2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 15, 2015 4:27 PM by dj_paige

    Rebuilding multiple libraries

    Antinwales

      Ok folks, this is my dilemma

      How best to put things back as they were and have a full library (50,000 images approx) from multiple libraries when source images are in a different location and different libraries hold different edits and clones of raw files previously edited but lost in one of many libraries.

      I began with v2 of Lightroom and currently have V5.7 standalone version 64bit, I'm fairly sure that the majority of images edited extensively over several years were saved within the library and not as external separate data files.

      I found out a few years ago how to move files around, or how not to use external programs to move/rename files and folders and where they sit. Sadly I learnt this very important fact too late. Consequently I have lost most of the links to pictures and their edits/clones as well as file locations.

      Some upgrade process or some other unknown cause of my own making has left me with the largest library that has the most pictures in it but most of the links are broken and clones/edits missing.

      Going through a search for all library files revealed 92 libraries, some being backup files, and I'm currently whittling that list down based on early copies of the same library but even so, I'm still going to be left with quite a few library files to reload if I'm right in assuming that the only way to approach re-building a complete library of all images and re-establishing where source images are.

      Questions I have are

      Is it best to start afresh, load all the images first then load every library file without pictures? What pitfalls are there doing it this way? Assume I have plenty of space to store all files.

      Is it better to start with the library with the most images and add data and not pictures?

      I discounted pictures too (assuming it will create folders where necessary to reflect where they used to be?) Clearly this would result in many duplicates. Also if importing pictures from locations that no longer exist it will be pointless most of the time and just be presented with thousands of errors.

      As this is clearly going to be very time consuming I hoped putting this issue out there might save a great deal of trial and error and give other users sound advice when finding themselves in a similar position

        • 1. Re: Rebuilding multiple libraries
          Antinwales Level 1

          Sorry - replace every mention of library with catalogue

          • 2. Re: Rebuilding multiple libraries
            dj_paige Level 9

            Is it best to start afresh, load all the images first then load every library file without pictures? What pitfalls are there doing it this way? Assume I have plenty of space to store all files.

            I almost never think this is the best approach, it is the approach of last resort when NOTHING else will work — you don't want to do this, this method will cause all edits to be permanently lost, and all user-provided metadata will be lost (keywords, captions, titles, metadata, labels colors, star ratings, etc.)

             

            The better approach, although possibly time consuming is to use the approach that preserves your edits and your user-provided metadata. This means you have to connect the Lightroom catalog to the photos, using these instructions: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders