Elements: All Photo Drive letters change

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  • Updated 9 months ago
  • (Edited)
After trying the PE2018 trial, in both that version and in my original PE13 the photos location changes from C: to M:. The photo thumbnails will then turn grey and i am unable to do anything with the photos. Even trying to reconnect photos does no good, as PE says no missing photos. I have tried many different things, including CCleaner and removing ALL adobe products and reinstalling PE13. If i import from my external HD, E: the organizer has no problem keeping track of those photos. If anyone has a suggestion oh how to cure this adobe error, please reply.
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David Hill

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Posted 9 months ago

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Steve Lehman

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David,

I'd like to help but I am not familiar with this problem.   My only guess is that they are side-car files which are duplicate metadata files of image files, once converted from RAW or another file format.   If so, they are nothing to worry about.   They are on a mirrored drive M of your main drive.   That's my best guess since they are grayed out.   Metadata files are not usually used and are container files of formats which will help another file function.  Some can be XML files which pertain to website searches (not cookies) which are a similar type of metadata file.   Like temp files of other thumbnails elsewhere.   

Steve Lehman MCSE   
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Jack Klaber

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You don't tell which Window version you are running, but let's presume it's anything later than XP.
You also did not tell on what Drive Letter your operating system is located.
It's highly unlikely Windows will start from its usual location C:\Windows to something like M:\Windows. The boot record must then be altered as well and this is highly unlikely.
But let's presume Windows works OK and is located on Drive D: (?) and your photo's are located on Drive C:
Go into the Disk Management tool by using Windows-key + R and type: "mmc compmgmt.msc". Then navigate to Disk Management under Storage. Here you should see all your HD's and their letter association. Look for a Drive with the letter M: Maybe your data drive where all your pictures are located became drive M: . If this is true, then right-click on the drive and you can change the drive Letter. 
HTH
(Edited)
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Steve Lehman

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Thank you Jack, you know your Windows.   I will support Jack.  My reply above was for another forum and was a mistake.  

Drive M could have been produced by Windows for whatever reason.   If there are letters for drives available before drive M, the drive letter can be changed and Jack has first hand knowledge for this.  I think Windows had a reason behind this.   Drive letters are not chosen by PSE.   

MY question is this:  Is your drive sub-divided into many drive letters?   How many drives on the disc do you have?  Did you plug-in an external drive (or two)?   What is your computer hardware configuration?   While we're at it, I want to know which Windows version (Jack wants to know too).  

BTW, it's wise to run the older PSE before launching the newer.   The older programs have a tendency to take on newer program characteristics.  Launch old then new.   I have 3 PSE + Photoshop6 + Light Room.   I know which order to launch them.   

Jack, thanks again for your input.   
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Steve Lehman

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David -

I had an after-thought:  

Are you saying that your Photoshop was installed in drive M?  In case that is the problem (and I am having trouble understand what is), remove your Photoshop and reinstall it in the drive of your choice, probably in drive C or E or where-ever.  I'm not sure why you are using drive E for PE13.   Do you have multiple drives on your disc?   How many drives do you have?  Which version of Windows?  What hardware configuration do you have?   Also, IF you are using an external drive to store your photos, drive H can appear.   Why your photos would be grayed out may be that your extra drive letter may have a container formatted file with metadata files, a subset of files, with a mirrored set of photos, which will be grayed out.   From here, all of this can become very complex and you are lacking a great deal of information.   Try giving us some info rather than operating a guessing game?   
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David Hill

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Thanks for the reply's,  but I seem to think the point was missing as to my issue.  So I will attempt to restate it and start anew.

I am running windows 10 - 64 bit with all updates up to date as of now.
I have 1 internal HD that Drive management says is C:\ with no partitions.
I have 1 external HD used for backup only witch is E:\.
I did not install anything there ever, only files from my backup program or direct copy from C:\.
1 have 1 CD\DVD which is D:\

I have been running PE13 for a very long time, and i was concerned that 2018 organizer might be incompatible with the way i have been doing or organizing my photos.  All 40,000 of them.  So I though it be wise to try the trial version of 2018 on a seperate computer just to check things out.  PE13 was running just fine at the time so the results were unexpected to say the least.

The results after installing PE2018 is this.  After the install was complete, of course PE2018 asked if i wanted to convert my data file or catalog to the current version.  And of course I did this.  At first, everything seemed OK until I single clicked on a photo.  I looked on the right for file information, and saw the file was located on C:\users\XXXXXXXXX\pictures\.  This was right for 10 seconds.  The picture then became grey and the location changed to M:\user\xxxxx\pictures.  Each time i selected on a picture, the location changed to this.  For awhile, it was only if i clicked on a photo, did the location change, but after a while, all photos had their locations to M:.

