Why does Lightroom lose folders?

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My buddy keeps all his images on external drives. He never unplugs them. But more often than not, when he opens Lightroom (4) he has nothing but question marks next to his folders. Sometimes he sees no folders at all, or only some, but they always have question marks.

I don't know how to fix it permanently. Once I was there and I right clicked an showed LR where to find them. So it was ok for a while. Then it happened again, and I told him this time drag the folder from explorer into the Library module. Which seemed to work, for that one folder.

What is a permanent solution? Why does LR keep losing contact with his drive or folders?
 
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I have the same issue with my photos on a NAS. For some reason (I believe) the OS (my case OS X on a mac) is dropping it's link. Just open explorer/finder and navigate to the drive holding the pictures and for me it usually wakes up and all is good again
 
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The important thing to remember is that LR catalogue is a database and as such it relies on the location, names etc. associated with image files to be absolute. So if any changes occur outside of the LR application e.g. files or folders renamed, moved, external HDD identification changes, then LR will have lost the link. The answer is to make sure any changes are made within LR.

More detail Here
 
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The important thing to remember is that LR catalogue is a database and as such it relies on the location, names etc. associated with image files to be absolute. So if any changes occur outside of the LR application e.g. files or folders renamed, moved, external HDD identification changes, then LR will have lost the link. The answer is to make sure any changes are made within LR.

More detail Here

+1

You can create folders through explorer or finder, but once you tell LR to import the folder into the catalogue, you can't move it with explorer or finder. It must be manipulated from within LR, which is simply drag and drop. Once I realized that, my system has been totally stable and sees all folders. I just went through migrating all of my catalogue from one nearly full external HDD to a larger RAID-1, no issues.
 
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You should be able to create folders outside LR and then tell LR to synchronize.

Also, I don't see how adding a folder would make LR lose all folders. Perhaps it is the OS causing the problem for my friend and his external drive.
 
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For the files to have gone 'walkabout' and be recoverable with a little effort suggests that the files are no longer where LR last saw them.

Therefore your friend must have either moved them outside of LR or another possibility either Windows or Mac (you do not say which) has assigned a new drive letter to the external drive. This may happen if the external drive has gone into sleep/hibernation mode and other devices have been plugged in such as card readers, cameras etc - or any other reasons that I cannot think of at the moment :biggrin:

A possible fix would be to use Disk Management (Windows) to assign a new drive letter and even consider changing the drive volume name to something new and unique?
 
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Folks, you've missed the point. You don't have to move them for LR to lose them. It happens sometimes with external drives. The operating system drops the link momentarily and boom a whole page of "?". Like I said, simply access the drive via another application (like Finder or Explorer) and when the OS recognizes the drive again all will be good.
 
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Folks, you've missed the point. You don't have to move them for LR to lose them. It happens sometimes with external drives. The operating system drops the link momentarily and boom a whole page of "?". Like I said, simply access the drive via another application (like Finder or Explorer) and when the OS recognizes the drive again all will be good.
Thanks, you are right. Nothing is being moved.

After you do that, do you restart LR?
 
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As stated in this thread if the external drive has gone to sleep either due to the OS vagaries or the drives own systems then this could account for the issues.

IF this is the problem then you could consider an app. to stop this occurring e.g. http://nosleephd.codeplex.com/ or as suggested wake the drive up by opening another app - but really both solutions sound somewhat long winded approach to a problem that should not be experienced.

Have you tried assigning a permenant drive letter and giving a unique name?
 

Butlerkid

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You can also tell Windows 7 (and I presume Windows 8) to never let the computer go to sleep....Look in the control panel...power options...

That's what I did when I was trying to back up data to external HDs and couldn't figure out why over night the job was only 20% done! LOL!
 
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Roscoe, I have very little knowledge of OS X but if it is the OS that is going into sleep mode and losing connection to your NAS then unless there is a way in OS X (Energy Saver?) to disable you will have to resort to a standalone app.

There is a small app. called Caffeine which I have used in the past on PC which prevents the computer going into sleep mode (it simulates a keypress every minute or so). This is available for Mac but not sure which OS versions - http://caffeine.en.softonic.com/mac

If the sleep culprit is the NAS and there is no way of keeping it awake (e.g. in Energy Saver in the OS) other than by accessing via finder or opening an app then perhaps this application would be useful?
https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/31158/keep-drive-spinning

Please treat the above with some caution and it may be worthwhile seeking the views of experienced users in the Apple forum
 
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In OS X there is an energy saver option for "the computer" which you can set to "Never". I'd also suggest unchecking the box concerning shutting down hard drives. That may be enough to keep your external hard drive awake presuming it's not the hard drive itself shutting down due to lack of accesses.

I just moved my Adobe Catalog to an external hard drive & needed to adjust the above settings to allow the Move to complete overnight. When I checked this morning all my photos were found in Adobe w/o issue. Whether this will continue for a long period of time though is unknown...
 
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It's not a computer sleep mode...already tried that. It's just that over time the connection to the NAS is dropped. Not sure if it's lack of use forcing a timeout or what...no one anywhere has been able to figure it out. If I was smart with Applescript I'd create one that accessed the drive every 30 minutes or so.
 
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i understand what you are saying.

i shut my external drives down by unplugging them as my hp media drive has fans running 24/7 and never sleeps.

i leave the usb cable plugged in but that does not stop the operating system from using that drive letter for anything else that is plugged in after the fact.

recharging my music player as an example will steal that drive letter.

next time i load lightroom i get all question marks.

if you create a master folder and move all the lightroom folders through lightroom into it you can right click on the master and an option says update location.

bingo! click on the external and all is well again in one easy click.

you could try giving the external a high letter like S but i do not like changing drive letters by force as sometimes other stuff won't run.

the issue is because except for your internal drives anything external has a floating letter assigned to it that only sticks around until you plug something else in if that drive is offline even if still plugged in.i had ironically posted this on another forum.

found out the hard way.

i just moved all 10,000 photos to an external hard drive so i can free up the space in my computer and share the photos with my laptop.

well all went well until i shut down the external drive and my music player now took that floating drive letter.

next time i opened lightroom i had the notorius question marks.

you can find any photo at any time by clicking on the question mark and directing lightroom to the new letter the external was now assigned.

but who wants to do this with every single folder .

well here is a way to do it in one click but it takes some special preparation.

what you need to do is click on the plus sign on the left side where all your files are listed.

make a new folder and call it something like lightroom master or my photos, in fact call it whatever you like .

now move by dragging all your folders with those dates on them into it through lightroom.

by having a master folder you have an option on a right click called update location.

you will not have that option if you do not use a master folder.

you can now right click on update location, open the browser and click on your external.

bingo all found in one easy click.

this is one of those things you don't realize or think about until it happens to you.
 
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