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There is no direct way to do so Starter Edition but there are workarounds with some limitations
1. On you XP machine, you can choose to Email your photos with option to "Include Tags with Photos". Please select "Other (Save to Disk)" for email client and Size as "Leave as is". Using this, all your photos will be copied to a new location on your disk with tags embedded. you can then import these photos to you new Vista machine and tags will also be imported.
However there is a limitation then you tag structure will be lost. All you tags will be created "Imported Tags" category and not under Events, Family or Places.
2. Other way is that you copy the catalog of your XP machine to new Vista machine. Then you can copy all your files from XP to Vista machine and use the same folder structure as present on XP machine. That way, Starter Edition on Vista should be able to read all images and tags as well.
You can try these options. In any case, please do not change anything on your XP machine Starter Edition so that your phots and tags are safe.
Please let us know if this works for you.
You say "All you tags will be created "Imported Tags" category and not under Events, Family or Places." Can you them move the actual tags back to the proper header tags, or are you stuck with them under "Imported Tags"?
I guess that you can move the tags back to the actual header tags by simply right clicking on a particular tag, selecting "Edit tag" and then you canselect any category for that particular tag.I think that the effort required for this won't be too much as you anyways have your XP system for reference.
Or you can try copying catalog as has been suggested by Sachin above.
I tried option 1 without success (computer gave up on the processing of 15GB of images.
I then tried option 2 successfully, but it took me quite a while to find the catalogue files. Eventually I found them in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Album\Catalog Folders
I found that I had to copy the 'Catalogue Folders' folder and its sub folders.
I pasted them into the new location on my Vista machine, overwriting the new folders created with the install at
It then picked up all the thumbnails with tags all in the correct hierarchy. I then had to link back to the photos themselves, which was not simple with the tool. Instead I recreated the old XP path, by creating the folders 'Documents and Settings', 'User', My Documents' etc. and pasting the photos folders back in there so that the path matched the path shown in the Photoshop thumbnails.
It was then able to link back to all the old photos with no problem.
I omitted that the folder 'Catalogs' needs to be copied and pasted to the same location as the 'Catalog Folders' folder.
Hi Barry and Steve,
The workarounds that Barry found out were really ingenious but he might have saved some effort by simply copying all the photos to a particular location in the new machine and then manually reconnecting one of them, afterwards other files would have got reconnected automatically and rather quickly as well as after once doing it manually the path would have got saved.So it was not necessary to recreate the same path as in the xp machine.
Do tell us whether you were able to transfer your pics safely and successfully.
Chhaya, how do you "manually reconnect" a picture. My wife and I are having the same problem. Thanks!
Sorry to be so late into this thread, but, why is it that you want to
link them manually?
Thanks for answering, Jim!
It seems I must have written that post in the wrong place. I had been reading somewhere that someone said, "You don't need the same "file path sturcture", you just have to move the pictures over then "manually re-connect" one of them and the rest will follow".
We couldn't recreate the file path structure as we are going from XP to (shutter) Vista, and Vista won't let us make a directory called "Documents and Settings".
Still wondering what Chhaya meant by manually re-connecting one picture.
I'm now going to search to see where I saw this.
Jim, I'm back!
I wasn't showing "all messages" so I didn't realize the post I was referring to is post #6 above, signed by Chhaya Pandey.
Well, with PSA SE, (hopefully I'm not saying what you already know), you
start by clicking, "File", "Reconnect all missing files". In my case, it
hasn't always found all the files because I move stuff around alot. Thus
afterwards it shows two windows, the left is the thumbnail and the right
is the file PSA THINKS should go with the thumbnail. I think THIS is
where he is suggesting you reconnect manually because you can do this if
the match is not what you think it should be.
Thanks, Jim! Problem is that we click on the "Reconnect all missing files" and a box pops up on the screen saying, "There are no files to reconnect".
What did we do wrong? Did we move the photos over before moving the catalog.psa file? We tried manually creating the 150 tag catagories, thinking that might help (it didn't).
We can't have the same file structure as WinXP because WinXP uses "Documents and Settings", which WinVista will not let you create.
This has got to be the most frustrating thing we have ever had to do on a computer. We have spent since last Thursday working on this and are no further ahead than when we started.
Incidently, some users here mention this site called www.startereditionuser.com I have tried to connect there but can't. Is that site down?
Thanks in advance.... Gerry
You didn't do anything wrong. It means that of all the thumbnails in the
list, they are all connected. You might want to have PSA do another
search of your hard drive to refind and recatalogue the images.
I would recommend:
All hard drives and then adjust the size setting to find the images you
want it to find.
HOpe that helps, but file structures should NOT matter.
Just noticed that you are using Vista. Let me try tonight on the machine
that has Vista. I'm using XP... that might be part of the problem...
