10 Replies Latest reply: May 10, 2012 1:31 PM by b_gossweiler RSS

    Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?

    sunnychik

      Hello everyone, I am very frustrated right now... my PC was forced to do a factory restore recently. Meaning my LR backups are all gone!

       

      All I have are the original photos (non-edited) and the edited photos. I have imported those original photos to LR4 already, but is there any method to correspond them with the edited photos? I don't want to edit all of my photos once again... and they won't be the same as my previous edit anyways

       

      (p.s. tried to import edited photos but it doesn't show any "edited information" like clarity / saturation / crops etc.)

       

      big help needed, thanks a million in advance!

        • 1. Re: Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?
          b_gossweiler Community Member

          Depending on how you exported the edited version of your images, the Lightroom develop data might be included in their XMP sections.

           

          If so, you could extract these XMP data into XMP files using ExifTool, then edit them setting "AlreadyApplied" to false and use them as sidecars upon import of your originals (assuming they are Raws).

           

          In order to test if this will work, can you upload an original and a edited version of one of your images to somewhere (i.e. www.yousendit.com, dropbox, ...) and post a link to them here?

           

          Beat

          • 3. Re: Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?
            b_gossweiler Community Member

            Thanks.

             

            This seems to work. Here is the original I created with embedded XMP data to be imported into Lightroom:

            https://www.yousendit.com/download/M3BsQndFdkd0d0dGa2RVag

             

            You should be able to see your corrections in LR after import. In order to establish a procedure to achieve this:

            • Are your originals and edited versions named the same (or in a way that one name can be derived from the other)?
            • What operating system are you using
            • Are you familiar with ExifTool?

             

            Beat

            • 4. Re: Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?
              sunnychik Community Member

              Thank you!

               

              hmmm...

               

              1. yes, the original is "IMG_0001" and the edited is "IMG_0001 - LR"

              2. windows 7 and with LR4

              3. not at all familiar with ExifTool, just started to do some research online...

              • 5. Re: Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?
                b_gossweiler Community Member

                sunnychik wrote:

                 

                Thank you!

                 

                hmmm...

                 

                1. yes, the original is "IMG_0001" and the edited is "IMG_0001 - LR"

                2. windows 7 and with LR4

                3. not at all familiar with ExifTool, just started to do some research online...

                OK, that could work out then :-)

                 

                Let me get back to you with further information tonight my time (in about 14 hrs).

                 

                Beat

                 

                P.S: Is the sample I uploaded what you would expect as a result? How many images are we talking about?

                 

                Message was edited by: b_gossweiler

                • 6. Re: Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?
                  sunnychik Community Member

                  Yes, that's what I wanted ! It shows my "edit information" when I opened it in LR4 !

                   

                  We are talking about 1000+ images though , may I know how exactly you did this through Exif tools ?

                   

                  (and I guess my facebook photos wouldn't be able to do the same thing right? as they weren't uploaded as HQ...)

                   

                  Please take your time , and once again thank you soooooo much

                  • 7. Re: Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?
                    b_gossweiler Community Member

                    sunnychik wrote:

                     

                    (and I guess my facebook photos wouldn't be able to do the same thing right? as they weren't uploaded as HQ...)

                     

                    The resolution of the exported image does not matter, as the technique only takes the develop info out of the exported image and embeds it into the original. So as long as you have the originals of your facebook photos, and facebook did not strip the XMP data from your uploads, they'll be fine.

                     

                    may I know how exactly you did this through Exif tools ?

                    This is the technique that can be used:

                    (I'm assuming that you have a file "xxxx - LR.jpg" as export, along with a file xxxx.jpg as original for all images you want to recover)

                     

                    1) Download and install ExifTool

                    • Download the "Windows Executable" ZIP file from this page:http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/
                    • Open the ZIP file and extract the file exiftool(-k).exe to some folder on your harddisk, then rename the file to exiftool.exe
                      (let's assume you extract the file to folder C:\ExifTool, and I'll use this directory in future references)

                     

                    2) Create some folders
                    Create a folder to contain the images to be worked on, i.e. C:\Temp, with subfolders "Originals" and "Exports"

                     

                    3) Open Command Windows for Originals / Exports

                    • In Windows Explorer, Shift+RightClick on folder C:\Temp\Originals and choose "Open Command Window Here"
                      The resulting command window will look like this:
                      capture_0001_20120508_005200.png
                    • In Windows Explorer, Shift+RightClick on folder C:\Temp\Exports and choose "Open Command Window Here"
                      The resulting command window will look like this:
                      capture_0003_20120508_005319.png
                    • These two command windows will be called "cmd-Originals" and "cmd-Exports" in furhter references

                     

                     

                    Perform this procedure for each folder of Originals/Exported images:

                    Please make sure you enter the command exactly as written here. You can copy them from here using Ctrl-C and insert them into a command window using Right-Click+Insert (Ctrl-V will not work in a command window).

