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Re-importing photos in Windows 7

From the old blog. Not really on theme, but since it’s my all-time most popular blog entry, I figured I should keep it on the internet somewhere.

I’ve been setting up my new HP laptop this afternoon: installing Office and Norton and iTunes. All was going well, until I decided to import the photos from my camera using Windows 7′s Import Pictures and Videos feature. The first time I tried the import, I didn’t really think about it too much, went with the default options, and ended up with a whole lot of unsorted pictures – rather than the date-named folders I had on my previous computer.

I still had the files from my camera’s SD card, so I decided the best thing to do was to delete everything and  reimport them again. No luck there. Windows told me there were no new files, and thus there was nothing it could import.

It took me half an hour and several part-answers on online forums to find out how to reimport the photos, so I thought I’d reproduce the final solution here. I make no claims to be a Windows 7 expert. hidden files are probably hidden for a reason and I probably can’t answer any related questions. As such, I’d recommend that you don’t delete any files you can’t afford to lose before trying this fix (instead you could copy them into another folder on your computer, leaving your Pictures folder empty).

Step one: Accessing hidden files

Folder optionsClick on the circle Windows Start icon in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen.

In the Search box, type Folder Options, and click on the option with that name in the search results.

When the Folder Options window opens, click on the View tab, and select the radio button next to Show hidden files, folders or drives.

Click on OK to save your changes.

This will allow you to find a database file called PreviouslyAquired. Which brings us to step two.

Step two: PreviouslyAquired

Right click on the Windows Start icon, and select Windows Explorer.

Navigate to: C:/users/[your account name]/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Photo Aquisition

If you can’t find the AppData folder, it may be because it’s still hidden (see step one). In the Photo Aquistion folder, you should find a file which is called PreviouslyAquired. If you click on the file’s name once and rename it PreviouslyAquired.old, Windows won’t be able to automatically find it when you attach your camera again. This should allow you to reimport your photos…

It did for me, at least.

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