Lightroom: Missing images due to drive name change on PC

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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Twice now when Dell has repaired my computer, the driver names have been changed putting my images on my external drives out of synch in Lightroom. I was hoping that there was a way to change the name of the drive in Lightroom to match the name currently on the computer. Also, I hate that the image backup is by the date of the backup, I wish it could be stored as date and folder name. Thanks.
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Natalie Manzino

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Posted 5 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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If you mean that the external drive's "drive letter" has changed, you can change drive letters if you are an administrator on your computer by clicking Start then right-clicking on Computer, choosing Manage, then expanding Storage and clicking on Disk Management, and then right-clicking on the drive and choosing Change Drive Letter and Paths, clicking Change, and pick the drive letter you want.

If another drive, like a CD or DVD, already has the drive letter you want, change it to another one, then go back to the external drive and change it using the one that's freed up.

If you are going to go to this trouble, it is probably wise to pick a drive letter down in the middle of the alphabet. For my external drive I've chosen P for pictures and that doesn't clash with things on the two computers I plug it into. All I have to do is set it to P on each of them and I can use LR on either.
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Of course you can just right-click on each of your top-level folders in LR's folder panel and choose Find Missing Folder and re-hook them up to the new drive letter/name, but changing your external drive's letter to something in the middle of the alphabet before re-designating the drive.
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Carol Ina

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Hi, I tried this but I didn't see the drive letter, so I couldn't change it.  What else can I try? Please, I need your help.
(Edited)
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Carol Ina

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The links between my catalogs and its photos is broken as the photos are stored on an external drive that was offline. I already turned it on, but the drive letter has changed, and I don't know how to fix this problem. Could you help me with this?
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Natalie Manzino

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Thanks! I will try to do this. I think it will be too much work to try to re-link all the photos to a new letter. I will try to find the previous letter.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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You can easily reconnect all of the photos on the drive with a single LR command.

1. In the Folders pane, select one of the top-level folders on the drive.

2. Right-click it and do Show Parent Folder.

3. Repeat if necessary until the drive letter is showing as the root parent folder.

4. Right-click the drive letter and select Update Folder Location.

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Gabriel Molina

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You just saved me a lot of work! Thanks
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I hadn't thought to do find-parent up to the drive-letter but that is an easy LR-only solution, though it would bother me to have a different drive letter and I'd probably do that anyway.

When you're done, then you can right-click and do Hide This Parent a few times on the top-level folder to take away all the extra folders back down to the normal level.
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Natalie Manzino

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I tried what Steve suggested but it didn't work. I tried John's procedure. It worked with some images, others did not have the parent folder option. I think I may wait until I need an image and then try and reconnect it.
I am leary about backing up my LR catalogue, because now it's in such a mess.

Thanks so much to you both for your immediate responses to my problem.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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What issues were you having with changing a drive letter? The process I outlined will work.
There may be complications like the drive letter you want is already used by another drive so you have to change that other drive's drive letter to something else and perhaps reboot in between, or you're not logged in as an administrator user, or there are programs installed on that drive so you shouldn't change it, or the OS is different so the clicks are different. My clicks were for Windows 7.
As far as John's procedure, you may need to left-click on a folder to select it before right-clicking on it. You also need to choose the highest-level folder to right-click on, not one that already has the parent-folder included.
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Natalie Manzino

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Hi,
Your directions were clear and I was able to find the correct screen.
In one case, the letter I need wasn't an option, and there was no other drive assigned to it at the time.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I've never had a drive-letter not be available except in the middle of my changing things and two letters being assigned to the drive I'd just changed, because there was a file open on the old one so I had to reboot to free up the old one to make it available for another drive I wanted to change it to.
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James Newell

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I have 233443 images in LR, I moved the computer some time ago and probably put the USB's back in different slots. I use bridge for day to day edits and then upload batches of images into LR. I had not noticed that light room was using a different drive letter so I now have 93038 missing images which I have been trying to find using locate option. however this is proving labourious. I had also updated my 2 backups before I noticed this issue. any ideas?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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