• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom 6 questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom 6 - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. When you upgrade to subscription, there's also a Lightroom Classic version available.

What the heck is going on (Portable HD)

Chris Brown

New Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Ok, I have searched and searched for a solution. Can't find one and I am sure it is pretty damn simple.

I use a portable hard drive to store my photos on, as well as my catalogs. Even my backups. I also backup, this drive, so yea, I am safe. I travel every other week and I want to be able to work on my photos when I travel. Here is the issue.

At home, on my iMac, the catalog opens, and I see all my edits, my folders, etc. as I originally organized them.

I go on the road, with the same drive, open the catalog, and it isn't near what I had at home. I date my folders. So, 2016, then 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., and then dated by photoshoot. So, at home, I have all of 2016, that I have imported into the catalog. On the road, I see 3 2016 folders.

Also, I use a windows laptop, as it is for work, when I am on the road.

I am leaning towards having the cache on my home computer. If so, that is an easy fix.

Any ideas.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,231
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Welcome to the forum. Is the problem with the Windows instance of LR? Presumably, the Portable disk is formatted as exFAT so that both MacOS and Windows can read and write to it. That means that the LR catalog uses a valid relative file path when the catalog file is opened by either the Windows instance of LR or the MacOS instance of LR.
The LR catalog file is stored in a folder on the portable EHD and in that folder is the Previews Cache. Windows uses a Drive letter in the AbsolutePath field of the LR catalog and MacOS uses the volume name The AbsolutePath can't contain both. So, it is correct for only one machine. Only if the RelativePath to the image files is resolvable, then this catalog will function properly on both OS.

The next issue to look into is the actual catalog file. Where are the Backup catalogs stored? Could you be opening an old catalog file on the Windows machine? Can you check on the Windows machine to verify that the catalog that is open is the one stored where you think it is on the EHD? (Menu: Catalog Settings, General tab). The Folder panel should show the same folders on either machine IF it is tha same catalog file. Check the All Photographs special collection in the Catalog panel. Does it show the same number of cataloged images on both machines?
 

Chris Brown

New Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Welcome to the forum. Is the problem with the Windows instance of LR? Presumably, the Portable disk is formatted as exFAT so that both MacOS and Windows can read and write to it. That means that the LR catalog uses a valid relative file path when the catalog file is opened by either the Windows instance of LR or the MacOS instance of LR.
The LR catalog file is stored in a folder on the portable EHD and in that folder is the Previews Cache. Windows uses a Drive letter in the AbsolutePath field of the LR catalog and MacOS uses the volume name The AbsolutePath can't contain both. So, it is correct for only one machine. Only if the RelativePath to the image files is resolvable, then this catalog will function properly on both OS.

The next issue to look into is the actual catalog file. Where are the Backup catalogs stored? Could you be opening an old catalog file on the Windows machine? Can you check on the Windows machine to verify that the catalog that is open is the one stored where you think it is on the EHD? (Menu: Catalog Settings, General tab). The Folder panel should show the same folders on either machine IF it is tha same catalog file. Check the All Photographs special collection in the Catalog panel. Does it show the same number of cataloged images on both machines?

Thanks for the reply. It is only the windows machine that I have issues with. I worked on some images last night, in the hotel, and the previous edits aren't even in place.

Regarding the disk, I have an application on my iMac that allows me to read NTFS formatted drives. I guess I could back it up, format it to exFAT, and restore, but wouldn't that slow it down? Seems more to the point you bring up about the AbsolutePath. I initially had the catalog set up on my iMac, so this AbsolutePath would exist on that machine and not my laptop. Not familiar with that aspect of Lightroom, frankly. This truly seems like the issue.

The backups are stored on my portable as well. And there is no chance I am opening a new catalog. I am opening the same catalog in both instances. I double and triple checked that!

So then the question is, what is the best solution for working between a Mac and a windows laptop, using one portable drive? exFAT?
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,231
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
So then the question is, what is the best solution for working between a Mac and a windows laptop, using one portable drive? exFAT?
My Preference would be to use the exFAT filesystem so that both operating systems can read & write to the drive without the used of some intermediate software to manage the NTFS file system on the Mac. If you are using this intermediate software, it should work just as well even considering there will be some small time lag because of the additional overhead.

If you are opening the same catalog file on both machines, the number of cataloged images would be the same in the All Photographs special collection in the Catalog panel. If you have double and triple checked, then what is the number that shows to the right of the "All Photographs" special collection?

The next thing for me to look at is the Folder panel. In the Folder panel, can you right click on the header of the portable EHD volume and make sure that Photo Count is checked? Next, expand the folder panel to its maximum and take a screen shot of the Folder panel clearly showing all volumes and photo counts. Do this for both the Windows instance and the MacOS instance. Once I see how the folder panel appears on both machines, I might have some ideas.

Because Windows uses Drive letters to indicate other mounted volumes, there is always the possibility that Windows will change drive letters on you when you remount the volume.

