Can someone help me with Lightroom?
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Old 01-29-2015   #1
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Default Can someone help me with Lightroom?

I have been using Lightroom (currently v 3) for years and regularly backed up my catalogs on a portable external drive. Unfortunately, my internal hard drive crashed. I replaced the hard drive and re-installed Lightroom. I tried to restore the saved catalogs and that is where I ran into trouble.

When I click on "all photographs" I get blank thumbnails. All have the dreaded question mark in the upper right corner indicating Lightroom does not know where the photo is located. In the lower right corner I see the tag that indicates the photo is keyworded. I can even filter by keyword but still no images appear.

How can I fix this?

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Old 01-29-2015   #2
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Default Re: Can someone help me with Lightroom?

You do know that the catalog backup doesn't backup the photos themselves, right?

Where are the actual photos now, after the crash?
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Old 01-29-2015   #3
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Default Re: Can someone help me with Lightroom?

Buckster is correct. The photos themselves are not the same as the catalog. The catalog I think is basically the changes you made to the images when you edited them. But the changes are separate from the images. Kind of like the XMP file in Photoshop. The two files are separate, and saved separately.

Where the images are saved, is decided by you. If you saved the the images on the internal HD, you might be out of luck. You might only be left with the catalog on the the external HD. Which is only the changes you made to the images, but the images themselves will not be there.

If you backed up your internal HD, you'll be ok. I hope you have the images backed up someplace.
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Old 01-30-2015   #4
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Default Re: Can someone help me with Lightroom?

All photos are on one of two hard drives.
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Old 01-30-2015   #5
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Default Re: Can someone help me with Lightroom?

To clarify, all photos AND the backup catalogs are on external hard drives.
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Old 01-30-2015   #6
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Default Re: Can someone help me with Lightroom?

In Lightroom, go to the Library module. On the left panel, under Folders, right click on the topmost folder of your photos, and choose from the popup menu, "Update Folder Location". Find the place on the hard drive where the photos ACTUALLY are now, and point it to that.
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Old 01-30-2015   #7
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Default Re: Can someone help me with Lightroom?

If you restored the Saved Catalogs, and you actually restored them to the same place and LR found them, then you are close.

You need to get the images, and put them back to the proper location you want them. So if they are on the drive and location where you want them to live, then right click the folder in LR with question mark (in Library mode), and pick "Find Missing Folders"...
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Old 02-04-2015   #8
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Default Re: Can someone help me with Lightroom?

I apologize that I did not have the opportunity to work on this until just now. Your suggestions worked! Thank you very much for your help.


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