Lightroom 4: Folder structure in Library 'Folders' panel does not reflect structure on hard drive

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Lightroom 4: Can I get the folder structure in the Library 'Folders' panel to reflect the hierarchy on my hard drive?
We have over 100,000 photos organised over many years into a folder hierarchy (so not just a straight sequence by year). The folder structure appeared beautifully in Photoshop Elements 10. We have recently bought Lightroom 4 and imported all of our photos, but the folder structure in Library is one long alphanumerical list of all the subfolders - why is this so? I have clicked on all the options to the right of 'Folders' but this hasn't helped.
Incidentally, when I click on 'Import', the folder structure appears in the Folder panel in perfect 'hard drive' order, as I would like it to be all the time!
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Chrisf01

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Posted 6 years ago

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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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If you right click on a folder or two and select "Show Parent Folder" does it start to bring it into line?
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Chrisf01

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Hi Rikk
I have tried a few folders and it seems to be working so far - many thanks. I would never have thought of doing that! Seems strange that you have to!
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kirk reed

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Some basic thoughts on LR Library module... Hopefully this might help some understand LR.

LR4 is a database, and moving around files or directories outside of LR confuses the database. Ideally you should use LR to move and/or re-name folders. LR has something built in to find a folder if it was moved outside of LR (like in Windows Explorer on Windows) only if it still resides on the same volume (like C drive, or D drive etc.). If you move a directory from one volume to another and LR didn't know about it, it will still show you the thumbnails it has in the database, but put a '?' next to the folder. When you click on it, it will ask you where it is, and if you find it correctly, it will be back to normal.

LR only shows you what you have imported in the Library module, so it might not reflect everything that is on the hard drive.

Rikk I learned something tonight with the "Show Parent Folder". Thanks.
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Chrisf01

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Thanks Rikk - all done! What a relief as it had been bugging me for some time!
Thanks for the extra tips Kirk.
(Mine was the original import from Windows Explorer into LR4 for the first time).
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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More reason to keep all your images in an all-encompassing top-level folder. Makes the linking job a single-step operation!