Lightroom: How do I reconnect missing photos after changing location of files to a new hard disk?

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I had to replace my hard drive and the technician recovered all of my photos and re-installed my LR 4. The problem is that, on my old hard drive the photos were on the "D" drive and now they are on the "C" drive so LR thinks they are missing. I have been recovering them by clicking the ? on the photos and showing LR where they are now. My problem is that my 14,000 photos are in folders by date so it is going to take me months to click on each missing photos to get it and the others for that date. Is there some way to just tell LR that all of the photos that used to be on "D" are now on "C" rather than going through the photos individually.
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J L Scott

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Posted 6 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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J L Scott

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I am doing what it says to do on the link you provided. This is the problem: since my photos are in folders by date, as I click on the ? and show LR where the photo is now located, it does change all those on that date but that is all. So I am having to go through all of the dates, one at a time, to change to the "C" drive. My 14,000 photos date back to 2001 so this is going to take months to go through it one day at a time from then to now. My question is this: Is there some way to tell LR that ALL of the photos are now on the "C" drive, not the old "D" drive without having to go through this one date at a time.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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What if you right-click on the top most folder on the drive in the Library module and select "Update Folder Location"?
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J L Scott

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The top folder is 2001. When I right click to "update folder location" it shows it as currently in "Libraries-Pictures-My Pictures-2001" and it appears to be in the "C" drive already. I am not sure if that is because what is currently in that folder are the photos I have already changed to that location through the ? icons on the photos.
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J L Scott

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I just realized that I should have first clicked on "show parent folder" which I have now done and the top parent folder is "Pictures" with the dates under that. Either way, when I right click on the "Pictures" parent folder it appears to already be in C drive because it is under "Libraries-Pictures". I don't know how to tell if it is not in the C drive since the C drive is all I have on this computer now.
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J L Scott

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I have an idea. When I click on the "update folder location" should I somehow move my "Pictures" down to the area of the screen where it says "Computer" and under that it says "Local Disk C". To do this do I first set up a folder under "Local Disk C" that says "Pictures" ?
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J L Scott

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Ok, I discovered that there is already a "Pictures" file under "Local Disk C" under Users so I tried using that with the "update folder location" on the "Pictures" parent folder in LR. No change. Still have all of the missing photos in LR.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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I assume that the Folders panel is also indicating that the folders are missing? Missing folders all have question marks on the folder icon, like this:



If your folders have question mark icons like that, then try this: right-click on the top-most folder ("04" in the case of my example) and choose "Find Missing Folders". Then locate the folder, and click OK. That should find that folder, and all the folders that it contains, and all of the photos that are in any of those folders. I think this is what Jeff was trying to suggest in his previous comment. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

-Ben
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J L Scott

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None of the folders have a questiion mark, just the photos within them
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J L Scott

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Let me clarify that answer- none of the folders have a question mark and the folders are empty other than the photos that I have helped LR find by using the ? on the missing photos to help me locate and re-assign them so none of the photos in the folders have ? marks on them
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Can you post a screen shot of what your Folders tree looks like (similar to Ben's)?

Directions here: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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J L Scott

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I read the link that says to click on the add image but I don't know how to do a "screen shot" . I'll try if you tell me how.
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J L Scott

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I have followed the directions in Windows 7 for doing a screen shot using the snipping tool. I've saved it as a JPG but when I try to add it as per the instructions you linked above, it comes out as "computer symbols" on the "Reply to this topic" form. So, here is what it looks like in English:
Folders
Local Disk (C:)
Pictures
under this are the folders listed by Year (and if I click on the triangles, date)
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J L Scott

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ok, so how can I tell LR that all of my 14,000 photos are now on Disk C instead of Disk D without having to go to each photo individually to do so? There must be a way to do this.
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J L Scott

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Does your lack of response mean you don't know or it isn't possible?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Well, your question depends on how you moved your photos from D: to C:. If you were careful and copied the topmost directory over, everything should have copied over in the same structure. If that's the case, then the instructions Ben and I provided should allow you to select the topmost directory to relink everything underneath auto-magically.
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J L Scott

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The computer technician who replaced the hard drive simply told me he "recovered" them from the old hard drive and I saw that they were all there in the new "C" drive in the folders as before.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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J L, I'm sending you an email to work with you directly to get this straightened out.
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J L Scott

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Great, looking forward to having your help.
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Karen H Colbert

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Brett - It's 4 months later (2/8/13) and today I am in the same exact spot JL Scott was. You two joined up by email to help him and never posted your "what you did to solve his situation" here. (I am a PC user) I had to rename my external HD dirve letter (fm: "g" to "x") Nothing inside the external drive was altered; just the drive letter changed. My LR Cat now has my entire library in "Missing Photographs"(thousands, ea w/ ? in upper rt cnr) up under 'Catalog'. Under the 'Folders' section, all my folders are listed but GREYED OUT, and have "0" contents! Can't for the life of me get LR Cat to 'find' it's way to my new "x" drive location. Major BIG, HUGE HELP Please !!!??? !!!
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Didn't do any kind of magic in J L's case, just walked him through the process.

In your case, you just have to tell Lightroom that the folders on the G: drive are now on the X: drive. In the Library module, expand the Folders roll-out on the left panel. Right-click the most upper level folder (parent), and choose Update Folder Location. Locate the folder on the other drive in the dialog that appears, select it (do not open it) and click the Choose button.

If you have multiple folders at the root of the hard drive that your images are in, you will have to do with with each of the root folders. However, if all of your images are in a parent folder (e.g. "My Pictures") you will only have to do this once. If your parent folder is not displayed in the Folders roll-out, right-click on of the current parent folders and choose "Show Parent Folder". Do this until the most senior parent folder that contains all of your images (or folders that contain your images) is displayed and then follow the instructions above.
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Karen H Colbert

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Brett - Thank you so much. Have copied this and really, really appreciate your reply.