A few months ago I moved to the monthly subscription for LR and Photoshop. After I did that, I did not have any issues with my Catalog. LR would occasionally ask me to back up my catalog and I did - to the default location which is C:/Users/[user-name]/Pictures/Lightroom.
I just started up LR today and got the following error message:
Lightroom catalog was not found.
The catalog at location (C:\Users\[user-name]\Pictures\Lightroom\Lightroom Catalog.lrcat) could not be found. Would you like to locate an existing catalog or create a new one?
When I looked in that folder, it was completely empty.
Unfortunately, my nightly backups are set to mirror my drives which means that when this folder was emptied on the disk, the backup that night cleared out that folder. Now, I have no backup of the catalog. Fortunately, the photos that I exported are in a different location.
What happened??? When were the files in this Lightroom folder deleted? Is there a known bug in LR?
Lightroom did not delete this catalog; most likely it was moved or deleted (inadvertently) outside of Lightroom. Use your OS to search for lrcat files to determine if it might have been moved. Also check your Trash Bin to see if the file may be there. It is unfortunate that Lightroom's default Backup location is the same disc as the original; Backup catalogs need to go to a separate external disc to be a true backup.
LR has no mechanism to delete a catalog file. So as stated above you the user or some other program you are using has either moved or deleted your catalog file.
Use the OS Search feature to look for a file ending with lrcat (LRCAT).