I unfortunately crashed my catalogue just as I was fininshing a two year project. I have been saving copies of the catalgogue all the way through. Looking for which one to restore was confusing as there seem to be much fewer than I had saved.(I save it automaticlly when closing lightroom) Howeve one catalogue seemed to be completely different and one called nNu. So I tried that however this required importation of all of my photos and had no record of my extensive editing. I suppose this is the last resort back up copy. Is it possible to go back and try all of the others too? How do you go through this process. I have a large number of negatives that had been processed with neg lab pro.Plus a lot of other editing.
Let's not use the word "save". Let's use the word "backup", which is what (I think) you did.
Backup catalogs have file type .LRCAT.ZIP, and can be unzipped and then opened in Lightroom Classic using the command File->Open Catalog.
There is absolutely NO importing in this process. If you are importing anything, you are doing it wrong.
Hi dj_paige. Thanks for coming to my rescue. I am confused. Does lightroom make zip files of the catalogue when I request a back up when the catalogue is saved on shut down? If so I have not looked for them There seems to be a file with a list of catalogues that have different dates but similar names.. I had thought that these were the back up catalogues.
In the this list I found an unusually named catalogue nNu which when I opened it requested that I should import from Photo Folder. I thought that was a fall back to reconstruct a catalogue from the photofolder. I am getting stuck in this list of catalogues with various versions of Lightroom when it was upgraded to version 4 In 2020. Or perhaps this is before I switched over correctly to LRc to be able to use Lab neg Pro I am confused. Is there a favourite place for storing the Zip files? I am scared
of wiping out all of the editing I have done I'll past the folder I am seeing the Nn catolgues are just the result of my searching today.
I can't find any Zip files. I searched document folder ( Win 10) for *.ZIP with only a couple of files. I searched for C/*zip with nothing and Tried Adobe with nothing though I didn't go into the Users files or System files. The main things I found were in download which I hadn't deleted. I must be missing something
Have Windows Explorer search all hard disk(s) and all folders on those disk(s) for files whose name ends with .ZIP or .LRCAT.ZIP.
There seems to be a file with a list of catalogues that have different dates but similar names.. I had thought that these were the back up catalogues.
These seem like they might be backups, but they should be zipped, that's how Lightroom Classic works.
Is there a favourite place for storing the Zip files?
You should always know what folder and what disk contains your backups, and apparently you are not sure. You need to rectify this. Furthermore, backups MUST go on a different disk than the originals, this is not optional, or something that you can choose to ignore.
I am getting stuck in this list of catalogues with various versions of Lightroom when it was upgraded to version 4 In 2020.
Version 4? What do you mean? What is the exact version number of your Lightroom Classic? Please go to Help->System Info and report the top 5 lines
Here is my system info a bit more than you wanted though. I have found mmy zip files and backups though they are in the same file as my catalogue. It is confusing to me and I would like help sorting it out.I could find the zip files by searching but which folder they are in
I will send a second report
Lightroom Classic version: 10.2 [ 202103041821-226a1211 ]
License: Creative Cloud
Language setting: en
Operating system: Windows 10 - Business Edition
Application architecture: x64
System architecture: x64
Logical processor count: 8
Processor speed: 3.0 GHz
SqLite Version: 3.34.0
Built-in memory: 16309.9 MB
Real memory available to Lightroom: 16309.9 MB
Real memory used by Lightroom: 606.1 MB (3.7%)
Virtual memory used by Lightroom: 656.7 MB
There is a folder Main Folder Archive in my main picture folder where all of the pictures are stored.
Main Folder archive looks like this
The backup folder is huge here are the last few entries
It doesn't say whether they are zip files though I suspect they are. Is that sufficient information?
I don't know what to do with them. I am also concerned that I may connected Lightroom to the wrong catalogue with my previous searching. I hate to trouble you like this but would like to know how I should proceed.
Each one of of those folders named with the “year-month-day hour- minuite “ when the back up was created. Inside each of those folders is the zip file if you expand the zip you will get the Catalog file which will have the .lrcat extension LRCAT.
