Using Lightroom 4, when opening a catalog file on an external hard drive, I get error

Lightroom cannot launch with this catalog. It is either on a network volume or on a volume on which Lightroom cannot save changes.

As is suggested on the Adobe forums, the external hard drive is NTFS which is not compatible with my MacBook Pro.

Is there anything I could install on my computer so that the catalog is usable?

  • 2
    Have you tried just copying the catalog to a local harddrive?
    – Sam
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 7:49
  • 1
    Is there a Mac equivalent of subst? That is how to get it to work on Windows and even Linux! (My Lightroom catalog is on a Linux machine the network path is given a drive letter by subst).
    – Itai
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


You could download a NTFS driver to read the catalog.

Saw this driver on a first search.

If you want an alternative is to have a friend who has a windows box copy the contents out and then copy it to a drive with the correct format that you can read. I would believe this to be FAT32.

  • Mac and win share more than fat32, it's another FAT version whose name eludes me at the moment and which is not natively accessible from linux (maybe vfat is the name....)
    – Francesco
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 7:46
  • vfat - for long file names in 8.3 format FAT :D
    – Peng Tuck Kwok
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 8:18
  • I meant exFAT en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT
    – Francesco
    Commented Oct 5, 2012 at 8:55

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