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AnotherNewbie
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Photoshop Elements Catalog 10 Restore

Oct 30, 2011 8:18 PM

I created a backup of my old catalog on an external drive, "G:" to my old computer.

 

My new computer lists the drive as "F:".  I did a Restore, and told Catalog to put it in a new location.

 

After the Restore, I see no images.  File names are there, and tags, and my thumbnails for the tags are in the pane on the right, but I see no images for my photos.  When I click on Properties, Catalog is still pointing to the "G:" drive, and says the dirve is not present.  No duh!  I told Catalog to put it elsewhere.

 

How do I get my images connected, so I can see them, and use Catalog as it is supposed to be used?

 

Thanks

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 6, 2011 11:47 AM   in reply to AnotherNewbie

    A few questions may help to give you some advice.

    - Which Elements version ? Your operating system : I suppose it's Windows : XP, Vista, Win 7 ?

    - From your external disk F: what was the location for your restore ? Another external disk ? A partition or second disk in your new computer ?

    - can you see your files from your Windows explorer ? From your description, I guess they are physically where you chose to put the restore, choosing 'custom location'.

     

    The drive letter problem is rather common when you restore on another computer or external disk ; the problem can be solved knowing the answers to the above questions.

    The reason your files are disconnected is that the Organizer keeps track of the files location by using the full path with disk drive letter or with disk serial numbers, depending on the Elements version.

     

    There are different solutions such as assigning a new drive letter to your presently 'F:' drive in Windows.

     

    This technical note for version 6 is also valid for ulterior versions:

    http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/402/kb402894.html

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 6, 2011 12:51 PM   in reply to AnotherNewbie

    Duane,

     

    I think now I have enough info to try to reproduce your problem.

    Did you try to 'reconnect missing files' ?

    http://www.johnrellis.com/psedbtool/photoshop-elements-faq.htm#_Quickl y_reconnecting_large

     

    I'll get back when I have tested other ways, including editing the catalog databae.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 7, 2011 4:30 AM   in reply to AnotherNewbie

    Another question to see if the workaround given by John R Ellis in the help file of his psedbtools may apply in your case:

    When you say you have restored on C: as a custom location, did you create a new master folder just under C: ? The folder structure of image files (My Pictures...) is different in XP and Win 7 as explained in the Adobe link above (http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/404/kb404560.html)

     

     

    The psedbtool is not valid with PSE10, but the explanations are. Look at the workaround.

     

    http://johnrellis.com/psedbtool/#_Detecting_Problems_with

     

    Files in the wrong volume 

    The indicated volume has cataloged files that are in the catalog folder or subfolders, and the volume is not marked as “database relative”.  For example, this warning will be triggered if the catalog folder is c:\catalogs\mycatalog, the catalog contains a photo c:\catalogs\mycatalog\pics\p.jpg, and the photo’s volume is not marked as “database relative”.

    In PSE 7 and later, this can cause at least two symptoms: 1) For photos in the catalog folder or in subfolders, the Editor won’t be able to save in version sets; and 2) Using Folder Location to move the folders will fail, leaving disconnected files. This situation can arise if you’ve restored a catalog from backup in PSE 6 and then converted the catalog to a later version. 

    If you get this warning and you’re running PSE 6, then beware that when you convert to PSE 7, you’ll trigger the symptoms above.

    The workaround is to create a new folder somewhere else such that it doesn’t contain the photos. Continuing the example above, use Windows Explorer to create c:\catalogs\mycatalog2. Move catalog.pse7db, thumb.5.cache, syncdb, and projects from the old catalog folder into the new one.  Then double-click catalog.pse7db to open it in the Organizer from its new location

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2011 2:23 AM   in reply to AnotherNewbie

    Thanks for taking the time to give a lot of information about your case.

    However, there are things I still don't understand :

    - The version of the Organizer which was bundled with Premiere is different from the Editor version. Unluckily I don't know anything about Premiere versions...

    - Depending on the Organizer version itself the database engine is different : Access for versions 4 and 6, sqlite for recent versions. We don't know which version at this time.

     

    All the info about your file structure, tags, categories and even thumbnails is stored in a catalog, which consists in a folder (same name as the catalog) and several other files. The new version 10 catalog includes a 'catalog.pse10db' file which is the database. Older versions include either a catalog.psa, catalog.psedb, catalog.pse7db, catalog.pse8db... If you have a copy of the original folder somewhere, you should be able to determine the original version.

