Lightroom, NAS, and the problem of the ? volume

NASs are great. MacOS is great. But bad things happen.

I keep my RAW files on a Synology NAS. When both MacOS and Synology’s DSM OS updated about the same time there were a few hiccoughs with the NAS volumes remounting with different volume IDs. e.g. photo would remount as photo-1, photo-2, etc. Since I have smart previews on my collections and I was sorting the picks from the rejects I didn’t pay much attention. Uh oh. Seems that somehow the majority of my catalog has paths to its images that use one of the odd volume IDs: photo-964. This long blah is my story of how I fixed this enough to at least work with my originals.

 

Some background

I moved to Lightroom CC from Aperture near the end of 2015. It was a tough move. Aperture still has so many great features. But Lightroom is supported and keeps getting better. It also handles referenced photos on network drives with more stability. Or at least it did until OS X Sierra + Synology had a hiccough. It’s all sorted now, but I’m left with the legacy of that moment of awkwardness. A volume and its folders with most of my images in. Now this does not affect using the Smart Previews in the collections I’ve created. But it does make it impossible for Lightroom to locate the originals without help.

screen-shot-2017-01-03

 

I tried ‘Find Missing Folder…’

The usual approach for fixing this kind of problem is to right-click on the missing folders or volumes and “Find Missing Folder…”. Not so here. Trying that with the missing Volume getsscreen-shot-2017-01-03-at-14-10-20 Well indeed, ‘a source is required to change a folder location’?!?

 

I tried creating a symbolic link to the original folder

You might already have seen in the folder hierarchy snip that the Volume does not seem to be missing – no “?” over its icon. That’s the result of an earlier attempt to fix this. I figured that if the Volume appeared to be missing I could create a directory in /Volumes with the right name and use a symbolic link to point it towards the /Volumes/photo-1 SMB volume. It seems not. While it resolved the “?” appearing I perhaps mangled the syntax. I used all these commands as administrator while in the directory “/Volumes”.

mkdir /Volumes/photo-964 [to give something to link to]

ln -s /Volumes/photo photo-964 [to point the link to the source]

I tried a few ways to delete the symbolic link photo-964. As a directory, deleting it was a bit trickier than I expected.

I really did not want to try

rmdir -Rf photo-964

Eventually, I cut the network connection and just dragged the directory photo-964 to the trash. A bit of administrator authentication and it was gone. Reconnecting to the NAS produced no problems. Except for being back where I started.

 

I used better symbolic link syntax

Come to think of it, the syntax I should have used is perhaps

ln -s /Volumes/photo/ photo-964

so that the symbolic link pointed to the content of the volume rather than the volume itself.

In the end I used

ln -sFfv /Volumes/photo/ photo-964

This created a symbolic link directory that points to exactly the same content on the SMB volume as the original “photo” volume.

Great! Problem solved. Lightroom should now look for /Volumes/photo-964 and find that the volume exists. And it should also find that the content of photo-964/ matches what it expected!

No. While the folder hierarchy no longer has any “?” marks, Lightroom stills says “Invalid Path Representation”.screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-28-13

 

Trying “Update Folder Location” brings up a great finder dialog box showing exactly the right folder. But choosing that folder gives the traditional
“…internal error…”. Bah!screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-14-10-20

 

Trying to create a new folder within photo-964 gives a different kind of error screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-42-18

 

And yet, Lightroom finds the Original files

But what was interesting was when I clicked on a  photo in a collection. Lightroom found the original!

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-15-01-46

Progress. Of a sort. And sufficient for now as I can edit my smart previews and export full-res images for use elsewhere. Not that this is one of those great RAW files. But it is an OK scan of an old print and it does show “Original + Smart Preview” in Develop.

Looking forward to resolving this permanently somehow.