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Problem With Elements 10 Organizer Showing Wrong Files in Folders (In Folder View)

Dec 18, 2011 6:30 AM

Tags: #photoshop #catalog #organizer #elements #windows #10 #pse10 #photoshop_elements_10

I just got started using Elements 10 on Windows XP and have had some problems with the Organizer. Once it was installed and had cataloged all my photos, I made sure to only move files and folders to different locations from within Organizer. However, now it seems to have lost track of which photos are in which folder. It will "remember" that there are 3 photos in a folder (in Folder View) and only show three photos in that folder, but they will be 3 random photos from a different location. Opening that item shows that thumbnail and referenced file are the same, so it isn't just a thumbnail problem. And looking in the actual folder with Windows Explorer shows that right photos. I'm not sure if I should run an Optimize or Repair on the catalog or if there is something else I can do to fix the problem. I don't need to use Folder View too often, but sometimes I do and I use it to reorganize the actual locations of files. Not sure what would happen if I did it now (with the obvious catalog confusion).

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks,

torreyindy

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2011 12:28 PM   in reply to torreyindy

    See this faq from John R Ellis:

    http://www.johnrellis.com/psedbtool/photoshop-elements-faq.htm#_Folder _Location_view

    I have never met this situation myself, but I suspect that deleting the thumbs.5.cache file in the catalog folder could be effective. This file will rebuild itself automatically ; as you know, this can take hours for a very big catalog. You find the catalog folder location from the menu : help/file info.

    One thing I discovered recently is that this 'cache' file is a sqlite database like the main catalog.pse10db. Rebuilding it from clean data of the main database cannot hurt anyway.

     
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    Dec 18, 2011 1:15 PM   in reply to torreyindy

    To add to Michel's suggestion, it would be a very good idea to first repair, then optimize your catalog before re-creating the thumbnail cache.  (The GIGO principle.)

     

    Ken

     
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    Dec 24, 2011 5:37 AM   in reply to torreyindy

    In this other thread, deleting the cache did not help either...

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/940322?tstart=0

     

    I have no other idea about how to correct this folder view error. In the other thread, I am curious to see if a backup plus a restore on another location will solve the problem.

    I am still confident that the thumbnail view is still ok and that the backup will keep the correct locations.

    The problem is to understand how the organizer gets the file arborescence from the Windows explorer and matches this info with the full path locations stored into the database(s).

    I was curious to see if this info stored in the two databases : catalog and cache, would be coherent, and it seems it is.

     

    By the way, I would not be surprised if the changes in the folder view in recent versions of Elements were the result of Adobe's difficulty in maintaining the coherence between the catalog and the explorer.

     
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    Dec 24, 2011 7:16 AM   in reply to MichelBParis

    I have the same problem with the Elements 10 organizer. It's worked fine for a year and then this happened a few days ago. I did delete the caches, catalog optimize and repair. I was trying to do the backup, but it stalls at about 4%; after several attempts, I gave that idea up.

     
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    Dec 24, 2011 4:46 PM   in reply to torreyindy

    Add me to the list.  I'm a total beginner as I just purchased and started using PSE 10.  Read a book on the organizer and imported pictures.  I heavily rely on the folder view as that's how my work is organized.  I have too many pics (7,000+) and don't have the time to tag.  I find it to cumbersome to tag as a folder view is much simpler.  After deleting and moving some files around various directories (all within the Organizer), I see all folders are messed up.  Windows Explorer shows everything correctly. 

     

    Repiar and Optimize didn't help at all. 

     

    I really hope there's a fix for this. 

     

    Edit:  After doing some more research on this board, I can see this problem hasn't been resolved since Elements 6.  Therefore, I just created a new catalog and deleted the old one.  All is fine now.  Since I hadn't tagged any files, this was an easy fix (about 15 minutes to re-import about 7K pics).  But for someone who has relied on tagging, I can see this being a nightmare as you have to re-create everything.  Knowing this, I will NEVER use the tag feature.  I'll just continue using Folder view for my own organization. 

     
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    Dec 25, 2011 2:05 AM   in reply to deBelen

    deBelen wrote:

     

    I have the same problem with the Elements 10 organizer. It's worked fine for a year and then this happened a few days ago. I did delete the caches, catalog optimize and repair. I was trying to do the backup, but it stalls at about 4%; after several attempts, I gave that idea up.

    Thanks for trying to delete the cache and reporting the result.

