Lightroom: Display A & B Drive letters in Import Destination on Windows (NOT FIXED in 6.3))

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In the import dialogue in Lightroom 3 on Windows the drive letters A: and B: does not show up. I have A: assigned to an HDD and B: assigned to an SSD where I like to save my DNG files. (It was a VERY long time ago since those drive letters were reserved for floppy drives).




My suggestion is to make all drive letters assigned to an attached storage device visible as a destination in the import dialogue.
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Henrik Palm

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Posted 7 years ago

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I agree that LR should show drive letters A and B.

As a workaround, if you don't want to change the drive-letter assignments for some reason, you could add mount points for them. For example, you could mount the HDD to C:\MyHDD and the SSD to C:\MySSD. Then in LR, you could browse to those two mount points to import from there.

You can add a mount point by doing Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management. Right click the desired drive, select Change Drive Letter And Paths, Add.
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Brandon Wittwer

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Hiding the A and B drives is silly.

How long has it been since any of us have used a floppy? Those drive letters should be monitored just like any other.

V 4.1.x ? I think so!!!
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David Randall

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I use B: for Backups - Duh!

Why on earth would Adobe do this? What If I had an LS-120 drive (antique ☺) on drive A: or B:?

Lightroom also sucks at network attached storage.

I hope whoever is in charge of the storage interface for adobe gets out of middle school soon.
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Martin Del Vecchio

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I just ran into this. I'm running out of drive letters!!!
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Dan Dickey

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I tried changing the drive letter from B: to one further down in the alphabet rather than the mount point approach. Located my catalog on the new drive letter but apparently all the pics in the catalog that were on B: aren't found (no surprise) and to re-import in order to re-associate the catalog entries to the new drive letter wasn't worth the effort. I had no idea that my W7 64 would have to deal with something from the 1980s, i.e. a B: restriction. Adobe: let us decide where we put the content! I changed it back to B:
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Foto VI

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My backup hard disk is mapped to drive letter "B:"

This doesn't show in the sources pane on the import dialog.

Though it is a hard disk.


Why?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LightRoom: Why is drive a: and b: not listed in the import dialog?.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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If your answer is only "Why?" then an explanation could be that A FEW PEOPLE still use LR on a system with floppy drives, who's letters were traditionally assigned to A: and B:. In the course of LR's operation I suspect that it enumerates the drives on the system reasonably frequently and if A: and B: were part of that list, then someone with a floppy on their system would have their floppy drives spin on and spin down every so often and it would become intolerable. Adobe not showing A: and B: is the lesser of two evils, although if they had a setting to show or hide A: and B: that would probably remove the annoyance for the few people who would be affected.

A way to get around this and access your B: drive might be to use a UNC path that refers to the hidden share for each drive letter on your location machine, subject to your having sharing turned on and such. In other words try something like this to access your photos on the B: drive:
\\localcomputername\b$\whateverrootfolder\
You can also use the same notation to Update Folder Location or Locate Missing Folder if LR thinks the photos are on B:\whatever currently.
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James Richters

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Yes, thats a good reason why the A: and B: might have been left out, however the total number of people using lightroom 5 on a computer with a floppy drive is exactly zero!! The reason is stated right in the specification:

"Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows 8"

and Windows XP was the operating system that saw the death of floppy drives... older XP systems had them, newer XP systems did not. There has never been a windows 7 PC with a floppy drive

So if you are trying to use lightroom on an old XP machine, then you aren't using lightroom 5, so it's time to let us all have whatever random drive letter we want.
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Foto VI

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At least on windows os, it is possible to query "hard disks", and then to decide whether to list the associated drive ("A" and "B", too).
Floppy drives won't be touched.
i see no reason, not to list "A" and "B"
and support the suggestion, to display them in
SOURCE and DESTINATION.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Agreed. I suspect the original LR developer just wasn't aware of this.
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James Richters

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This would be a much better approach... Especially when you consider, Floppy drives can be ANY drive letter... USB floppy drives don't require A: or B: you can make them anything you want!

