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I bought a new computer which has elements 19 on it
My old computer had elements 12 on it and I did back up with incremental .tly
When I ask new version to restore catalogue from .tly it says I need two back ups from two sessions to backup and will not work. I cannot load catalogue at all as I ahve only one back up .tly
From all the discussions about the incremental backup in the organizer I gather that most users don't get how it does work, because it's counter intuitive and lacks proper help. And also too many users are happy to create incremental backups the wrong way without ever testing how to restore. If you do master the process, you soon realize that it does not bring much more time saving than full backups. So I also imagine that it is very rarely used, which is a good thing.
Two key notes:
- each incremental backup is stored just like a full backup in its own folder (which should be named in a clear way with the backup date), just after a full backup has been made. The most common error is to save in the same folder, and otherwise not to keep all the incremental folders plus the original full backup folder.
- If you follow correctly the restore process from the online dialogs, you start with the newest incremental folder, then the next older and so on until you reach the full backup folder. The advantage is that you can restore to any backup stage.
So, if you have only a single backup.tly file, that means you only have a part of the incremental backups. You may look for the 'catalog.buc' file in that folder. It's a renamed copy of the catalog.pseXXdb database file. You can rename a copy back to its original state, for instance 'catalog.pse17db' for PSE2019; put that copy in its own folder and double click on it to open the organizer with that catalog. You should recover most of your organization saved at the time the incremental backup was made. That only restores the catalog data, but nothing is changed in your media files. You'll get missing files and you'll have to import again newer files; you'll lose grouping features (albums, stacks, version sets) created after the incremental backup; you'll lose face recognition data and more, but that's all you can recover if you have another backup way to recover the media files.
- Only use the incremental backup option if you master it and have tested the full process of backup and restore
- Use the full backup for periodical backups and always to move to another computer
- It's a good idea to have also one of the many backup solutions which are faster and automatic; they bring more safety even if they only backup the media files and perhaps the catalog folders, even if they don't keep the linked updated in the catalog.
"Can I change the end of .buc and rename it .tly or where do I put your file pse17.db on new computer and how do I get PSE to open it?"
You can create a new folder which will become a new catalog folder; for instance you name it 'myrestoredCat'.
You copy and paste the catalog.buc in this future catalog folder.
You rename catalog.buc from the explorer to its previous name: catalog.pse17db.
What can you do with that myrestoredCat folder?
Double click on the catalog.pse17db file just as you would do with a normal full copy of your catalog folder.
If the catalog.buc is not corrupt which is rare, the organizer of PSE2019 will open with myrestoredCat as the catalog and remember its location as a 'custom' destination catalog for future use.
The organizer will recreate many of the missing components of the catalog if the files, such as the thumbnails cache.
Of course, for that, the media managed by your missing catalog must be available in the same location. Either your problem is to deal with a corrupt backup folder or you have another kind of backup to restore the media without the catalog.
All the information stored in that main catalog.pse17db sqlite catalog is available as before: tags, captions, ratings... and also albums, stacks, version sets! You are losing mainly face recognition or visual similarity.
The most frequent situation where recovering such a 'light' catalog is useful is when a backup folder can't be restored because the backup.tly is missing or when there is something corrupt in the backup folder but not in the catalog.pse17db database itself.
Not exactly your question, but about backup.tly files in a backup folder.
The principle chosen in the organizer backups is to store renamed copies of all the media files and other components of a catalog in a flat folder form and to use backup.tly as a sort of table to store the full path structure to be able to restore in the same folder hierarchy. This file is not documented anywhere and I don't know if it stores anything else.
You can observe that during a backup, the first file to be written to disk is the catalog.pse17db after it's renamed to catalog.buc. Then the renamed media are written, and the very last file to be written is the backup.tly. Frequently users don't wait enough until it's totally written or unplug the external backup drive too soon. So the restore process can't start if there is no valid backup.tly. I always check that it is written before quitting the backup process. It's also frequent that the restore process freezes after some time on account of a corrupt file. In those cases, the catalog.buc is still valid and enables restoring a useful catalog but not the media files themselves. Another reason to use both the organizer backup regularly as well as another kind of backup (faster and programable). And also to copy or backup the catalog folder itself frequently, which is really fast from the Explorer.
I can't guarantee that the above process will work on future versions.
I re-read the conversation and I was probably wrong in assuming your backup was made from PSE2019. If it was made with PSE12, the renaming of the .buc file should be catalog.pse12db. To start the organizer with that catalog is problematic if you don't have a working PSE12 on your computer. You might try renaming the .buc file to catalog.pse12db and to use the PSE2019 catalog manager to 'convert' that catalog (not tried it myself before).
As I said before, that workaround requires that you still have the media files on your computer or that you have restored them from another kind of backup. In this case, I don't see another solution than re-importing in a new catalog.
Please be patient until I check the procedure on my computer.