Lightroom Crashed and is not showing Duplicate External Hard Drives


I am in need of some guidance. Lightroom crashed and ejected my external hard drive. When I relaunched Lightroom and re-started the import of photos I noticed that a duplicate external hard drive with the same name was listed. I didn’t catch that it wasn’t correct for the import since it had the same name. Therefore, now I have the newly imported images on the new Main Photo Drive and cannot access the rest of my images which are on the old Main Photo Drive. I don’t care about the images in the new Main Photo Drive, but how do I get my catalog linked back up with my original Main Photo Drive? The images are showing ?'s of course on the old one. Here is a screen shot of what I am referring to.


I think it is showing two drives because of the missing folders. If you right-click on one of the missing folders and choose the “Find Missing Photos” options, it will let you locate the folder via a Finder window. Once it has the location again for all the missing folders, it should only show one drive again.

Hi Tony! I tried that with one folder that had one image in it. It is the one titled 2004 under the new drive. I have a zillion folders so was wondering if there was an easier way to get it back before the crash. I have a system backup prior to the crash. Would there be any use in restoring to that backup? Not sure if that would remedy it or not. Let me know your thoughts.

If you right-click one of the missing folders and choose the “Show Parent Folder” option, you should be able to then use the “Find Missing Photos” option on that Parent Folder to find them all at once. Not sure if it will give you the “Show Parent” option on missing folders, though.

You could try replacing your LR catalog file from your backup and then re-import any new files. That is all you would have to replace as long as the photos haven’t actually moved to a different location on the drive.

I just noticed that it renamed the path Main Photo Drive 1 vs. Main Photo Drive. It also shows the original Main Photo Drive import path as a folder that is unavailable vs. a removable volume. Here are a couple of screen shots of the original import path and the new one it created.


Tony - I was able to locate all the parent files as you stated and it seems to have remedied the situation. It still shows two drives for some reason but I’ll go in and delete the now empty one and see if that will remove it from Lightroom.

Thanks for your help and I hope all is well in Missoula!


Dear Allison Peters,

When your drive crashed, and then was reconnected, your Mac created a second “mount point” for the external hard drive.

To over simplify things, the way that Mac’s work beneath the surface each external hard drive is considered a folder. When the drive came back online your computer considered it a new location rather than matching it up with the one that already existed. This was your computer’s mistake and not something that you could control.

Next, since that drives name–the /Volumes/Main Photo Drive-- mount point already existed the computer created a second one which it named /Volumes/Main Photo Drive 1.

On the surface all was well but unfortunately Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic uses very exact addressing for its data. To Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Main Photo Drive 1 and Main Photo Drive are two separate addresses which is why the same drive is appearing twice in your Lightroom Folder’s Panel.

The best solution here is to shut everything down and power off your external hard drive. After you restart the computer, and without Lightroom running, use the OS Go To Folder Command to open up your /Volumes area.


If that second path, the Main Photo Drive 1, exists in the Volumes Folder then delete it. Once it’s gone restart the computer again and power your external hard drive back up.

If all went well it then it should now have its original name and path back. You can check this by using the Go To Folder /Volumes command again.

Assuming that the path is now correct, that there is no longer a 1 at the end of its address, you can restart Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic. At this point your Photos Go Here folder and all of it’s sub-folders should no longer be missing.

You might need to do a little additional cleanup to remove the false paths that Tony’s “find missing folder” command use created but that’s no big deal.

If everything works, and all is right again, then I urge you to take this opportunity to make a complete backup of that entire hard drive and your Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Catalog. Sometimes these drive mount point errors are signs that a hard drive is going bad. Better to have a fresh backup then to be caught unprepared in case this ends up being more than a one-time inconvenience.

I hope this helps.

David Marx

David - thank you very much for your thorough response. It was extremely helpful and I am back in business! I love my RMSP family, everyone is always so helpful!

Thanks again!

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Occasionally my Lightroom catalog will lose the connection to my external hard drive and I see all of the ?’s. Usually relaunching Finder works to re-establish the connection - press Cmd-Opt-Del and then select Finder and Relaunch.