Also Lightroom DOES show DVD Drives in the destination of the import dialog if there is a read only disc in them!! what is the sense of that?? you can't write to a read only disc
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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See my reply at the beginning of this thread for a workaround that doesn't require creating shares.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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The hidden driveletter$ shares are built-in. No need to create them, but obviously mount-points can also be used.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Good point.
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Foto VI

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How long until this is implemented?
Is this even taken into consideration?
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Son Nguyen

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Curiously, you guys all used up 24 other letters? That's a lot of drives to keep track of.
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Foto VI

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Of course, reducing the drive list to a manageable size in LR is another issue to solve.
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James Richters

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why not just let the user configure which drives they wish to see in the list... and allow them to select A: or B: as well.. then everyone is happy... people with 2 floppies can simply not bother to select A: or B:
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Ron White

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It's not that we're running out of letters for drives. I like to keep frequently accessed files on A: and B: because they show up at the beginning of drive listings.
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James Richters

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Well Lightroom 5 is out, and this bug is still here. It simply does not allow you to import to a fixed hard drive called A: or B: even if that is where the catalog was opened from and where all your other photos are stored.

Yes I know why... A: and B: used to be used for floppy drives back in the stone ages... however windows has allowed you to assign them to hard drives for decades now, and as time goes on, you are going to be seeing a lot of computer users who have in fact never heard of a floppy drive and have never even seen a floppy disk.. it's just something they heard about in history class.. if they weren't sleeping.

You will be getting more and more technical support issues when the following scenario happens...

I was running out of room for my data, so I went out and bought me a nice new huge drive... Installed the drive per the instructions and went to 'disk management' to add an additional drive to my system.. It eventually asked me for a drive letter, and A: was at the TOP of this list, so I used that... then formatted the drive and all was great.. windows reports a fixed drive called A: with a ton of free space... so I moved all my lightroom data to A: and opened the catalog from A: and it started lightroom just fine.. and all my photos are there and this is great! You can do everything with the hard drive being A: or B: so I'm done messing with it... well a few weeks or months go by, and I've long forgot about the install process and now I have 13 other applications using my A: drive and I finally have a break in my busy schedule so I go out and shoot some photos.. I get back, install my memory card in my computer and prepare to import my files to the hard drive where my catalog is...... but I CAN'T!!! A: and B: do NOT EVER show up in the lightroom list of drives... and WHY NOT??? I can't understand why lightroom can't import to something my operating system is reporting as a FIXED drive. Now I have all this stuff on my huge drive called A: or B: and it's going to be a huge task to re-assign that drive to another letter because all these other applications will be looking for their stuff on A: or B: Ugh

Ok, so Adobe is trying to save us from ourselves and not allow us to try to import to a tiny disk that could not even hold one of our photos... uh... WHY? Just put A: and B: in the list if the operating system is reporting them and if someone DOES have a floppy drive, called A: or B: and they try to import something to it.... they will just get an error saying it won't fit... problem solved! What is REALLY ironic is that lightroom WON'T EVEN RUN ON ANY MACHINE WITH A FLOPPY DRIVE IN IT!!!! You could put a USB floppy drive on your windows 7 or 8 machine... but when you do that... it's NOT necessarily A: or B:... you can make it whatever you want... leaving out A: and B: doesn't help ANYONE at all.

Now, assume this user is in their early 20's... they have never ever seen a floppy disk, and could not buy one if they wanted to... which they don't... they just can't understand why this is happening.. why is my huge drive NOT in the list??? why is it not there? I don't understand this.

It should be noted that this also happens if A: or B: is a network drive as well. Floppies have been obsolete for a long time, and in fact you haven't been able to buy a new computer with a floppy drive since 2005, and they were completely useless back then.. and B: drive has been useless even longer!

