Lightroom: Working with external drives

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I import my images from my "working" external drive and back them up to another external drive and my computers hard drive. I work on my files then when I remove the working drive, plug it back in...... LR cannot find my images. There is a ! in the right corner of each images.. when I click on it, It says LR cannot find image. This is on all of the images. It will search for the image but I have to have the image number and I need thousands of images found. If I try to import them again the images are greyed out. I'm assuming that my initial set up was done incorrectly so I have 2 questions. Can LR find all of my images and how do i set it up the right way....can you direct me. I've read over and over to use this system but I've had such a hard time with it.
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Michelle Damm

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Posted 3 years ago

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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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Reimporting is almost always the wrong answer. You will lose the work you've done on those images should you succeed in reimporting.

Are you Windows or Mac?
Did you move the images on your hard drive(s) after importing them into Lightroom or before?

It is hard to say what you might have done that caused them to go missing but if you can answer those two questions, it will help us get you to a quick solution.
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Michelle Damm

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I've had to re-import once out of desperation. Terrible

Windows. No images have been moved.

Thanks so much.
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Michelle Damm

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Could it be the way that I'm importing. I just noticed that I have "copy as DNG" instead of ADD. Its been quite awhile since I read about and set up Lightroom so I actually don't remember why I chose that import option.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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The two most common causes:

1. Moving, renaming, adding, or deleting Files or Folders from outside of Lightroom.
2. Having your drive letter change by rebooting your computer with a USB drive attached.
in the case of #2, on a Windows machine rebooting can rearrange your external hard drive's drive letter. For instance. If your hard drive was letter G:\, and you insert a USB Thumb Drive into a USB port and reboot, your drive may be assigned drive letter H:\ . Make sure your drive letter didn't change. Use this method to prevent its being reassigned. http://www.lightroomforums.net/showth...

Copy As DNG shouldn't have any effect on your issue.
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Michelle Damm

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That might be it. I didn't realize that I had to worry about it at all. I add and remove drives without thinking about it. I'll check out the link, but you're saying every
time I reboot i need to remove the drives first?
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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No. I am saying that if a drive letter must remain the same, you must go into Windows disk utility and assign a letter so that it gets the correct letter when you reboot... Read the link I sent earlier.
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Michelle Damm

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Ok I'm attempting through the steps but I'm already stuck on step 3. I don't know what a logical drive or partition drive is and I'm assuming when it says "drive" it means my working drive that I'm trying to get LR to acknowledge. If you could walk me through this i would be so grateful!
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Michelle Damm

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I see that the OS Install C: is the "Primary Partition" is that correct. So I would click that, my working drive and "logical drive"....not sure what that is