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Marb

Lost all my Lightroom folders

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I have been working in Lightroom for some years. All my edited RAW folder categories and subcategories are on my D drive, and all my new imports are on my C drive that are in work in progress mode. I then transfer the finished RAW into the D folders. I haven't backed up my catalogue for some time (it takes an eternity on my pc) but I had a lot of recently imported RAW files in progress. I thought it would be a good idea to try and cut and paste all the imported unedited folders from the C to the D drive to have them in one location.  This is when it went wrong as opening LR again and everything is blank in the directory. I put the folders back to where they were but it still won't recognize any, (even though usually all recent edits to a RAW that are not backed up in the catalogue are remembered) If I direct LR to the folders with all the original files in , it's asking to import again (they were already imported) So my question is, how to I restore back to a couple of hours ago without having to use an older catalogue that won't have my recent images on them ? will I lose all the edits I have been making these past few weeks just by simply trying to move a folder to another location ? This is a nightmare as I have no idea what to do that won't cause all my recent work to be lost

 

Thanks

Edited by Marb

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You can't restore the catalog unless you backed it up so that is out. If you can see the folders in LR with a ? on them when you expand the Folders Panel, then there is no problem but it seems you have already done that so you may have no option.  I don't know why LR would do that unless the catalog is corrupt. Perhaps try optimising the catalog first. Is it possible the file names have been changed in the copying? Probably not. 

 

If that doesn't work, then I guess you would have to re-import or better start a new catalog (if catalog corruption is the cause). If that is the case, hopefully you have the Catalog preferences setting to Automatically write changes into XMP so that at least you have the xmp files which hold all the raw editing info. Otherwise you have will need to redo the raw editing. 

 

In any case, it sounds like you are not making regular external backups by simply copying files and catalog to an external drive or cloud storage. Bad idea. 

 

Edited by MDM

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23 minutes ago, MDM said:

You can't restore the catalog unless you backed it up so that is out. If you can see the folders in LR with a ? on them when you expand the Folders Panel, then there is no problem but it seems you have already done that so you may have no option.  I don't know why LR would do that unless the catalog is corrupt. Perhaps try optimising the catalog first. Is it possible the file names have been changed in the copying? Probably not. 

 

If that doesn't work, then I guess you would have to re-import or better start a new catalog (if catalog corruption is the cause). If that is the case, hopefully you have the Catalog preferences setting to Automatically write changes into XMP so that at least you have the xmp files which hold all the raw editing info. Otherwise you have will need to redo the raw editing. 

 

In any case, it sounds like you are not making regular external backups by simply copying files and catalog to an external drive or cloud storage. Bad idea. 

 

I have catalogue backups I am trying to restore from but it's giving me an error when I try and load them. The last backup was in january but it won't load it. When I direct it to the correct place on the drive, sub categories etc it wants to re-import them which obviously all the edits will be lost. What a c++p program. Not only is it slow but unreliable. Yes, I should have recently backed up but for this to happen just by trying to move a folder from one location to another is ridiculous. Not even an undo feature to re-trace back.

 

Even when I don't back up, my last edits were always remembered in LR when I next open the program so where are these temporary files stored ? That could surely do something to restore if I could find it ?

Edited by Marb

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I don't thing Lightroom is stupid at all. I think it is an excellent program and I find it absolutely reliable. It used to be slow but the recent versions are very decently fast on a good computer with plenty of RAM. But I make sure everything is fully backed up before I do anything major, like transferring the catalog to a new drive. I find that it is best to move folders and files within Lightroom than to try to move them with the OS though. 

 

I have the same main catalog for several years now through from LR4 to the currrent Classic version with about 75000 images currently plus several other smaller catalogs for various purposes. The only problem I had was my own stupidity when I forgot to set Automatically write changes into XMP on a set of images in a new catalog from a client shoot and subseqently deleted the catalog so I had to redo everything - about 100 images. That was a pain but I cursed myself rather than Lightroom and of course I learnt from my mistake.

 

 

Edited by MDM

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5 minutes ago, MDM said:

I don't thing Lightroom is stupid at all. I think it is an excellent program and I find it absolutely reliable. It used to be slow but the recent versions are very decently fast on a good computer with plenty of RAM. But I make sure everything is fully backed up before I do anything major, like transferring the catalog to a new drive. I find that it is best to move folders and files within Lightroom than to try to move them with the OS though. 

 

I have the same main catalog for several years now through from LR4 to the currrent Classic version with about 75000 images currently plus several other smaller catalogs for various purposes. The only problem I had was my own stupidity when I forgot to set Automatically write changes into XMP on a set of images in a new catalog from a client shoot and subseqently deleted the catalog so I had to redo everything - about 100 images. That was a pain but I cursed myself rather than Lightroom and of course I learnt from my mistake.

 

 

What I can't understand is why it won't backup from saved catalogues. When I tried to move the folders I did it within LR, not the OS. It just seemed unresponsive so closed it down and did in OS. 

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You may have corrupted the catalog clsoing it in the middle of an operation. Try optimising it in the first place and see if it recovers it. Otherwise I have no suggestions.

