I have a NAS where I store all my photos. It's mapped to drive N: on Windows. When I import my photos with Lightroom, it defaults to the last export location, which is usually my NAS. So far so good.

Occasionally my NAS will temporarily not be visible on the network. When that happens, Lightroom picks a location on one of my local hard drives for the import, and then defaults to the local drive for subsequent imports until I notice. Then I have to move the files to the NAS and make sure my next import defaults to the NAS. Not terribly difficult, but if I don't notice for a few days, then I have a bunch of photos not on the NAS for awhile. I want them on the NAS because it uses RAID 1 to help protect from data loss if a hard drive fails.

Is there a way to make Lightroom NOT switch to my local hard drive if it temporarily cannot see the NAS, and instead give me an error message saying the import destination is not found?

  • 1
    I wish there was. – cabbey Mar 20 '11 at 2:14

As cabby said I don't believe there is a way to alter Lightroom's behaviour in that way. Have you considered importing them onto your local disk and setting up a scheduled task to synchronize them across to your NAS?

Micrsoft provides a free powertoy called SyncToy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SyncToy which might be worth investigating, you could import them locally and setup a regular task (say every 30minutes) to move them onto your NAS.

  • I've been thinking of doing something like that, in which case the NAS would function more as a backup device than as my main photo storage. I may have to consider restructuring my Lightroom catalogs or getting more local hard drive space if I were to keep all my photos on the local drive. And thanks for the pointer to SyncToy. Didn't know about that, though the Linux geek in me would likely build a script using Cygwin rsync. – juggler Mar 22 '11 at 1:38

I just copy the photos onto the NAS before importing into LR. On the import step in LR, I grab the folder and drop it onto the LR window. You could navigate as well, but I find it to be faster to drag and drop. Also, set LR to ADD photos to catalog without moving them.

You'll still need to have the catalog files locally. These are just the settings, previews, and some config files.

I've been using this technique on Windows 7 with LR 3 and 5.

EDIT: I see that I didn't answer the question about having an error on import. For my workflow, if the NAS isn't available, I know immediately and will not import.


Good tool on Windows to establish and maintain up and running network mounts.... I had the simila problem for a music Library and it is now sorted (unless the NAS is off !) The tool is Network Drive Manager http://www.suncross.nl/ndm/ Hope this helps.


One option would be not to use export but hard drive publishing together with published smart folders. Target directory is 'hardcoded' there, so it should not change even when the disk gets detached temporarily. Alas, usefulness of this depends heavily on your workflow, but I have managed to give up exporting (almost) completely and I do all my exports via hard drive publishing.


I have been struck with this problem as well, and the only remedy is to always check the 'Folders' view in the Library module BEFORE I import. If there are question marks there, the NAS is not connected.


To import directly to a NAS, try mapping the network drive and give it a drive letter.

If that does not work, set up (depending on your NAS) an iSCSI Lun.

Save the import preset.

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