I have run chkdsk, checked what Jack suggested a week ago and there is no mention of M: in drive management.  So i cant just change it back there.  Pictures properties says it is located on C:\ .  I have also tried to delete my catalogs and start them but the result of this is when i import from c:\users\xxxxxxx\pictures...... the drive letter now instantly changes to M:\. 

Now what is strange to me, is i do have photos on E:\ for backup reasons only.  So I Imported some of those files.  The drive location does not seem to change.  I just double checked and they don't change.  

I have at this point uninstalled both PE13 and PE2018 and reinstalled PE13 and I still have the same results.  I had also run CCleaner I downloaded from the adobe website in an attempt to remove all adobe products and start fresh.  But here I am with the same issue after 12 days.






 
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Jack Klaber

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David, I still don't understand your configuration.
If you installed PSE2018 on a separate computer, then how did you access your images on your "regular" computer in which the pictures are located at the default Pictures directory: c:\users\xxxxxxx\pictures? 
Did you do this via your network?
Please advise.
Also be advised that PSE2018 makes a separate Catalog directory and thus, there should be zero interference between PSE13 and PSE2018 even if you installed them on the same computer. I've installed PSE2018 on my computer and could work with my PSE13 without any problems, also after deleting the PSE2018 from my system.

To get more information about your environment, open a PowerShell window and type in "dir env:" Any M:\ seen here?
(Edited)
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David Hill

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Jack, one computer has the 40,000 photos with PE13, (not touched)  this computer has not nearly as many photos with PE13 and an attempt to run PE2018 with all the errors.
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Jack Klaber

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Let me rephrase your information.
You have one computer, let's call is PC1, running PSE13 and containing 40,000 photos. You have on PC1 one HD with Drive Letter C: on which Windows 10 is installed. Also your photos reside on drive C:. You have not opened PC1 lately so you do not know if there are errors and what kind of errors.
Then you have another computer running Windows 10 we shall call PC2 on which you had PSE13 installed and also PSE2018. PC2 has also only one HD with a Drive Letter C:. After uninstalling both PSE13 and PSE2016 on PC2 you installed back only PSE13 and still you reported errors of Drive Letters. Your external disk has Drive Letter E: and you can access these photos in PSE13 without problems.
Correct?

Here is what I want you to do in case my understanding is correct:
1. Start PC1 and check that it is running without problems.
2. If PC1 has no problems then tell us that there are no problems.
3. Start PC2 and report the Environment variables as explained above. Alternatively you can get this information by opening a command line (Windows key + R) and type "CMD". After Enter you'll see a black window and type in here "SET". You'll see the environmental variables.
4. Copy/Past these variables into your reply here. You can take out [user name] and replace it with xxxxxxxxxx.
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Steve Lehman

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I am still back at drive M.  Is drive M appearing on two PC's?   Also, what are the drive structures of both PC drives?   How many drive letters are there per each drive?   How many external drives are connected to each computer?   Jack, your speculative guesses might lead to frustration.   I suggest you gather all his info before stepping further into murky waters.   
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Jack Klaber

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Steve, I have some professional background with PC troubleshooting.
I want to localize the problem now that David informs us he has two PC's.
With the SET command we get a first glimpse of the environment and if and where a Drive Letter M appears here. If not, we at least have all the information about OS drive, OS directory and other TBS-important data. I hope you concur in this.
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Steve Lehman

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Jack,

I concur all your actions as a tech in this case.  I only think that David is not revealing all of his info and we cannot assume everything at once as our own info can be wrong.  That turns out to be the case after reading David's last email.  He finally gave all the info we needed in the first place.   I knew from the beginning the glass was only half full.   Sorry if you think I was doubting you.   I fully trust you.   

Steve Lehman MCSE   
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David Hill

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Well now that i have my DSL back up after 4 days i can go on to let anyone who is interested the fix, or what appears to have fixed the issue.  I have been running a backup program called "Acronis True Image" 2018.  One night probably at 2 am i decided to try the mobile backup of that program just for the heck of it.  Anyone care to guess what drive letter it chose to make the backup of my cell phone?  All i did was to delete the backup of my cell phone from Acronis True Image, restart PE2013 and PE2018 and my issues were gone.  In case anyone is still trying to guess the drive letter, it was M:\.  OH, one computer is here, with only some photos, the other is 5 miles away not connected in any way shape or form.