Lightroom Classic: Reinstall & external drive containing catalog and images

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Hi all,
can anyone suggest anything please as I've searched the internet, You Tube and even rang the Adobe LR help line with no luck.

Let me explain. My LR catalog and images are saved and stored on an external 4TB hard drive.

I recently had to format my C drive and reinstall Windows 7 and everything else including Lightroom Classic CC and PShop. 

When my main drive was up and running I tried to direct LR to find the catalog and external hard drive containing the images but I had no luck whatsoever.

I rang the Adobe LR helpline and it tripped through to someone in the far east and he stated the only way was for me to re import all my images from the external hard drive via LR so that I could then work on them and edit them.
I did as the guy told me and after some time I was eventually ready to work with my images in LR.

I only ask now is because I'm thinking of installing Windows 10 on a clean install and would have to reinstall LR again but don't want to be in the same situation with a long drawn out import saga!

Surely there must be a more simpler and quicker method method than importing everything again?!
Any help or advice gratefully appreciated.
Richard
Warrington UK

PS The external drive had the same drive letter assigned to it both before and after the resinstall.
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Richard Williams

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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If you have installed Lightroom Classic, then all you need to do is double click the Lightroom catalog file (the file with the .lrcat extension) on your external hard disk. Then, in the preferences, make sure that Lightroom will always open this file and not try a (non-existing) other one next time it launches.
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Richard Williams

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Thank you Johan I'll bear this in mind
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dmeephd

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Right!  Try the easy and obvious first.  That answers all of the questions below.
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dmeephd

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Sounds like your Adobe Tech was spouting nonsense.  If your catalog was and is on the external drive, you simply need to point Lightroom to the catalog.  Some questions you need to answer.

Does your operating system see the external drive?
Do you see the catalog with Explorer on the external drive?
Do you see the preview files and other Lightroom files on the external drive?

If the answer to all of these is 'Yes", then Lightroom should see them as well when you point LR to them.  If not, then perhaps you need to reinstall Lightroom or go back to an earlier version which worked.  Adobe really "screwed the pooch" as the Astronauts once said, with LR 8.
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Richard Williams

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My sentiments entirely re the tech advice! And yes, it is a yes to the above.
Thanks for the feedback and will keep this in mind when I upgrade to Win 10.
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Sunil Bhaskaran, Official Rep

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What was the error displayed when you tried to open your catalog that was on the external drive?
It should ideally open without any issues.

Thanks,
Sunil
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Richard Williams

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Sunil, there was no error message displayed. It was just a pain LR not seeing the external hard drive and the unintentional tech advice given at the LR help desk. No problem now all sorted. Thanks for the interest.
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Arnold Hoddevik

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The easiest way would be to double click the catalog fil from Explorer, as described already. Alternatively, you would be able to open the catalog file from inside Lightroom, from the meny File Open Catalog. From what you wrote, it looks like you tried to open the catalog from the Folders panel, and then Lightroom would not see the disc, because there was no imported photos yet. Anyway, you can not open a catalog file from Folders. You must use File > Open catalog or double click in Explorer.
The external drive may also get a different letter from Windows, like E: or F:. All your photos would be offline. Then you can use Disc Manager to change the drive letter to what Lightroom assume it would be, or use the Find missing Folder in Library Folders to redirect Lightroom catalog to the correct drive letter.
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Richard Williams

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Thank you for your suggestions Arnold. I'll bear it in mind when I leap to Windows 10!