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Author Topic: LR 3 Catalog Disaster  (Read 2017 times)
RobertBoire
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« on: August 23, 2012, 07:52:40 PM »
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Hello,

OK I am not going to panic yet....

My computer recently died. Fortunately I had done a full backup just the day before.  So i coped my files to the new computer, reinstalled LR 3 and opened my catalog.  The pictures are all there but all ratings, flags, keyword and above all edits have disappeared for pictures in some folders.  Note that other folders seem to be fine. All the xmp files seem to be where they should be.

Tell me I am missing something and there is some way to recover my work.

Thanks
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jrsforums
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 08:00:10 PM »
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Hello,

OK I am not going to panic yet....

My computer recently died. Fortunately I had done a full backup just the day before.  So i coped my files to the new computer, reinstalled LR 3 and opened my catalog.  The pictures are all there but all ratings, flags, keyword and above all edits have disappeared for pictures in some folders.  Note that other folders seem to be fine. All the xmp files seem to be where they should be.

Tell me I am missing something and there is some way to recover my work.

Thanks


Was the catalog you used a backup of recent LR 3 cat from the old computer?
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John
RobertBoire
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 08:24:01 PM »
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Was the catalog you used a backup of recent LR 3 cat from the old computer?

Yes. To be precise it was copied directly from the hard drive of the old computer to the new computer. So it was the catalog that was saved the last time I used LR3 on the old computer. It was not the catalog backup created from the LR3 backup command.... though that is available as well. I have not tried it yet.

R
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RobertBoire
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 12:18:36 PM »
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Hi,

I got a bit more information concerning the problem above.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

1.  I copied my catalog and my LR 3 backups (ie created with the Backup command) from my old computer hard drive to the new. These are exactly the same files that worked correctly on the old computer. I also copied the original images of course and all the associated XMP files.

2. After I reinstalled LR3, I opened (ie did no import) the catalog. For illustrative purposes, we can say that the catalog includes two sets of folders, A and B. The A folders seem to be correct. In the case of the B folders, all images are as they were on the original import. The history shows the original import date. All work that I have done since then (its been many months) ie edits, history, virtual copies, stacks appear to be lost. Its as if LR does not see the XMP files.

3. I tried opening my most recent L3 backup.  In this case the B folders seem to be ok (ie all history etc is there) but the A folders have disappeared.

Sooo.... any ideas..?

Should I be importing the catalog and/or catalog backup instead of opening them?

What is the difference between a copy of the LR3 catalog and a backup of the  catalog? My backup seems to be an incremental backup?

One thing I just thought about. When I reinstalled LR3 I installed it with Windows 7. So I naturally installed it as 64bit. The original version was XP and was therefore 32bit. Can this make a difference?

Even if I get this fixed, I am very concerned if copying and backups of catalogs are not reliable.  In particular as I said above, the A folders seem to be ok in one case and the B in another. How can I know for certain if I cannot really on the backup. I cannot double check every image.

Much appreciated.
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dneuman
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 12:57:24 PM »
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I am running LR 4 but it shouldn't be different with 3 if I remember correctly. You may have to "read metadata from the files" in the metadata file tab in the library module to get the metadata back associated with your photos.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2012, 01:35:10 AM »
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If I read you correctly, you have two separate catalogues, one with the 'A' folders okay and one with the 'B' folders okay.  Either create a new catalogue and import both catalogues into it, or simply import one into the other, although I'd recommend the former.

Mike.
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Simon Garrett
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2012, 03:19:15 AM »
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Or if there's still a problem, ask at http://forums.adobe.com/community/lightroom?view=discussions where there are Adobe staffers lurking to provide expert help (not that we're not all experts here, of course Smiley )
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Hans Kruse
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2012, 06:48:44 AM »
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Hi,

I got a bit more information concerning the problem above.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

1.  I copied my catalog and my LR 3 backups (ie created with the Backup command) from my old computer hard drive to the new. These are exactly the same files that worked correctly on the old computer. I also copied the original images of course and all the associated XMP files.

