Did you make a Backup of the original LR catalog file and then Copy that backup into the original LR catalog folder and open it in the new install of LR?
If not then you will need to import all your images into the new catalog file.
My initial reaction was, hugh? This should answer your question.
I'm a bit confused on why I would require a back up, when the location of the photos and data (catalog.Ircat.zip) were maintained on and accessed from an external HD. The only thing that was on the computer HD was the LR program. Does LR store data with the actual LR program on the computer HD? What I'm currently looking at are a series of folders and Ircat.zip files on an external HD. I refer to the folders as projects. These are backed up in the event of a catastrophic event.
So where do I begin.
Those zip files contain backups of the catalog. The catalog is a database. It is the file that Lightroom opens. The catalog contains the reference to all of the images that you have imported, where they are located, and all of the adjustments that have been made to them using Lightroom. The catalog is usually stored in a Lightroom folder inside the Pictures folder on your main hard drive. What you would want to do is restore from the most recent zip file, and place that catalog file on your main hard drive. Double-click on the catalog file. If your images are still located in the same location then Lightroom should find them and you should be able to go to work.
I found what appears to be the correct location under Pictures, Lightroom
I've discovered that the Ircat files were backed up to more than once location. I tried to do a search, but non were identified even though I can clearly see them. So, once I identify the latest Ircat file, do i drag it to the location (mentioned above) and then launch LR by double-clicking on it?
And, thank you for the quick responses.
Yes, that is correct. But remember that you must extract the catalog from zip file.
How do you correctly "extract the catalog from the zip file." If I understand the steps correctly, this is what needs to be done.
(1) Identify lastest Ircat.zip file.
(2) Move that file from the external HD and place it on the computer HD, where the LR program resides.
(3) Delete the current Ircat.zip file within the LR program, which happens to be void of data.
(4) Double-click on the new Ircat.zip file and this will launch LR.
Please confirm. Again, thank you.
You double-click the zip file to open it, and that will allow you to see the catalog file that is inside of the zip file. You have to drag the file from the zip file to the appropriate folder. The catalog file has the extension lrcat. Lightroom will NOT open the zip file.
Yes. Once I opened the zip file (Ircat.zip), two files appeared: "Lightroom Catalog.Ircat" and "Lightroom Catalog.Ircat.zip". So, for the update, these are the steps:
If you preformed a complete erase and reinstall on your computer and maintained the LR Ircat files on an external HD. These are the steps to reinstall/relink your photos to LR.
(1) Identify the latest Ircat.zip file on the external HD.
(2) Delete the current "Lightroom Catalog.Ircat" within the LR program (Pictures, Lightroom) on the computer's HD.
(3) Double-click on the latest Ircat.zip file (external HD). This will then produce two files: "Lightroom Catalog.Ircat" and "Lightroom Catalog.Ircat.zip"
(5) Drag or copy the latest "Lightroom Catalog.Ircat" from the external HD to the computer HD within the LR folder (under Pictures, Lightroom)
(6) Double Click the "Lightroom Catalog.Ircat" file from within the HD and watch the magic happen.