    The only thing which is certain is that in your case there is something wrong in your catalog, not only in your folder view display. Most of the time, even if a backup can't go to 100%, it will get farther than that. This suggests either a lack of free space on your disk, but you would know that, or an offending media file not recognized by PSE. This may be true for some vdeo formats for instance. Troubleshooting this situation to find offending files requires patience et methodic care.

    The idea is to create with the explorer a copy of your present catalog folder (location found in the menu help/system info). This will enable you to go back if your various tries don't succeed.

    Then from within the organizer, you delete suspected files from catalog (NOT from disk).

    If you suspect videos, remove videos.

    If you have no clue, remove about half of the pictures. For instance, if you can backup the oldest and not the newest, you can refine your search by restoring the catalog and removing only half of the newest and so on (dichotomic method).

    This dichotomic method can work well, but if you have split your catalog in two parts whtch both fail to backup, there no hope in thistechnique.

     

    One interesting test, and useful procedure, is to try the menu file / write metadata to files. It may work even with offending files. If nothing else helps, you can create a brand new catalog and reimport all your files from your folders. You will recover at least the tags and ratings.

     
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    Dec 25, 2011 2:18 AM   in reply to SonyZ2User

    SonyZ2User wrote:

     

    Add me to the list.  I'm a total beginner as I just purchased and started using PSE 10.  Read a book on the organizer and imported pictures.  I heavily rely on the folder view as that's how my work is organized.  I have too many pics (7,000+) and don't have the time to tag.  I find it to cumbersome to tag as a folder view is much simpler.  After deleting and moving some files around various directories (all within the Organizer), I see all folders are messed up.  Windows Explorer shows everything correctly. 

     

    Repiar and Optimize didn't help at all. 

     

    I really hope there's a fix for this. 

     

    Edit:  After doing some more research on this board, I can see this problem hasn't been resolved since Elements 6.  Therefore, I just created a new catalog and deleted the old one.  All is fine now.  Since I hadn't tagged any files, this was an easy fix (about 15 minutes to re-import about 7K pics).  But for someone who has relied on tagging, I can see this being a nightmare as you have to re-create everything.  Knowing this, I will NEVER use the tag feature.  I'll just continue using Folder view for my own organization. 

     

    I did not read your edit while answering to deBelen.. This confirms my opinion about recreating a new catalog. Those who have invested time in tagging and rating will find this is satisfactory way of solving their problem.

    But in your case I really believe your are in the category of users who absolutely rely on a folder organisation : that's the negation of the purpose of the Organzer. So, choose to organize from the explorer or some other browsing softwares : I can recommend faststone  (free) or ADCSee (good for the price). Does this mean you'll never use the organizer ? I am sure that if you need to do certain types of projects like photobooks, web galleries, montages, you can use temporary catalogs to take advantage of tags, albums and other features of the organizer.

     

    Anyway, thank you very much for sharing your experience : who knows, this may help to find the origin of the problem.

     
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    Dec 25, 2011 6:26 AM   in reply to MichelBParis

    Thanks for the suggestions. Disk space is definitely not a problem. I've already backed up the existing catalog and am presently going through the thousands of tagged photos and deleting some of the many disconnected files (most of them seem to be files that I renamed or thought I'd deleted using the Organizer, so that's an anomaly). I'll try some of the other suggestions as well. My plan is once I'm sure of all the tags being in place, metadata written to files, I'll then move to managing my files using Picasa and only continue to use the Adobe Elements 9 Editor, an excellent application.

     

    I've been using Elements and Premier for many years. Premier 9 never has worked on my computer (newer quad core Win7, 6gb memory) so I reverted to Premier 4 (after many weeks of actually troubleshooting with Adobe support), but never had too many problems with Elements Organizer until now. But, enough is enough.

     
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    Jan 5, 2012 8:23 AM   in reply to deBelen

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I've decided to give up everything Adobe except the Elements 9 editor (it's great) and Premier 4 (after weeks of working with Adobe Premier 9, never could get it to render video). As for the Organizer 9, I did find a large number of video .AVI thumbnails that had multiple duplicates. The real one of each set could be determined by the properties display; for the corrupted ones, the only thing that showed in properties was "1 video selected". At this point I wrote all the metadata to files and confirmed it worked using Picasa 3.

     

    I deleted all those bad video thumnails and any disconnected files from the catalog. At that point, the backup would almost run to the end. I then deleted all video files from the catalog and got the backup to run. Restoring the backup with the existing file structure did not fix the problem of of the folder view being incorrect. Restoring the backup with the existing file structure not selected produced a clean, correct catalog. I then determined that the time to rebuild the catalog to my preferred file structure would consume many hours, and of course with no assurance that the folder view would not become corrupted again.