2. After I reinstalled LR3, I opened (ie did no import) the catalog. For illustrative purposes, we can say that the catalog includes two sets of folders, A and B. The A folders seem to be correct. In the case of the B folders, all images are as they were on the original import. The history shows the original import date. All work that I have done since then (its been many months) ie edits, history, virtual copies, stacks appear to be lost. Its as if LR does not see the XMP files.

3. I tried opening my most recent L3 backup.  In this case the B folders seem to be ok (ie all history etc is there) but the A folders have disappeared.

Sooo.... any ideas..?

Should I be importing the catalog and/or catalog backup instead of opening them?

What is the difference between a copy of the LR3 catalog and a backup of the  catalog? My backup seems to be an incremental backup?

One thing I just thought about. When I reinstalled LR3 I installed it with Windows 7. So I naturally installed it as 64bit. The original version was XP and was therefore 32bit. Can this make a difference?

Even if I get this fixed, I am very concerned if copying and backups of catalogs are not reliable.  In particular as I said above, the A folders seem to be ok in one case and the B in another. How can I know for certain if I cannot really on the backup. I cannot double check every image.

Much appreciated.

Lightroom do not use the xmp files, except when you import a folder where xmp files exist. In this case LR will take the content of the xmp files and insert this into the catalog. After that the xmp files will not be looked at again except if you use the command read metadata from files. Are you sure there are no ? marks on any pictures and the B folder? If the location of the folder is not the same as in the old catalog then a ? will appear on the folder and you can then right click on it an tell LR where the folder now resides.

The catalog format is the same for 32 bit and 64 bit (of course) and not even platform dependent. You can open a catalog from Windows on a Mac and vice cerca. The option in catalog settings to write xmp files is why xmp files exist in a Lightroom only environment. If you loose a catalog and you can recover all edits on the RAW files by importing the folder with the RAW files and xmp files again. This is only for edits on the RAW files and not virtual copies. You also loose publish folders and collections which only exist in the catalog.
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RobertBoire
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2012, 07:46:53 AM »
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If I read you correctly, you have two separate catalogues, one with the 'A' folders okay and one with the 'B' folders okay.  Either create a new catalogue and import both catalogues into it, or simply import one into the other, although I'd recommend the former.

Mike.

No, not exactly. I have one catalog with A ok and B not ok. If I open the LR3 catalog backup, I have B ok and no A folder at all.

R
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RobertBoire
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2012, 08:00:11 AM »
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Lightroom do not use the xmp files, except when you import a folder where xmp files exist. In this case LR will take the content of the xmp files and insert this into the catalog. After that the xmp files will not be looked at again except if you use the command read metadata from files. Are you sure there are no ? marks on any pictures and the B folder? If the location of the folder is not the same as in the old catalog then a ? will appear on the folder and you can then right click on it an tell LR where the folder now resides.



Well... progress....sort of...

No, there was no question mark. I  tried "Read MetaData from File". This seems to recover my edits and ratings, however I still loose all my history (History says "From metadata"). Stack definitions are gone as are the virtual copies, which is still a disaster for me since a lot of the work was done on virtual copies.

I still do no understand why A folders are OK and B folders are not, when they are from the same catalog.

And what is the difference between a Catalog and a LR3 backup of the catalog?

And what is the difference between Importing a catalog and Opening a catalog?

Thanks

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Hans Kruse
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 08:31:16 AM »
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Well... progress....sort of...

No, there was no question mark. I  tried "Read MetaData from File". This seems to recover my edits and ratings, however I still loose all my history (History says "From metadata"). Stack definitions are gone as are the virtual copies, which is still a disaster for me since a lot of the work was done on virtual copies.

I still do no understand why A folders are OK and B folders are not, when they are from the same catalog.

And what is the difference between a Catalog and a LR3 backup of the catalog?

And what is the difference between Importing a catalog and Opening a catalog?


