17 Replies Latest reply on Aug 15, 2017 8:15 AM by Jao vdL

    Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?

    morganj_8 Level 1

      I import all of my photos to an external hard drive vs. my computer so that my internal hard drive doesn't get bogged down.  I uploaded a batch of files (a wedding shoot), which were having trouble recognizing in LR as non-duplicates because of matching file names, and creating problems with the import.  Therefore I just "removed" the folder within that catalog and started a-fresh.  This seemingly corrupted the catalog because things have gotten progressively worse ever since.

       

      I tried optimizing the catalog because previews were just appearing as grey boxes in the Library Module.  This worked for a while, but a day later everything was running slowly.  Previews weren't showing up, the photos became pixelated in Develop mode, and my Lightroom began crashing.  I tried opening the same files from the external in Photoshop, and they showed up just fine and were editable.

       

      Things got worse.  Eventually after restarting Lightroom, nothing was visible anymore.  The external also was no longer being recognized by my computer.  In Disk Utility, the device "WD Passport" was shown but the sub-folder "My PPforMac" as I call it- was greyed out.  First Aid recovery on "My PPforMac" failed.  Eventually after a long nerve-wracking waiting game the external reappeared with the files in tact and I was able to back up all essential files.  The external again appeared to be in fine working order with files opening immediately in PS no problem.  The files on the backup are also in fine working order, so I don't think the files or the external itself is corrupt.  

       

      Now that the external was being recognized again, I restarted LR, and within 30 seconds it shut itself down.  I forget the exact error message, something about a problem with the catalog.  Once again my external is now glitching, the files are unreadable now even in Photoshop.  Therefore it appears LR itself is having an effect on my external.  What do I do???

       

      I am completely right brained and have zero comprehension of what's happening here.   Please help!!

        • 1. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
          dj_paige Level 9

          Sounds to me like you have two problems. One is the hard disk is malfunctioning, or it's connection to the computer is malfunctioning. You need to run some diagnostics on the disk to check it's health. Lightroom does not and cannot cause a disk to go bad. They go bad by themselves.

           

          The second is that your catalog is corrupted. Or perhaps it is simply being affected by the hard disk problems. You ought to restore the most recent backup of your catalog file.

          • 2. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
            morganj_8 Level 1

            As I don't know much about computers, I can't really soundly argue with you.  However, it seems strange that my external hard drive runs and functions perfectly fine and quickly UNTIL I enter LR and access the August 2016 catalog.  I'm thinking the catalog is most definitely corrupt, but I can't believe how much it effects the functionality of my external!  As soon as I access that particular catalog, the files on my external become unreadable and it moves extremely slowly.  I've since created a new catalog and have just been working off that, with the understanding that I will have to re-do any editing I had done for previous shoots on the August catalog (I never backed it up unfortunately). 

             

            I have to say that something about the connection between that corrupt catalog is effecting the hard drive directly though, because if it were bad on it's own accord why does it function perfectly fine with every other program and with LR, just with a different catalog?

            • 3. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
              dj_paige Level 9

              As soon as I access that particular catalog, the files on my external become unreadable and it moves extremely slowly.

              It would certainly help if you explained this in a lot more detail. Unreadable? Why do you say that? What do you see that indicates unreadable? Unreadable in Lightroom or unreadable by other programs, or both, or neither? Exactly what moves extremely slowly? If it is Lightroom that moves extremely slowly, what exact functions in Lightroom move extremely slowly?

               

              Moving extremely slowly, whatever you mean, is not a sign of catalog corruption and is not a sign of a hard disk gone bad. If either the catalog had become corrupted or the hard disk had gone bad, it wouldn't move extremely slowly (whatever "it" is), it would fail to operate at all.

              • 4. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                morganj_8 Level 1

                As I've said- computer illiterate so I'm sorry that my descriptions aren't up to snuff.

                 

                Upon plugging in my external, all RAW photo files have clear previews, and when double clicked in Finder, they will open automatically in Photoshop's RAW editor.  If I try to drag and drop a file or a folder to my desktop or another external, download moves at a typical speed.  Say 50 gigs will transfer in 10 minutes or so. 

