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Lost or Messed up Lightroom Catalogs

May 28, 2019

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Hi there

Please can someone help.

My Windows 10 laptop crashed so I restarted it.  I opened Lightroom and I got a message saying it needed to upgrade my catalog so I clicked upgrade. When Lightroom started all of my previews were gone.  (My photos are still on my hard drive.)

I wasn't sure of the catalog number when I tried looking for it; but it was either 2 3 or 4.

Lightroom for some reason wanted to upgrade each catalog, so now I have multiple versions of each one.

I have five initial catalogs in my Lightroom folder, (although I've only ever used 2) I tried each of them out, none of them are my current catalog. Some contain old photos but none of my 2019/18 images.

Any idea what has happened? Am I supposed to sync a catalog somehow?

Thank you

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Lost or Messed up Lightroom Catalogs

May 28, 2019

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Hi there

Please can someone help.

My Windows 10 laptop crashed so I restarted it.  I opened Lightroom and I got a message saying it needed to upgrade my catalog so I clicked upgrade. When Lightroom started all of my previews were gone.  (My photos are still on my hard drive.)

I wasn't sure of the catalog number when I tried looking for it; but it was either 2 3 or 4.

Lightroom for some reason wanted to upgrade each catalog, so now I have multiple versions of each one.

I have five initial catalogs in my Lightroom folder, (although I've only ever used 2) I tried each of them out, none of them are my current catalog. Some contain old photos but none of my 2019/18 images.

Any idea what has happened? Am I supposed to sync a catalog somehow?

Thank you

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Adobe Employee ,
May 28, 2019

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Hi there,

That does sound frustrating, let us help make this right.
As Lightroom asked you to upgrade the catalog, could you please let us know the version of Lightroom you're working on?
And what operating system are you using?

Do you see a TemporaryPreviews.lrdata. file in the folder where all your catalogs are stored?

Also, could you please go to File > Open Recent and let us know if you're able to open the correct catalog in Lightroom?

Regards,
Sahil

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May 28, 2019

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Thanks for the reply.

I see folders with the TemporaryPreviews.lrdata  files inside for each of the 5 catalogs, but I don't know which one is the correct one. I am using the latest Lightroom on Windows 10

When I go to 'open recent' I have all of the 5 catalogs I have recently opened. Is there a way I can find the catalog before this mess started?

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May 28, 2019

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So I have found the backups. The last one was at the beginning of this year, but it has the current catalog name , yet when I open the specific  catalog all my folders have disappeared. There are only 2 images.

I can use the backup, but i have lost all the folders, etc from this year

I have checked every catalog. None of them contain the correct files. I may have to use the back up are recreate half the years folders etc.

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May 28, 2019

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So after sifting through the catalogs I have found one that looks like the most recent but its missing the majority of my folders and images.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 28, 2019

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A crash should not cause Lightroom to upgrade its catalog, so what probably happened is that the crash corrupted the preferences. Because of that, Lightroom did not know which catalog to open, so it looked for a catalog with a default name, in the default location. Such a catalog happened to exist, but this was an old catalog and so you got the message that it needed to be upgraded. Check your hard disk for other possible locations of the correct catalog.


-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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Aug 11, 2019

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@dcooper7 the SAME THING just happened to me. I'm sick to my stomach that I've just lost so much work.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 11, 2019

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erinwa  wrote

@dcooper7 the SAME THING just happened to me. I'm sick to my stomach that I've just lost so much work.

LR automatically backs up the catalog file once a week by default, unless you change that.

So at the most you have lost one weeks work. So find the backups of the catalog, normally stored in a folder called Back Up as a subfolder to where the LR catalog file is stored, and unzip it and then overwrite or just open that backup catalog file.

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Aug 11, 2019

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My backups for the same time period as the missing files (all of 2018 and 2019) seem to be missing too. I know I've backed up many times during the last year and a half so this is very confusing and distressing to me.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 11, 2019

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Do you have a backup of the system drive?

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dj_paige LATEST
Aug 11, 2019

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erinwa  wrote

My backups for the same time period as the missing files (all of 2018 and 2019) seem to be missing too. I know I've backed up many times during the last year and a half so this is very confusing and distressing to me.

It sounds as if perhaps you have two different LR catalog (perhaps unknowingly), one which shows earlier photos, and one which shows 2018 and 2019.

Please do a search of all of your hard drive(s) using your operating system's search feature, for files whose name ends with .LRCAT, and then open each one in Lightroom by double-clicking on it, until you find a catalog that shows the 2019 and 2018 photos.

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