    (You had problems with your old computer : was the internal disk sill alive despite the other software or hardware problems ? If so, it would be a good idea to recover it and put it in an external USB casing to be able to recover your working files or use it as an additional storing or backup media.)

     

    If you only have the 'backup' folder produced by the organizer itself, you'll find all your media renamed 'B0000001.*** and so on, plus a file like 'my catalog.buc'

    The file ending with '.buc' is simply a renamed copy of your original catalog database, whatever its version.

     

    If anything else fails, examining the database, either the original or the .buc copy in the backup, would tell which version we are dealing with, what are the problems, and how to 'repair' the database with the adequate database manager.

     

    Since I suppose other readers may read this post for troubleshooting purposes, I give this link again:

    http://www.johnrellis.com/psedbtool/photoshop-elements-faq.htm#_Proble ms_converting_catalogs

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2011 7:40 AM   in reply to AnotherNewbie

    The adequate database manager will be Access for versions PSE4 and PSE5, and a SQLite manager for ulterior versions.

    I don't have Access.

    I have two free SQLite managers :

    - http://sqlitebrowser.sourceforge.net/

    download here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/sqlitebrowser/files/sqlitebrowser/2.0% 20beta1/sqlitebrowser_200_b1_src.tar.gz/download

    - My preferred is the plug-in "Sqlite Manager" to be installed in the Firefow browser menu.

     

    What I can tell you is that if you can open your catalog file (even the catalog.buc in the backup folder), you'll know which version you have. Otherwise chances are you have versions 4 or 5.

     

    To open in sqlitebrowser, simply go to file/open and navigate to the target file

    In sqlite manager, open the plug-in from the tools menu in Firefox, select database/connect database, and navigate to the target file. Note, to see your target file, you'll have to set the file type option (under the file name) to 'all files' since your file extension is not the default extension.

     

    If you have a version 6,7 or 8, I strongly advise you to install psedbtool from John R Ellis.

    http://johnrellis.best.vwh.net/psedbtool/

     

    I suppose the Access database structure is very similar to the SQLite one. It's relatively easy to browse the tables, but to correct the tables in SQL you'll need to use SQL queries commands.Only sqlite manager can let you edit fields in a single record of a table without SQL commands.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2011 12:53 PM   in reply to MichelBParis

    I'm so glad to see confirmation that the nuckeheads at Adobe have yet to figure out how backup/restore should work.  Saved me the trouble of upgrading and being disappointed again. 

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 26, 2011 6:56 PM   in reply to AnotherNewbie

    Glad to see an active conversation going on this problem. I've decided to get serious in repairing my wife's PSE9 database, where it suddenly decided to look for her photos on Drive G: instead of correctly looking at C: where they actually reside. I'm anxious to hear what you discover this weekend, AnotherNewbie. I'm pondering the prospects of modifying the database with a Hex Editor, changing all "G:" to "C". (If I try it, I'll of course back up the database first.). You certainly got one thing right: This is much more difficult than it should be!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 27, 2011 12:14 AM   in reply to Tom314159

    Tom314159 wrote:

     

    Glad to see an active conversation going on this problem. I've decided to get serious in repairing my wife's PSE9 database, where it suddenly decided to look for her photos on Drive G: instead of correctly looking at C: where they actually reside. I'm anxious to hear what you discover this weekend, AnotherNewbie. I'm pondering the prospects of modifying the database with a Hex Editor, changing all "G:" to "C". (If I try it, I'll of course back up the database first.). You certainly got one thing right: This is much more difficult than it should be!

    What is not simple to begin with is to get a correct diagnosis of what went wrong with the drive letter.

    See post N° 11 in this discussion : if your PSE version is 5, 7 or 8, you can use psedbtools. It shows that there are about 5 types of errors causing the problem and it provides various solutions. If you have other versions, you'll have either to try the different solutions without being certain of the type of error, or you'll have to use database tools.

    Note that I have successfully restored backups containing 4 or those error types at the same time without doing anything. The problem arised later : what went right when going to the same PSE6 version did not work with version 10 and I had to spot which error had to be cured.

