1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 20, 2015 12:13 AM by ManiacJoe

    How do I properly restore my catalog after my hard drive crashed?


      My existing catalog was stored on my internal hard drive. My hard drive crashed. I reinstalled LR on my new hard drive, re-imported all of my photos from my external hard drive, and then noticed I was missing a certain group of photos. These photos were imported into LR from an SD card while on the road, and I just never remembered to change the file location to my external hard drive. I had a computer tech recover my "backup" folder from my old hard drive, along with the "Lightroom 5 Catalog Previews.lrdata" folder and the "Lightroom 5 Catalog".


      My question is how do I go about recovering these missing photos? I regrettably deleted these photos from my SD card, so I no longer have the originals. Should I just open the recovered LR catalog and hope they are there? Can I do this in a way that allows me to transfer or copy all the new work I have done since so that I do not have to re-edit all of my new photos again? Just looking for advice on the right way to handle this without involving a ton of work if possible. However, I will gladly redo all of my edits if I can recover these lost photos.


      Thanks for the help!

        • 1. Re: How do I properly restore my catalog after my hard drive crashed?
          ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

          The easy route is to copy the recovered catalog and preview folder to a useable location (never use the backup directly).

          Open LR, open the copy of the recovered catalog.

          In the Folders panel, relocate/find-missing all the top-level folders to the external drive.

          This will connect all your old files on the external drive with the edits in the catalog.


          For your images that were on the crashed drive and not on your external drive, if the tech did not recover them, you are probably out of luck.


          However, if you have not used the deleted/reformatted card, try an undelete program on the SD card and see if they can be recovered.

          Lexar and SanDisk often give away free recovery software with their cards. Otherwise try something like "recuva".