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Lightroom Classic - Preview Location for Specific Photo

New Here ,
Jul 18, 2021 Jul 18, 2021

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Hello!

 

I really need some help!

So I've lost all of my original photos, but previews were generated after import. I tried running the Previews extractor script, but realized that some of the photos are missing their previews. It may be because I've changed my catalog name - not sure... or the previews got deleted? Luckily I have OneDrive constantly backing up the folder containing all of my Lightroom stuff so the deleted previews may be in there.

 

My questions are:

Can the database file containing preview photo information be opened somehow so that I can see which original photo is mapped to which preview file? (This was I can search it in my backups)

 

Why would a preview file be missing in the first place?

 

Is there any rhyme or reason to how preview photos are saved and which folder they are in or is it completely random?

 

Thanks so much!

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Import and export, Problem or error

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 18, 2021 Jul 18, 2021

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It may be because I've changed my catalog name - not sure... or the previews got deleted?

Possibly, because the Previews cache must be named similar to the Catalog name.

RENAME CATALOG

 

My questions are:

Can the database file containing preview photo information be opened somehow so that I can see which original photo is mapped to which preview file? (This was I can search it in my backups)

No. The Previews are a cache of files controlled by the Catalog. If you 'open' a Catalog and do not see the Previews then they are not in the Catalog cache.

 

Why would a preview file be missing in the first place?

You may have opened a different Catalog. You may have deleted photos from a Catalog,  Or you did not rename both the Catalog and Previews cache at the same time (see the 'Rename' link above).

 

Is there any rhyme or reason to how preview photos are saved and which folder they are in or is it completely random?

It is controlled completely by the Catalog. All the previews are contained in the one file/folder {...\Lightroom Catalog-v10 Previews.lrdata}, specific to each Catalog (if you have more than one catalog).

 

If you cannot locate a Catalog with a 'companion' similar named ...Previews.LRDATA file that shows the previews, then you will be unable to extract recovered images.

 

(IF you ever created 'Smart Previews' in a Catalog, these may be recoverable from a \Lightroom Catalog-v10 Smart Previews.lrdata file/folder.)

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.4, Photoshop 22.5, Lightroom 4.4, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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New Here ,
Aug 07, 2021 Aug 07, 2021

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Thanks, I really appreciate the detailed response! I'll look into this now.

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