That makes me feel comfortable. Should I delete those other confusing catalogues once I have the new one up and running? Is there any point in being able to go back to them? Also where do you recommend I should move all the backups? I think I should keep the Main Folder Archive intact with the backups. Do You agree? . At the moment as I have made a backup copy of my photos on an NAS the main archive folder bakup is there too. Now Lightroom is becoming confused into thinking that there are two versions of my photo files and is including both. How do I separate these and tell lightroom where to put the main Archive folder and the backup files? My hard drive on my computer is backed up automatically and I suppose I would not have to do any more if I put the main archive folder there. I am trying to move all of my data off of the hard drive on my computer as it keeps expanding and it is easier to have it off machine. Also how many backup files should I keep? I don't know whether they have value if the photo data has changed significantly over time. I need a better concept of the process.
Thanks for your great help
That makes me feel comfortable. Should I delete those other confusing catalogues once I have the new one up and running?
Only you can determine if you need those other catalogs. So asking us across the Internet about whether you can delete those other catalogs is not useful. You determine if you need those other catalogs by opening them and looking to see what is in them and then making a decision about whether you can delete them or not.
Backups MUST be on a different disk than the originals. It doesn't matter where on that different disk, as long as you know where they are and can find them as needed.
1) Is it normal to have many catalogues for one project as I seem to have developed? Do you see those catalogues as representing different projects? Is that the way things normally go?
2) I am still confused about the archive. If I move my "main folder archive" with the back ups. How do I tell Lightroom where to find it. Will Lightroom be able to find the other folders as well as the backup folder?
3) What will happen when I start a new catalogue. Would I then need another possible Main Folder2 Archive. I suppose I will need a folder to accumulate these different archives
Sorry about asking all of these questions but I want to avoid this problem in the future. You have been very very helpful. I was thinking that all was lost.
Is it normal to have many catalogues for one project as I seem to have developed? Do you see those catalogues as representing different projects? Is that the way things normally go?
I can't possibly say if it is "normal" or not. I can only say I don't do that.
I am still confused about the archive. If I move my "main folder archive" with the back ups. How do I tell Lightroom where to find it. Will Lightroom be able to find the other folders as well as the backup folder?
Moving the catalog file should not change anything; it still knows where the photos are located.
Lightroom Classic does not need to find backups. You, the human user, need to know where the backups are in case you need them.
What will happen when I start a new catalogue.
Make your life simple. Use one catalog. Do not start new catalogs. There are like a bazillion benefits to having one catalog, and very few drawbacks.
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I agree with the advice that dj_paige is offering. One Catalog is fine for managing all your image files.
You can import different projects into individual folders on your computed folder structure, and at the same time add the images to a collection with an appropriate name. The same can be done if you need to keep your personal images separate from your professional client images.
The link below provides access to a series of useful articles about the management of Lightroom Classic Catalogs.
Thanks both of you for the time and trouble you have gone through helping me. I realise that I should have understood all of this before starting on Lightroom, however it is easy to start up with photos and editing before thinking about structures and methods. My lack of understanding of where and how to deal with a ruined catalogue has left me with at least 70 back up catalogues. It would have been nice if Lightroom had said to me do you really need all of that back up. I am now in the process of reducing that to say 10
I was able to find the list of catalogues and it was easy to make a new catalogue. However it would be nice if Lightroom offered to restore a new catalogue from the back up supply. So I completely failed to know how to respond as the file locations and structures and uses were not laid out in any explanation that Lightroom gave. Thus it treats me as a photographer not like the owner of a new automobile who has to know how and where to jump start it even if he can't fix the fuel injection. Thus I don't know whether I should go to the back up list and just unzip the last back up where it is or whether I should move it to some preferred location in a new file. Windows likes to make things friendly by pulling together photos from the cloud. the C drive or any external d drive and a netword drive and putting them in one folder. It does the same with Lightroom. Thus I ended up with lightroom catalogues and backup files sitting in the same folder as photos from anywhere. After a time it becomes a huge headache. That is why I this time decided to put lightroom on a 5 Terabyte external drive with the intention of putting my export final file in a QNAP network attached storage which can be accessed externally from the internet. However I can't work out where the back up files should be.At the moment they are all in a folder with the Lightroom catalogue, the actual photos, and the backup folder on the 5 tb external drive. I tried to move the back up folder alone onto the computer but I was not allowed to. I don't see how I can change anything.
I am not belly aching or complaining. Without your really great help I would have been floundering miserably. The system is wonderful I have greatly improved my photos and it is a real joy to be able to work quickly and easily creating beauty out of average work. I have been able to capture really great photos from negatives and have learnt and enjoyed so much even though I have been learning slowly. The only thing is is that it puts a lot of pressure on your help as it is not sufficiently explained to someone who has also to try be a computer geek on the side and has to call for help. I hope I am not offending you as I really appreciate everything you have done it is just that I am flying without knowing how to find or use the parachute if there is one.
However it would be nice if Lightroom offered to restore a new catalogue from the back up supply.
Restoring a catalog is the same as restoring any file from any program. You copy the backup to somewhere and then you use it. This is not a function of any software, it is a function that the human has to perform.
I find your statement above to be quite confusing ... I don't know what it means to "restore a new catalog"; you can restore an old catalog from a backup, but a new catalog by definition didn't exist a minute ago and so could not be backed up. What do you mean?
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It looks like you have LrC set to backup the catalog everytime it exits. You can choose 'Skip this time' if you haven't done any editing or import of new image files. Your last backup ZIP file is in the the 2021/04/06 folder. Follow the instruction at the below video to restore it. You can also change your backup folder location as shown below to your network drive, but the other LrC folders and files must remain on the C: drive.
Todd Yes I did that deliberately as I was adding many files and changing the organisation. I am working with a 5 Tb drive and had a ton of space. I actually didn't know where these backups were going so did not think to interrupt as I was concentrating on the job at hand. However even this frequency of back up didn't save me as I found that after this crash, the project that was days away from completion is now in serious trouble as during this time I was removing many hundreds of duplicate files (10%) of 48,000 images and now with running on an earlier back up I have holes that I cannot easily correct over thousands of slides. In addition I was simplifyig the presentation of the images so that the file structure of my photo data base where I was working does not correlate with the structure of the Lightroom Database and I cant readily reconstruct what I had done and at the same time I am confusing Lightroom as I try to pull it together. It is now placing images where they do not belong without my having even looked at them. I hope the project isn't lost. especially the editing of the images as they were looking so good. My whole project has been on an external drive from the start. It worked well and was away from other material which meant that I could unhook it from the computer when I needed to.and could be safely stored.
Thanks for your kind help
Did you try my suggestion?
"Your last backup ZIP file is in the the 2021/04/06 folder. Follow the instruction at the below video to restore it."
If that's still a mess try the next older catalog backup file. We have no idea how bad the fragmentation and duplication is, but this will allow you to go back in time to perhaps find a better "restarting point."
Hi Todd Yes I did that. I had chosen the back up which restored the majority of my Catalogue. Though the in areas where I had been recently working this did not reconnect the files. I then (yesterday night) I have partially gone through each folder in turn by year to look for folders which were not connecting to their photos and elected to find them on my computer. I have steadily worked through that and have restored most instances. However I had in some instances done things like combine and rename folders to simplify the presentation so there was no correlation between the photo file and these folders in the catalogue. In essence I therefore had to reverse my course back to where I had been a few days earlier. I am still in the middle of verifying that I am not losing photos in the process. Finally when I think I have everything. I am going to the year root of each particular part of the catalogue and am re importing to that root from the corresponding root in my photos on the hard drive with the restriction that no duplicates should be made. This way I am trying to verify that that the year is intact and complete. I am still in the process of doing that but slowly to avoid making mistakes. I have done this for some 4 years with only occasional photos being found (except in one case where I found 10 or 12) Once I know that each year is intact I will start rearranging where necessary and then re editing them if necessary. I am hoping that this will make certain that the whole system is intact. I have one problem though which is the fact that the file for one year is missing from the catalogue, but at the same time I cannot reload it from my photo file as Lightroom says the photos are on the system and will not even allow me to load duplicate files. I would like to find the cause of the problem. But that will be the last thing I will tackle. There are also duplicates where I have imported files but the original entries in the catalogue remain empty. I will have to go through and delete the faulty entries. There are also photos that the duplicate file finder had signalled for removal but which the system did not follow. Thus there is a lot of clean up to be done as well as redeveloping some negatives that got missed. I will be wading through the mire for some time.
