12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2015 2:59 PM by BorealBird

    LR update notice deletes catalog


      I came here with this issue a year or so ago, but it seems to be unheard of. However, it keeps happening to me.


      I have LR4, and the issue is that occasionally upon launching it, a box will pop up letting me know there is an update available, and do I want to download it. Before I can even respond, what happens every_single_time  when this box appears is that my current LR catalog is wiped out, showing only photos from the most recent import. Then, when I go to "file", "open recent" to try to relaunch the previous catalog, all that's been there in the past were those images from the most recent import. This time however - there's not even that. Also in past occurrences, I was able to at least relaunch my most recent back up catalog. However this time when I go to "open catalog" and try to do so, I receive an error message that says "Lightroom cannot launch with this catalog. It is either on a network volume or on a volume on which LR cannot save changes".


      I know that the images (and I assume LR edits) are still on my hard drive, but at this point it is all completely inaccessible for me, which is so disheartening. I would really appreciate help in figuring this out. Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          This is difficult to respond to because I have never experienced such a phenomenon. I have been using Lightroom since early in version 2, and have always been able to upgrade or update successfully. If you opened the folder containing your catalog, do you see more than one catalog file? Can you post a screenshot of the folder contents of the folder containing your catalog?

          • 2. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
            BorealBird Level 1

            Hi Jim, I appreciate your reply and attempt to help. Perhaps it's some kind of bug that came with the original software I don't know, I understand that it's unusual to the point of not being heard of, but this issue has always happened to me with update notices, which is why I never accepted the updates. For what it's worth - here are a couple screen shots. All that's left in the catalog are some images that I had deleted a long time ago but for some reason their delete was not completed. And I've been backing up the catalog as I've always been, so can't understand why the back up is now not being accepted...



            why I LR screen shot 1.jpgLR screen shot 2.jpg

            • 3. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Is the catalog located on the hard drive of another computer on a home network? If it is, it shouldn't work at all. But I'm just asking. If you are backing up regularly, you should be able to restore one of those backup catalogs to the working catalog folder after you do an update and have all of your work intact. In fact, you might try simply copying your working catalog to another folder. Then do the Lightroom update and restore the catalog that you copied and see if that solves the problem.

              • 4. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
                BorealBird Level 1

                Jim - the catalog is on one computer only. When you had suggest copying my "working catalog" to another folder (prior to doing the update), are you referring to my most recent backup catalog? (Because I don't currently have a working catalog..)

                • 5. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
                  JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  The catalog must reside on the computer that is running Lightroom. If you are using two computers, then you need a catalog on both computers. The catalog is not a network-aware or network-usable file. Will Lightroom start now, and do you have all of your images in that catalog? Or, have you done an update and have experienced the problem you have described. How often do you back up your catalog? It's still unclear what is happening. However, it seems to me that if you update Lightroom on a computer where there isn't a local catalog, then Lightroom is going to create a new catalog. You cannot share a catalog across any network, even a home network.

                  • 6. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
                    BorealBird Level 1

                    Jim, I'm not sure where I gave the impression that I am using two computers? I have only one computer, and that is where my Lightroom catalog is (or was anyway before it was wiped out). There is no sharing between computers going on.


                    I back up once a week on average, in this case it was 9 days ago. That back up (plus I also tried the one previous to that) is getting the error message when I attempt to launch it (as shown in photo).


                    I haven't done the update yet, I've frankly been leary of doing so because of the ongoing issues with the update notice wiping out the catalog (and the catalog is *not* found under "open recent". But perhaps I have nothing to lose at this point.


                    Thanks again for attempting to help!

                    • 7. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
                      JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I must've got you confused with another discussion. Sorry. Just a suggestion. You really should be storing your backup catalogs on a different hard drive. If your hard drive crashes in your situation, you lose your working catalog as well as all of your backup catalogs. I would suggest getting an external hard drive and store your backups on that drive.


                      Your "working" catalog should be in the Lightroom folder, and not in any other subfolder. What you are looking at in your screenshot is a backup that was done earlier in March. Can you provide a screenshot of the contents of just the Lightroom folder, without the properties dialog?

                      • 8. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
                        BorealBird Level 1

                        I do store backup catalogs on an external hard drive.  All I was saying earlier is that I do not use LR on two computers.


                        As for finding the working catalog - the only one that was in the Lightroom folder was the one that had only some files I'd deleted but for some reason LR could not delete them (as shown in the 2nd screenshot). BUT the good news is that I then went on a search through the labyrinth of LR folders that have been auto-generated over time, and ended up locating the previous working catalog prior to this incident occurring - for some reason LR had randomly placed it in one of its older back up folders.  I opened it up and it is now back in Lightroom as my working catalog. So problem solved!! For now anyway. Still don't know why this happens, but I thank you for your help!

                        • 9. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
                          trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          It appears you are saving your LR Backups into subfolders nested below earlier backup folders. This has caused the 'file path' to become very long:


                          C:\Users\Mary\Pictures\Lightroom\2013-09-03 0637\Backups\2014-07-08 0805\Backups\2014-09-01 2214\Backups\2014-11-26 2300\Backups\2015-03-14 1516\Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat


                          This is well within Windows file and folder limits, but LR may have more restrictions concerning the LR catalog path. When installing a LR update it appears the current LR catalog file can't be found because of the long path. Ditto when you try to use a Catalog Backup file!

                          I suspect you may have a similar issue with your current working LR catalog. The LR catalog file and Previews should be stored directly under the Lightroom subfolder and not in  subfolders below it.


                          Here's the location:


                          C:\Users\[user name]\Pictures\Lightroom\


                          Here's what should be in the above Lightroom folder with LR is closed:


                          Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat File

                          Lightroom 4 Catalog Previews.lrdata Folder


                          Please close LR and move your most current Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat file and Lightroom 4 Catalog Previews.lrdata folder to the above location and never move or rename them in the future. Next open LR and go to menu File> Catalog and select the Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat file at the above location.


                          As Jim has suggested LR Catalog Backups should be stored on a separate drive the same as your picture file backup copies. A backup software application should be used to keep the backup current with new files, changed files, and deleted files. When saving a new LR catalog backup don't create a new subfolder. Use the same destination folder (Lighroom Backups) on the external drive and LR will create its own subfolder with the Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat file.

                          • 10. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
                            BorealBird Level 1

                            I just read your comment after I'd already sent my reply to Jim. Those auto-generated sub-folders are indeed a mess that I've been too overwhelmed to try to organize. I very much appreciate your insights and suggestions.

                            • 11. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
                              trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              It looks like every so often you create a new subfolder named 'Backups,' which is creating a subfolder tree. The Catalog Backup folder destination selected below should never be changed. Use the 'Choose' button below, create a folder name like below on your external drive, select it, and move all of your archived LR Catalog backup subfolders (YYY-MM-DD xxxx) directly under this folder.


                              This should stop the LR Catalog subfolder nesting.


                              Catalog Backup Destination.jpg

                              • 12. Re: LR update notice deletes catalog
                                BorealBird Level 1

                                Oh my, so simple -  I had somehow overlooked that "choose" button! Much appreciated, as the nesting had been driving me nuts. Thanks again!