13 Replies Latest reply on Jul 25, 2006 4:23 AM by (Jim_Jütte)

    Can't backup my PSA file


      I recently lost a PSA file somehow when I started a new catalog up in Photoshop Elements 4.0. The new catalog was given a different name, but for some reason my original catalog of over 10,000 photos is gone.

      In trying to figure this out, I went back into Photoshop Album Starter Edition 3.0. The catalog that came up was current through January 2006 (8000 photos), which was good news in case I don't recover my original catalog. I was advised to back this information up before trying anything else, but I have had some trouble. PSA SE 3.0 doesn't seem to have a backup/restore function like PSE 4. I found the PSA file and tried to back it up to a CD from outside of PSA SE, but an error message immediately informed me that Windows had encountered a problem and could not copy the file.

      How can I possibly back this file up? Any more suggestions for getting my original PSA file back?

      Thank you very much!

      At my wit's end,

        • 1. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
          Level 1
          This is probably something you already did Kristie, but I will ask anyway.
          Did you check the Recycle Bin?

          • 2. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
            Level 1

            I did check the recycle bin. There is a wide variety of files in it at the moment, a lot of which I don't even recognize. I'm assuming the file would have a .psa extension on it, and I didn't see anything like that.

            • 3. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
              Level 1
              I just tested a catalogue and the extension was not what I expected. I
              assume that you checked for My Catalog?
              As I look back over the thread, I'm not quite sure why you need it? What
              should have happened when you started PSE 4.0 is that it imports the
              catalogue from SE and then makes its own copy. After that point, unless you
              go into SE, any additions would only be in 4.0.

              Can you confirm that PSE 4.0 did NOT do this?

              • 4. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                Level 1

                The lost catalog was imported from SE months ago, and I have added a lot to it since then. The problem is that I don't know what the name of that catalog was. There is a file called "My Catalog", but clicking on it brings up only a very limited catalog from 2005. PSE 4 did convert the file properly and told me it would save the old file under a new name, so "My Catalog" ought to be the right one, but for some reason it's not.
                • 5. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                  Level 1
                  I no longer have PSA-SE on my PC. I am just getting the kids some lunch.
                  When I come back, I will reload it and and have a look... Ideally it will
                  have some obsure name but we will be able to find it. I know it is a pain,
                  unlike PSE it only has one and doesn't allow you to see the pathway from
                  within the application.

                  • 6. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                    Level 1
                    I tried something different so that I could identify the catalogue right
                    away. When I reinstalled it, I made it accessible only to MY account. It
                    appears to have installed it ONLY once, but in a very strange place with a
                    strange name... My Catalogue-pju.psa in a temp folder under my name only...

                    Not sure if that helps, but maybe it is a start. I'm a bit tired today, so
                    if this is of no help, I will need to do some more searching tomorrow.

                    • 7. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                      Level 1

                      I have a file by the same name. I have no idea how long it's been there or what it's for. Forgive me, I'm not very savvy when it comes to this kind of thing!

                      I'm wondering if, for the purposes of backing up my old PSA SE catalog, it might be better to open it up in PSE 4, convert it and back it up from there. I'm wary of doing anything that might make my lost catalog less likely to be recovered, but since this SE catalog contains so much information, it's a very high priority for me to find a way to back it up.

                      I did a search for all my PSA files and tried to take a screenshot because there are so many of them, but I couldn't paste it in the body of this message. Perhaps the forums just can't handle screenshots?

                      In any case, thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate it.

                      • 8. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                        Level 1

                        I tried to back up my PSA SE 3 psa file again, and this time it worked! I don't know what's with my laptop. It has been going on the blink lately for reasons I cannot discern. Yesterday the monitor went suddenly black as I was talking to someone through the internet, and then the system wouldn't shut down at the end of the day.

                        In any case, at least I've got that file saved to a CD. I'm wondering if I should back up the whole catalog as well--of course I should! The question for me is should I or shouldn't I import the rest of my photos into that catalog before I convert it to a PSE 4 catalog in order to do the backup? I have been advised that it's better to do as little writing and editing as possible while I am hunting for my lost PSE 4 catalog, so I'm just a little worried about the risk of adding anything to PSE 4 at all.

