Upgraded Catalog to v11 and all smart previews are gone and all previews are grey boxes

New Here ,
Dec 07, 2021 Dec 07, 2021

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I upgraded my Lightroom Catalog to v11 when prompted upon opening in mid-November. I have since been able to import over 10k more photos and work on those. However, I haven't needed to review any of my previous photos. Yesterday when I went to get an older photo from before the upgrade in the v10-v11 catalog, it said all my smart previews were missing (for 50k+ photos). I don't have the HDD attached for original photos but have been able to work off smart previews for the last few years with no issue. 
Now when I open the catalog it is showing grey boxes for all of the photos uploaded before the v11 upgrade. My photos that have been uploaded since are there and have smart previews attached. 
A few notes:

- I am using Lightroom Classic v 11.0.1 on a MacBook Pro
- I have tried deleting the previews folder 

- I tried re-upgrading the original catalog v10 and it is also showing grey boxes for everything 

- I tried opening a catalog from my backups from before the upgrade (and am prompted to upgrade it) and it is causing the same issue. 

- My smart previews folder is showing 5 GB in Finder and the Lightroom Catalog Settings but the histogram says I have 0 smart previews on my photos from before the upgrade

- I tried opening a backed-up catalog on another computer and had the same issue. 

- I have not renamed the catalog and all the previews.lrdata folders are in the right location

 

I am at a loss for what it could be. It seems the lightroom upgrade to v11 had some effect on my previous photos as all my recent ones are fine. I don't have all of the originals anymore either so I can't just rebuild smart previews to fix it. Any workarounds or solutions to this would be greatly appreciated!! 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 07, 2021 Dec 07, 2021

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It seems that your monitor profile is corrupt.

See here to resolve: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/how-do-i-change-my-monitor-profile-to-check-whether-its-corrupted/

 

If this doesn't help please try is to switch off the GPU support from the Lightroom preferences and check if that helps to fix the issue. 

Go to Lightroom > Preferences > Performance tab > Uncheck "Use Graphics Processor" > Restart Lightroom. 

https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/kb/lightroom-gpu-faq.html#troubleshooting 

https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/kb/troubleshoot-gpu.html 

 

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New Here ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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Hi Axel Matt, 

 

Thanks for the links to the other helpful processes. However, I tried both of these and neither of them helped fix the issue. I have also tried to downgrade Lightroom and open the old catalog and it is still showing the grey boxes. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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You see greyed previews because the photos are missing and Lightroom can't rebuild the previews. You do have smart previews, but you say your smart previews package is 5GB. That sounds very small for 50+ K photos. A smart preview is typically about 1 MB, so I would expect that your smart previews package would be around 50 GB if you had smart previews for all 50+ K photos. It seems that somewhere along the way you lost the older smart previews and your current smart previews are only of your new images.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Dec 18, 2021 Dec 18, 2021

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Hi Johan, 

 

Thank you so much for the insight. It definitetly seems small then if that is the case. It must just be the newer photos. Do you know how I might have deleted all those smart previews. I know for a fact I had them because I am constantly working on photos without my hard drive connected. I have even done the enormous task of making smart previews for the entire catalog and only 523 photos didn't have them (unrelated and explainable issue). Thanks for any insight! 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2021 Dec 18, 2021

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@The Passport Couple wrote:

Hi Johan, 

 

Thank you so much for the insight. It definitetly seems small then if that is the case. It must just be the newer photos. Do you know how I might have deleted all those smart previews. I know for a fact I had them because I am constantly working on photos without my hard drive connected. I have even done the enormous task of making smart previews for the entire catalog and only 523 photos didn't have them (unrelated and explainable issue). Thanks for any insight! 


 

There are two ways you could lose smart previews:

1: You selected the images in Lightroom and then deleted them via the menu 'Library - Previews - Discard Smart Previews'.

2: You removed/deleted the 'catalogname smart previews.lrdata' package from your catalog folder.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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New Here ,
Dec 18, 2021 Dec 18, 2021

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Thank you for the link. I am able to do this and connect the photos I have. Unfortunately, I don't have all of the original photos for multiple reasons. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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Something you said worries me. Maybe I misunderstood however, You say

you don't have the originals any more. Where are the actual photo files themselves? Not the catalog, the photo files whether they are jpeg,NEF, CR2 Or any other RAW, or psd or TIFF.  

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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Also you said you tried deleting the previews?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2021 Dec 09, 2021

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Normally when you upgrade a catalog to a new version it makes updated versions of the catalog, the previews the smart previews the dat. And they all take on the name of the catalog with v11 or whatever you renamed the catalog. Are those files showing next to your catalog in the pictures fo,Der?

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New Here ,
Dec 18, 2021 Dec 18, 2021

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Hi, 

 

Yes, unfortunately we had our hotel broken into and the hard drives some photos were on were stolen. That means quite a few of my photos don't have an original copy and I was working off the Smart Previews for those. 

Some other related posts suggested deleting the previews file in Finder (on Mac) and when you reopen Lightroom it will rebuild. Nothing changed, it rebuilt the file but I am still having the same errors as before where there are no previews or smart previews at all. 

And with the new update, there were new Previews and Smart Previews files for the updated V10-V11 catalog. They have the exact same name. I even went off an old catalog and am having issues there as well.

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New Here ,
Dec 18, 2021 Dec 18, 2021

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I was able to get my preveiws back. There were two files in my Lightroom folder with the same name so I deleted the smaller one and that worked. Now I am still missing all my old Smart Previews. Is there anyway to find that folder? I back up Lightroom to iCloud after every exit. It does not have a Smart Preview file in any of those backup ZIP folders. I also back up my computer everyday to CrashPlan but it also does not have any of the Smart Preview or Preview files on any of my previous versions. 

 

I don't think I will be able to get these Smart Previews back (but still crossing my fingers), but how can I prevent this from happening in the future? Is there anyway to add Smart Previews to the Lightroom backup? 

 

Thank you!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2021 Dec 18, 2021

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@The Passport Couple wrote:

I was able to get my preveiws back. There were two files in my Lightroom folder with the same name so I deleted the smaller one and that worked.


 

That is impossible. MacOS will not allow you to have two files with the same name inside the same folder, so there must have been a difference in the name (or in the extension).

 

Catalog backups only contain the catalog file (and since LrC 11 also a speciale lrcat-data file), not previews or smart previews. But you can backup your entire catalog folder with a separate backup utility, of course. Or better still, backup your entire disk. I am not sure why CrashPlan doesn't do that.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2021 Dec 18, 2021

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Backing up Lightroom using the Backup Feature in Lightroom when you close the application does not back up all the files inside Lightroom folder - only the catalog itself.

Yes it is a good idea to make a back up of Lightroom catalog with that feature. It is also really important to make and maintain a "complete" back up, of your Lightroom folder with all the .lrcat, lrdata type files in it, AND a back up of your folder or the disk where you keep the photo files themselves. In fact, it is best to have at least 2 back ups of all that on two or more separate disks.

And you said you do not have some of the drives that have the original photos on them??? All you. have is the previews?

If that is the case, you no longer have those images at all?

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