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Wrong start to Lightroom setup

cgaleana

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Mar 2, 2013
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I have been using Lightroom for about two years. I am not a professional and I would call my experience with Lightroom still at beginner stage. I think I have made a huge mistake when I set up Lightroom initially. Everything went onto my Hard Drive in folders with year dates in my Pictures file on my Mac. I realized now that my Hard drive is just overwhelmed and I need to transfer everything to an external hard disk with much more space. I just don't seem to be able to move things over. I bought the Lightroom book by Scott Kelby and danged if I can understand or get to my problem to fix. He does say that when I started, I should not have put them on my Computer disk but should have put them to start on my external drive. Obviously, I screwed up but want to know if there is a way to fix this and just move everything to my external (what's on my computer hard drive) and to have Lightroom send future files to the external drive.
I would appreciate any help.
Thank you.
cgaleana
 
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Hi, welcome to the forum.

We should be able to get you squared away, but to start with a screenshot of the Folders Panel in the Library Module would be a huge help. Make sure we can see at least the top level folder hierarchy (no need to include all the sub-folders).
 
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Welcome to our forum.
You did not screw up. There is nothing wrong with using your primary HD for image storage. The Picture Folder is after all the default location. So, take Scott Kelby with a little common sense. Most LR users may not even have a 2nd HD.

If you want to move your image to another drive, The best way to do this in LR4 is in the folder panel.
  1. Outside of Lightroom create a Parent folder on the EHD to be the container for the imagers that you are about to move.
  2. Click on the (+) on the right of the Folder panel header
  3. Choose {Add Folder...} from the context menu
  4. In the OSX dialog that opens, navigate to your folder created in step 1. and choose it.
  5. Now that your EHD folder is showing in the Folder panel, drag one or more folders from their current location to the EHD folder.

If you are using a USB2 EHD or a network NAS to store your images, you may still want to keep the most recent images on the local drive. and move them after they have aged a bit and are no longer actively being worked .
 

Brad Snyder

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cgaleana, welcome. In his post above, Jim asks for a screenshot. As we get users of all computer skill levels, if that's a new process for you, have a look at the excellent how-to guide Jim (the same one) produced. Find it at http://www.lightroomqueen.com/community/showthread.php?14018-How-to-take-a-quot-screenshot-quot-on-Windows-or-Mac-computers. The last sentence of that post is a link to the next step, how to post the screenshot here on the forum.

Both Cletus and Jim have helped many folks with this question.
 
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Having seen your Screen shot, My earlier instructions still apply. However if you note some folders have (?). That means that LR does not know where they are located and what happened to them. This is because you must have moved or deleted them using Finder and not LR. So LR still has the old location and needs to be updated to comply with what is reality on the HD. This is a separate issue and needs to be dealt with separately.
 
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I would also agree with the Cletus, having seen the screenshot. A simple drag and drop of the individual "year" folders should do it, as all their various sub-folders get moved as well. If the numbers of individual photo files had been significantly higher, I might have suggested a different method, but in this case that's probably not needed.

I also agree with Cletus that resolving those missing folders should be the first priority.
 
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Thanks Cletus. I will work on this this week. I will get this done before tackling the (?) deleted files.
Jim suggested that tackling the (?) folders should be your first priority. In this, he is probably right. While you can move the folders without the (?) using my instructions at any time, I think it is important for you to understand where your missing images are and to correct the catalog to reflect that. LR is not going to let you drag the folders that have (?) to a new location until LR knows where the contents are so that it has something to "drag from".
 
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