When it’s time to replace a hard drive, RAID or Drobo with a newer, higher capacity one; how do it get integrated into Lightroom? There are three scenarios for this: 1.) Rename the new volume with the name of the old one, 2.) Add the new one to the volumes in the Folder tab or 3.) Replace the old volume (drive) with the new one. Let’s look at all three options.

Options 1 & 3 assume that the data from the older volume has been copied exactly to the new one using an app like Carbon Copy Cloner.

1.) Name the new one the same as the old one

Begin by renaming the old drive with a different name. For instance my old drive is Ames Drobo5D. It gets the new name: Ames 5D2-01. 2015-01-08-002Lightroom tells us that it’s missing by turning off the green indicator to the right of the volume name.


Once the new volume is renamed to the original volume name, Lightroom green lights it and everything is back to the way it was only with an updated and bigger Drobo that holds an exact copy of the older one. The green light also indicates that there is more than 10 gigabytes of space available. Yellow means less than ten and orange is for less than 5. Lightroom knows when and tells you it’s time to add capacity!


2.) Add a new volume

This one is super easy. Simply import the photos on the new volume to add it. No need to duplicate the original volume.

3.) Replace a volume with a new one

Eject or rename the old volume. Since this has to be done outside of Lightroom, it will consider the renamed or ejected volume as missing. Open the missing volume by clicking the disclosure triangle located on the right side of the volume name. The folders inside will have a question mark ( ? ) displayed. This is Lightroom’s way of asking to have the missing folder’s location updated. Right-click on the missing folder…


…navigate to it on the new volume, highlight it, then click Choose.


Lightroom sees the new location for the folder and updates by removing the question mark and displaying the new volume’s name. Each missing folder’s location may have to be individually updated.


I actually replaced an older, lower capacity Drobo 5D with an new one that has more capacity, an ssd accelerator and dual disc redundancy while writing this post. The new one – Ames 5D1-01 will serve as my working drive holding all of my photographs, their derivatives (projects) and video with lots of space left for more. The older one will be my onsite backup. More on that in an upcoming post.2192-PSW LV lightingKevin is a commercial photographer from Atlanta. He works for fashion, architectural, manufacturing and corporate clients. When he’s not shooting, he contributes to Photoshop User magazine & writes for Photofocus.com.