Lightroom Classic hangs on import dialog when destination folder contains a recursive link to itself

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 4 weeks ago
Bug:
I experienced a very strange bug recently. When the destination folder selected in the import dialog contains a link to itself, Lightroom will crash/hang indefinitely without any error message when trying to display all the preview thumbnails. Such a link can be created easily with the Windows Explorer. Such a Link is a *.lnk file, but Lightroom treats it as a real folder.
Expected behavior:
Lightroom should not follow .lnk files as real folders and/or should check for recursions and display a meaningful error message.
Workaround:
Delete the recursive link.
Steps to reproduce:
* Open Windows Explorer
* Right click on "Pictures", select "create link". Place this link inside the "Pictures" folder itself, so that "Pictures\Pictures - Link" refers back to the "Pictures" folder. This creates a recursion.
* Open Lightroom, insert a media with photos, and open the import dialog.
* Make sure "Copy" is selected and select the "Pictures" folder as a destination for the import.
* Lightroom will crash/hang, while it tries to resolve the recursion.
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Stefan Tietze

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Photo of Just Shot Me

Just Shot Me

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Why would any folder contain a link, a Shortcut, to itself? Sorry I don't understand why that would happen or why you purposely added a shortcut to itself.
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Robert Somrak, Champion

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Yes, you purposely create an issue and call it a bug.
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Ruurd van Dijk

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Hmm, but still... Lightroom should cope with that sort of things...!!
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Stefan Tietze

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Yes, I assume the link was created accidentally by the user (not myself). This can happen quite easily when using a touchpad, for example.

I can assure you nothing is staged here. This is a real bug I encountered on a real system and which took me a good few hours to troubleshoot. If you google for "Lighroom hangs on import", you'll find many people with similar problems and with various proposed fixes, none of them worked for me. So even if Adobe decides not to fix this bug, I hope this post can be useful for anyone with the same problem.

That being said, the bug is triggered on a valid file system (as I outlined above, the link is just a *.lnk file interpreted by Lightroom as a directory) and Lightroom should not crash or hang with a valid directory selected as a destination. So it is indeed a bug in Lightroom.
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Just Shot Me

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IMHO it is not a Bug but a User Error. Why should LR handle something like this?
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Stefan Tietze

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It's not, it's Lightroom's unexpected handling of .lnk files. Despite that, no program should crash or hang indefinitely because of user input, or your input validation sucks.

And in any case it's good programming practice to limit the recursion depth to sensible values and the fix should be quite strait forward.