Use of Microsoft Windows network shared folders and files therein

I do not keep my archived digital photograph files on any “local” machine (eg, the laptop/portable workstation upon which I am composing this post). Rather, I keep these on a small storage area network, currently using SSD units that I plug and unplug from the network (not USB attached to the local machine). The SSD units are my archives. When mounted under MS Windows (currently 10), these appear as shared folders (eg., z: ), and are fully accessible using MS Windows File Explorer as well as the text commands within Power Shell (listing, reading, writing, creating, renaming, etc). PL6 has no issue with such drives, directories/folders, files: if MS Win File Explorer can “see” the file, so can PL. HOWEVER, Skylum Luminar Neo cannot. In communication with a Luminar expert (similar to the EA Pro status for PL), I was informed: Accessing the images on a network drive is the issue. Luminar Neo (like most photo cataloging tools) needs to have the files available locally (either on that computer or a direct connected drive) to work. End excerpt. Is this correct and is my current use of PL due to some “feature” that will disappear if PL were to conform to the above? My experience with the Adobe suite (that I no longer use) and local Adobe Acrobat (not the latest, but sufficient for my needs) is that if MS File Explorer can “see” the directory/file, so can the application.

Unless the application requires some filesystem-specific features, the only difference between network and local mounts is speed. I’ve been using PL and more (Capture One, Exposure, Photoshop, non-imaging applications, etc) for years without problems.

I’d ask this “expert” why the files need to be mounted locally, since what they’re saying certainly isn’t the case in my experience.

1 Like

I fully agree with you – to an application reading and writing a file that is on a shared folder drive on the network, the data should look the same. If local buffering is used, and the application does not access data all the time at the full register data rate of a CPU/GPU, some of the “speed” issues can be addressed, particularly if the local drive is a SSD with much less access latency than a mechanical magnetic storage rotating platter/s hard drive.

This all being stated, Skylum Luminar Neo does not function with a network shared folder (eg., folders/directories/files on Z:), but works when the relevant files are copied to the local drive (ie, C:). I am not certain what libraries Skylum is using (probably different from DxO) to allow essentially the same source code to be compiled for the MacOS (presumably both older Intel and current ARM Apple machines) and MS Win (on Intel/AMD X86-64 instruction set machines. Most applications that are compiled (not interpreted as would be a Java or Python application, even if “compiled” to “byte code”) for multiple operating system and/or CPU environments have special compilers and libraries that handle what is needed, rather than having different code base for the variant platforms and environments. Something is strange about Luminar.

A possible explanation. For simplicity, suppose that Luminar keeps the list of image files selected for processing in a catalog file (this could be a database, a spreadsheet, or some other internal design). Suppose by design, Luminar keeps the catalog file ONLY on drive C: and does not keep the full access path for the image files after “reading” the name of each file but assumes that the image files are on the same drive (C:) as the catalog file. Then, when one attempts to get the file through the catalog, the actual file on Z: would not be present and the program would fail – perhaps not gracefully and without any diagnostic messages to the user. I copy from the memory cards used in the camera (using an appropriate USB locally attached card reader) the image files to the shared folder on the network, and then let PL work upon the copy. PL creates a .DOP file for each image processed in the same folder as the source image (typically, a NEF), and thus PL “sees” the actual path to the images (on Z:). The above scenario would be a design flaw in Luminar, but might explain the failure.

If Luminar assumes paths on the C drive then it wouldn’t work with any other drive, network-mounted or not. I wouldn’t be horribly surprised given my own experience with Luminar (I liked Luminar 18, but I dropped it when it became clear that Skylum doesn’t do backwards compatibility at all) but they’re obviously doing something unusual.

Believe it or not, these are forums, provided by DxO, for the discussion of DxO’s products. Try taking this discussion to Skylum’s forums.


Believe it or not, the initial question was about PhotoLab.

Believe it or not, even though the initial question is about PhotoLab, because it’s about the future development of PL only DxO can answer the question. Anything any user here suggests by way of an answer will only be wild speculation / guesswork.

