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Thread: Photos just disappeared off my hard drive

  1. #1

    Photos just disappeared off my hard drive

    I've been doing lots of work in LR recently, creating lots of different collections from various years of photos. A strange thing just happened: most of the photos in one of the collections apparently just disappeared from my disk, as I'm getting the "original file could not be found" question mark on the thumbnails.

    -The photos were just there, and I was making adjustments in the last couple days
    -The photos are from different years, in different folders on my hd, and other photos in the respective folders are still there
    -I've searched in spotlight and finder, and all of a sudden only those photos in this specific collection have seemingly disappeared from my disk
    -Some are .jpgs, some are .CR2, some are .psd
    -All the other collections appear to be fine
    -I only have one hard drive in my computer right now, and my entire library is on it, so it's not like an external drive got disconnected
    -The photos are not in the trash and I have not emptied my trash in over a week
    -I'm not running Time Machine, nor have I ever
    -I was possibly (could have been) exporting a gallery of this collection when I hit the cancel export button... previous to that, the photos were fine and on my disk, shortly after that, I get the little question mark in the upper right corner of the thumbnails

    I always have backups of my photos, so I'm not extremely pissed, but I'd really like to know how this could possibly happen. Any ideas?

  2. #2

    Photos just disappeared off my hard drive

    Any chance you moved them using another method besides Lightroom.? If so, Lightroom will not be able to find them. That is all I can think of... And thank goodness for multiple backups!
    Scott O[/URL]

    Desk System: HP Quad Core PC, Vista 64, 8GB memory, 1TB storage (Raid 1, 2 x 500), multiple external drives, Lightroom 2.4, Photoshop CS4
    [COLOR=green]Portable System: HP Dual Core PC, Vista 64, 4GB memory, 250GB storage, Western Digital portable external drive, Lightroom 2.4, P

  3. #3

    Photos just disappeared off my hard drive

    Nope. I've done a search and they are nowhere on my computer now. Also, what you're describing would entail going to multiple folders and selecting the files and deleting them. I haven't emptied my trash in over a week, and unlike on PC, on a Mac you can't bypass the trash to delete a file.

    This is very troubling.

  4. #4

    Photos just disappeared off my hard drive

    Aha! I was thinking about the logic of how it's seemingly impossible to delete a file on the disk without emptying the trash... LR can only do two things: move the files and remove them from LR. But apparently it can do something else. Searching for the files by name didn't work, but apparently LR renamed all of the files in a collection with the same name! They are still in their respective folders, but they all are named 6'46.jpg/cr2 . That's really weird. Mass renaming in Lightroom... apparently it is a function, but I never performed it. In fact my keyboard layout prevents me from accidentally doing it; the function keys are assigned to different OS functions like volume and next track, and don't work in programs unless I combo them with the fn key. Interesting.

  5. #5
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    Photos just disappeared off my hard drive

    If Lightroom renamed the files you wouldn't have gotten the offline or missing message because Lightroom would have also updated the catalog with the new names. To me it would indicate they were renamed outside of Lightroom (not that I can explain how that happened).

  6. #6

    Photos just disappeared off my hard drive

    Yeah, you raise an interesting point. It didn't remember the original filename either (when trying to rename back), so that points to a disconnect.

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