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Latest LR update deleted my catalog and emptied file folders

Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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I spent over an hour chatting with tech support. He could not explain why this happened or how to avoid it or prevent it from happening again. I had set up auto update and have now disabled it.

Has anyone else experienced this? Or have any ideas about why this happened? Has it happened to you?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Sounds like a rather simple problem. Installing Lightroom does not remove catalogs or images. Most likely Lightroom created and opened a new catalog rather than the existing one. I can’t tell you the name or location of your catalog, but the default location is a subfolder in your Pictures folder. The Lightroom catalog has a .lrcat extension. That should help you to find it.

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Thanks Johan. Unfortunately there is no new catalog in the Pictures folder or anywhere. I ran a search. Also, even if it created a new catalog why would it delete the photos from the file folders in my drive? LR is not suppose to touch the original file folder, right?

All of those final images were exported to Smugmug. When I checked Smugmug they were gone from there as well.  Do you have any ideas why any of this happened and if it'll happen again?

Thanks for your 1st answer. Bella

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Community Expert ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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I have never heard of this and quite frankly I find it very hard to believe that an update would do that. I still think Lightroom started with a new catalog instead of your old one. A new catalog won't show any of your photos, but that doesn't mean they are deleted from your disk. They are just not in the catalog.

Posting to Smugmug is not part of Lightroom, so I assume you used a third party plugin to do that. I don't know what that plugin does when it gets started from a new catalog, but it may delete the published photos.

Can you post some screenshots that illustrate the problem? Right now, we don't even know whether you use Mac or Windows and what versions, so that makes it impossible to help you sort this out.

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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It did it to me as well.  But now all of them, just 200 I took last month and spent hours editing at an event where I caught Covid.  Needless to say I'm not happy.  

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Community Expert ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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Hi @Jeff234411630h79   You are talking to other users, just like you, in this 'Community' forum. And as suggested above (by JohanElzenga in 2019!), we cannot even begin to give you any advice, help, or suggestions unless you provide more information about your current situation.

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 12.0.1 Photoshop 24.0.1, ACR 15.0, Lightroom 6.0, Lr-iOS 8.0.8, Bridge 13.0, Windows-11.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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LATEST

I feel for you. I just did an update to LR and PS and have just discovered that two of my LR folders in Pictures have been affected. One is completely empty - the other seems to have just a fraction left of the few hundred images that were in there. (I am %$#@#$) This was after an update, 12.0 release. And the Catalog that is open at the moment has all of the images (at least that I can see) but the respective folder of RAW files (usually in Pictures) has vanished. Where did it go? Well! I'll tell ya! Three folders have been placed in %^$# Dropbox!

I never asked for or selected Dropbox. I can't stand that application! So what the hell, Adobe?

This was an 'update' issue, not a selection.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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ivonneo76093304  wrote

All of those final images were exported to Smugmug. When I checked Smugmug they were gone from there as well.  Do you have any ideas why any of this happened and if it'll happen again?

Thanks for your 1st answer. Bella

By “I checked Smugmug”, do you mean at your Smugmug webpage, or in the Lightroom Publish Collection?

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Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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In the LR Publish Collection

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LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Ok, so no dark mystery as how updating the lightroom classic would have deleted published images in your Smugmug site. It did not.

Now, sometimes, and no, I have no idea why, and no, it has not happened to me, Lightroom upon update may launch a brand new catalog. And in that new catalog, no RAW images, no exported images, no entry’s in collections.

I have no idea if it forgot what’s the previous opened catalog was, I have no idea if the previous catalog had an issue (but no error message??), basically not a clue.

But, what it probably did not do, is to delete the previous catalog.

So, chill, accepts that sometimes shit happens, and use your OS to search for other .lrcat files

P.S. shit happens equates to make multiple backups of catalogs and images, on alternate drives.

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Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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****has indeed happened.

I have used my OS to search twice everything. The Tech guy did the same. I have gone in myself and opened folder after folder - no old catalog.

Setting aside the old/new catalog issue what, could you image, have happened to the actual image files in the hard drive folder? example here 2500 Prospect Green. Yesterday they were there, today they are not.  Thanks so much, David, for your input. I'm far from chill in this moment. Will now devise redundant backups. Screenshot 2019-06-02 20.57.38.png

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LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Perhaps a hard drive going out?

Is that an external drive? Problem with USB cable?

