21 Replies Latest reply on Jun 28, 2014 10:00 AM by dale turner 171

    Recovered .lrcat

    dale turner 171

      Hello,

       

      I have accidentally removed a folder from my Lightroom catalogue after applying ratings, cropping, exposure adjustments etc. I have tried to restore the .lrcat & .lrdata files from a Time Machine backup but none of the edits have been recovered. The only images that have retained their 5 star ratings are the ones that I edited in Photoshop. Is there any way of recovering the ratings and other adjustments from the time machine backup?

       

      I am using an iMac and Lightroom 5.

       

      Thank you,

       

      Dale

        • 1. Re: Recovered .lrcat
          dj_paige Level 9

          If the folder was included in a Lightroom catalog (.lrcat) backup, you should be able to restore the edits and metadata for that folder.

           

          Exactly what did you do to try to restore backup catalogs?

          • 2. Re: Recovered .lrcat
            dale turner 171 Level 1

            Thanks for the response.

             

            I entered Time Machine, located the 'Lightroom' folder in 'Pictures' and restored the .lrcat & .lrdata files from there. When asked, I replaced the existing files on the hard drive with the ones on the Time Machine. I then opened Lightroom and imported the photos but the adjustments were missing.

             

            When this did not work I replaced the whole 'Lightroom' folder from the Time Machine backup but I had the same result.

            • 3. Re: Recovered .lrcat
              dj_paige Level 9

              Can you go back further in time, or was that the only backup available?

              • 4. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                dale turner 171 Level 1

                I have backups every hour for today. I removed the folder 10 minutes after a backup which is the one I was trying to recover from. Although I was working on the images for 6 hours, most of the adjustments were made this morning so the latest back up should be good for what I need.

                 

                Am I right in thinking that the rating and crop info is saved in the .ltcat / .lrdata files?

                • 5. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  Edits and metadata are stored in the catalog file (.lrcat)

                  • 6. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                    dale turner 171 Level 1

                    Thanks for clarifying that.

                     

                    Is there a reason why the backed up .lrcat file would not have the saved adjustments?

                     

                    I have imported the original images back into Lightroom (now without the adjustments), should I remove these before replacing the .lrcat file, or just leave them in Lightroom?

                    • 7. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                      dj_paige Level 9

                      The only reason you wouldn't find the adjustments in the LR Catalog is if you removed the photos (or the entire folder) from Lightroom, and then re-imported the photos. Is that what you did?

                       

                      I have imported the original images back into Lightroom (now without the adjustments), should I remove these before replacing the .lrcat file, or just leave them in Lightroom?

                      If you are replacing the catalog file, it shouldn't matter one way or the other.

                      • 8. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                        dale turner 171 Level 1

                        Yes, I removed the folder and then having realised my mistake I re-imported the folder.

                         

                        Does that mean the adjustments are lost, even with the backup .lrcat file?

                        • 9. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          If you can find a backup that had the edits, then they are not lost. If not, then they are gone.

                          • 10. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                            dale turner 171 Level 1

                            Ok, hopefully one of the earlier backup .lrcat files will have the saved edits.

                             

                            Just out of interest, how often does Lightroom save the adjustments to the .lrcat file? And does it do it automatically while you make the adjustments to the images?

                            • 11. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                              dj_paige Level 9

                              Your edits are saved to the catalog file instantly

                              • 12. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                dale turner 171 Level 1

                                That's good to know. I'll try an earlier back up and let you know how I get on. Thank you for your help.

                                • 13. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                  dale turner 171 Level 1

                                  I have just looked back on the previous hourly backups and the 'Date Modified' for the .lrcat file is 24th June at 16.50. So this file has not backed up since then which means yesterdays work is lost. I can live with that, worse things happen. But I would like to know why this particular file is 4 days old in my Time Machine backup. Is there a reason why the .lrcat file is not backed up every hour? And is there anything I can do to make sure it is backed up more regularly?

                                  • 14. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                    dj_paige Level 9

                                    I don't know how to configure Time Machine, as I am not a Mac User.

                                     

                                    You could use Lightroom to make a backup of your catalog file every time you close Lightroom, this seems to me to be the best solution.

                                    • 15. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                      dale turner 171 Level 1

                                      Thank you once again for your time and advice on this, much appreciated.

                                      • 16. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                        Hal P Anderson Level 6

                                        Dale,

                                         

                                        Lightroom only backs up the catalogue on exit, after the catalogue has been closed. While it is open, there is no guarantee that it's in a consistent state, and if some process like Time Machine backs it up while you're using it in LR, the catalogue may be saved in an unusable condition. Perhaps TM is smart enough not to bother backing up an open catalogue.

                                         

                                        Paige is right: you should rely on LR's backups. Then let TM make a backup of the backups that LR makes. If you want hourly backups, close LR once an hour. Use that time to take a small break.

                                         

                                        Hal

                                        • 17. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                          dale turner 171 Level 1

                                          Thank you, I was not aware that that LR had to be closed for the catalogue to be backed up. Does this mean that in the event of a computer crash / power cut etc. that all work in LR since it was last quit would be lost? I have also selected the option to 'Automatically write changes into XMP' as an extra layer of protection.

                                          • 18. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                            dj_paige Level 9

                                            No, a power outage or computer crash does NOT mean you lose all of your work in that session. Lightroom saves your changes instantly, so you may lose the very last change that you made, but probably nothing else. I have had power outages hit me while I was in Lightroom, and nothing was lost as far as I could tell.

                                            • 19. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                              dale turner 171 Level 1

                                              So the removal of the folder was instantly saved to the catalogue. I then quit LR and the catalogue was backed up to TM. Previous backups of the catalogue were not saved to TM due to the file being in use. Lesson learned.

                                               

                                              So now that I have enabled 'Automatically write changes into XMP' if I remove a folder and then import it again into LR, will the adjustments still be there?

                                              • 20. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                                dj_paige Level 9

                                                Yes, your adjustments should appear if you do this, but certain other catalog information is not included in XMP, and so this idea of importing photos and then deleting the from Lightroom is not a recommended strategy. (Writing to XMP is recommended as emergency partial backup, and it has other benefits of communicating with other applications) Once you import photos into Lightroom, you should leave them in Lightroom. Not only does leaving the photos in Lightroom assure this other information (which is not written to XMP) remains with the photo, but its less work!

                                                • 21. Re: Recovered .lrcat
                                                  dale turner 171 Level 1

                                                  Thanks again, all good advice. I have started the edit again and put in place your suggestions. Lesson learned.