So, what has happened here... is leaving out A: and B: has just been carried over from decades ago when it was probably a good idea... and no one has even looked at changing it. People do have problems with this though, but it won't be fixed until someone says something... So I'm saying something. fact: A: and B: are NOT reserved for floppy drives anymore.. they have not been for a very long time fact: No one will ever plug in a floppy drive ever again.

fact: Windows has allowed network drive and fixed hard drives to be A: or B: for decades

fact: You SHOULD be checking the operating system to see if a drive is fixed or removable and what it's capacity is... not making assumptions about the drive configuration

fact: As time goes on the the more and more people who have never heard of a floppy disk increases, this WILL become more and more of an issue.

fact: There is no reason to NOT be using A: or B: for network or fixed hard drives... and our software should allow us to do so.

fact: A: and B: are the FIRST two drive letters in the list when you add an additional fixed hard drive to your system!

fact: I want my 4TB drive to be B:! but I have to settle for it being WAY down at T: because I've used all the letters down to S: already... heck my usb 3.0 card reader alone takes up 4 drive letters.. and I'm used to them where they are now. I also want my RAID box to be a network A: drive.. putting it right there at the top of the list!

I'm settling for other letters, at the moment.. I actually moved my nearly useless DVD burner down the list.. do you all realize even DVD's are becoming obsolete??? why burn a measly 5GB on a DVD that is so fragile and easily scratched... when you can just write files on a 128GB flash drive? (yes there are even 512GB flash drives available now) It's only a matter of time before NO one will have ever heard of or seen a CD, or DVD disc either!

This is a very easy thing to fix... What the heck is taking so long? we shouldn't HAVE to do work arounds to store our entire catalog on a legitimate windows fixed hard drive!
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Dan Dickey

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you pretty much described my experience. My friend built my new 64 bit PC and put the "big" drive as "B". .several months later I decided to move a bunch of photos from Picasa (10 years worth) to the new "B" drive by importing but i couldn't import them. I finally did something silly like adding a backup folder to Lightroom that contained all the pics and then moved them to the "B" location within lightroom. But I still can't import to "B".
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James Richters

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I am positive this is just an oversight... all of lightroom works just fine on B: but you just can't see that drive to import to it.
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Martin Del Vecchio

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I think the problem is that Lightroom is using the wrong Windows API for the import destination dialog.

There are at least three Windows APIs for determining valid drive letters: GetLogicalDrives(), GetLogicalDriveStrings(), GetVolumeInformation(). I wrote a simple program to query each, and I get these results on my Windows 7 system:

Windows drive letters.

GetLocalDrives():
A:\ C:\ D:\ E:\ F:\ G:\ K:\ L:\ M:\ O:\ P:\ S:\ T:\ V:\ W:\ X:\ Z:\
GetLocalDrives() returned 17 drive letters.

GetLogicalDriveStrings():
A:\ C:\ D:\ E:\ F:\ G:\ K:\ L:\ M:\ O:\ P:\ S:\ T:\ V:\ W:\ X:\ Z:\
GetLogicalDriveStrings() returned 17 drive letters.

GetVolumeInformation():
C:\ E:\ F:\ G:\ K:\ M:\ O:\ P:\ S:\ T:\ V:\ W:\ X:\ Z:\
GetVolumeInformation() returned 14 drive letters.

My guess is that this dialog uses GetVolumeInformation(), which does not return information about the A: or B: drive, regardless of whether it exists or not.
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James Richters

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Thanks for the windows API info.. you are probably right.
I noticed GetVolumeInformation() also left out your D: and L: drives as well. They are either using the wrong API as you suggest, or they are simply removing A: and B: from the list on their own.. either way, this problem is so EASY to fix, and since you cannot run lightroom 5 on any computer with a floppy drive in it... as stated in the system requirements here:

http://www.adobe.com/products/photosh...

•Microsoft® Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 or Windows 8

and no windows 7 computer ever had a floppy drive and the motherboards do not have floppy interfaces.. the only hope for a floppy on a windows 7 or 8 machine is to use a USB floppy drive.. and those can be ANY drive letter... so they might as well fix this legitimate BUG and make everyone happy.

Actually the BEST solution would be to have a setting in preferences to ask what drive letters to display in the import dialog, and include A: and B: I really don't need to be seeing my CD-ROM drive that I can't write to, or any of the 4 drive letters my USB3.0 card reader displays.. even showing my DVD-RW drive is useless.. what am I going to do? burn a DVD with my imported photos and attempt to work with the on a DVD? Or why not just give us a place to type in where we want to import things and remember what we have used previously? that way one could use my catalog on \\server1\lightroom\ or something as well
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Edward McNamara

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Are you kidding me? Jesus Christ Adobe, let me see my god damned drives.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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In another thread, ron@ronwhite.com showed how to import from A and B drives quickly with no additional effort.