                 

                After opening Lightroom with the August 2016 catalog as default, lightroom immediately starts shutting itself down.  Error messages (I can't quote them verbatim as I don't want to use that catalog anymore and risk my external's functionality) will pop up and LR will immediately shut down.  Then when I go to Finder and look at my external, file previews now are just colorful horizontal lines and gradients with no photographic image whatsoever.  When I double click on them, Photoshop gives me an error message claiming that the file type is unreadable.  When trying to move any files off of that external, 50 gigs now claims to take 2 days and moving 1-2 megabytes every couple seconds.

                 

                When I eject the external and plug it back in, it works fine again.  Previews are visible, Photoshop will open it, and now Lightroom will read everything, I just had to make a new catalog.  I attempted to import the old catalog into a new one, but it gives me this message : "Can not import from this catalog at this time. The catalog is either in use by another copy of Lightroom or was closed improperly. If it was closed improperly, please consider doing an integrity check when opening." 

                 

                I've uninstalled and reinstalled LR and no longer open that catalog, and everything seems to be working perfectly now.  I'm just trying to see what happened in order to prevent this from happening again, and whether or not I need to replace my external or send it in under warranty. 

                 

                Ultimately as I've stated before, the reason I think the hard drive is not to blame is the fact that it's only malfunctioning after using Lightroom with that particular catalog. 

                • 5. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                  Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Hate to say it but this sounds an awful lot like a hardware problem with your external. How is it formatted? One major thing to do with ANY external disk regardless of whether you will use it with a Mac or PC but especially with Macs is to reformat it into the OS' native file system. Since you have a Mac that would be HFS+. Most externals come formatted for windows machines and while it will nominally work, you will have performance issues and sometimes strange corruption issues, especially if the drive comes formatted NTFS. Now that might not be it, but the problem you are seeing sounds an awful lot like disk corruption or a problem with the cable you are using to connect it.

                  • 6. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    After opening Lightroom with the August 2016 catalog as default, lightroom immediately starts shutting itself down.  Error messages (I can't quote them verbatim as I don't want to use that catalog anymore and risk my external's functionality) will pop up and LR will immediately shut down.

                    Lightroom (and any other software) will not harm your hard disk. We need to know the exact error messages, otherwise it is difficult to help. Please give it a try and let us know the exact word-for-word error message.

                     

                    Then when I go to Finder and look at my external, file previews now are just colorful horizontal lines and gradients with no photographic image whatsoever.  When I double click on them, Photoshop gives me an error message claiming that the file type is unreadable.  When trying to move any files off of that external, 50 gigs now claims to take 2 days and moving 1-2 megabytes every couple seconds.

                    Show us a screen capture. What is the exact word-for-word error message from Photoshop?

                    Ultimately as I've stated before, the reason I think the hard drive is not to blame is the fact that it's only malfunctioning after using Lightroom with that particular catalog.

                    Software cannot cause a hard disk to go bad. Lightroom is not causing this.

                     

                    It is already having problems, you need to make backups immediately (if you haven't done so already). You need to run diagnostics on this disk. You need to check the connections at both ends between the external HD and the computer. Try changing the connection between the external HD and the computer to a completely new cable.

                    • 7. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                      morganj_8 Level 1

                      I guess this case will just have to go unsolved, because I'm not going to intentionally throw my external out of whack again just to find exact error messages and take screen captures.  Sometimes it takes hours to let the dust settle before the external will start working again. I don't want to push it one too many times and lose all of the files I have on there.  Everything of extreme importance is backed up, but I don't have a second copy of everything.

                       

                      I am perfectly fine believing there is some problem with the drive, because clearly it's not working normally.  But is there any explanation as to why this catalog in Lightroom is the catalyst that sets this malfunctioning in motion?  Because it is absolutely the catalyst.  There's nothing else I've ever done that has caused this issue with my external and it's files other than entering the August 2016 catalog in Lr, and nothing else I've done since that's caused any issues.  The catalog file is also on the external hard drive, could it be the corrupt file is kind of creating a sort of traffic jam and causing the other information to be inaccessible?  Like when you have some giant thing loading on your computer and it slows everything else down?   My ignorance of technical issues is extreme, I know.  But in terms of controls and variables, it seems to me that if the only time I have this issue is after opening this one catalog, there has to be something about that action that is causing my problem.

                       

                      The external is a 2TB and it's only about 40GB from being full.  Could that have anything to do with it?  Like RAM being maxed out on a computer?

                      • 8. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                        Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        morgan, you should run disk utility (just type that in the looking glass in the menu bar) repair on the external disk. It is highly likely there is some ongoing corruption going on with it. You might get lucky and get it repaired by this utility. This will only work if it is indeed correctly formatted to be formatted hfs+ (Mac OS Extended).