                        The last mystery to be solved is, what happened to my PSE 4 catalog, and is there any way to recover it? I appreciate your help so far. Hope it helps that I've managed to backup that PSA file from SE. I've got to get photos ready for the county fair this week, so if I can't find this catalog soon I'm just going to have to count my losses and start over with what I've got.

                        Thanks again,

                        • 9. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                          Level 1

                          Sounds like you have more here at issue than PSA SE... could be a problem
                          with sys files, virus... I would advise you write down errors that you are
                          encountering or issues like what just happened and see if you can identify
                          the source.

                          I would offer to help, but I'm in the midst of a move. That said, if you
                          have the patience to wait, I will do what I can.

                          I suspect Colin Walls has been distracted, but he sometimes just can't help
                          himself and gives excellent advice. He and others may also jump in...

                          • 10. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                            Level 1

                            I appreciate the offer. Yes, I believe my computer is facing certain issues outside of Elements that could be complicating things. Certain very minor things have been a little bit off for a long time, ever since my brother partitioned the hard drive and installed XP Pro onto it. I had bought a larger hard drive in order to have more memory available, but the partitions in some ways have left me where I was with my older hard drive as far as memory is concerned. Some friends have recommended wiping the whole thing clean and starting over again. I have thought that is not such a bad idea, so I've been backing up all my important files in preparation for it. Just finished with my photos and Word documents.

                            My system seems to think it's operating well within the rules of whatever universe it has stepped into, so I haven't been getting many error messages at all, no matter what goes wrong. In any case, I'm not concerned about PSA SE anymore, as long as the backup I've made of the PSA file can be opened and reconnected to my photos without losing any pertinent infomation. Are descriptions that were written in the photo properties also contained in PSA SE's PSA file? I have written many extensve descriptions that I couldn't bear to lose! Perhaps I do need to worry about PSA SE after all...

                            I'm still holding out for my old PSE 4 catalog. Do you think I am risking anything by importing my PSA SE catalog into PSE 4 to back it up?


                            • 11. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                              Level 1
                              Hi Kritie,

                              Not at all... I have done this myself Kristie. FWIW, if you are having
                              troubles with the other things, you are on the right track to make
                              copies/backups and put them onto another computer or external drive and then
                              wipe the thing clean. I have only rarely had to to that. Ultimately constant
                              maintenance seems to have been my best friend.

                              • 12. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                                Level 1

                                I don't know if there's anything left that can be done regarding my lost catalog, but I am just about to transfer my PSA SE 3 catalog over to PSE 4 to beef it up and back it up. I got some very thorough advice on the forum at www.photoshopelementsusers.com about how to do this. It is a lot of work, but if the end result is a complete and backed-up catalog, then I have no qualms.

                                I'm assuming that what will happen is that I will open PSE 4, go into File>Catalog>Open, find the PSA SE 3 catalog in its folder and click ok. Then a box will pop up saying that the file (My Catalog-1.psa)is from an older version and needs to be converted, and the old file will be renamed My Catalog-1-1.psa. This means that My Catalog-1-1.psa (same old file, new name) will be the default catalog when I open PSA SE 3, correct? I already have a catalog named My Catalog-1.psa in PSE 4, so I am not sure what's going to happen when I try to convert it. I have an awful lot of converted psa files masquerading under similar names, so I'm just a little concerned about the one good one getting lost in the fray. I'm also assuming that I can't have my catalog open in PSA SE 3 at the same time as in PSE 4. Please tell me if I've understood this process correctly.

                                Sorry for the confusion, and thanks again,

                                • 13. Re: Can't backup my PSA file
                                  Level 1
                                  Pretty much... the conversion process will add another number though. For
                                  example, it might make it My Catalogue 1-2 or 1-1-1.psa. It will NOT
                                  overwrite it, if that is what you are worried about.