High Sierra
I was living happily in Lightroom Land when my son insisted that I change my folder system on my External Hard Drive to be organized by date rather than subject. Against my better judgement, I did this. Then I went into Lightroom and set up a new catalog with plans to delete the old one after everything was working properly. All went well, I checked my EHD to make sure things were in order, which they were, and then set about importing new photos from a memory card onto my EHD. I chose the destination folder and sat back. I thought things were going well but I saw that 950 photos had imported, they looked like they were loading the thumbnails and the beachball was spinning. I looked on my EHD to see if they did indeed load into the right folder and there was nothing showing on my EHD. All files were gone and the spinning beachball would not go away.

I decided not to panic and instead wait until morning to see if the import just needed more time. In the morning LR was still doing the same thing, saying "loading", beachball spinning, but the photo folders were now available on my EHD but they were all empty. I went into LR to a folder than only had one photo in it and said find missing photo. That photo then showed up in the right folder on the EHD. Since that time when ever I go into LR, I get the spinning beachball of death and have to "force quit" to get out of LR. This beachball problem is happening with other apps as well, causing me to "force quit". But the biggest issue is that again my EHD shows there to be no photos or folders other than the "Lightroom" parent folder which is empty.

I can't believe that all my photos have disappeared since they showed up once since this time and one did permanently return.

Please help me, I am living in the San Francisco East Bay area that is still under strict quarantine orders, and between quarantine, curfew orders due to rioting, and now losing my photos; I am about to lose it!

Candyce
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
10,717
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Lightroom shows you previews, so the fact that you see an image in Lightroom does not mean that this image is really available. It can be 'missing' if it has been moved outside of Lightroom, and it can be 'missing' if something happens to the EHD. What you describe sounds alarming, I'm afraid. It sounds as if your EHD might be failing. Did you or your son also make a backup of the EHD to another EHD? I would first turn off the computer, check that the cable to the EHD is fitted properly and restart.
 

DCBolton

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
70
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
1) You said,
"I change my folder system on my External Hard Drive to be organized by date rather than subject."
Did you reorganize in LR or outside of LR?
2) What happened to the old catalog?
3) Had you edited images in LR in the old catalog, or were you just using LR to organize?


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nicky.guard

New Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
1
1) You said,
"I change my folder system on my External Hard Drive to be organized by date rather than subject."
Did you reorganize in LR or outside of LR?
2) What happened to the old catalog?
3) Had you edited images in LR in the old catalog, or were you just using LR to organize?


Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
I am not the person who originally asked this question but as I have a similar problem, may I answer your questions?

1. I reorganised my images outside LR - I didn't change their titles on EHD but set up a My Lightroom Folder and put everything in there.
2. Have no idea what happened to the original catalogue as its totally blank but I am able to import from the EHD. But I've lost all my keywording, quick collection and collections - everything's gone!!
3. Yes, I had edited lots of images in the old LR catalogue and I was also using it to organise.
 

DCBolton

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
70
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
I am not the person who originally asked this question but as I have a similar problem, may I answer your questions?

1. I reorganised my images outside LR - I didn't change their titles on EHD but set up a My Lightroom Folder and put everything in there.
2. Have no idea what happened to the original catalogue as its totally blank but I am able to import from the EHD. But I've lost all my keywording, quick collection and collections - everything's gone!!
3. Yes, I had edited lots of images in the old LR catalogue and I was also using it to organise.
It sounds like you also moved, or possibly renamed, your LrC catalog. The catalog is a database through which LrC stores all of the information (edits, ratings, Collections, etc) about your images but not the actual images. You should search to find any file with the extension ".lrcat". That file is your catalog. Find any or all of those file and check each one to see if it is you last good catalog. You should be able to open each (one at a time; close LrC before openingthenext one) by double clicking.

There will be probably be folders in the same folder with the catalog file that have the same base name but end with "Previews.lrdata", "Smart Previews.lrdata", "Sync.lrdata" or "Helper.lrdata". Those belong to the catalog and should be moved along with it.

If you can't find your most recent good catalog on your HD's then look in any backups for it.

Best luck in restoring your images and LrC catalog. I hope this is helpful.

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