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Why are pictures on my laptop only showing if the original SD card they came from is inserted?

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.

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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.

Do this:

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