Thanks Jim...Tried all that - didn't work.
Ok, we have the file path structure duplicated (except for how it started in XP with the "Documents and Settings"). All the images are there - we can see them. BUT... none of the tag catagories (uncle Harry, the dog, etc) are listed going down the right side of the screen. I even tried manually typing them in (all 150 of them, dammit). Then I hit the "Reconnect..." but nothing happens. I've also tried "tagging" one photo and hoping the rest would get the hint. Nope.
I'm thinking that the problem might be with migrating the my_catalog.psa file over from the XP computer. We followed the instructions of moving the folder over with the my_catalog.psa and other files in it, but nothing happens.
Question: Do you move the my_catalog.psa file over first, THEN the pictures? Or the other way around? Or does it matter.
Quite the project - the pyramids were built faster.
Well, to be honest, what I would have tried, but haven't yet, so I can't
confirm it... I would back everything up to an external drive and then
restore to the new computer. In theory, it wouldn't matter WHAT you put
over there first because the software would do it for you.
We still have everything backed up on the external HD, which is how we brought all the photos over in the frst place. So we'll give it a try. Remove all the photos and copy them back. Will let you know, but I think we already tried that.
Geez, I'm sitting here typing this, something suddenly came to mind.
We have the pictures on the computer under C:\whatever. BUT!!! We also have them on the external HD at F:\whatever. Could it be that the program doesn't know where to get the pictures from because it found 2 instances of the same thing??? I'll have to look into disconnecting the external HD and then bringing over the my_catalog.psa file.
I'm confused. I would NOT remove anything. Maybe I should have asked
this before, but how did you initially do this? It would seem to be a
simply back up and restore or?
We backed up all the photo directories to an external HD, maintaining the directory structure.
Then we connected the HD to the new (Vista) computer and copied all the directories over. Then we found the folder with my_catalog.psa in it on the old (XP) computer and copied it over to the new computer. We then opened PSA and expected to see all the pictures there with the tags and tag directories listed down the right side of the screen. The generic tags were listed, but not ours. We could see all the photos though.
Not removing anything until you read and comment. Don't want to make a bigger mess of it.
Well I am reading the progress on your situation, trying to pick up some info. While I do not use the Elements starter edition, it has pretty much the same issues with transfereing catalogs from one machine to another and/or migrating from XP to Vista, as the other versions of Elements have.
I have been going through the gyrations of moving V4 on an XP machine to V6 on a Vista machine.
As suggested in other forums, I finally went to a two step process. First I added V6 to the XP machine that has the properly operating V4 on it. I did the conversion process to migrate the catalog to the V6 program. Yeah it does convert, but half the photos ( thousands) are disconnected. Reconnecting one and then doing a reconnect all does not work as suggested by others. Reconnecting all manually just aint going to happen.
I have tried the external hard drive thing and moved the catalog to the Vista machine but the results are the same.
While I am not an expert software person, I do have enough experience to know where the problem lies. It lies directly with Adobe and they have dropped the ball and put a seriously defective product on the market and so far have not fessed up the their responsibility.
A decision has been made regarding the new Vista computer. Bestbuy has a 14 day return policy on computers. Today is day 13. It's already back in the box.
The straw that broke the camels back was learning that my Office 2002 will NOT work on Vista. Only 2003 or newer will.
Dell still offers XP Home or Professional as an option.
We placed the order yesterday afternoon and have received the order confirmation.
Thanks to everyone for their help.
Sorry to be so slow in responding. A friend of mine needed some help
with renovating and I didn't really have good access to the internet. It
appears that you are already finding a solution that you need, but I
need to see if I can find a better one for people in the future.
If I run into any snags with the new WinXP Home computer, I'll be sure to post my problems here. Today is Thursday, new machine should be here by next Monday.
The new machine with XP works like a charm - too bad getting PSE to recognize the tags was as easy.
Here's how it went: I created a new user account, so that the path to the pictures was EXACTLY IDENTICAL to the old machine.
Now what steps should I take to connect everything? I've tried and nothing works. I have the time to undo everything and start from scratch if necessary.
Do I manually have to create the tag catagories (uncle Harry, the dog, etc)?
Do I move all the photos over to the new computer before or after installing the program, or does it matter?
I have all 5000 of the pictures there now, but when I hit "reconnect..etc.", it says there is nothing to connect.
I have moved the file my_catalog.psa from the old machine to the new one. Anything else I should be moving?
The procedure seems to work for everyone else. What am **I** doing wrong?
Thanks in advance
The default location for the My catalog.psa is C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Photoshop Album\Catalogs
If you place your catalog folder here in your vista system, all the tags get moved to your vista system and since the file structure is the same I guess all the files will get tracked by the application.
Do tell us if this worked.