Lightroom: External hard drives not displayed in my Library any longer.

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I opened up LR 5 today and none of my external drives are displayed in my library. If I attempt to import, i can see them all listed in the destination frame. how do I get them back into my Library?
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John Borys

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Posted 4 years ago

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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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In order to be displayed in Library, you must have a file from the hard drive actively imported into the open Lightroom catalog. Import a file from the drive and it will show up.

Now, if you have files on your hard drive already imported and they are not showing up, that is a different issue.
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Sheri Taus

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I am having the same issue.  I had a EHD problem, bought a new one, moved my photos to the new one and can not figure out how to get LR to recognize my new EHD.  I am so frustrated!  I've done some of the things recommended in this thread, and nothing is working!  When I go to find missing file, it opens up a different window and my EHD shows the pics, but it won't show in LR.  HELP PLEASE!!!
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Gabriel Engelhard

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Hi. As excellent and often very helpful forums can be there is nothing quite like an online expert especially when free. 

Since I subscribe monthly to LR & PS I get access to online chat which extends to the agent taking control of your mac/pc. He achieved in minutes what had taken ages.

Good luck
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Let me take a wild guess. You're on a Mac. If you look in Macintosh HD, there's now a folder showing called Volumes and the external drives are now listed inside there?
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Gabriel Engelhard

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Thanks very much for that.

Did the trick - via Finder.

Gabriel
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Peter Cosier

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Victoria

The same thing has just happened to me.  I imported two folders from my external hard drive into lightroom and it no longer shows these folders.  when i try to import them again lightroom won't let me.  I have noticed these files are now appearing in Pictures on my Mac, but not in their original sub-folders, just by date order, yet I did not put them there.

How do I get lightroom to recognise the folders on the eternal hard drive again, and how do I stop this happening again.

Thanks

Peter 
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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This sounds like a different problem. This sounds like you may have imported these folders and let Lightroom copy them to your Pictures folder by mistake, instead of just adding them to the catalog.
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Peter Cosier

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Thanks Johan

If I delete the folder in Pictures, will I be able to then view the external hard drive folder again? The images are still in the external drive.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Wait with deleting anything. First right-click on the folder in Lightroom and choose ‘Update Folder Location’. In the dialog that comes up, navigate to the folder on the external drive and select it. That will ‘reconnect’ the folder to the location on the external disk. Now you can delete the copy in your Pictures folder.
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Samantha Short

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YES! Please tell me it's an easy fix!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Good news, yes. Show me a screenshot of the Folders panel and I can give you step by step instructions.
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Samantha Short

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Samantha Short

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The strange thing is, this is only happening in LR 5, but everything is fine in LR CC. I just prefer LR 5 and it's the one I've been working in.
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Samantha Short

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Samantha Short

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I did recently add a second EHD as I finished up a session on my full drive, so I wasn't sure if that was the issue, but I don't think it is. I'm losing my mind.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Perfect. Back up your catalog for sanity's sake.

Right click on the / folder and choose Hide This Parent.

Right click on the Volumes folder and choose Hide This Parent.

Right click on the Seagate folder and choose Hide This Parent.

At some point among these steps, everything will disappear from the Folders panel. Hold your nerve and restart Lightroom and everything should be back to normal. If for some reason it's not, post updated screenshots.
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Zsuzsi Pal

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OH MY GOD!!! You saved my butt! thank you! I've been trying to figure this out for so long. 
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Halsey Pierce

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You saved mine too!! Thank you! 
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Bev Holoboff

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I'm having a similar problem. Had a total external drive meltdown and am trying to salvage things from my backups. I have two new drives but can't get them to show up in LR. I am on a Mac but don't see a Volumes folder. I see a greyed out version of the missing drive. I'd prefer not to remove that yet as it's showing me the greyed previews that will help me locate the pictures in my backups. The only other drive is the Mac HD with a Users folder under it. So the steps you've mentioned aren't available to me at this point.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Sounds like you a slightly different problem Bev, but the fix is easier!

Back up your catalog first.

Open up the greyed-out drive, then you'll see the folders with question marks on them.

Right-click on the first folder and choose Find Missing Folder and direct it to the new location of that folder.

Repeat for any other missing folders until the greyed out drive disappears.