In the Import window, click on Select A Source and then choose Other Source:

Then select the A or B drive and choose Select Folder:

In subsequent imports, the A or B drive will appear under Recent for even faster access:


(Of course, it would be better if LR just showed the drives in the left-hand column, but at this point, three years later, I'm skeptical that Adobe will ever take the time to fix this.)
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James Richters

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The problem has been Importing TO hard drives assigned to A: or B: you simply can't do it, although the catalog can exist on these drives.
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Ron White

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom can't see one of my hard drives and import photos from it. What's it got against that one drive?.


Why does Lightroom not import photos from my B: drive (a hard drive where most of my pictures are saved)? It has no problem finding and importing photos on on 7 other drives, memory cards and flash drives, but it won't even let me take it by the hand and show where the photos are on my B: drive. This is my maiden import, and it's really irritating. Does it think B: drives disappeared with the floppies?
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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See this post for workarounds using network drives and mount points:
https://forums.adobe.com/message/6801...
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Joe

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It is very simple. The list of potential source should be user-definabile. There isn't a single developer inside Adobe that could guess what users throw at it. Just put the user in power and let her define what could possibly be a source for images
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Rainer Buck

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom 6.1.1 for Windows (7 Prof.) does not show drive letters A: and B: in im....

All other drive letters will be OK, but if you use drive letters A: or B: for local hard drive partitions, they will not be shown in some places in LR6 (e.g. import dialog or folder pane on the left).
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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See this post above for how to import from A and B: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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James Richters

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We are not trying to import FROM A: or B: we are trying to Import TO hard drives A: or B:
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Some in this topic are asking about the import destination, and some are asking about the import source (Foto VI, McNamara, Ron White). The issue occurs in multiple places.
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James Richters

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This has been FIXED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lightroom 6.2.1 has a completely new Import screen and A: and B: are now available as drives to Import TO.. this means the catalog can exist and the photos in the catalog can exist on either A: or B: I have tested this and so far I can find no issues at all importing TO A: or B: or using a catalog with photos stored on A: or B:



Also for those of you who were wanting to import FROM A: or B: this is also possible, however there are minor bugs. As you can see, A: and B: show up as drives in the Drives selection box of the Import screen



But a minor bug here is that on the next screen, it shows that all subfolders are selected, and NO FILES are found, but that is not true...



If you select the subfolder you want, THERE THEY ARE! also re-selecting All subfolders shows the files. When I tried an import from drive L: it defaulted to NO subfolders, and so I had to select all subfolders to see my photos.

Also note that A: and B: do NOT show up under My Computer on the left, however if you push the browse button below that, you can see them and select them and they seem to work just fine... It would be nice if A: and B: were in the list as there is no reason not to show them.

But This all makes me VERY happy, because even though there are these few bugs, at least the basic functionality is there and it's easy to work around these few things.

It's SO nice when the customers are heard!

THANK YOU ADOBE!!!!
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Patti Larson

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Thank you!  This was very helpful! I store all my images on a G-Technology RAID system with the Drive Letter A (First one suggested when I installed it).  The A Drive and all images show up in my library, but I could not import FROM or TO the A Drive. The explanation above did work for me.  I don't like it but at least it works.
Lightroom needs to be able to import FROM and TO any drive elther that the user selects!!!   Please fix this Adobe!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Adobe just announced that they will "will restore the previous import experience. We are still working on details and timing." (http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjourn...) If they restore the old implementation, then this bug could very well resurface, unfortunately. Let's hope for the best of both worlds...
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James Richters

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nooooooooooooooooooo I like the new one much better!!! I'm afraid you are right, if they restore the previous import method, there's a 99% chance they will just revert to the old code... it's quick and easy. If people are complaining about the new import, why not just make it an option under preferences?? then everyone is happy... after all they went through all the trouble of making the new one.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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As we suspected, this problem has resurfaced in LR CC 2015.3 / 6.3, which reverted to the old import screen.