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Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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The E drive in an internal drive added by the company from whom I bought the computer. The ? marks from the C drive is my doing because I was moving all these folders to the E drive because it has so much more space.  I have tried to relink two of them. When I do, the action moves the folder to E but then says there are 0 images, when the folder is full.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Where you moving this file from within lightroom, or outside of lightroom (as in using file explorer)

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Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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I moved the folder originally in C into E using file explorer, then relinking by right clicking the ? marked folder and directing it to the E drive. I had done it this way before and had no problems. Was this the incorrect way to do it?

I had to get the files off of the C drive because I was in the middle of an import when a pop up said that C drive was close to full and could not continue.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Yep, that was wrong, lesson learned.

The better members may step in and assist on this.

Fairly sure the link I provided will be of help

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Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Thanks again. Good night.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 03, 2019 Jun 03, 2019

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LR by default creates, or wants to create if you allow it, a backup of your catalog every 7 days, once a week.

Find, Expand (the backups are compressed into ZIP files) and open your most recent backup. It should be no older than 7 day.

All your image file should be listed.

I also suggest you do a full scan of your system for viruses and or malware.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 03, 2019 Jun 03, 2019

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In that other discussion you said you did a search for "Lightroom Backups" and got nothing. The backups are not called LR backups.

You search for .lrcat or to be more correct .lrcat.zip (That is ​.​(DOT) LRCAT (lowercase) ​.​(DOT) ZIP (case doesn't really matter).

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Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Hi Johan,

You can find it hard to believe but it's true. I'm a PC user and honestly that is neither here nor there. In my research today I found a thread about this very problem that was started in 2017 and has it's last post on Dec 2018. Many others have experienced this deleted catalog problem. It's sad to read as the Adobe rep took such an aggressive tone continually insisting that the posters didn't know what they were talking about. That he couldn't believe it and that the problem was obviously user error. Lightroom catalog suddenly disappeared

Thanks for asking but I don't think that posting an image of my screen with a catalog of greyed out folders with 0 next to it will really tell you anything I haven't said. The tech support had access to my computer twice and performed a search and gave up. I performed a search for any extra .lrcat files and found none.

Thanks for your responses. Clearly there is a problem with some LR updates. And clearly Adobe is refusing to admit and troubleshoot. I appreciate your effort on my behalf.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Have you searched all of your drives for .lrcat? That is the file extension of the LR catalog file.

Have you searched your drives for the file extension of the RAW (various extensions are used) or JPG (.jpg) files you think have been deleted?

There is nothing in the LR install routine or the LR Update install routine that would delete a catalog file or image files from your hard drive.

It does not happen by installing LR or an update to LR.

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Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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Hello Just Shoot Me,

Yes, I read your similar response to people having the same trouble last year. Lightroom catalog suddenly disappeared   I have to say your tone and attitude to them was aggressive and downright nasty. That you would yell at someone clearly in distress (blame them "user error") and in need of help who is reaching out in a forum meant to be a helpful community, speaks volumes. 

I have no doubt that this happened to the folks in the link I shared. It has happened to me. And I have searched my harddrives and external drives and have only found this one and empty catalog and empty folders. And no, I did not delete them on purpose or by mistake. I am a professional and that is my work.

I would appreciate that if you choose to reply you keep your tone civil and helpful. If you can not, please do not reply.

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Explorer ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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I don't know if this is viewable but now I have a new issue. I relinked a folder of images and it shows 0 images in the catalog instead of the 294 that are in the file. Any ideas?  The folder is called 227 51st St. Its the 1st one in the E drive.

Screenshot 2019-06-02 20.36.49.png

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LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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That your Windows File Explorer shows images existing in a folder, but your Lightroom Classic Folder Panel, is not showing those images just means either they were never in the catalog, or got removed from the catalog (but not deleted from the computer)

The Folder Panel in Lightroom shows what images exists that are indexed into the catalog. It does not act as a file manager, it acts as a database file reporter.

Now, do you keep your images on multiple hard drives? Your Folder Panel indicates either you do, or that you have moved images or drives around, and Lightroom is confused. But, to each their own workflow, and their own file management approach. If you do file here and their Ok, if you do not, then an issue is occurring.

A more glaring issue is the ? mark in multiple folder locations.

Will post a link on missing images

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LEGEND ,
Jun 02, 2019 Jun 02, 2019

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