Recovery Challenge


Today’s Question: Your question [about missing photos in Lightroom after upgrading to a larger hard drive] was timely. I had a portable hard drive failure and some data was not recoverable. I now need to redirect Lightroom to the hard drive backup copy. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the exact name of the drive that crashed. Is that stored in the Lightroom information on my MacBook Pro? Your answer said renaming the new drive to the exact name of the old drive was required.

Tim’s Quick Answer: The name (or drive letter) for your storage devices is indeed available within Lightroom Classic CC. You’ll find the name (or letter) for each drive on the header above the folder list for each drive in the Folders section of the left panel in the Library module.

More Detail: As noted in a previous answer, if you are upgrading to a larger hard drive (or recovering from a backup due to a failed drive), the transition can be very easy if you simply ensure that the new hard drive has the same file and folder structure, as well as the name for the drive.

For Windows users, that drive “name” is a drive letter. For Macintosh users the drive name is actually a name, generally referred to as a volume label.

Within Lightroom you can find this information in the Folders section of the left panel in the Library module. For each storage device (such as an external hard drive) that is being used to store photos that are managed by your Lightroom catalog, you will see a header bar for the drive above the list of folders stored on that drive.

Windows users will see the drive letter in that location, such as “D:” for a hard drive that has been assigned the letter D. Macintosh users will see the name of the drive, which can consist of letters and numbers. So, for example, a Macintosh user might have named an external hard drive “Photos”.

The information found for the hard drive in the Folders section of the left panel in the Library module can then be used to inform how you approach the process of assigning a drive letter or name to the drive in order to recover your photos with minimal disruption.

As a reminder, you can view the answer about actually changing the drive letter or name for a hard drive in the previous Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter here: