How to revise lightroom catalog after pc crash but not lose previous edits

New Here ,
Sep 05, 2022 Sep 05, 2022

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My windows 11 pc crashed and I need to reinstall LrC. But my original Lr catalog had stuff all over the place and I want to create a new library that allows me to find stuff more easily. But I don't want to lose previous edits. I'm not even opposed to creating whole new catalog as long as I don't lose previuos edits. Suggestions please.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 05, 2022 Sep 05, 2022

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The best approach, in my opinion, is to fix the existing catalog to allow you to "find stuff more easily". Fixing the existing catalog guarantees you will keep your existing edits.

 

Furthermore, in my opinion, you want to organize your photos using keywords and other metadata (and not by folder location); this will allow you to find things more easily and then it simply won't matter if you have "stuff all over the place".

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New Here ,
Sep 06, 2022 Sep 06, 2022

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Backup catalogs have file type .LRCAT.ZIP, and can be unzipped and then opened in Lightroom Classic using the command File->Open Catalog.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 07, 2022 Sep 07, 2022

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quote

Backup catalogs have file type .LRCAT.ZIP.


By @Sanket25996061tgmr

 

Not any longer. Since the new AI masking, Lightroom Classic now backups two files, the catalog.lrcat file and a catalog.lrcat-data file that contains the masks. As a result, the catalog backup is no longer called 'catalog.lrcat.zip'. Lightroom will first create a folder called 'Catalogname' and because that folder is then zipped, the name of the backup is now simply 'Catalogname.zip'. That could explain why some people can't find their latest catalog backup. If they search for "lrcat' or 'lrcat.zip', they won't find these new backups.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Expert ,
Sep 07, 2022 Sep 07, 2022

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@edwarda8778415 wrote:

My windows 11 pc crashed and I need to reinstall LrC. But my original Lr catalog had stuff all over the place and I want to create a new library that allows me to find stuff more easily. But I don't want to lose previous edits. I'm not even opposed to creating whole new catalog as long as I don't lose previuos edits. Suggestions please.



The main question here is what you mean with 'all over the place' and what/how you want to fix it. Lightroom Classic shows you the images just like they are: in the folders on your drive. So if images 'all over the place' means in all kinds of folders and subfolders, then that is where they really are. Start moving them around outside Lightroom and you'll create a mess. Lightroom will no longer know where they are, and 'reconnecting' images can become a nightmare if you moved images individually, because then you will have to reconnect them individually as well.

 

If you want to reorganise you folders completely, then you have two choices. The first option is to do this all from within Lightroom, using drag and drop in the folder panel. This will ensure that Lightroom knows what happened, and so it will not lose the connection to the images.

 

The second option is to first select all images and choose 'Metadata - Save Metadata to Files'. Lightroom will write all edits and other metadata to the files, either as a 'sidecar' .xmp file (raw files), or in the metadata of the file itself (other file types). Because Lightroom will read these metadata on import, you could create a brand new catalog, reorganise the images the way you want in Explorer, and then import them in the new catalog. This will preserve the edits and keywords, but not everything. You will lose edit history, flags, virtual copies, stacks, collection memberships. Personally I would not recommend this.

 

Finally, maybe you should reconsider the way you organise and search for images. The location of images in folders is completely irrelevant if you use keywords, collections and smart collections. My own folder panel is collapsed 98% of the time. I never have to use it to find images.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Sep 07, 2022 Sep 07, 2022

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Also, I didn't mention this but if you have some photos with exclamation point icons (indicating LrC cannot find them) or folders with question mark icons (indicating LrC cannot find them), then really the only option to retain your edits is to fix these problems in the existing catalog. If you try to create a new catalog, you will lose your edits.

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