     

    I've migrated over to Picasa 3 for organization and am very pleased with the results. An unexpected benefit was that the Picasa web albums have a much better presentation that any of the web album templates in Elements 9.  Picasa is also much faster than the Elements Organizer, and has the advantage of using the Windows folder structure.

     

    Regards, Tom

     
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    Jan 7, 2012 7:46 AM   in reply to torreyindy

    torreyindy wrote:

     

    Thank you for your thoughts and the link to the other discussion. I thought about doing the backup/restore options, but given that the problem occurred within the first month of using the Organizer, I worry that it will just happen again and that sounds like a very time-consuming "fix". I'd be curious to look at the contents of the raw database to see if I could spot where the data is inconsistent, but I probably couldn't do much about it, even if I could see the problem.

    ...

    Thanks,

    torreyindy

    Looking at the database is not that difficult if you are already acquainted with any relational database. The problem is that the catalog stores the information for each item (media, picture or vidéo...) including the full path and the drive identification. But the software must have also the info about the folder structure on your computer to compare with the drive/paths combination of the catalogued files. And I don't know how this info is stored; I did not find anything on my disks, so I would not be surprised if the whole folder structure was only held in RAM. If there is nothing to reconnect, if the catalog is repaired and that we find any file in thumbnail view, we must admit that the catalog itself is sound. On the other hand, if you get the same error after closing the organizer, you should suspect some kind of 'cache', but it seems the computer structure info is rebuilt each time you switch to folder view... I did suspect the thumbnail.5.cache to be the culprit, but since removing it has no effect, that was a false track.

     

    I think you really should try the backup/restore way if you don't have disconnected files. This is not dangerous and can add to the safety of your files and catalog. I'd be curious to see the results, particularly if you restore your files to a custom location (a new master folder). I can't try myself because I have not yet met that problem myself.

     
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    Jan 7, 2012 3:14 PM   in reply to MichelBParis

    MichelBParis wrote:

     

    But the software must have also the info about the folder structure on your computer to compare with the drive/paths combination of the catalogued files. And I don't know how this info is stored; I did not find anything on my disks, so I would not be surprised if the whole folder structure was only held in RAM

    All the Organizer has to do is issue a "dir" command to the opysys when "Folder View" is selected.  Then, as you suspect, that info would be held either in RAM or a temp file.

     

    Ken

     
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    Feb 19, 2012 1:12 PM   in reply to torreyindy

    Hi all

     

    I am suffering with the same problems.

     

    1. Corrupt catalog.  Files show incorrectly in the folder view.  Path name, thumbnail, etc. are all correct but they jsut appear in the wrong place in folder view.  Like others i find this really inconvenient and it makes it difficult to manage.  Not noticing htis thread, i had started another http://forums.adobe.com/message/4201516#4201516.  I have not managed to solve this
    2. Backup.  On my system backup starts to estimate the space needed for backup, gets 16% of the way through the bar and then freezes.
    3. Image size.  I have been scanning old 35mm images.  Any image greater than about 8100 pixels causes thumbnails to fail - this sounds like being around 2 to the power of 23 but what a really odd combinatin that is. 

     

    I have about 10,000 photos in the catalog but need to load up about another 5,000 historic images, and we take about 1,500 images per annum.

     

    whereas I had complete confidence in Adobe products being a long time Photoshop fan, I am now taken aback, so any help would be much appreciated.  I have played with databases, so if i can get into the organizer database (at least to do backups), ideally with Access, that would be brilliant.  Any suggestions?

     

    rgds

    Mark

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2012 5:12 PM   in reply to Size14feet
    Image size.  I have been scanning old 35mm images.  Any image greater than about 8100 pixels causes thumbnails to fail - this sounds like being around 2 to the power of 23 but what a really odd combinatin that is.

    8100 pixels? All of my photos are larger than that, and I don't have this problem. Do you mean 8100 pixels on a side? There is a known limitation in PSE that photos above a certain pixel size on a side cannot be displayed in the Organizer. I no longer remember what that size is, perhaps someone else can chime in. Scanning your images to be 8100 pixels on a side would be overkill for me; however maybe for you its an important thing to do.

    I have about 10,000 photos in the catalog but need to load up about another 5,000 historic images, and we take about 1,500 images per annum.

    This is not a problem for PSE.

    I have played with databases, so if i can get into the organizer database (at least to do backups), ideally with Access, that would be brilliant.  Any suggestions?

