Serious lightroom glitch - all files gone from the hard drive!

New Here ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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I ran into a serious - and I mean serious - LR issue today - all files got deleted from my hard drive! The following happened.

- working on a picture in RAW applying presets, playing around with sliders etc - just what one does

- all of a sudden a "face" - and I mean a face - appeared on the wall behind my model - almost as if blending a picture in with PS

- I immediately too a screenshot assuming I would not be able to re-construct this once I moved off the picture

- moved to another picture to see if the same thing would happen - nothing

- moved back to the first picture - still in RAW - face still there

- started to export the file via the export dialog - wanted to capture this as a Tiff as I assumed there was some sort of a technical glitch which I would not be able to reconstruct

- pressed "export" button in the respective dialog box - ALL FILES DISAPPEARED 

- puzzled - looked at the folder structure indicator 0 files in the folder I worked from

- went to Finder to look at my hard drive folder - 0 files, all gone

- went to my trash can - nothing - I cannot find those files anymore - this is no joke - files are gone or at least not visible (have a backup but...)

- press of the one button got rid off almost 1000 files in a second

I am puzzled and I dont know whether I can trust Lightroom anymore

 

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Crash or freeze, Mac, Problem or error

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LEGEND ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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Lightroom Classic does not delete your photos without the user instructing Lightroom Classic to do so, and even then there is a confirmation dialog box for you to confirm that is what you want to do.

 

Restore from your backups. Check the hard disk for malfunctions.

 

The "face" you saw was a poltergeist, you need to contact your local Ghostbusters. Or possibly, you computer has a virus.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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Sounds like a virus

 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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If you (Quote) "Immediately took a screen shot" (End Quote) why haven't you included it in your post?

 

As stated above LrC does not Delete file unless the User Tells it to do that and then there is a Conformation dialog box that comes up.

If that dialog box that comes up it tells you how many images will be either just removed from the catalog or Deleted from you hard drive & removed from the catalog. Those are 2 separate buttons you need to click depending on which action you want to take.

There is Also a CANCEL button.

 

2020-12-10 19_16_33-LrC V10 Catalog - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.png

 

Even if you were to Select All (Crtl + a) then hit the x key to Flag all the selected images for removal and then hit the Crtl + Backspace key that same dialog box would come up and you would need to select one of those button before anything would happen.

 

Also I agree "Who you gonna Call? GhostBusters!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 10, 2020 Dec 10, 2020

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Have you rechecked your drive to see if the image files are still there? Like the others said, LR does not automatically delete files... without at least two separate dialog boxes for you to click on delete....

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New Here ,
Dec 21, 2020 Dec 21, 2020

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I have had a similar experience - Lightroom did not ask to delete- I was moving files from my HD (Mac-Catalina) to a Drobo for backup.

I dragged and dropped the folder onto the Drobo, everything looked great, the progress bar worked but, at the end I had notification that some files couldn't be moved- I don't know why. there were 8 files that stayed on my HD. So I check my Drobo only 16 files moved across the rest, 1200 files just disappeared, they are not on the Drobo, they are no longer on my HD or in the trash, just gone. So where do I go now ??? I am searching both the Drobo and my HD but as yet no luck any suggestions ?

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2020 Dec 22, 2020

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Just an update to this - and a response...

- run virus protection on a permanent basis - no indication of anything... not before nor after the event.

- ran the disk drive tool to check for issues, nothing. All HD are fine.

- spoke with Apple support - we tried different things (including the Apple hardware check on rebooting) - nothing.

And, no, LR did not ask me anything. As I said, this is not about an intentional deletion of files or virtual copies. Pressing the "export" button on the export dialog box seemed to have caused this issue. 

I spoke with IT friends - no explanation other than what I had assumed to some extent - file system corruption. But I checked all of that with the tools available and support - all fine. Also, assume for a moment that there was a file system error and the files got deleted/ corrupted before the event somehow (i.e. when I pressed the button the files were already gone) - why would I see all files in the LR folder (and the previews in the preview ribbon at the bottom) and LR would not complain about having "lost" the connection to the underlying physical files?

Regarding the ghost image - probably a memory issue somehow overlaying two pictures - never seen this before. Then again, if this was a memory issue then why did it not go away when I moved between different pictures and when I went back to the original image the overlay was still visible? 

All backed up and seems to work fine.

I m still puzzled - what happened and where are those files?

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 22, 2020 Dec 22, 2020

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In these cases it's critical that you separate what happens on application level and what happens on operating system level.

 

A file deletion is always an OS operation. But Lightroom can send a request/instruction to the OS to delete files, initiated by the user. In that case you will always be presented with a series of dialogs confirming your intention.

 

The Lightroom catalog is virtual. It doesn't contain the photos, just pointers to their physical location on disk. The actual files are still managed by the OS.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 22, 2020 Dec 22, 2020

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@George_DC 

If the photos were on one disk and the files were on another disk, a malfunction on one disk would explain how the thumbnails are still there when the files are gone. Or if they are on the same disk, you might have a bad sector on that disk.

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New Here ,
Dec 22, 2020 Dec 22, 2020

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thanks - all on the same SSD - so that would explain potentially the thumbnails still being visible while the actual files might have been gone. If there was a bad sector and the files did get corrupted would LR not start missing the underlying files? The folder in the library did show the files (well, it showed a number obviously...) until the issue with the ghost image happened and I tryed to export that file...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 22, 2020 Dec 22, 2020

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My thought "out of the box ", it's likely Lightroom has lost contact with your image files!

Have a look at the article available at the link below and it may provide some hints about what actually happened.

 https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-catalogs-top-10-misunderstandings/

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.2.3, LrC 10.2, Lr 4.1, Ps 22.3, Pr 14.8.0; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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