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Resolving an increasing mess

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schooner

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Hi,

I wrote Victoria over the weekend, and she suggested posting here.

"I wanted to copy the contents of one small external drive and the contents of another folder on a second external drive to a new third external drive. Unfortunately I used Synchronize folder after moving the files in Explorer. As you say I lost all the lightroom keywords, flags, Development History, and had a bunch of baked (LR treated) files. I moved these files on 2 different dates. In my catalog backups I have one before the first external drive moved and another about 2 weeks later right before the second move. I was so happy after the first move was completed and the pictures showed up I didn’t realize all the missing information. It wasn’t until I made the second move I searched the web and found your ” Synchronize is not your friend”. I am wondering if I emptied drive 3 and started over if I could import from a later date catalog for the second drive without losing the changes from the first move. I am thinking it might be better to leave things as they are while I still have the photos. Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thank you, rick"

Since then I seem to have complicated things more. When I looked at my backup catalog folder the ones that had been there are gone. I had saved copies in a folder on the desktop, but they all have modified dates. I am afraid to touch anything in LR which has been a daily part of my life since lightroom 3. Last night I downloaded a SilkyPix converter for the Fuji camera, so I can at least view the new files. I know the pictures with their XMPs still exist on the hard drives, but I am not sure of the extent of the other LR information that has followed them.

I also have a copy of LR6.9 on the computer which I used briefly when I bought it, but returned to 4.4 which seemed to run better on this machine.I wonder if that would be of any help.

Thanks for any suggestions. rick
 

Ian.B

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the joys of lightroom haha
my only suggestion is get it all sorted in windows --- images in the right folder/s --- on one hard drive
Then you need to show LR where the image are --- I'm sure you know how to do that; right click>show in explorer --- you also may need to go back a copy or two of catalog backups.
If that doesn't work you could try a re-import; BUT, only do a few files 1st to see how it works out before doing the whole lot
how many files are you talking about ?

I would think we have all had similar messes and usually it all works out in the end even if we don't really know how we did it
I'm sure the gurus will have more exact answers but no harm in doing a test with a few files .
 

schooner

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Thanks Ian for the support. Lightroom says I have moved a little over 8,000 files to the new drive. I will try your test idea in a few days. In the meantime I am just taking one picture a day into SilkyPix to convert from RAW and then processing in Photoshop. I seem unable to grasp the data base idea of LR and every time I get involved with it I am unable to sleep at all at night.
 

Ian.B

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library is the most confusion section of lR imo -- we have all made mistakes and I'm still making mistakes

Maybe you could make a new catalog to practise / experiment the LR ways . Some do seem to get into such a muddle that starting again is the only way to go. Get it started with mostly new photos and then slowly add the older photos when you have the time . BUT only use one catalog when you get things sorted . Even a new windows folder structure would or might make it easier to get a good understanding of library ---- I'm sure you know this but others following may not . Have main folder for ALL your photos >> inside that one folder you have some sort of a structure to sorts you --- mine is date based as 2017 01 / 2017 04 ---- inside those month folders I have a date + basic subject name folder >> as the month progresses I now (new thing) add a averaged out subject based (monthly) folder and remove the dated folders. BUT; only have ONE copy per each file name . Others here would add collections instead folder but they are not readable in other programs . I would suggest leaving collection alone until you have basics sorted

When you import new photos add a "_totag" or "1 totag" "_TAG" keyword remove that when you have photo keyworded .
Get a copy of Victoria's book could be more helpful

When I move files to a new home / ext hard drive I use windows --- I have just that found in easier . If the folders are tidy LR will pick up most files once shown a few files

Hoping that is more helpful then confusing
 

schooner

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Thanks Ian. For my photos I have a single catalog, by year, month, date. I have additional folders for drawings, and computer art. When I moved my folders between drives I used Windows. My mistake was thinking Synchronize folders would do the job. I had mistakenly believed that the XMP sidecar files contained the LR info. Now I have a lot of files with the LR adjustments applied, but no history, ratings, flags, keywords, or unprocessed raw files. I haven't had success with the Find Missing Photos route, and have been trying to summon up enough courage to try the Import Catalog. In the meantime the dates modified on my back up catalogs seem to be changing, making me even more worried.
 
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Hi rick, sorry I didn't get to see you post till now.

So do you have any backup catalogs from before you did all this? Ones that would include all the missing metadata?
 

schooner

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Hi Victoria, When I first wrote you I had one catalog dated 2017-03-15 1243 a few days before the first move. Now it says Date modified 4/7/2017 . I am not sure if this would still give me the before picture. I think I have opened LR with each of the catalogs in the backups folder trying to find when I did the second move, so they all have modified dates. I am not sure what "modified" means, and have avoided opening them again for fear of doing more damage.
 
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Modified probably just means you opened it up. Hopefully you didn't do anything in the catalog, and it'll still contain the data you need. Open it up again and take a look. If it does, then we can get into merging the catalogs as needed, to get your data back.
 
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