If you get stuck, show us a screenshot and we'll help you fix it.
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Bev Holoboff

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I finally found the volumes folder. However, the only thing listed in there is the drive that crashed and no longer exists. I don't see any of the new drives that are connected to my computer. I tried linking one of the greyed folders to the similar folder in my new drive and it does make the photos in that folder readable but doesn't change anything else. It doesn't make the new drive appear.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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You weren't MEANT to find the Volumes folder. Seeing the Volumes folder is a bug. So you'll need to go back a couple of steps and follow the instructions I gave to Samantha to get rid of the Volumes, then follow the instructions I gave you. Right-click on the 2011 folder, select Find Missing Folder, navigate to the 2011 folder on the new drive. Repeat for 2012, 2013, 2014...
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Bev Holoboff

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Whoops...hadn't finished...so that didn't make sense. My new folders won't be identical to the old ones since I have moved a few things around since I did the backups. So, even the one folder I linked to see how this would work is still showing a '?' because the new one isn't identical. Should I keep going even though I know that will happen?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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You're going to have a much bigger job on your hands then. Do you know what you moved and where you put it? Have a read of this: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/article...
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Bev Holoboff

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Sorry, again...we're typing at the same time. I have to find some of those backups (have them in an off-site storage) so this will take awhile. But I'll start on that today. I know the folders won't be identical though so that will be an issue but I'll work on that until I get to that point. But no, I don't know where I moved everything. I did a re-sort of things that was kind of major a few weeks ago and, while all the files still exist, it's basically a huge mess now. And some files will be permanently missing as I now know that edited files were not being captured in my backup workflow for the past two months. I'll read that article and see what I can do.
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sara alberghini

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Hi Victoria, hopefully you are still there: I think I have the same problem of Samantha but I do not start with folder "/", so would like to understand what are the steps I need to take.
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sara alberghini

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LA-Public and LaCie are of course the two external drives that are only showed in Volumes. (the grey folders withe the "?" are not an issue - no problem to have lost them)
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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No worries. Back up your catalog.
Right-click on the Volumes folder and select Hide This Parent.
Then do the same for LA-PUBLIC and if it's still visible, the LaCie one too.
At some point in this processing, the volumes will disappear. Restart LR.

If it's not back to normal at that point, post an updated screenshot.
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sara alberghini

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yesssss! thank you so much! seems fine now
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Nicole Wilde

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Oh, Victoria, I hope you can help me! I've seen your replies to others but am not sure which applies to me. All was well in LR CC until I installed another external hard drive (and yes, I'm on a Mac). The problem may be that both drives are Seagate Backup Plus. I added 4TB on to the name of the original one, which has all the photos, so I could distinguish. This original 4TB has all the photo files, and LR previously saw it with all my files under the name without the 4TB appendage. The new drive (let's just called it Seagate) has nothing except my Time Machine backups. In the Folders panel in LR, the NEW drive (Seagate) looks like it has all the photos in it, albeit now with the ? next to all photosI I thought maybe because they're both Seagate Plus drives the Mac got confused. I tried changing the name of the 4TB to remove the 4TB part so it might see it again. Now that drive is greyed out in LR and it's still seeing what it was seeing before. I'm sorry if any of this is not clear, I know it's a mess. Help, please?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Hi Nicole.

I've split your question off into another thread as it's different to the Volumes bug that thread was dealing with. I'll go answer on there now!

Victoria

Please reference the new conversation here: New external hard drive with the same name and missing files
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Nicole Wilde

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Thank you!
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Nicole Wilde

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P.S. There is no Volumes folder under my hard drive.
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Frances 'Baker' Williams

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Hi Victoria!
I am on a Mac and have hidden the volumes folder, and it worked as you said. The only issue I am having now is that LR is taking forever to open every time. Any suggestions?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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That'll be a topic for a new thread Frances, as there could be numerous possibilities.
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dancing seamonkey

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Hi, I just read this thred because I have a similar problem. I followed the steps you recommended to hide the volumes folder and LR now recognizes the external HD my photos are on but it is showing it as one big file and not the subfiles on the HD. Thank you for any suggestions.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Can you show us a screenshot please?
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dancing seamonkey

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Hmmm not sure what I did but problem solved. Thanks for your time.
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Linnea Olsson

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My Lightroom won't find my external harddrive anymore though it's perfectly fine up and running and all. It just seem to have lost it some how. Is there anyway to "find" the whole harddrive instead of re-finding all the missing folders? I do not have the Volume folder in my Macintosh section.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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The 'old' drive is shown in Lightroom with a '1' behind the name of the disk. That is why Lightroom thinks it's another disk. You probably have to use 'Find Missing Folder' for each folder.