Deleted RAW files by accident and need to export edits in Lightroom CC

New Here ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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Hello!

 

Please help!  I accidentally permanently deleted the original backup RAW pictures on my computer but still need to export the edits in Lightroom CC, but it obviously says FILE NOT FOUND.  These are important photos and I am not sure what to do.  I am sick about this!  Does anyone have any ideas what I can do with the photos still showing in Lightroom?  

Many thanks!  

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

LEGEND , Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020
First you must understand that there are Never any Images INSIDE the LrC Catalog. The catalog file is just a Database file that holds a record, a Reference, to where your images files are stored on your hard drive and whatever edits you have done to them.   So NEVER Delete images files from your hard drives.   Second ALWAYS have Current Backups of ALL, That is "ALL", of yourr IMPORTANT Files.   Here is a link to a script to extract JPG from the Preview files.   Script to extract previews of lost or deleted photos...

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LEGEND ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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Restore the photo(s) from your backups.

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New Here ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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I deleted the RAW files from my PC and cleared those permanently to make
room on my computer not knowing Lightroom CC needed them in order to work
with the imported photos. Now I am not sure what to do! The previews in
Lightroom say item not available or something to that affect. I am sick
about it. Can I do something with the previews to export them as jpegs?

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LEGEND ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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I deleted the RAW files from my PC and cleared those permanently to make
room on my computer not knowing Lightroom CC needed them in order to work
with the imported photos. Now I am not sure what to do! The previews in
Lightroom say item not available or something to that affect. I am sick
about it. Can I do something with the previews to export them as jpegs?

 

Do you have backups, or not?

 

Are the photos still on the camera card?

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LEGEND ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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First you must understand that there are Never any Images INSIDE the LrC Catalog. The catalog file is just a Database file that holds a record, a Reference, to where your images files are stored on your hard drive and whatever edits you have done to them.

 

So NEVER Delete images files from your hard drives.

 

Second ALWAYS have Current Backups of ALL, That is "ALL", of yourr IMPORTANT Files.

 

Here is a link to a script to extract JPG from the Preview files.

 

Script to extract previews of lost or deleted photos

 

There are others out on the net that may work better than the one I linked to.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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You mentioned deleting the "the original backup RAW pictures." Are these the originals or backup pictures? If these were originals then you are somewhat out of luck unless you have a backup somewhere, and if they were the backups then you can direct Lightroom to the originals or re-import them.

Previous posts have already addressed that what you see in Lightroom Classic are thumbnails of the images and not the actual images. 

Also, when Lightroom asks you about backing up the Catalog it is literally backing up the Catalog and it's settings and NOT any images.

warmly/j

 

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LEGEND ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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@josephlavine 

 

I think the OP "Assumed" that when he/she imported these images into the LrC Catalog file an Actual Copies of them was placed in the catalog file. So in his/her mind the REAL, Original, image files were just Redundant Backups of them. So they saw no point in keeping them and deleted them to make space on their computers hard drive.

 

This just Speculation on my part but to me it appears to be the case from their wording, "Backup RAW Pictures".

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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That's how I read it too.

 

If the original raws have been deleted, and no backups exist, then they are gone forever. Lesson learned the hard way.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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I was fortunate, in a way, because something similar happened to me very early on. So I quickly got the idea of backups hard-wired into my brain. These days, I don't sleep unless I have three copies of every important file. One of them always in a different physical location.

 

There is software on the market that will run incremental backups for you, either automatically or manually initiated. These are very reliable. They can usually be set up to cover almost any imaginable scenario and once set up, there isn't much more to think about.

 

Microsoft made an excellent utility called SyncToy. Despite the silly name it was a very capable little tool. Unfortunately they stopped development, so now it's back to the paid solutions (of which there are many). I tend to avoid freeware for this, I like to think the developers have something on the line and something to lose if it doesn't work properly.

 

Just one caveat: If you use external drives for this, check your cables and be careful to not move anything while the backup is running. Loose connectors can corrupt files!

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New Here ,
Oct 18, 2020 Oct 18, 2020

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On Windows 10, there is an "undelete" utility used through the command line. 
Here is an article on it from PCMag that may help:

https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-recover-deleted-files-in-windows-10

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