LR recorded the path to the images that are cataloged. Because of Windows inconsistency, it records both an absolute path and a relative path. The relative path is in reference to the location of the catalog file. The Absolute path will contain a drive letter in Windows "B:/Lightroom/Master/Pictures/2016/06" In MacOS it might be: "/Volumes/Akitio-B 1TB Hitachi/Lightroom/Master/Pictures/2016/06". If the Catalog file is in the "master" folder in the previous example, then the Relative path would be "../Pictures/2016/06". If the pictures resides on a different folder but the same volume, then the path would be "../../SomeOtherFolder/Pictures/2016/06" If the photos are on another volume in MacOS, the relative path could be "../../../../../Volumes/LaCie6TB/Archive/" . However Windows and their silly Drive letter breaks the relative path field. And the relative path field is undefined. And since MacOS doesn't understand drive letters the AbsolutePath is broken too. This is what it is very important that the catalog file and the image file referenced by that catalog file are in the same local path for sharing the catalog between Windows and OS X/MacOS.
 
Last edited:

Chris Brown

New Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Well, it is interesting. I have a volume that I can't access and that is clearly my MAC volume (the volume with 5,624 images). I also have a volume that is my windows machine (which I am on), and I can access that.

upload_2016-10-12_18-21-2.png
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,231
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
OK now things are starting to fit together. What drive letter is assigned to the portable EHD? What is the drive labeled "White Oak Photography (D:)"? If this is your master catalog and all of the images in the catalog is on the EHD, then what are the images showing on Drive D:

Can you show a screen shot of Windows File Explorer that shows all of the mounted volumes (C:, D: and what ever)?

One other question: On the EHD, what is the Path to the catalog file? And what is the path to the folder labeled "2016/03" in the folder panel?

If you notice, the volume labeled "White Oak Photography (D:)" has a little green icon on the left indicating that it is mounted. The volume labeled "\" is dark indicating that it is not mounted in Windows.
In the Windows instance there is a menu item {Edit}{Catalog Settings...}{General{ there is a location for the catalog that you have open. Can you report what is listed in the Location field?
 

Chris Brown

New Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2016
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Cletus,

First off, you are a savant, dude! I truly appreciate your insight.

One thing I have been looking into. It seems like I would be better to have my "Master" on an external iMAC drive I have at home. My iMac doesn't have the capacity I need, to hold all my photos, so hence the external drive. It looks like I can just highlight a "group" of folders I am currently working on, export them as a catalog to my travel drive. Then open that up, when I am on the road, make my edits, and then re-import the catalog, back to my "Master". It isn't as efficient as possibly writing some SQL code, and using batch files, but I don't really want to have batch files on my business laptop!


So, to answer your questions,,,,,,

Regarding the "mounted" drive / volume. I see that as the issue. I see that on the windows machine, it recognizes the drive, and not the volume (which IS the master), as the Mac would recognize the volume. And in the catalog settings it lists D:\White Oak Photography\1-Catalogs, blah blah blah!

Drive letter on my laptop is "D" and this is White Oak Photography. This is where my master catalog resides, as well as all my images. I keep it external, for travel, because I am traveling every other week. So, the images showing on "d" are ALL my images.

Screenshot of drive letter assignments (taken on my work laptop)

upload_2016-10-13_9-42-29.png


Screenshot of path.

upload_2016-10-13_9-46-6.png


Really appreciate your time on this Cletus.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,231
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
OK, the immediate solution is to right click on the "missing" folder labeled "2012" then using the "find missing folder" navigate to its true location on D:.
I'm on my iPhone atm so I can't properly address what is to follow. But I will follow up later.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,231
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
One thing I have been looking into. It seems like I would be better to have my "Master" on an external iMAC drive I have at home. My iMac doesn't have the capacity I need, to hold all my photos, so hence the external drive. It looks like I can just highlight a "group" of folders I am currently working on, export them as a catalog to my travel drive. Then open that up, when I am on the road, make my edits, and then re-import the catalog, back to my "Master". It isn't as efficient as...
Actually, this is the workflow that I think Adobe intended to manage LR on two computers. It is efficient and is the one that I regularly use when I travel. I have both a MBP & an iMac. I travel with initially an empty catalog since I rarely take existing cataloged images to work on.

Your existing method should work as long as the relative path field is resolving and is not undefined. I know that it does work if the pictures folders are in a subfolder of the folder containing the catalog file.
Like this:
/White Oak Photography
....../1- Catalogs
....../1- Catalogs/Pictures
....../1- Catalogs/Pictures/2003
...
....../1- Catalogs/Pictures/2012
...
....../1- Catalogs/Pictures/2016

Since you seem to be SQL literate do you have access to a Database manager that can can open SQLite files? ( I use "Navicat Essentials for SQLite") If you can, open a copy of your Master LR catalog file. Look for a table named "AgLibraryRootFolder". There are two important columns: "absolutePath" and "relativePathFromCatalog". If you could post a screen shot of the table contents to share, and look to see if any of the "relativePathFromCatalog" entries is NULL. You will probably also see that some of the entries for "absolutePath" have drive letters and some begin with "/Volume/...". On MacOS, LR will resolve the path with the "relativePathFromCatalog" field and ignore those "absolutePath" fields that begin with a drive letter. In Windows, where the "relativePathFromCatalog" entries is NULL, LR will not understand the "absolutePath" field that does not begin with a Drive letter and report those folders as "missing".
 
Top