6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2015 5:43 AM by rebecca 6490

    Having problems with LR4 catalogue

    rebecca 6490

      I am having problems with my LR4 Catalogue and would be really grateful if someone can resolve the problem.  This started last week when I backed-up my Catalogue because I planned to try to move everything to a new computer.  I am working with LR on Windows and my old laptop had started to become completely unreliable.


      Having completed the back-up on Saturday which took about 6 hours I then set about moving everything across.  I followed the instructions on the Adobe site and thought everything was fine until I started to really dig deep and look at photos then I realised that there were certain bits missing.  All the RAW files were showing in their original state and when I opened a few in the Develop module there was nothing listed under History.  The colour tags were showing in the Grid view, as were the stars, but all the flags were missing.


      I thought I had made an error in the transfer and tried several times again only to find that the Catalogue on the new computer was not complete.


      This morning knowing I had to get some work done, I decided to put the new laptop to one side and continue using the old laptop which would be painfully slow but at least everything would be there - or so I thought!.  I opened LR to find that again lots of things were missing and the RAW files had reverted back to their original state.  Never mind I thought well at least I have my back-up from Saturday, before I started all the moving, I can go back to that.


      I opened up the back-up file (by double clinking in Windows Explorer) only to find that all is not well with the back-up - same problem with RAW files and flags etc :-(  And having dug deeper I can see that there are images that are not in the Catalogue that I know were there at the end of last week because I was working on them.  I tried re-importing them but again, no development history or flags.


      I'm now completely confused as to when, why and how I have managed to lose so much of my Catalogue.  I could go back to my previous back-up but in an ideal world I'd rather not do that as I have carried out a huge amount of work in between, yes I know I should have done more back-ups but when you are working against a deadline and each back-up is taking several hours...........


      What I really don't understand is why are the images there in my Grid view with stars and colour tags but not flags or history - how can you lose part of the Catalogue?


      Does anyone know of a way to get back the history and flags for each image?  I'm worried to try anything now in case I make things worse.  Thank you :-)

        • 1. Re: Having problems with LR4 catalogue
          dj_paige Level 9

          I don't know what instructions you were following, but it sure sounds like you didn't follow them properly.


          There is really no need to use a backup to transfer everything to a new computer. You can use the existing catalog on your old computer.


          Also, it sounds like you are Importing photos into the new catalog. If you are Importing photos, you are doing it wrong.


          The proper procedure is here: How do I move Lightroom to a new computer? | The Lightroom Queen


          Again: no making backups needed for this purpose (although making backups is a good things to do). No importing of photos. Do not Import.

          • 2. Re: Having problems with LR4 catalogue
            rebecca 6490 Level 1

            Hi dj_paige


            Thank you for your quick reply.  I think you have misunderstood, perhaps I have not explained properly.


            I thought there was a problem with the transfer but now I think there might have been an issue before I made the transfer because I have gone back to the original catalogue on the old laptop I have the same problem. 


            I only did a back up as a precaution, I understand that you do not NEED to do a back up as part of the process. The instructions I used were from the Lightroom Queen and the ones on the Adobe website, but I fear that the problem happened BEFORE I made the transfer and so what I have moved is not correct.  At the moment I do not think the problem is the transfer.


            The only pictures I have re-imported are on my Old laptop which have for some reason dropped out of the catalogue.


            So just to clarify, in my original LR Catalogue on my Old laptop I have lost all the Develop history, the flags and lots of images have dropped out of the catalogue.  Other than going back to a 'too' old back up, is there anyway to get them back?  Does anyone know why this information and some images have disappeared in the first place?


            Thank you :-)

            • 3. Re: Having problems with LR4 catalogue
              dj_paige Level 9

              I can't give an answer as to why the information and some images have disappeared.


              If the edits are gone from your catalog, and gone from your recent backups, then you need to find an older backup which has these photos and their edits, and select those photos and then File->Export as Catalog. Do not check "Include Negatives". Then in the current catalog, use File->Import from Another Catalog.

              • 4. Re: Having problems with LR4 catalogue
                rebecca 6490 Level 1

                Thank you.


                I am just a little concerned that some how I have caused the problem and I don't want to do it again!


                It sounds like I am going to have to do some picking through and see what exactly I am missing in each sub folder. My Catalogue is huge so this is going to be a pain, I fear it's going to take me a long time to recover from this!


                Please can I ask, when you say don't check "Include negatives" what effect does this have if I do or don't "include negatives" - are the negatives the original RAW files?  Am I right in understanding that effectively using this method I will be able to restore some problem parts of my Catalogue without affecting those that are okay?


                Thank you

                • 5. Re: Having problems with LR4 catalogue
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  "Negatives" is a very poorly chosen word by Adobe, as it doesn't really apply to digital photography. It does mean your original photos, even though these original photos are "positives" in the photographic sense.


                  Yes, if you do this properly, and you have backups that contain the edits, then you should be able to restore everything into your current catalog. I agree it might take a long time.


                  I am wondering if this issue happened because you (accidentally) created multiple catalogs. If you search your hard disk(s) using your operating system's search feature, and find all files whose name ends with .LRCAT, do you find more than one (excluding those that are in your backup folders)?

                  • 6. Re: Having problems with LR4 catalogue
                    rebecca 6490 Level 1

                    Thank you for clarifying the word 'negatives'. Having been in the photography world a long time I still have a heap of genuine negatives stored away so am quite used to the idea that these are the originals - I also have a heap of positive transparencies too!  I think I take too many pictures!


                    I'm quite sure I don't have 2 catalogues so I don't think it can be that. The mystery is that the problem occurs across many different folders, some recently used, some not used for months if not years.


                    The only other thing to explain that might help is that I have my images split across to external hard drives, one containing all the images I take and the other contains those I have separated out for use in my 'portfolio'. I always move the files from one HD to the other using LR as I'm aware of the pitfalls of not doing that.  The only other thing is that as I said, my old laptop is currently limping along and I just wonder whether its had a bit of a 'moment' to use a non-technical word before I did the last back-up and I didn't realise.  The last thing I did before the back-up was to tidy up some of the folders in my LR hierarchy so that everything would be tidy for the move and the computer just shut itself down mid way through and refused to be turned back on that evening but booted up fine the next day, but I know I was not doing anything that involved the folders that have been affected as they are all in my new way of organising things, I was only sorting out some old stuff.


                    It all just seems such a mess right now :-(

                    Thank you for your ideas :-)