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"preview unavailable for this file"

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I'm importing a bunch of .tif files into LR (2015.6.1) and get the above error message on some of the files in the Import process -- it occurs on some files in a folder, but not all files in the same folder -- I've successfully imported about 3000 .tifs and this error has occurred on about 200 of them (they're old scans from film).

I can successfully open the files with the error in Preview and PS CC -- if I save them from PS, then LR will open the new saved file. Obviously as a work-around I could open each file in PS, save it, then open it in LR -- however, this would be a very tedious process and I'm not good at things like that :)

Anybody got previous experience with this issue or ideas to solve it easily? -- any ideas are very welcome!
 
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How are these files named? We've seen this kind of problem a few times with files that have a slash in their name. Lightroom uses paths to files, and a slash is a separator of that path. Consequently, if you import a file that is named 'AAA/BBB', then Lightroom will look for a file called 'BBB' in a subfolder called 'AAA' when it wants to generate a preview. Obviously, it can't find such a file.
 
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Some of the scans may not be saved with an internal file format suitable for Lr (eg non RGB). This can happen especially when scanning Black and White, depending on what options were selected at the time of the scan.

This might explain why they can be opened in Ps but not importable by Lr.
 
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Some of the scans may not be saved with an internal file format suitable for Lr (eg non RGB). This can happen especially when scanning Black and White, depending on what options were selected at the time of the scan.

This might explain why they can be opened in Ps but not importable by Lr.

The OP doesn't say they cannot be imported into Lightroom. They just don't show a preview.
 
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I read the original question again, and I realize you're not talking about the grid in the Library Module, but the grid in the import dialog. If you see 'Preview not available' in the import dialog, then that's just what it means. It means that the tiff file does not have a built-in preview that Lightroom can display right now. But that's all what it means. It does not mean that Lightroom cannot import these files and it does not mean that Lightroom will not generate its own preview for this file once it's imported. So just ignore the warning and import the files.
 
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If I go ahead with the import in LR I get an error message that they cannot be imported ".... files not supported or damaged", so LR won't import them -- yet PS does and all the PS tools operate OK on the files -- and if I save the files from PS (with a new name) then LR will open these new files (the files are all color, sRGB)
 
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If I go ahead with the import in LR I get an error message that they cannot be imported ".... files not supported or damaged", so LR won't import them -- yet PS does and all the PS tools operate OK on the files -- and if I save the files from PS (with a new name) then LR will open these new files (the files are all color, sRGB)

Well, then I'm out of ideas. Something in the file header is probably corrupted, but it's strange that one Adobe product doesn't care and the other one chokes on it. You could make a Photoshop action/droplet to speed up this open/save in Photoshop, but that's probably your only option.
 
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I have come across before (but cannot remember where) that tiff files with certain colour spaces (eg lab or cmyk) may have difficulty been imported into Lr..... hence the reason for my comment above.

I have also read somewhere that there are examples of tiffs exported from Aperture, which people had difficulties importing to Lr (maybe because of internal colour space settings).

Another case diagnosed an issue to do with an Exif setting (do not know why .... just passing on the info).

Another problem occurred when the file was named tiff or tif (this may be a Windows thing as windows associates apps with file extensions).

I would try opening a sample problem file file in Photoshop, saving it with an RGB colour space and see if you can import the revised file.
 
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