21 Replies Latest reply on Dec 2, 2015 6:57 AM by colind31444093

    somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete

    colind31444093

      Hi,

       

      *Somehow*, I was very unlucky and hit a 2 keys sequence that deleted all my RAWs from disk from a particular catalog.

       

      To my surprise, it seems that the Lightroom delete operation does not send to trash, my RAWs were not in the trash. I immediately downloaded (about 5) rescue/undelete/recover software and *none* were able to retrieve the RAWs (using deep scans and you name it). I did not write anything to disk other than normal OS operation. I had about 100 RAWs of 49MB each in this catalog.

       

      So my questions is, what is Lightroom doing exactly when it deleted all RAWs from my catalog like this? what kind of mystical delete operation is it doing that prevent from retrieving these deleted files? I mean, the different rescue softwares I tried all were able to retrieve tons of deleted stuff *but not these RAWs* ...

       

      I am somewhat mystified by this. Anyone has suggestions to help me recover these RAW files?!

       

      Thanks,

      Colin

        • 1. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
          rpandita Adobe Employee (Admin)

          Hi colind,

           

          Greetings.

          If you have a recent back up of your catalog you can open that and start working again.

          Being unknown to both of us which keys you hit, i hope you did not deleted images completely from the Computer.

           

          If you have just removed the images from LR, then you should still have access to original images, which should be somewhere on your computer, LR does not keep your original files but it stores the edits that you have done.

           

          Regards

          Rohit

          • 2. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
            colind31444093 Level 1

            Hi, thanks for your answer.

             

            When I import my RAWs file from my disk directory, I "add to catalog without moving them", and yes, the RAWs have been deleted from their original directory and are not anywhere on the disk either.

             

            Any other suggestions?

             

            Thanks,

            Colin

            • 3. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
              rpandita Adobe Employee (Admin)

              If you are 100% sure that you do not have original images on your computer anywhere then the only possible thing to get them back would be a system restore(Win) / Tim machine back up.

              There is no other way i can think of.

               

              ~Rohit

              • 4. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                colind31444093 Level 1

                Thanks. Obviously, if I had a backup, I would have restored it and I wouldn't be here talking about that.

                 

                What I would like to ear is for someone to explain why in Lightroom this delete operation has the resulting effect of not being able to recover deleted files using any of the recovery tools out there (and it's not because I have overwritten the blocks these files were located on, it represents around 100 x 49MB and I haven't stored anything on my machine since then. I will probably use DTrace and try to figure it out myself, there is something weird here which prevents  recovering there deleted files using standard recovery tools.

                 

                I realized I didn't say I am using LR6 on OSX (10.10.5) on a MBP with a 500GB SSD drive.

                 

                Thanks,

                Colin

                • 5. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  No one here can tell you that, we didn't program or design Lightroom.

                   

                  By the way, in my experience, it would be extremely difficult to accidentally delete photos from Lightroom and your hard disk by a "2 keys sequence", as any delete operation requires you clicking the non-Default option of a dialog box. So it seems like a good design to me.

                  • 6. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                    JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Whenever I delete images using Lightroom they are always in the recycle bin. Have you tried to locate the images using Finder? Your images are not ingested by Lightroom. They are simply in folders on your computer. Have you used Finder to check the folders where the images were imported originally? I'm suspicious that perhaps you have created a new catalog.

                    • 7. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                      trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      colind31444093 wrote:

                      *Somehow*, I was very unlucky and hit a 2 keys sequence that deleted all my RAWs from disk from a particular catalog.

                       

                      To my surprise, it seems that the Lightroom delete operation does not send to trash, my RAWs were not in the trash.

                      If the files were somehow deleted from inside LR instead of being placed into the Trash then one of the recovery programs would have found them. What probably happened is that the 100 files were accidentally "moved" from inside LR to a different location on the hard drive. Did you try searching for them by filename or extension type (CR2, NEF) using Mac Finder? They may also still be in the LR, but in a different catalog file. If you have more than one hard drive you will need to search each of them using Finder. Search for .lrcat to find all LR catalog files.

                      • 8. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                        colind31444093 Level 1

                        JimHess, yes, I tried locating them in the filesystem and in the trash by searching for their original filenames, and this is exactly what is puzzling me, typically a "normal" delete should just move file in the trash.

                         

                        How would I know if I created a new catalog? I mean, the net effect in my current catalog is that the collections preview images are there but with an explanation mark showing that the underlying RAW file is not there.

                         

                        If I simply & somehow created a new catalog, wouldn't I be able to find the original RAW files but just somewhere else in the filesystem?

                        • 9. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          It seems to me that if the preview images are there then the original images haven't been deleted. Have you moved or renamed the images using Finder? Are the folders shown as missing? Or is it just the individual images that are marked as missing?

                          • 10. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                            colind31444093 Level 1

                            just the individual RAW files are missing. original directory is still there. Also, one of the image was edited externally using the NIK plugin and a tiff was generated. that tiff is still in the directory.

                            • 11. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                              JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              I am puzzled. Is it possible that you have set a filter to just display TIF images?

                              • 12. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                colind31444093 Level 1

                                trshaner,

                                 

                                Yes, I tried searching using both the finder "search" and using a filesystem wide "sudo find / -name "xxx" -print and did not find them. I do not have another hard drive.

                                 

                                If they are still in LR but in another catalog file, shouldn't I be able to find them by their orignal file names in the filesystem??