                     

                    4) Copy Originals to folder Originals

                    Using Windows Explorer, copy all originals of one specific folder into C:\Temp\Originals

                     

                     

                    5) Copy Exported JPEGs to folder Exports

                    Using Windows Explorer, copy all exported derivates of these originals into C:\Temp\Exports

                     

                     

                    6) Extract XMP Files from Exported JPEGs

                    In command window cmd-Exports, enter the following command to extract XMP files from your exported JPEGs, whereby cutting the last 5 characters from the filename, hence making "xxxx.xmp" out of "xxxx - LR.jpg":

                     

                    C:\ExifTool\exiftool -o %d%-.5f.xmp "* - LR.jpg"

                     

                    This will result in as many *.xmp files as there were "xxxx - LR.jpg" files in the directory (the confirmation will say "nn image files created").

                     

                     

                    7) Modify XMP files to AlreadyApplied=False

                    In command window cmd-Exports, enter the following command to change the value of the tag "AlreadApplied" in all XMP files to "False":

                     

                    C:\ExifTool\exiftool -xmp:AlreadyApplied="False" -overwrite_original *.xmp

                     

                    (the confirmation will say "nn image files updated")

                     

                     

                    8) Move XMP files to folder Originals

                    Using Windows Explorer, move all the files with extension *.xmp from folder C:\Temp\Exports to C:\Temp\Originals

                    The XMP files should now carry the same base name as your originals in the folder C:\Temp\Originals

                     

                     

                    9) Embed the XMP files into the Originals

                    In command window cmd-Originals, enter the following command to embed the content of all *.xmp files into the existing JPEG originals with the same base name:

                     

                    C:\ExifTool\exiftool -ext jpg -tagsfromfile %d%f.xmp -overwrite_original *

                     

                    (the confirmation will say "nn image files updated")

                     

                     

                    10) Move Originals back to where they came from

                    Using Windows Explorer, move all the files (*.jpg+*.xmp) from folder C:\Temp\Originals into a subfolder of the folder you originally copied your originals from in step 4). (i.e. "Recovered_Originals")

                     

                     

                    11) Delete content of folder Exports

                    Using Windows Explorer, delete all files from folder C:\Temp\Exports

                    (both Exports and Originals should be empty by now)

                     

                     

                    12) Import Originals into LR

                    Import the files from "Recovered_Originals" into LR and see if the result is what you were looking for.

                     

                     

                    13) Back to Step 4 with the next set of Originals/Exports

                     

                     

                    I would recommend to practice this procedure with a few images to start with, and check if everything runs to your satisfaction. Then go ahead and do the bulk part.

                     

                    Beat

                     

                    P.S: Come back here if you get stuck or anything does not behave as described. I'll be out of town for a few days though, so a possible answer will have to wait till the end of the week.

                     

                    Message was edited by: b_gossweiler

                    • 8. Re: Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?
                      sunnychik Community Member

                      Thank you very much ! What a great news for me !

                       

                      Very clear step-by-step instruction, I believe I would be able to handle the above !

                       

                      I gonna try it in about 1 day from now as I am (sadly) busy rushing my essay which deals tomorrow. Update you when I finished the recovery and/or if I need more details

                       

                      Once again, thank you so much !

                      • 9. Re: Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?
                        sunnychik Community Member

                        Thank you very much ,  b_gossweiler !

                         

                        I believe everything is working fine now , everything is there, even how I cropped the photos !

                         

                        Two things that I still wanna ask

                         

                        1. from the screenshot below, cmd-originals indicate "7 image files updated", but only shows 3 lines of "Warning statement", is that normal? (IMG_5387, 5400, 5401)

                         

                        Untitled.jpg

                         

                        2. after I imported the "recovered originals" back to LR, do I actually still need those .xmp files? or I can actually delete them after recovery ?

                        • 10. Re: Computer crushed and backups are gone...  possible to restore?
                          b_gossweiler Community Member

                          sunnychik,

                           

                          I'm happy to hear that everything worked out well for you, this is not that usual with rather complex operations like these

                           

                          1. from the screenshot below, cmd-originals indicate "7 image files updated", but only shows 3 lines of "Warning statement", is that normal? (IMG_5387, 5400, 5401)

                          Don't worry about that, it just means that 3 out of 7 images had some minor inconsistency within their metadata, which was corrected by ExifTool.

                           

                          2. after I imported the "recovered originals" back to LR, do I actually still need those .xmp files? or I can actually delete them after recovery ?

                          Yes, you can delete them, they've been incorporated into your originals. Actually, the procedure would have been possible without producing thess intermediate files, but I like to use intermediate results to keep the procedure transparent and simple.

                           

                          One last note from my side:

                          In the future, please make sure you regularely back up your LR catalog to a different physical drive than where the catalog resides. This will enable you to recover without these rather complex recovery actions.

                           

                          Enjoy!

                          Beat