    If you are going to play with the database through Acess, I think you will fail. I believe that PSE uses SQLite as its database, so you have to use SQLite to view the contents. If you are going to do this, work only on a copy of the database. As this is a long-standing bug in PSE (since at least PSE6), and no one that I know of has found a workaround, and people have reported that the rest of PSE behaves as if the photos are where they are expected to be, my guess is that the bug is in the way PSE displays the photo location in folders. And if that's the case, that the database is correct and its only the display that is incorrect, then there's really nothing you can do to fix that; monkeying around with the database itself won't help.

     

    whereas I had complete confidence in Adobe products being a long time Photoshop fan, I am now taken aback, so any help would be much appreciated.

    I agree with you, this is a shame that PSE has this problem and it has gone unfixed since PSE6. Your choices are:

    1. use tags and captions and notes to organize in Thumbnail view, and not use Folder Location View
    2. stop using Organizer, use your operating system to browse your folders, only use the PSE Editor
    3. switch to Lightroom, which has a quality Organizer (called the "Library Module") that doesn't seem to have this particular bug, and in general seems very solid, behaves well and is relatively bug free. (Lightroom 3 currently on sale in the vicinity of $79 (USD) as the anticipation is that Lightroom 4 will be released soon)
    4. switch to other organizing software, there are many, but I make no recommendations as I have tried only PSE and Lightroom
     
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    Apr 13, 2012 7:57 PM   in reply to dj_paige

    Yes I too have the same problem with folder view not showing the actuall folder contents in PSE 9.  Along with other know bugs that have been present in older versions and now in the latest PSE 10 version.  Its a bit of a trend I'm finding with this product. Disappointing ADOBE!!!!

     

    If I bought a car with a door I would expect the door to open, if it did not I would expect it to be fixed.  I've bought a program with a folder view, I expect it to work. It doesn't so I expect it to be fixed.

     

    I find it very frustrating that they are not fixed.  The hours that I have put into organisng my photos makes me very reluctant to change but I beleive the time has come.

     

    What consumer rights do we have? Time for a refund.

     

    Dan

     
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    Apr 16, 2012 12:31 AM   in reply to Stray_Cat_Blues

    If it helps anybody, my solution to the various problems so far have been:

     

    1. Catalog corruption.  i have 12500 photos on a network disk array (not all catalogued yet) no offlinemedia.  The easiest solution when teh catalog gets corrupted seemed to be to create a new catalog and re-import media.  Tags get imported and i just have to organise them (ha-ha) which doesn't take too long and takes out a bit of the stress.
      I have stopped using the file view as i am digitising several thousand old 35mm negatives & slides.  I have Photoshop CS3 and Bridge which help, as i can navigate around the photos more quickly with Bridge.  however, Organiser does give me a view of the batches that have been imported on certain dates so that i can make adjustments (typically date taken) to all the scanned images in one go.
      I also have 90 hours + home video to catalog at some stage.
    2. i dont use backup as it seems to add no value.  i copy all my images to another hard disk using explorer
    3. I scan all pictures at slightly lower resolution (5900 dpi) rather than 7200 dpi to ensure that images have less than 8100 pixels in a dimension.  this is acceptable but not as good as the 35mm which i am replacing
     
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    Apr 16, 2012 6:03 AM   in reply to Size14feet

    1. Catalog corruption.  i have 12500 photos on a network disk array (not all catalogued yet) no offlinemedia.  The easiest solution when teh catalog gets corrupted seemed to be to create a new catalog and re-import media.  Tags get imported and i just have to organise them (ha-ha) which doesn't take too long and takes out a bit of the stress.

    Tags only get imported in this method if you were smart enough to have PSE write the tags to the files before you create the new catalog. Many people are unaware of this step, and if you don't do this, your keywords will not show up when you re-import everything. Plus, if people use albums, stacks, version sets, creations and a few other things in the PSE Organizer, these will not show up when you re-import. Thus my general advice is to not re-import. While this works for you, it will not work for many people.

     

    The idea of blowing away a catalog and recreating it doesn't seem to me to be the "easiest solution". In my opinion, the easiest solution is to not use Folder mode to organize and browse your photos. The easiest solution is to use Thumbnail mode and organize and search via keywords, not folders, and the problem goes away.

     

    As I explained earlier, I don't think this is a case of catalog corruption.

     

    i dont use backup as it seems to add no value.  i copy all my images to another hard disk using explorer

     

    It adds value in that it also backs up all the files needed for your catalog to run when you do a restore. Sounds like you are not doing that, you are not backing up your catalog file and related files. You can recreate your catalog via re-importing, most people cannot. Most people need to back up their catalog as well as their photos, and the Organizer command File->Backup Catalog does a complete backup (catalog file and photos)

     
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