Lightroom 4 and 5 do not see photos in folders for import/sync

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  • Updated 5 years ago
Hi folks,

actually I'm reporting about an old problem which still persists with Lightroom. I'm using Lightroom 4.4.1 on Windows 7 (64bit) and also Mac OS X Mavericks. Here's some more background information on my setup first, before describing the actual problem:

My photos are stored on a Mac Mini running Mavericks, which I use as a fileserver. The fileshare is accessed by my Windows 7 PC as well as my Macbook. There is no issue with file access or any problem with any other program but Lightroom on the Windows machine. The Macbook does not have the issue described:

My photos are basically organized by date in a folder structure per the picture below.

The issue is that Lightroom on the Windows PC is not able to sync or even import pictures from some of the folders any more. Trying to sync the affected folders results in Lightroom to delete pictures from the catalogue because they're not found any more.

One special thing is that in the import dialogue, Lightrooms shows me three addional subfolders in my actual picture folder which are not existing in reality. In the attached picture you can see three levels of subfolders "05 Norwegen" which are not there in the regular Windows or OS X structure, and no, they're not hidden or something like that. So something is mixed up with Lightrooms file/folder handling which causes this problem I guess.

Checking the respective folders in Windows Explorer or on my Macbook and also with Lightroom on the Macbook tells me that all pictures are there and absolutely accessible!

Checking different forums for tons of months revealed, that there's others having the same issue. There's also a couple of solutions which worked for some folks but not in my case:

- Deleting the XMP files of the pictures in the folder did not work
- Deleting the Preferences file in Lightroom and creating a new one did not work
- Un- and reinstalling Lightroom, including deleting the registry stuff and system files did no work
- Creating a new catalogue and trying to import the whole picture selection did not work
- Exporting the catalogue from my Macbook and importing it into the Windows PC's Lightroom did not work
- Lightroom 5.x also does have the issue, at least with the current trial version, so updating does not help either
- The issue came like "creeping" into the system and folders behaved like that as of a sudden, even without having edited or modified file in there before.
- Lightroom can actually see all pictures again, if you move the affected folder to the Windows PC's local harddrive (SSD), but as soon as you move the folder back to the shared volume, even with Lightroom, the problem's there again
- Renaming the folder also does not work and the "ghostly" subfolders mentioned above do have the same name again
- A suspicion I had, that the problem is connected to the number of files in the affected folder, could not be confirmed by me. There was a time when I thought exceeding 100 files in the folder would reveal the problem, this is not true.

As the issue is going on for more than a year, basically making my Windows PC useless in terms of photo editing, I'm heavily frustated with Lightroom and Adobe. The only thing I did not try right now was doing a clean install on the Windows PC, which I'm hesitant to do as Lightroom is the only application having problems.

So, I would be happy if anybody would have a hint for me or if somebody from Adobe finally would take note of that issue. I expect it still to be there even if there would be a Lightroom 6. If there's something i can do to my Windows config, let me know!

Photo of Thomas Körber

Thomas Körber

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  • heavily frustated

Posted 5 years ago

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