Lightroom 5: Not acknowledging my hard drive. Files in the hard drive are intact in my Finder.

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 9 months ago
  • (Edited)
Lightroom is not acknowledging my hard drive, I tried relaunching and Lightroom is still blank. All files in the hard drive are in tact in my Finder.
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 9 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4111 Posts
  • 1470 Reply Likes
Where would you expect it to be acknowledging your hard drive? Are you using Lightroom CC (the new cloud-native one) or Lightroom Classic (the folder-based one). When did you last see it looking ok?
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi Victoria, thank you so much for getting back to me, Im using LR 5.7.1 on a MacBook Pro Retina, OSX. My external hard drive was working fine the day before when doing my latest back up. I plugged the drive in to edit yesterday and LR was blank, no catalog, no volumes, no folders. After I sent you the email you I spent a few hours re-importing the entire catalog, the files are all there but they just say "imported" without the list of edits. The edits are attached to the files but no history of the edits or access to the original raw file. 
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4111 Posts
  • 1470 Reply Likes
Ok, stop there. It sounds like LR can't find your catalog. Search your computer for *.lrcat files. All of the information about the work you've done in Lightroom is held in a catalog, so if you can find the right one, then you can double click on it to open it and everything should be back to normal.
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thank you, I saw this solution when trouble shooting yesterday, when I clicked on the most recent of many lrcat files, the LR Import screen opened so I re-imported the entire catalog. Just now when clicking on a different lrcat file a window opens that says "in order to use this catalog, Lightroom must close the current catalog and restart. Do you want to relaunch Lightroom with ....". I saw this window many times yesterday but the interface in LR remained blank
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4111 Posts
  • 1470 Reply Likes
Yeah, you don't want to import of the photos through the LR Import screen, because you'll be missing all your settings. Saying yes to that dialog you mention is fine. Perhaps you'd like to post a screenshot of your lrcat file search, sorted by date modified, and we can help you spot the one you need.
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I was able to open a recent backup, a few of my most recent folders were missing, wondering how to delete this newly created catalog that does not include edit histories? Attaching a screen shot of lrcat file search, thank you. 
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4111 Posts
  • 1470 Reply Likes
It might help to be able to see the file sizes, but I'd guess it's probably the October 22nd one you want.
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4111 Posts
  • 1470 Reply Likes
Oh, and to delete, just make sure you find the right one and send it to the trash. Nothing more to it than that! If you're not sure which one it is, open LR and go to Lightroom menu > Catalog Settings > General tab and it'll show you.
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Unfortunately the one from Oct 22 was created on Sunday when I was trying to recover my catalog, it doesnt contain the edit histories. I dont understand the gaps in the dates because I have auto backups happening every time I plug in my external hard drive which is almost multiple times/week. I cant access the column with the file sizes, tried sliding the column borders at the top but to no avail
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
When I click on the lrcat from Oct 22, Lightroom opens and is blank, no catalog, no folders and and prompt reads, "click import to begin"
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4111 Posts
  • 1470 Reply Likes
When had you previously used LR before that? Perhaps the search isn't searching other hard drives. Do you remember the backup dialog popping up recently ok? If so, they must be there somewhere!
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I used LR 2 or 3 days prior to Sunday, which is when I opened to find my catalog missing. I have my backups set to be stored in Dropbox, the most recent after Oct 22 is from August. Doesnt make sense. My external hard drive has all the folders in tact, is there any way to transfer them into LR without using LR's Import, which is not importing the edit histories? Is the only way to restore the catalog through the most recent backup?
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4111 Posts
  • 1470 Reply Likes
Perhaps manually check the folder location? Did the backup dialog pop up ok?

Restoring a catalog backup's the only way you're going to get the edits back I'm afraid. That's why we do backups. Do you keep the catalog in Dropbox too? Or have Time Machine running, perhaps?
Photo of Mike LeDuc

Mike LeDuc

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hello.  I'm Mike LeDuc ~ and somehow I've become connected to this thread.
While very interesting, I don't know how that connection happened.
I do not use any Mac OS or software.  
Best to all.
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 3359 Posts
  • 1011 Reply Likes
How weird! Feel free to unfollow!
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Ive been using the Search window in my Finder, is there another way to look? The screen shot I sent is the entire backup dialog -  in Dropbox. 
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4035 Posts
  • 1421 Reply Likes
You could try the dropbox website in a browser as a long shot. Has the backup dialog been popping up or not?
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thats what Im doing right now, going through DB website, catalog is still opening without edit history. I have everything backed up on a 2nd external drive but assume there would be the same issues with importing from the primary. Backup dialog is not popping up.
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4035 Posts
  • 1421 Reply Likes
Ok, backup dialog not popping up would explain why you don't have recent backups. 

How about on your 2nd external drive... might you have a copy from before Sunday on there?
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
It is popping up when I click on the various lrcat folders, asks to backup before relaunching with new catalog. When I backup to the 2nd ehd I drag my most recent import folders over which I did on Saturday the day before my catalog disappeared, but the most recent catalog backup on that drive is from April. I cant figure out why the most recent lrcat backup dated 10/22, Sunday, is launching in LR without the edit history. Oh, because this is the catalog that was created when I reimported my entire catalog through LR. 
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4035 Posts
  • 1421 Reply Likes
The backup pop-up timing is a catalog-specific setting. That's why it's showing up on the new catalog you created on Sunday, but I guess you'd changed the setting by accident on your previous catalog.

Much as I hate to say it, this isn't looking promising. Your last backup from August, and then adding new photos shot since then, might be as good as you'll get. Sorry. Keep looking!
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
My conclusion as well :( Could be a lot worse, I survived with 50k files with edit histories in tact, big mistake was thinking if I imported the files from my hard drive that that would restore the catalog.  I'll have to re-import all files shot since August with attached edits but no history, live and learn. Thank you so much for the help troubleshooting, I really appreciate the backup! One more question, do you know if upon launching LR will default to opening the most recent catalog or will I run into trouble with the catalog that was created when I re-imported all of my files on Sunday?
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4035 Posts
  • 1421 Reply Likes
It should default to the most recently opened, but go to Preferences to double check that. I'd suggest deleting (in Finder) the one you created on Sunday and its backups. Depending on the location of the catalog you're keeping, you might want to move it out of the "backups" folder to somewhere more sensible so you don't accidentally delete it too. Again, that's just a drag/drop in Finder while LR's closed, then double click to open at the new location.
Photo of Madeline True

Madeline True

  • 12 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thank you, yes Preferences are set to open most recent catalog. I store my backups in Dropbox, thanks so much for your help.