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Help with LR catalog and an external drive - Houston, we have a problem...

Discussion in 'Lightroom 1-6 for Windows & Mac (perpetual)' started by RANDY BORCHERDING, May 13, 2017.

  1. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    Howdy to all from Houston, TX.

    I have copied all my laptop's internal photos to an external drive, adding them to existing folders of images that were being stored off my laptop, because of hard drive limitations. All of my images are now inside one folder on the new external drive.

    I want LR to read all the photos from the external drive, NOT from my laptop hard drive. How do I let my LR Catalog know that I want it to read from the external drive versus my local drive that it reads from now?

    I am not planning to delete the images from my local laptop drive (they feed Dropbox folders that my customers access for project updates), however, I want LR to "feed itself" from the external drive (the one with ALL my images), not from my internal laptop drive, which only has a portion of my images.

    How do I do this correctly?

    I hope my questions make sense and thanks in advance to anyone that chimes in with help.

    Randy
     
  2. JohanElzenga

    JohanElzenga Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Right-click on the top folder in Lightroom and choose 'Update Folder Location'. Navigate to that folder on the EHD and select it. Done.
     
  3. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Welcome to the forum (from Bellaire). In trying to understand what you have done, let me explain how it should have been done.
    If you copied all of the folders and sub folders (as a block) from the laptop to the EHD, then all you need to do is as Johan has suggested, choose 'Update Folder Location'. If you have done something else, then we need to know how the folders, sub folders and files on the EHD differ from the laptop.

    Additionally, I don't understand the need to retain a copy on the laptop to "feed Dropbox" because you can feed Dropbox from the EHD. Or simply export finished work to any local folder that you need.
     
  4. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    I presume you mean to select the topmost folder from the current location (my local HD) and redirect it to the new location (the EHD)? If I do as you suggest, it brings me to subfolders 'inside' that folder and wants me to select one of them, not all of them. I cannot see how to select only the top level folder that houses these subfolders.

    Also, on this new EHD, I have a copied all that is presently in LR (from my local HD) by copying them via the Mac OS. On the EHD, I also have other images I want LR to manage, but it has not seen yet. Should I just import all of them (seen and unseen by LR) then remove the Folder that represents my local HD and its images from LR, leaving only the EHD and its folders of images in LR folder list?

    This seems to be overwhelming me and it shouldn't. I am scared to screw up and lose not only my edits but the images themselves. I know losing all the images is highly unlikely during this process, but losing my catalog's connection to them is well within my capabilities!

    Any more advice will be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    Thanks for the response. I copied, via my Mac OS, all my local HD images that LR manages. Therefore, the folder structure should be identical on both the local and the external drives. I also have images already on that EHD that LR has not seen yet, but I want it to. I want LR to manage all the images now on this EHD - the ones I copied to it and the ones already there.
    I do not seem to be able to select the main folder of images when trying to "update folder location", as LR takes me inside that folder and shows me the set of subfolders that are within. I cannot select all of them, only one, which is obviously not all of my images. Do I have to do this one folder at a time? I am guessing that I am doing something incorrectly, I just do not know what that is. The copied images and the existing images (on the EHD) are within one main folder, it that helps clear things up.
    Should I let LR "Import" all the images from the EHD, then delete the local HD folder? If I do that, will I lose all my edits? I am presently saving all my metadata to the files on the local HD, but do the files on the EHD still have that info attached?
    I do not know how to get an external drive to 'feed' Dropbox if the folders are already there from my local drive. That is probably another forum thread altogether. Those folders are for my customers to review progress on their projects here at our shop, so I don't want them to lose connection to them. Perhaps I have to send out new links to folders that are fed from the EHD?
    I'm so lost on all this. I can build the hell out of a custom automobile, but seem to be overwhelmed by this process. Help!
     
  6. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    You do not want to "import" images that are already imported in the catalog. If you do you will lose any existing edits once you delete the local image files.

    Look at this scenario:
    FolderPanel.png

    The Folder labeled "Pictures" and the Folder labeled "HardDrivePublish" are top level parent folders. If I copy the "Pictures" folder to an EHD, then I will need to use the 'Update Folder Location' to change the LR catalog reference from the volume labeled "Macintosh HD" to the folder copy of that name on the EHD. This will also update all of the "Child" subfolders to the new location. If you do not have this Parent folder exposed in the Folder panel, then right click on any of the top level folders that are showing and choose "Show Parent Folder" If you don't have a deep folder hierarchy, then all of your current top level folder should resolve as a subfolder under one common parent.

    As for Dropbox, can you explain a little more what you mean by "feed Dropbox"? Dropbox stores images locally and sync's those images with the Dropbox cloud. You can change the local location of the Dropbox folders by setting a different location in the Dropbox Settings on the Account tab.

    If you are using LR to manage your images, the LR should be the only app that accesses this master image files and folders. Any changes made to those files and folders outside of LR will not be maintained in the reference to those files and folders that is stored in the LR catalog file. For this reason, any images that you share to DropBox for customers to access for project updates, should be Exported JPEGs and not any of the original files or any file managed by LR.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  7. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    Cletus,

    Perhaps I could buy you a coffee/lunch/whiskey/all of the above and we could meet to try to resolve this? I'd be willing to compensate you for the time it takes to walk me through this process. That way, you can see my actual dilemma in person and make more sense of it. I am in Cypress and would gladly come to your side of town. Let me know if this is possible. Thanks for all the input.
    Randy
     
  8. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    I would like to do that, except that I don't have any time available at the moment to meet with you. You need to resolve your issue before I could be available to help in person. Continue to work on your issue here within the forum where I and others can talk you through it.
     
  9. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    Thanks for the response. I will do just as you suggest, being that "resolving the issue" is the issue. Hopefully others can pitch in if possible.