It all sounds very very strange. I have a number of times restored a backup on my Mac's when changing internal drives and upgrading to a new machine and even migrated from Windows to Mac in the same way. Each time just the LR3CAT catalog file without any of the LRDATA. Each time the catalog has been intact and I just had to resolve the picture locations when they were not the same. I always have a superfolder for all folders on each HD so that switching the folder locations is very  quick. When the LRCAT is restored and there is no associated LRDATA this means nothing other than the previews has to be regenerated. I think it's an advantage sometimes since I suspect there is garbage in there that might not need to be there (I don't know if optimize catalog is supposed to get rid of garbage in LRDATA). Btw. I exclude LRDATA in my Time Machine backups.

Any way the catalog is backed up should be the same as long as it is a consistent backup, of course.

The difference between importing a catalog and opening a catalog is only (as far as I know) that when you import a catalog you can add it to the catalog you have open. Any catalog that you have exported can be opened as a catalog. So import a catalog is just a way to merge to catalogs.

So if you have multiple backups of your catalogs, have you tried several of them to see if they all behave the way you described.

I use publish folders and virtual copies a lot and therefore often backup my catalog (where I keep all my pictures), so I feel with you Wink It would be a disaster to loose the catalog!
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pflower
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012, 12:10:00 PM »
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No, not exactly. I have one catalog with A ok and B not ok. If I open the LR3 catalog backup, I have B ok and no A folder at all.

R

Try exporting two new catalogs - one from the catalog in which A is ok and the other from the backup where B is OK.  What is the result?  If both work then you could create a new empty catalog and import both into it. 

I had a weird problem (see thread below) in which LR 3 was not recognising or rather was not listing  the folders on the hard drive even though the photos within those folders were in the catalog.  Exporting the whole catalog solved that problem.  It may work for you.
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Snoopy Lane
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2012, 05:04:40 PM »
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Sorry to hear about your computer problems.  I think loss/corruption of my LR catalog is one of the things I worry about most.

Are you sure you're running the same version of LR now that you were before?  For example, did the old computer have 3.1 and the new computer 3.0 and you forgot to update?

A backup *is* a catalog.  You can open it directly.  The backup catalogs don't have all the previews saved with them, so they will feel sluggish until the previews are rebuilt.

However, just because you can load a backup does not mean that you should.  First copy the backup, then load the copy.  That way if things go wonky and something gets messed up you still have the pristine backup (you could re-copy and re-load to start over again (and again)).

Importing a catalog means that the catalog you import will be merged into the current catalog.  The one you import wont change.

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RobertBoire
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 11:26:09 AM »
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It all sounds very very strange.

To say the least....it gets even stranger...

Nevertheless, I have  finally managed to recover everything... I think.  Though it was much less straightfoward than I expected. Thanks to those that offered suggestions and above all sympathy.

I thought I would summarize what I found in case anybody has thoughts/suggestions. It is still not clear to me if my problems were self-inflicted or not.

An important point before I begin. The catalog, catalog backup and images were all installed on the G drive of my old computer. When I copied these files from my old computer to the new, I put them on a different path on the C drive.

I double checked my catalog. The apparent reason that the A folders were ok and the B folders were not is because the catalog file was dated two months before the old computer crashed. In fact it is dated from the day I imported the B folders for the first time. Now this is really curious since I was working on photos in the B folder in this catalog right up to the day the computer died. So the catalog should have been more recent. How could the catalog be out of date but the XMP files up to date? I searched the hard drives I had removed from the old computer (they were not damaged) just in case I had in fact unknowingly been using a more recent catalog in a different location.  I found nothing except that backups. The other thing I do not understand is how LR found the A and B folders on the new computer in the first place (there were no question marks)
since I had changed the path and did not reassign it when I opened the catalog on the new computer.

I also double checked my catalog backup which was dated the day the computer died. As indicated previously, all the B folders were ok and listed under the C drive. How did LR find the B folders in the first place since I did not reassing the path (there were no question marks).  Moreover contrary to what I said initially the A folders are there as well. I had not noticed them previously since they were listed under the now non-existant G drive (in this case there were question marks). I reassigned the path for the A folders and everything is now back to normal.So how did LR find the path for the A folders but not the B folder?

In the end the backup worked, though there are details I do not understand.

Thanks again.
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