Thanks for your help
Since these are negatives shot prior to the import date I suggest adding keywords for the date shot (YEAR_MN_DY) and subject, etc. Then use CTRL/CMD + S to save the keywords and edits to metadata. That way you can use the Filter Bar> Text> Keyword to find specific date and subject files without having to worry about folder organization. Other than that suggestion it's difficult for me to help you further "from afar." BTW- I use a scanerless camera capture to archive negatives, and slides. Mark Sergal and I wrote an article on Luminous Landscape detailing our workflows.
Todd Thanks for that insight.I know nothing about keywords andhave not thought about using them to classify the origin or type of image that I am capturing. I had thought that a separated data base would be the most simple method. I realise now that I can't go that way. Thanks for sending me your article on scannerless capture of photos which I look forward to reading. That is what I have been doing with my Panasonic Gh4 I have found that it is essential to use RAW as it captures the beauty of the analogue colour capability of film. I also now see for the first time the failure of my old lenses and technique. Do you use Negative Lab Pro for your work? I am really impressed by the results.from it Thanks for your help
I know nothing about keywords andhave not thought about using them to classify the origin or type of image that I am capturing.
I suggest purchasing the below book by Peter Krogh on organizing your photos with Lightroom. It says Lightroom 5, but it's fully applicable to version 6 through LrC.
Do you use Negative Lab Pro for your work? I am really impressed by the results.from it Thanks for your help
I developed a workflow that uses Lightroom to initially process the raw image file and then Photoshop to do the final processing. When I developed this workflow there were no film plugins available like Negative Lab Pro. It still may be of interest and you can download the Luminous Landscape article and other assest I use for my workflow at the below Dropbox link. It uses a Photoshop action that automates the process and requires very little additional manual adjustment. The downside is that it requires creating a TIF file for the final processed image. I believe Negative Lab Pro works non-destructvely and probably does just as good a job. I'll have to take a look at it.
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"I was removing many hundreds of duplicate files (10%) of 48,000 images and now with running on an earlier back up I have holes that I cannot easily correct over thousands of slides. In addition I was simplifyig the presentation of the images so that the file structure of my photo data base where I was working does not correlate with the structure of the Lightroom Database and I cant readily reconstruct what I had done and at the same time I am confusing Lightroom as I try to pull it together."
It appears you are removing, renaming, and reoganizing files and folders from outside of LrC using Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder. This will cause LrC to lose track of the files and folders. All changes to your image files and folders (rename, move, or delete) must be done form inside LrC so that it can properly update the catalog's database. When you do this externally you create a NIGHTMARE MESS, as you've encountered! Please try the suggestions at the below link to see if you can restore the files & folders organization inside LrC's catalog.
I suggest donloading and reading the below lightroom Classic Quick start Guide
Better yet purchase the Adobe Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ book.
Hi Todd . No as a matter of fact I am not doing anything like that. The duplicates came from the fact that these are old photographs from various sources being pulled together going back to the 1960ies.but over the same scenes many on negatives that I am re developing. That is why I am thinking about having different catalogues to avoid the effort of blending the sources. I have been using plug ins to find duplicates and help to do the sorting as well as to develop the negatives. The problem came when the sytem stopped in the middle of this and I didn't know how to respond and probably did the wrong thing. (I was afraid of what might happen and accidentally probably caused it to happen.) I just lost control in the middle of a ground loop.
I sat up last night going over everything and trying to piece together the folders trying to avoid having to reprocess the images. Fortunately light room being non human is not getting angry with me (so far.) and I have all of the images and most of the image processing such as negative development etc..
I appreciate your kind help. I will look for the book that sounds very interesting. I had not heard of it.
p.s. the sort of problem that I couldn't handle was if lightroom has stalled should I shut it down and if so should I make a new back up in the process. That is where I chickened out. Maybe I should have gone out for a walk instead as it probably didn't need me and maybe it should have said leave me be for half an hour.
That is why I am thinking about having different catalogues to avoid the effort of blending the sources.
Use Lightroom Classic's organization tools to separate the sources. Assign the photos from Source 1 the appropriate keywords. Assign the photos from Source 2 different but appropriate keywords. And so on.
Then whenever you want to find photos from Source 1, you simply ask Lightroom Classic to find all photos with that keyword.
There are few benefits to having multiple catalogs, and many many many many many drawbacks. A word to the wise ...