    Take care,
    Randy
     
  10. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    The Houston Camera Club meets the 1st & 3rd Tuesday's of each month at the Bayland Community Center on Bissonett. I will be there tomorrow beginning around 6:30. If you want to visit our club and bring your laptop and EHD, there may be time before the meeting to work on your issue.
    Houston Camera Club Houston Texas USA. This meeting, this month is a Program on visiting National Parks given by two of our members.
     
    RANDY BORCHERDING likes this.
  11. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    Excellent. That may be just what the doctor ordered. I will see if I can make it and will message you here if that is the case. Thank you.
     
  12. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Great! See you there.
     
  13. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    Fair warning: If I can get there, I have made a mess (I think) of my Lightroom.

    I do not know how to correct it, or how to properly start over if that is what needs to be done. The more I compare LR to the EHD it is reading from, the more I see that is not the way it used to be. Many thousands of images are on the EHD but have not imported into LR, even though it says it is going to when I tell it to synchronize the folder that is missing images.

    I am truly at a loss as to how to resolve this and not drive myself, or you guys/gals, nuts. I don't think I'm an idiot, however, perhaps that is up for debate.
    I hope I didn't scare you off! Thanks again.
    Randy
     
  14. Victoria Bampton

    Victoria Bampton Lightroom Queen / Owner Staff Member Administrator Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Did you get there Randy?

    If you get really stuck, both Laura Shoe & I do paid live support.

    P.S. Synchronize Folder is almost always a really bad idea.
     
  15. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    I did not get there. Self-employment strikes again! I will at some point, simply because I want to network with other photographers and improve that part of my hobby.

    In the meantime, I have managed to get some things sorted out, but the Sync with mobile feature is still stuck and missing many images that used to be in sync. Also, not all my images are located in LR - I was missing over 30k, but I'm down to about 1100 missing now.

    I'm not sure I even need LR to manage ALL my photos, as most of them are simply reference shots for my business (we build custom cars/trucks). Those images will most certainly not ever get edited and only exist as a historical reference to a certain point in time on the project.

    I'm curious why Synchronize Folder is a bad idea (almost always?). If we are to put images in their folders via the OS, and not via LR, how else does LR know where the new images are? I get mixed opinions on how to get images into my folder structure (the OS versus LR) so I'm confused on that as well.

    My goal has been to get all my images on one external drive, back that drive up both locally and in the cloud, and let LR get its supply of images from that drive, NOT from my internal hard drive - like Scott Kelby's SLIM system. My internal drive is constantly close to being full (within 50gb or less our of a 750gb ssd) and I worry about that. So, I keep moving things off my internal drive to an external drive. I figured it might be best to have all the images on one external drive, work off of that and keep it backed up. Obviously, I have done something very wrong here and am not sure how to proceed exactly. I've stepped away from LR for the moment to let my frustration settle and my mind clear - I may need your or Laura's help to get this solved or direction on how to reorganize and start over.

    Thanks for checking on me. I appreciate it.

    R.
     
  16. clee01l

    clee01l Lightroom Guru Staff Member Lightroom Guru

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    Synchronize Folder is not necessarily a bad idea. What (IMO) is a bad idea is using another app (Finder/Explorer) on folders that are managed by LR. Use another app to Move/Delete/Rename an image file that is being managed by LR is a prescription for disaster Adding files (including image files) into a folder managed by LR is also not a good idea. Simply because the Synchronize Folder function is the only way to incorporate these images into the LR database for proper management. The proper way to add images to the LR catalog is through the Import process. Synchronize Folder will invoke the import process . But this means that you used another app to put the images there in the first place before invoking the import process via Synchronize Folder when you could have more quickly invoked the import process and copied or moved the image file there in one step.

    I'm sorry that you missed the meeting. It was a good program and I think you could have gotten some help with your LR problem. I understand that the Bayland Community Center is a long way from Cypress but we do have a member that lives in Tomball and makes most of the meetings.
     
  17. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    Thanks for the response. I am planning to come check out your Club. It seems like a good idea on many levels. I understand the reasoning behind importing images into their respective folders via LR's process. In almost all cases, I do. There are times that I receive photos via email, for example, and I save them directly to their folder from the email. Then, LR has to be allowed (or told) to "find" that/those image(s) via the Synchronize process - is that correct? Other than that, I have been using LR to import all new images so that it knows what they are and where they are.
    This switch to a new EHD as a central image storage location and getting LR to acknowledge where my images are now has caused me grief that I never anticipated and its still not resolved. One of the folks over at the Kelby site has also been lending a hand, but we're not out of the proverbial woods yet. Plus, my mobile images are not syncing properly, which is another thing to tackle.
    Any help that can come my way will be greatly appreciated. I am doing my best to stay off of Google and just interact with experts such as yourself, this site and the Kelby folks. I figure that if you or they can't help me get a handle on this, then perhaps LR is not my preferred method of organization? I want it to be, don't get me wrong. I just know that I"ve completely confused myself and know when its time to ask for help. So...HELP!
    Thanks to all.
    Randy
     
  18. Victoria Bampton

    Victoria Bampton Lightroom Queen / Owner Staff Member Administrator Moderator Lightroom Guru

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    Because people just hit ok without reading (or read but don't understand). If they've "tidied up" outside of Lightroom, they can end up deleting photo records from their catalog (losing all of their edits in the process) and reimporting the photos at the new location as unedited photos. More blurb on it here: The Dangers of Synchronize Folder
     
  19. RANDY BORCHERDING

    RANDY BORCHERDING New Member

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    I will definitely read your article. Thanks for continuing to follow up with me. You are a credit to this industry and I'll be sure to spread the good news - meaning your site and your knowledge.

    Randy
     

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