                                • 13. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                  colind31444093 Level 1

                                  JimHess, no no, this is in the filesystem directory not the library view in LR. In the filesystem directory, all RAW files are missing and only the tiff is there. in the LR library view, all preview images are there but showing the explanation mark because of missing file.

                                  • 14. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                    trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Could the files have been moved to a "hidden folder." I'm not a Mac user, but we've seen numerous cases where users were unable to access certain files such as LR Preferences file due to the folder being hidden.

                                     

                                    How to Hide Files and View Hidden Files on Mac OS X

                                    • 15. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                      colind31444093 Level 1

                                      I doubt it. Files deletion happened within LR and I don't think LR could have created a "hidden" directory.

                                      • 16. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        Agreed, but it's the only thing remaining that could be causing this issue. I just tested this on my Windows 7 system with LR CC2015.1.1:

                                         

                                        1) Copy a folder with 327 raw image files (7.6GB) to the desktop.

                                        2) Import the folder into my LR catalog.

                                        3) Deleted the 327 raw image files from LR.

                                        4) Check recycle bin.

                                         

                                        All the files were showing in the recycle bin and easily recoverable. Granted you're on Mac OS X, but I doubt the Mac Trash works any differently with LR than Window's Recycle Bin.

                                         

                                        We've heard numerous complaints from some Mac users concerning recent OS X upgrades that have changed file & folder permissions making certain files no longer accessible. It sure sounds like the problem you're experiencing. I'd give it a try since you have nothing to lose (no pun intended).

                                         

                                        How to Hide Files and View Hidden Files on Mac OS X

                                        • 17. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                          colind31444093 Level 1

                                          trshaner,

                                           

                                          The thing is that all this happened within LR, so LR would have changed the file/directory permissions?! Here's the sequence:

                                          1- I am in an export process for a picture

                                          2- I realize I am missing a setting and I try to abort the export

                                          3- In the attempt to abort the export, I *think* I tried to hit ESC a few times but this is where I may have hit some weird key combination

                                          4- I try to go back to edit my picture, notice the "missing file" marks on all picture in this collection

                                           

                                          So in step 3, "something" happened, I am not sure how, and the seconds after when I realized that the RAW files were gone, I immediately went into the filesystem directory to locate the files, looked around, trash etc, then eventually ran the recovery apps, nowhere to be found.

                                           

                                          I will try to look for hidden directories & files but I really doubt that this is the problem.

                                          • 18. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            A few thoughts.

                                             

                                            colind31444093 wrote:

                                             

                                            trshaner,

                                             

                                            The thing is that all this happened within LR, so LR would have changed the file/directory permissions?! Here's the sequence:

                                            1) LR does not have the capability to change file & folder permissions and when "deleting" files it can only move them to the Trash. Since the deleted files were not found in the Trash Bin logic tells us the files were instead accidentally "moved" to a different folder location and not deleted.

                                             

                                            2) Have you searched your drive for all files with extension .lrcat to find all LR catalog files? Please do that and then open each catalog file and check for the missing raw files.

                                             

                                            3) There is always the possibility that during the aborted Export process your SSD suffered some sort of data corruption causing the selected raw files (and perhaps others?) to be lost.

                                             

                                            https://www.volitans-software.com/apps/smart-utility/

                                             

                                            Never tried this OS X utility, but SMART information can determine if the HD or SSD is having issues before it actually fails.

                                            • 19. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                              colind31444093 Level 1

                                              trshaner,

                                               

                                              1) Well, something did go wrong then because the files are nowhere to be found and neither in the trash. I will try to reproduce using a new test collection.

                                               

                                              2) The only other catalogs are the ones from the previous versions of LR and the last modification dates are all prior to the existence of these photos.

                                               

                                              3) I doubt that very much. Chances is that if there was a hardware malfunction involved it would have surfaced in other places also. This is very specific to a single collection and only for the RAW files in that collection & directory.

                                              • 20. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                                trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                colind31444093 wrote:

                                                 

                                                trshaner,

                                                 

                                                1) Well, something did go wrong then because the files are nowhere to be found and neither in the trash. I will try to reproduce using a new test collection.

                                                in your reply #12 you mentioned, "I tried searching using both the finder "search" and using a filesystem wide "sudo find / -name "xxx" -print and did not find them." That's a terminal window command line search, which makes me wonder if that may be the cause of your problem. You can permanently delete files or folders using sudo rm -r or -rf. Is it possible you had a command line window open when the files disappeared? If you dragged & dropped files inside LR and they landed on that terminal window they are permanently deleted. On a Windows system any number of recovery programs would probably be successful in recovering the files. On Mac OS X it may be a different story since there is a dearth of utilities available for OS X, which are not necessarily kept updated to work properly with newer versions of OS X.


                                                On the flip side it begs the question of why these raw image files (and LR catalog file) weren't on a backup drive.


                                                SUGGESTION


                                                When importing camera files from a memory card do not delete the files until 1) verified in LR to be uncorrupted, and 2) they are backed up onto a separate backup drive.

                                                • 21. Re: somehow deleted all images in catalog and can't recover/undelete
                                                  colind31444093 Level 1

                                                  trshaner,

                                                  Is it possible you had a command line window open when the files disappeared? If you dragged & dropped files inside LR and they landed on that terminal window they are permanently deleted.

                                                  No.

                                                   

                                                  Thanks for your help and suggestions. At this point, I think the only thing I can do is to try and reproduce that problem to see if it's something that can be explained within LR or *something else* and I'll have to live with my OCD without understanding what happened

                                                   

                                                  Colin