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It is possible to create shortcuts to files, rather then move the files themselves. What to do if those shortcuts can't reference the files later?

I have HP Photosmart. I download my pictures this way: I put my camera's SD card into my laptop, I open a folder to view my pictures, I then highlight the pictures that I want and then copy and paste them to the appropriate pictures folder. I've been doing it this way for years. Now, all of a sudden, I find that although the number of pictures is stated in the file, they are not there to view. I can see them if the card is still in the laptop, but as soon as I remove the card I cannot view them in the folder. I tried to make new folders thinking that perhaps this was a problem but I still can't find them. Any suggestions?

In this excerpt from Answercast #26, I look at a situation where picture icons are not finding files if the originating media has been removed.

Copying pictures from a camera

For the record, you pretty much do with your pictures what I do with mine. I don't use any special software to actually copy them over. I just copy the files from my CF card (in my case) to the hard disk on my machine.

What it sounds like:

The fact that the files are visible if the SD card is inserted, but they are not visible when it is not, leads me to believe that what you are creating is not a copy of the file, but a shortcut to the file.

In other words, when you do the paste:

  • Perhaps you're doing a paste link
  • Perhaps you're holding the Shift key down when you do the paste
  • Perhaps there's a problem with your Shift key.

There are several approaches that could result in that.

Try the Command Prompt

One thing I would try: instead of using Windows Explorer, see if you can get up to speed enough in Windows Command prompt to copy the files that way. To be honest, that's how I copy files 90% of the time. I find it more reliable and more natural to me.

That being said, the thing to watch for are all the little things that might be causing you to create links to those files, or shortcuts to those files instead of actually copying the files.

Article C5459 - June 13, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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