My computer died but I have access to the old hard drive and I also have a backup of the photos but not their catalogs. Can I import the catalog files from the old computer?
If you install PSE10 on this new computer, you surely can start afresh and import those photos into your PSE10 catalog.
However, what's worth trying first is a search for ".pse10db" files on your old hard drive.
- Check for it in %appdata%\adobe\elements organizer\10.0\organizer\catalogs folder
- Check for it in C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Elements Organizer\10.0
- A generic search for ".pse10db" on entire hard drive
Thanks very much. I have ~30k photos in 6 catalogs. I am pretty sure I can find the catalog files. If so, what do I do next? The subdirectory structure on the new computer will be the same as the old except that my user name is different on the new computer. Also, if it helps I know exactly which subdirectories go with which catalogs.
I understand that you are able to find the catalogs in the old drive and that you have already copied the media files with the same subdirectory structure on the new computer.
That means that you can copy your catalogs to the new computer : each catalog is the whole folder containing the catalog.pse10db, with all files and subfolders.
It also means that using those catalogs can be done by double clicking on the catalog.pse10db files.
But... all your files will be shown as missing. It's a good thing that you have the same directory structure, but the link to the actual location of each media file in the catalog is recorded in two parts : the folder path and the drive serial number, which has changed.
Several possibilities to correct the database:
- use the reconnect feature in the organizer. With pse10, that can be very long and tricky. If you consider upgrading to PSE11, it's much easier.
- it may be possible to reassign the old drive serial number to the new one via the operating system.
scroll down to :
"Change a Drive's Volume Serial Number"
- you can use an external sqlite database management tool to update the drive serial number in the database. To give you an idea see :
That may be the shortest way... but not for beginners.
Thanks Michel, This is very helpful; albiet discouraging. Just to clarify, the subdirectory structure will be almost the same but again, not quite becuase the "name" of my computer is different. The old subdirectory structure was:
c:\users\"old name"\pictures\subdirectory names
The new structure will be:
c:\users\"new name"\my pictures\subdirectory names (they actually are both "my pictures" in Windows but for some reason PSE listed it as pictures).
Does this complicate things? Also, how much easier is reconnecting in PSE 11? The drive serial number change looks challenging.
If you choose the solution to reconnect, the fact that the 'master' directory is slightly different does not matter.
I want first to run a test to compare the reconnecting ease of PSE11 compared to PSE10 in your situation.
In the meantime, you could select one of your smaller catalogs and copy the catalog folder somewhere on your new computer and try to reconnect with PSE10 (either automatically or manually choosing the new location , folder by folder if necessary).
Thanks again Michel. It may be a day or so before I can try your suggestion. I need to pick up the old hard drive today and then borrow an adapter to allow me to connect it to my new pc. I'm assuming the catalogs will be recoverable since it was the mother board, not the drive that failed. I will let you know how it goes. In the meantime I really appreciate all your help.
I retreived my old computer and the hard drive is still working (which was a total surprise) so I quickly set about making backups of my 5 catalogs (on an outboard HD). Each was saved in the root subdirectory of E:\. All seemed well until I went to restore the backups and there is only one, a file called Backup.tly. So I'm stumped. I expected to see 5 catalog subdirectories with proper names corresponding to each catalog. Does each backup need to be made in a separate subdirectory on the outboard HD with a subdirectory name that I give each of them to keep them straight?
This is NOT a user friendly program.
Also, I noticed the file/image numbers in each catalog were 100-250 less in PSE than in Windows Explorer -- I have no idea how to easily resolve that given that there are 100-300 folders in each catalog and ~30k files total.
Any advice would be warmly received.
While taking full backup of each catalog, you must have selected a different folder in E:\ ?
If not, then Backup.tly of the previous backup would have been overwritten by the next backup, I suspect.
Andaleeb is right.
You should never store several different backups (whether full or incremental) into the same directory. The reason is that in PSE a catalog backup is a whole folder just like a catalog is a whole folder. In a normal catalog, the folder contains the database -- catalog.psexxdb -- and its associated files and subfolders, thumbnail cache, people recognition, visual similarity, autoanalyser...