If that second quote is about what was written in the first quote, then the answer is yes (as seen with DPL on Mac with its specific handling of image files on USB, NAS and iCloud drives)

“Some feature” can be added or removed by DxO and we’ll only find out with new releases and release notes. If we could see the future, we’d better play lotto insteat of hanging around here :wink:

1 Like

First, the question is about the possible future direction of PL. This does not belong on “requested features”, but rather about keeping one current “feature”, and that did not seem appropriate for the “new/changes” list. Second, and this item is INFORMATIONAL about Skylum Luminar, there is NO equivalent list to this one. What Skylum terms “community” has a URL (just as does this list), but all that does is to present splash adverts to switch to Luminar Neo. There also is an “insiders” list by application to participate and requires approval. There has been no such response. NO support from the community. I found a Luminar advocate on the web, with a status that appears to be equivalent to PL EA, and got a straight answer. (ASIDE: the replies from “official” Skylum “factory” support indicated that my usage should work – and I have re-installed several times based upon “support” recommended “fix”. Luminar Neo still does not work.) Third, if DxO has eliminated use of storage other than that internal to a computer (Quote from above: as seen with DPL on Mac with its specific handling of image files on USB, SAN and iCloud drives) and the user community could not get this corrected, then it is vital for the community to assure that the “future development of PL only DxO can answer the question” does NOT repeat the removal of image file storage on USB and SAN drives. (iCloud or other facilities accessed over the Internet, including the Web, is a more delicate question – but not a local USB or SAN.) If my item “three” is appropriate for “feature requests” to DxO – do NOT destroy non-local access to images for processing – then I shall attempt to post to that forum. Assistance in how to phrase my request for a NON-change so as to avoid mention of Luminar Neo would be appreciated (and thus provide no basis for mention by comparison of a non-DxO application as being an out of scope post).

It certainly hasn’t. I can work on images either on my computer, USB drives, other computers on the same network and even external drives on other computers. The only exception tends to be cloud hosted drives, which are synchronised and shared, which can cause problems.

Don’t compare other cheap apps with DxO’s superb software.

P.S. I just tried Luminar 3 on a drive connected to another computer on the network and it seems to work fine.

It is not a question of “cheap apps” primarily intended for consumers who take snapshots (not that working photographers do not take snapshots) with consumer equipment (including mobiles, Apple adverts on billboards claiming imaging excellence notwithstanding). In terms of optical corrections and dark recovery, DxO has always been excellent, and the Nik suite of Adobe suite plugins was a standard. HOWEVER, DxO is not the only vendor of professional workflow, and has certain issues. I find PL an excellent Adobe PS replacement, but much less of an Adobe LR front end replacement. Topaz is working very hard to improve workflow productivity but lacks the DxO camera and lens database, and has other issues. I tried Luminar and ON1 in the past, particularly when I was searching for a replacement for the Adobe suite once Adobe switched to the rental model and rejected both (wasting license expense). Luminar Neo promised many changes and might be an alternative for PL6E in some cases, but so far has not worked. I still have Serif Affinity that is not as good as PL but does accept certain types of PS/LR plugins as internal pipeline workflow (no export to TIFF required), but most of my work these days is PLnE complete with my presets. I have tried ON1 that is claimed to be a good LR replacement, but ON1 does NOT integrate well with PL in my experience (if a reader of this forum knows of methods to use ON1 as LR and PL as PS, properly integrated, such methods would be appreciated). The four issues for me are workflow productivity, presets for client “likes”, currency for new raw formats from new bodies and lenses, and the ability to run on my existing hardware without constantly getting new computers (memory, SSD upgrades are acceptable costs, but not replacing computers every two years or so).

If I understand you correctly @wildlifephoto , you do hope or want DxO to prevent

The four issues:

  1. workflow productivity,
  2. presets for client “likes”,
  3. currency for new raw formats from new bodies and lenses, and the
  4. ability to run on my existing hardware without constantly getting new computers (memory, SSD upgrades are acceptable costs, but not replacing computers every two years or so).


  1. I assume that workflow productivity includes your way of working with network attached storage and its accessibility through Explorer…should be kept as is, else it breaks your workflow.
  2. Presets have been a feature of PhotoLab and OpticsPro before that. Presets related features depend on which edition (Essential vs. Elite) you get. Elite edition has the wider set of such features and is therefore the recommended edition imo.
  3. Support for new camera bodies, file formats and lenses are provided by DxO in charges that are published every few weeks. Mainstream gear has better chances than niche gear, which can take a looong time to appear, if at all. Good practice: Avoid getting new gear asap because it will limit your use of DPL features.
  4. PhotoLab has a fairly tight window of OS version support (at least on Mac) and it’s therefore good practice to stick to the versions of DPL and your OS that get your job done. This helps to keep your gear longer.

