Now Lightroom Catalogs are database files. And just like database files from other programs, or Documents created by a Text editor, the data files are not deleted when you upgrade, or update, the program software.
You say- "none of my old catalogs available.." What do you mean by this?
Have you done a global search of your operating system looking for files that have the file-type suffix of [ .LRCAT ]?
Any .LRCAT file is a catalog.
So let us know what you find after doing a search.
You can open any .LRCAT file by a Double-Click with the mouse, or a Right-Click and choose 'Open'. (in Windows OS)
If the LIghtroom program (which you updated) is opening without any images, on the main menu select- FILE > OPEN RECENT, and tell us what you see.
I didn't say my files were gone I said the catalog (or at least it's contents as displayed in the navigator) were gone. By that I meant that there were no Folders displayed, despite me having 5 different hard drives and nearly one hundred directories with imported content. All the files are still there - that was never a worry. And the .lrcat file seemed to be undisturbed. But I couldn't see any of the folders, or even the Folder portion under Navigator. After quite a bit of sniffing around and comparing with an older (still not updated) version of a different computer it turns out this is just a head scratching change in Lightroom. Previously, the Folders portion of Navigator was visible whether you were in Library or Develop module. Maybe this is a preference setting I made at some point, or maybe not... Either way, it was how MY LR worked in the prior version. With this new version you only see the Folders drop-down section under Navigator when you are in Library module and not any longer when you are in Develop module. Why change that behavior? Again, maybe this is a setting I had made previously - to see the Folders when in Developer module. But if that's the case then why change any user preference with an update?
And BTW - File > Open Recent > opens the recent catalog -and because I was in Develop module the last time I was in LR it starts again in Develop module and doesn't show any Folders in the Navigator.
Check the menu / file / open recent /
and see if your old catalog is listed.
It sounds like LR created a new, empty catalog during the upgrade and opened that one instead of your old, full catalog.
The catalog is the same - it's the behavior of the Library and Develop Modules that has changed. I was in Develop Module and now you can't see Folders under Navigation when in Develop Module. You have to switch back to Library module to see the Folders. It's annoying....
I cannot say I ever remember seeing a Folders panel in the Develop module. There is a Collections panel.
Go to the Library module. There is NO Folders panel section in the Develop module.
There has never been a 'Folders' panel in the Develop module.