    That was to say that the organizer is smart enough to recover a number of drive problems because it tries to recognize drives either by letter or serial number when possible.

     

    Depending on your PSE version(s) for backup and restore, you won't have to use the same tools:

    - psedbtools (v 6 to 8)

    - access (4, 5)

    - or a free sqlite editor (9, 0). It may also cure simply one of the types of problems in versions 6 to 10.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2013 2:20 PM   in reply to MichelBParis

    OK, I have a similar problem. I use PE 10. I had a laptop with 2 physical HD's, 1 for the OS (WIN 7) and programs, 1 for data. The pictures and the catalog were on the data HD. I never used the built-in backup function of PE 10 because I backed up the complete data HD. Now the motherboard failed, but my HD's are fine. I don't even need the latest backup because I can access the disks using a SATA-USB converter.

     

    I purhased a new laptop but it only has 1 physical HD and 1 partition.

     

    What will be the easiest solution to get PE 10 working again.

    A) Repartition the HD to recreate the path to my pictures?

    B) Try to edit the catalog?

    C) Something else?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2013 11:30 PM   in reply to Guido T

    If your catalog (database folder) as well as your picture files are still on the same drive which you can plug-in as an external drive, the only thing that has probably changed is the drive letter of that drive. The serial number of that drive is unchanged. That means that if PSE is installed on your new computer you can simply locate the database folder on your external disk and double click the 'catalog.pse10db' file to open PSE and your catalog. PSE should be able to recognize your drive by the serial number and ignore the possible change in drive letter.

    Try it. If it works, it would be still better to assign the same drive letter as before (from Windows).

     

    Waiting for your follow up...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 5, 2013 12:04 AM   in reply to AnotherNewbie

    AnotherNewbie wrote:

    ...

    Seems to me (always "easy" to find a solution from the outside, when we don't really know how it is all created) that a better-designed catalog database would be easy to re-direct.  Like just one more table that stores the path to the photo parent directory.  Then, we could change that entry, and the rest of the path would be contained in the photo attribute.  That would create a simple solution to a new computer with the photo physical files on an external drive.

    .

    Interesting idea.

    The fact is that the database design by itself is already as you imagine it. To record the link to a given picture file, the database holds two separate fields, one for the drive identification (letter, serial number...) and another field for the full path under the drive id.

    As a matter of fact, since PSE6, the field recording the drive identification contains an internal number pointing to another table where the drive data are kept : letter, serial, name, type...

    That drive table contains the list of all the drives known by the catalog : internal, external, removeable, CDs and DVDs...

     

    Common types of changes of the drive+path of a file:

    - you have to change your drive and restore from a non PSE backup. The letter and serial number do non longer correspond.

    - you have your catalog and picture files in an external disk. When plugged in to another computer, the drive letter is changed (normally, PSE will recognize the serial number).

    - You change OS from XP to Win : the default path in Windows for 'My Pictures' has changed, the link in the database is not updated;

     

    The principle of the 'reconnect' feature is to scan each record in the database, look up the real location on the computer until a corresponding file is found, then replace the drive and path fields with the real one. That means changing one or two fields in every single record in the database, even if you have 100 000 pictures...

     

    The reconnect feature can be helped when you browse to the new location of a folder, so that all the files in that folder and its subfolders are rapidly updated. The process has been improved in PSE11 (in Lightroom it's even better).

     

    So, the problem is not in the database structure, it's in the algorithms of the reconnect feature, and the possible help the user can give to speed up the search for the real locations. The improvements in PSE11 are welcome, but the process could be much simpler if common situations described above could be identified either by a dialog with the user or by an automatic analysis of the drives and folders in the computer compared with those of the old catalog.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 2:08 AM   in reply to AnotherNewbie

    I am joining this thread late and have not read much of the previous answers. Are you saying that PSE 10 could not convert you PSE 5 catalog? You will not destroy your PSE 5 catalog, PSE 10 will copy the information into it's own catalog.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 8:45 AM   in reply to MichelBParis

    Thanks MichelBparis. Followed your advice. Connected my HD as external drive, set the correct drive letter, and so I could open the catalog. Backedup, restored to my new built-in HD.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 8:52 AM   in reply to Guido T

    Thanks for the feedback Guido. I am glad that worked for you !

     
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