                        • 9. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                          morganj_8 Level 1

                          I did run disk utility right after this issue occurred the first time, and it said that the First Aid function failed and to do a back up if possible.  However, after the dust settled (time had passed just leaving it plugged into the computer and doing nothing with it), I ran it again.  Everything passed and was fine. ?  It's just strange!

                           

                          I am out of town and therefore away from additional storage.  I will likely just back the entire drive up when I get home in October and then reformat it.

                          • 10. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                            Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            I would suspect a bad USB cable if you get this sort of behavior where it seems fine sometimes and sometimes not.

                            • 11. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                              morganj_8 Level 1

                              I would suspect that too if it were happening off and on at any given time, but it's ONLY happening after accessing the August 2016 Lr catalog.  Of course I've stopped using that catalog as to prevent this from happening, and nothing has gone wrong since, so I feel like it has more to do with that file and the way it interacts between Lr and my hard drive.  However I just wish I knew why this was happening so I have insight going forward.  I wish I knew what I did that caused this corruption so that it never has to happen again, and/or whether or not I need to pitch this drive.

                              • 12. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                If the problem is only happening with that single catalog then that would indicate that the catalog itself is corrupted. That's one of the main reasons why there is a catalog backup procedure built into Lightroom. Have you tried restoring any backups to see if they have the same problem?

                                • 13. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                                  morganj_8 Level 1

                                  I know I'm irresponsible for not backing up catalogs.  It's silly of me but they just take up space and can take quite a while to back up- so losing all of my editing work for that catalog is totally my fault.  However I can't test the backup to see if it works because I just don't have one. 

                                   

                                  I totally believe that catalog is corrupt, wholeheartedly.  It's just I had no clue that a corrupt catalog could have that kind of an effect on the rest of the files on the entire drive.  It hasn't actually ruined anything, it just makes the drive inaccessible for sometimes up to a couple hours after attempting to open it.

                                  • 14. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                                    Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                    I totally believe that catalog is corrupt, wholeheartedly.  It's just I had no clue that a corrupt catalog could have that kind of an effect on the rest of the files on the entire drive.

                                    Lightroom does not actually access any original raw files except for reading them, so that's a mystery indeed and makes me think there is some hardware failure going on with this drive. The only exception to this would be if you are using dng files and have automatically writing out xmp metadata files turned on. Even then, without hardware failure it is virtually impossible for corruption to occur this way.

                                    • 15. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                                      morganj_8 Level 1

                                      Well this discussion is helping me realize some things then.

                                       

                                      At this moment, my RAW files are all fine and readable in Photoshop, Lr (in a different catalog), etc.  It doesn't seem that entering into that corrupt Lr catalog has actually effected my files, only the ability to read them or transfer them directly afterwards- and sometimes this has lasted up to a couple hours.  At this point I no longer want to test fate by attempting to open the catalog again. 

                                       

                                      Trying to open that catalog alone seemingly freezes my externals ability to function properly, but hasn't actually damaged any of the files. 

                                       

                                      I guess when I posted this question, I would have thought this might have been precedented and have a simple explanation that I was just unaware of.  At this point it's not really a big deal, I will back up everything I have upon returning home and either reformat the drive or send it in under warranty.  And back up my Lr catalogs regularly. 

                                       

                                      Thank you all for your help!

                                      • 16. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                                        jiulih16037484

                                        This is now happening to me. Creative cloud has been causing kernel panics on my computer and causing it to crash. I noticed that when running the activity monitor, the CPU% for Lr is through the roof. So I decided to back up the catalog on a hd. Computer crashed during file transfer and now that external Hd doesn't work. Thought it was bad. 12 hours later, copies catalog to another external and now that one does not work. I am at a loss here.

                                        • 17. Re: Lightroom Causing External Hard Drive to Crash ?
                                          Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          jiulih16037484, that is highly likely a hardware issue you are experiencing. Lightroom uses standard file system access routines. It is not really possible that something Lightroom does could cause this but it is more likely an underlying problem. You should check all your hardware thoroughly and make sure the OS is fully updated. If this is a Mac (which it sounds like) you might want to go by a Apple store and have it checked out. These constant crashes and kernel panics are NOT normal and most likely a hardware issues such as defective memory or motherboard issues.