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36 minutes ago, Marb said:

 

 

Even when I don't back up, my last edits were always remembered in LR when I next open the program so where are these temporary files stored ? That could surely do something to restore if I could find it ?

Those "temporary files" are the catalogue. I have mine in a dedicated folder, I don't know where the default is but you could try a *.lrcat search.

One thing I once found out about, although for a different problem, is to delete the lock file, extension .lrcat.lock- it may not be relevant to you but it doesn't do any harm.

What exactly is the error you're getting?

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I have managed to re-import the last catalogue but adding the files to LR (read from the D drive) BUT it hasn't remembered  keywords, edits and metadata for everything. There is no pattern to the missing data as some is earlier and some is later. It seems intermittent. Surely the last catalogue restore would bring them all up ?

 

Tried to open via the last saved cat in my dedicated folder and again "catalogue could not be opened due to an unexpected error"

Edited by Marb

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15 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Those "temporary files" are the catalogue. I have mine in a dedicated folder, I don't know where the default is but you could try a *.lrcat search.

One thing I once found out about, although for a different problem, is to delete the lock file, extension .lrcat.lock- it may not be relevant to you but it doesn't do any harm.

What exactly is the error you're getting?

 

That is not necessarily true depending on your Catalog preferences. The default is to store all edits, metadata etc in the catalog but this is a really bad idea as evidenced by what appears to have happened here. It is much better to save the settings for each raw file in an associated sidecar xmp file - this is a tiny text file which simply contains all the importnat info including the metadata. To set this, go to the Lightroom Menu - Catalog Settings - Metadata Tab and click the 3rd option. Believe me it is far better than storing everything in the catalog for the reasons here as well as others (e.g. independence of Lightroom and Adobe in fact down the line for one thing)

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11 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

That is not necessarily true depending on your Catalog preferences. The default is to store all edits, metadata etc in the catalog but this is a really bad idea as evidenced by what appears to have happened here. It is much better to save the settings for each raw file in an associated sidecar xmp file - this is a tiny text file which simply contains all the importnat info including the metadata. To set this, go to the Lightroom Menu - Catalog Settings - Metadata Tab and click the 3rd option. Believe me it is far better than storing everything in the catalog for the reasons here as well as others (e.g. independence of Lightroom and Adobe in fact down the line for one thing)

But if the backed up catalogue lets you down when you need it by not loading it's a poor program. I don't understand the logic of it only remembering some data and not others back and forward in time as I last backed up in Jan of this year. It just won't load the  backup so weeks and weeks, if not months  of time lost in editing.

Edited by Marb

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31 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

That is not necessarily true depending on your Catalog preferences. The default is to store all edits, metadata etc in the catalog but this is a really bad idea as evidenced by what appears to have happened here. It is much better to save the settings for each raw file in an associated sidecar xmp file - this is a tiny text file which simply contains all the importnat info including the metadata. To set this, go to the Lightroom Menu - Catalog Settings - Metadata Tab and click the 3rd option. Believe me it is far better than storing everything in the catalog for the reasons here as well as others (e.g. independence of Lightroom and Adobe in fact down the line for one thing)

If I make that change, does everything I've done up to now still work? Will the settings still be saved in the catalogue as well, or does xmp replace it?

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16 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

If I make that change, does everything I've done up to now still work? Will the settings still be saved in the catalogue as well, or does xmp replace it?

 

Actually I had to check that by reading the manual and then trying it to be sure of my answer and the answer to your second questions  is yes (but you should check this for yourself). Of course it works just the same as before in answet to your first question. From limited testing it does appear to save all the metadata plus LR-specific stuff such as labels and ratings to the catalog as well as to the xmp. However I think when you are saving to xmp then it is unnecessary to worry about whether it saves to the catalog as well as long as you are backing up the xmps.  It is of course sensible to back up the catalog itself with the preview file as well as it could take a long time to regenerate those in the event of loss. 

 

By the way, there is another way. You can actually manually save to xmp as well instead of setting the  preference but it is very easy to forget to save. Just select the images in Library module and hit ctrl-S or cmd-S on a Mac. 

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49 minutes ago, Marb said:

But if the backed up catalogue lets you down when you need it by not loading it's a poor program.

 

Or is it poor practice to not learn fully how a program works before using it, especially for something as important as image processing for a photographer. It's in the online help, the manual and there are several good books on Lightroom. 

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Just now, MDM said:

 

Or is it poor practice to not learn fully how a program works before using it, especially for something as important as image processing for a photographer. It's in the online help, the manual and there are several good books on Lightroom. 

Granted but it still should have loaded from my backed up catalogue. Is There a way to extract the edits from a rendered Jpeg ?

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1 minute ago, Marb said:

Granted but it still should have loaded from my backed up catalogue.

 

Is There a way to extract the edits from a rendered Jpeg ?

 

I don't know why that is. You might want to try the Lightroom Forums as there are some real experts on there. I know my way around but I am not an expert like some of those guys (and girls). 

 

You can probably extract the raw conversion data from the JPEGs if you exported it with them but it would be tedious to do it manually. Perhaps there is an app to do that. Ask on the Lightroom Forum

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