10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2015 4:32 AM by kevin_jarrett

    Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!

    kevin_jarrett

      Hi, drive crashed. Files were stored on my NAS drive and are intact. Catalog was lost, however, I was able to locate one from a recent full system backup. I can't seem to get the catalog to show any files.

       

      Here is what I have:

       

      Lightroom 5 Catalog Previews.lrdata folder with previews.db and root-pixels.db

      Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat 1.2mb

       

      I tried opening the catalog, the library is empty.

       

      There is no backup to restore, I checked the hidden folder in my backup, there's nothing there - this, despite the program reminding me to take a backup periodically and me doing it.

       

      What am I doing wrong?

       

      Thanks!

       

      -kj-

        • 1. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
          dj_paige Level 9

          Most likely the .LRCAT file which is 1.2 MB is simply an empty or nearly empty catalog file that was somehow created and is not a true backup of your catalog file.

           

          If you search your entire set of hard disks, using your operating system's search capability, for files ending with .LRCAT, you will find the backup if it exists. The default location for saving catalog backups, unfortunately, is on the same drive as the default location of the catalog file, and you have to manually change the locations of your backups to a different disk. If you didn't do this, and the drive crashed, then the catalog, and its backups, are all gone when the disk crashed.

          • 2. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
            ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

            A catalog of sizes 1.2 mb would certainly suggest that it is empty.

             

            If your (weekly?) scheduled catalog backups were putting the backups on the same drive as your active catalog (the default location), then you have probably lost all your catalog info if none of those backups (in a subfolder called "backup" of your catalog folder) are available.

             

            This is a good warning to all users: your backups should never be on the same drive as the originals.

            • 3. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
              kevin_jarrett Level 1

              Thank you for the fast replies.

               

              I've searched the backup of the OS volume as well as the NAS drive. Cannot find a single .LRCAT file, which is weird, because LR would ask me regularly about taking backups, and I always said yes. Where could those files be?

               

              I just did a clean install of Windows 10. I'll back that up, then do a full restore of a recent monthly backup (Win 7) to open LR, get and export the catalog file properly.

               

              I will then restore the Win 10 backup and restore the .LRCAT - is it just a matter of copying the file to the proper location?

              • 4. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
                dj_paige Level 9

                Cannot find a single .LRCAT file, which is weird, because LR would ask me regularly about taking backups, and I always said yes. Where could those files be?

                They were in the default location which was on the disk that crashed. If that's true, then your backups are gone.

                I just did a clean install of Windows 10. I'll back that up, then do a full restore of a recent monthly backup (Win 7) to open LR, get and export the catalog file properly.

                This confuses me. It sounds like you are saying you will make a backup of Windows 10.

                 

                A full restore of monthly backup (win 7) ... you can't restore the Lightroom software that way, and as discussed you don't have a catalog file to restore. You have to install LR, not restore it.

                I will then restore the Win 10 backup and restore the .LRCAT - is it just a matter of copying the file to the proper location?

                Again, I'm confused by this, it doesn't sound like the right thing to do, it doesn't like an effective thing to do ... but I really don't understand what you mean.

                • 5. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
                  kevin_jarrett Level 1

                  Ok let me see if I can explain.

                   

                  Drive crashed. I'd planned to install Windows 10 anyway. Have a couple older full backups.

                   

                  Installed a new HD. Clean installed Windows 10. Installed Lightroom and then went...oh crap. Thought the .LRCAT backups were on the NAS drive. Uhm, nope.

                   

                  Searched the Acronis backups of the C: drive for anything with .LRCAT, nothing. Same for the NAS. Find this very odd.

                   

                  Anyway, I expect to be able to restore my Win 7 backup from a couple months ago to get everything back online.

                   

                  However, I don't want to lose my work installing Win 10.

                   

                  So,. I will make a backup of my Win 10 install.

                   

                  Then I will restore a Win 7 backup temporarily so I can go into LR and create a proper catalog backup, which I will put on the NAS drive.

                   

                  I will then restore the Win 10 backup, and recover the catalog.

                   

                  Doable?

                  • 6. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
                    Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    That 1.2 MB file you found on your system backup is way to small to be an actual catalog file. It appears your full system backup actually didn't backup your Lightroom files. That is not good. I would recheck my system backup to see if it is really not there.

                     

                    the backups that Lightroom makes are done in the same folder as the catalog file. They are just meant to enable you to go back to an older version of your catalog easily if you really messed up something in your catalog. If your hard disk was hosed those files will be gone too. You really need a second offline backup on a different hard disk to be safe.

                    • 7. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
                      kevin_jarrett Level 1

                      Ok. Found the problem. At some point Lightroom decided to put its .LRCAT in the DOCUMENTS folder not PICTURES.

                       

                      When I restored my backup, opened Lightroom, and poked around a bit, I found the .LRCAT and all the backups.

                       

                      Copying them to an external drive right now.

                       

                      Going to wipe and reinstall Win10 again from scratch so everything is just right.

                       

                      Then reinstall Lightroom.

                       

                      Can I put the ,LRCAT on the NAS drive? That thing is backed up every night.

                       

                      THANKS

                      • 8. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
                        dj_paige Level 9

                        No, you cannot put the working .LRCAT file on a networked drive. It must go on a local (internal or external) drive.

                         

                        The backups of the .LRCAT file that are made on a regular basis MUST go on a different drive.

                         

                        Going to wipe and reinstall Win10 again from scratch so everything is just right.

                        This seems quite unnecessary to me, there's nothing in Win10 that's going to change from your first installation of Win10 to the reinstall by doing this.

                        • 9. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
                          ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

                          kevin_jarrett wrote:

                           

                          Ok. Found the problem. At some point Lightroom decided to put its .LRCAT in the DOCUMENTS folder not PICTURES.

                           

                          When I restored my backup, opened Lightroom, and poked around a bit, I found the .LRCAT and all the backups.

                           

                          Copying them to an external drive right now.

                           

                          Going to wipe and reinstall Win10 again from scratch so everything is just right.

                           

                          Then reinstall Lightroom.

                           

                          Can I put the ,LRCAT on the NAS drive? That thing is backed up every night.

                           

                          THANKS

                          The "documents" folders actually makes more sense than the "pictures" folder. I picked a folder called "Lr_catalogs", but I am using multiple catalogs.

                           

                          No need to reinstall win10; it will not change anything. Now that you found the catalog, all is good to go.

                           

                          The catalog needs to be on a local drive (internal or external). However, the backups can go to the NAS. The backups should go to a drive other than the one the active catalog is on.

                          • 10. Re: Recovery of catalog after hard drive crash - searched, could not find answer!
                            kevin_jarrett Level 1

                            Yep, we're back and OMG is Win 10 crazy fast...THANKS ALL!