I don’t understand this discussion either.
Does @wildlifephoto wants PL acts like Skylum Luminar Neo or not?? Or does he want Skylum Luminar Neo acts as PL??


1 Like

@wildlifephoto I am not sure what the “expert” was talking about!?

Running Luminar AI it can see and access and export to another disk on another machine that has been mapped to a local disk letter (V:) in my case.

However, your scenario may be different, i.e. the drive may not be “mapped” so I tried navigating to the drive via ‘Network’ in Luminar which worked fine and then exported back to the same location, but the process of having to find exactly where you want the exported image to go is ponderous in the extreme (as it is will some other image editing software).

I then repeated the tests with an SSD attached via USB3 to the second machine and both PL6 and Luminar AI were happy to locate and export to the disk.

  1. The feature is not unique to DxPL and I don’t believe it will vanish any time soon.

  2. Luminar AI works O.K. on my machines, even though I am having difficulties integrating my “New” machine into the network, “Main” and “Test” can still see one another and were used for testing your scenario.

So I am not sure what your issue actually is!?

More details and possibly screen grabs are needed to understand why Luminar is not working on your setup!

Platypus, You correctly understood my criteria. As for the use of Apple hardware, I own nor use none. All of my hardware is either based upon a MS Win “current” compatible platform or an Android compatible platform. I also agree that moving away from my current network shared folders – NOT shared over the wide area network (Internet, Web) but local to “my” network – would indeed highly inconvenience me – my workflow. I have found web search references to MS Win network shared folders problems with Luminar Neo, but these are at a URL for the Luminar community that appears no longer to be present, and the Internet Archive (Way Back Machine) did not archive the web site.

So, do you have a problem with PhotoLab or Luminar? If, as it appears, it is with Luminar, why are you asking in a forum dedicated to DxO products?

@Joanna I believe that @wildlifephoto is concerned that any DxPL support for the devices/configuration of those devices that are being used is ephemeral and may “vanish” on a DxO “whim” because the configuration appears not to work with Luminar.

@wildlifephoto my concern is that I have tested a number of scenarios on Win 10 and in all cases Luminar appears to track the same path as DxPL, so it should for you unless your scenario is not one that I have tested!?

But I do not know your exact mechanism for connecting the SSDs into the network? As stated above I have tested mapped drive across a LAN, network discovered drive, network discovered USB attached drive, NAS drive with fixed disk configuration. I have not tested NAS device with plug in drives or a USB plugged into a NAS device (I cannot test the former scenario because that would mean decommissioning my NAS but can test plugging a USB SSD into the NAS) or by another mechanism I have not guessed/mentioned, e.g. using a Mount Point etc…

I cannot determine if the situation you have detected is peculiar to Luminar or caused by some issue with your system/configuration unless I know exactly what that configuration looks like.

Cannot what exactly, i.e. cannot navigate to the drive, cannot save an export, cannot …

Bryan, You clearly understand my concerns. As for my configuration, permit me to explain my methodology. IF MS Win Explorer can “see” a folder/directory/file, I expect MS Win applications to be able to “see” as well. (“See”: list, properties, read, write, modify) I fully understand and have experienced issues with wide area network distributed file systems (eg, some “clouds”). However, all my uses are over what MS Win terms shared folders mapped to a drive (eg, Z:) that exist on my local WAN (typically, IEEE 802.11 wifi, no longer 802.3 wired “ethernet”). Thus far, for photographic applications I have tested (a;though not necessarily currently or actively use), PL, Camera Bits Photomechanic, Serif Affinity, ON1, various parts of the Topaz suite, the Adobe suite (PS, LR, Acrobat), and Nikon NX Studio all work with my current MS Win shared folder setup. For Luminar Neo (LN), things are different. If the image file (NEF) is on C:, everything works. If, however, I add a file from Z: (shared network drive), LN simply vanishes at some point – no diagnostic displayed, just “gone”. If I then attempt to start LN from the desktop icon, the LN splash screen appears, then vanishes with no LN application interface displayed. If I remove and re-install LN, LN works until I use an image file from Z: . Reproducible. Note that the same NEF on Z: is accessed, processed, etc, by PL, and both the .DOP and output JPEG file appears in the same Z: folder as the NEF is located unless I specifically instruct PL to store these elsewhere. Is the above scenario clear as I have stated it?

That’s a Luminar problem, isn’t it? What can we do here to solve that? Pl and the other programs you mentioned are working as expected.


We can propose to contact claimed 24x7 Skylum support…

1 Like