Lightroom: Difficulty moving folders from internal hard drive to external hard drive

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
I tried reaching Lightroom support because I needed to move within LR folders with lots of images (more than 10.000 large photos including RAW)  form my HD to an external drive.   I talked to an agent thinking she would help me do it right without problems.  The result was terrible.  Only some folders moved and now it is a huge mess to sort things out.  I can only deal with this issue after a month due to traveling.  She was a beginner and she was muting me, probably asking someone what to tell me to do.  After hours of talking to her I had to call and another agent assisted me.  He was more knowledgeable but again after hours of talking he couldn't resolve my issue and proposed I speak to a supervisor.  After 3 hours of talking to the supervisor we just realized what a big problem is created and that I cannot fix it because I so not have the time...   I wish the lady I talked with in the beginning would have told me she was not able to assist me and that I would have talked with someone more knowledgeable.   Now it is a huge mess and I need hours of work (which I do not have) and I will not be able to work for at least a month.    
VERY disappointed with Adobe support.... 
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Niki Gleoudi

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  • Sad, anxious, frustrated, disappointed, terrified, panic

Posted 3 years ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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So sorry to hear you had such a nightmare. Next time you need to do something like that, check the Articles section on my blog, as most FAQ's are on there. Here's the one for moving files: How do I move only my photos to another hard drive, leaving the catalog where it is?

If you can tell us a bit about the mess you're in, perhaps we can find a quicker way of solving it for you. We're pretty good with messes.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Sorry you had trouble. The best way to move images from an internal drive to an external drive is from within Lightroom. Julieanne has a good video here:

I've asked an agent to follow up with you directly.
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Suggestion, if you're having trouble moving them within LR (until Adobe fixes any potential issue) try this.
1) BACKUP your catalog.
2) Close LR.
3) Backup your harddrive if at all possible before moving a large quantity of files.
4) *Move the files outside of LR using your OS.
5) Open LR. It will now show the files as "Missing."
6) Have LR find the missing files which will update the catalog with their new location. Good article on all the ways to do that here:

*I would suggest at first you only move a few files and re-find them until you get used to the technique. Again, this is just a temporary workaround to move the files and get your catalog back in sync with the new location of your files. The preferred method is always to move them within LR - at least when it works. :)

BTW - I agree with your comments regarding Adobe support.
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Doug Stead

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Maybe consider yourself lucky, you actually got to talk directly with a person and a supervisor!  A privilege bestrode only upon thise with devotion and appreciation of LR CC.  As a Canadian I feel compelled to offer an apology it this is a bit sarcastic, but as a concumer my most serious cognative faults also include cynicism without stoicism, to say nothing of a narcissism based in envy.