In a backup, the folder contains renamed copies of your image files as well as a copy of the database, plus a very important file : catalog.tly which is the cross list between the renamed copies and the original files with their full path.
So, you must absolutely create a new folder to accomodate a new backup.
Don't worry with the files count : there is often a number of files which are not image files which are created by your OS, for instance 'thumbs.db' which are used only by Windows.
"This is NOT a user friendly program."
I understand your frustration. The Organizer, just like other database management tools (Lightroom...) requires some learning efforts. The backup process is not 'intuitive' and needs to be explained especially when something goes wrong or in special situations like migrating to new computer, drive, OS or PSE version.
If you compare the Organizer with its big (and newer) brother Lightroom, it is targeted at a different category. Lightroom only provides catalog backups, not images backups. That's up to you to be responsible for the image backups. The Organizer provides both backups, in a smart but not intuitive way. Adobe could have 'masked' the implementation of the backup in a folder by wrapping all its contents into a single 'black box' archive like a zip file. That would have avoided the trap you (and many others) fell into. On the other hand, having access to the contents of the backup may be useful in some cases...
Update 1/23/13 Oy. . . this is too complicated to explain. I created 5 subdirectories for my 5 catalogs on my outboard hard drive and backed them up.
Then following the restore directions as closely as possible I created 5 subdirectories for the catalogs on the new computer. I did this b/c the directions said "the name of the restored catalog is the name of the folder you choose to restore it to".
Here's an example using one catalog, called "2008-2010". The Windows directory structure for that catalog looks like this:
I restored the catalog using the "new location preseve the original file structure" option. Here's what PSE 10 did (again, looking at the Windows file structure):
c:\Users\Richard\My Pictures\2008-2010. Within the 2008-2010 folder are three subdirectories: 2008-2010, Program Data, and Users
The first two subdirectories contain PSE databases, etc. and my photos are within the third subdirectory as follows:
c:\Users\Richard\My Pictures\2008-2010\Users\MyName\Pictures\2008 and then all the subdirectories under 2008 where the photos actually reside.
This makes for a God awful mess in the folders screen in PSE (see below), which will be even more unintelligible once I add the 4 remaining subdirectories. All I really want preserved are the subdirectories under: \2008, \2009, and \2010, which on my machine are the dates I downloaded the images from my camera to PSE.
In the screenshot below of the PSE Folder Location view I would love to have avoided everything between the first 2008-2010 folder and the 2008 folder, five levels!
Again, any suggestions about how to redo this without all the clutter would be greatly appreciated. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever had to restore the above restore and maintained the directory structure!!
The 'mess' is in the folder structure.
While this is not important for those who, like me, practically never use the 'folder view', it ispuzzling (to say the least) for those who use the folder organization as well as the database one.
I would do two things :
- first, I would move the catalog folders to the 'default' location on the C: drive. That is done in the catalog manager. Moving catalogs is one of the options on the right. Simply select a catalog and select the top choice 'catalog accessible to all users'. Be patient, PSE10 will move the catalog folder to the C: drive. The folder tree will be 'cleaner'. That only moves the catalogs (database and auxiliary files), not the pictures files.
- Then I would deal with the unwanted intermediate subfolders. The restore has recreated the original folder structure of the C: drive with users and so on. You know you can move a folder and its subfolders by drag and drop when you are in folder view (left panel). It's a simple drag and drop action. You can move a real, populated folder up in the folder tree to 'shorcut' unwanted steps. Since that will move the files both in the explorer and in the database for thousands of pictures, be patient !
If you are satisfied with your new organization, you can delete the now empty intermediate folders (from PSE or in your case there is no risk to check and delete them from the explorer.)
Michel, that worked like a charm. Everything now seems to be back in order, in a much cleaner form (below). Moving the catalog to the default location eliminates a lot of the clutter and moving things up per your second suggestion (and then deleting the empty folders) does the rest.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your help.