You are not the first person to report catalogs and backups have disappeared, but usually the answer is that you have mistakenly opened a new (empty) LR catalog, and the real one is out there, and you have to search for it using your operating system's search feature. Have you done this? Search all hard disks for .LRCAT files.
There's no way that LR will cause catalog files to disappear and backups to disappear, although I could imagine that a hard disk malfunction where some sectors of a HD have gone bad could cause files to appear to have disappeared, but even there that would assume that the same bad sectors cause both the active catalog and backups to disappear, which is quite a stretch in my mind.
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Thanks for the reply. Yeah, me and the Adobe support assistant did a windows search across my whole system for .lrcat files and tried the ones that came up with no luck. Also, when I opened Lightroom it just started empty and didnt ask to load a catalouge. Every other time I open Lightroom it simply opens the correct catalogue (I only have one) but this time it opened as if I had just downloaded it for the first time, with tutorial and all.
I haven't changed any file settings or moved any files at all and the PC was turned off overnight between me backing up and shutting down, then turning on and reopening LR. The only other thing I can think of is that my hard drive is fault and has misplaced the catalogues and backups, however, I also use the hard drive to store all my movies and TV shows which are all still intact and work correctly.
Hi there, I'm having a somewhat similar problem and am currently trying to figure out which recovery program would be best for recovering my catalog files (on a mac). Do you have any suggestions? What did you use, and did it end up working for you?
Thanks in adance
Once you get straightened out, always backup your catalog to an off-site server or at least an external HD so you can find it again. Typically you put hundreds of hours into your LR pictures and you don't want them to disappear if your HD crashes, or whatever.