Catalogs disappear in PSE 15 organizer

New Here ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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This is a continuing problem for me.  I've had restore my organizer 4 times in the last year due to catalog issues.  The latest occurred when  I booted organizer from an external drive -- where it is always kept -- and discovered the plug was not firmly planted.  The only Catalog it shows in my "Manage Catalogs " has nothing in it - the standard "My Catalog".  When I check in my lastest"backup" folders, I can see a "catalog.buc" file but can't seem to do anything with it.  Somehow anything I name the catalog when I have to do another one doesn't show up.  PLEASE help -- what am I doing wrong?  Is there someplace that the catalogs are put by default?? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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docsheila  wrote

The latest occurred when  I booted organizer from an external drive -- where it is always kept --

You can store your catalog folder either in the default location... or where you want, in 'custom' location on another drive or master folder.

The default location is:

- in a 'hidden folder' in the Explorer (I assume you are on Windows), which means you have to set the explorer to show 'hidden files and folders'

- but it's clearly shown if you use the Help >> System Information in the organizer. The catalog manager lets you search catalogs in standard location or in 'custom' location. In the latter case you have to browse to the right location (external drive in your case).

So, it seems you have chosen to store (or to restore) the catalog folder on an external drive?

You can use your explorer to search for files named 'catalog.pse15db'. Those are the database files in their catalog folders.

You'll find files named 'catalog.buc' in your backup folders (not your catalog folders). Backup folders can only be used by the 'restore' command of the organizer. They are not simple copies, they are in a format used by the restore function to restore both your catalog and your picture folder tree, either in standard location or in 'custom' location.

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New Here ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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Michael;  thank you for the quick response!  Firstly, sorry, I'm using Mac but don't have an issue "translating" instructions from Windows:))

The last catalog I stored on an external drive but when I pull that up, nothing but data and cache files in it.  I have gone to the latest backup file to "restore" from that but the problem is that sometimes it's missing some pics/data because I missed a backup.  I had hoped that there was some way to view all of the "current user catalogs" under the Manage Catalogs so I could find older ones that had the latest info.  I'm guessing not.  I have found the db files in my library but have no idea why they are there or what to do with them:) 

I was hoping there was a way to pull up an "older" catalog when it manages to disappear as in my last disaster when the plug in the external was not fully seated -- apparently, you get one try to get into your current cat. and then it's gone? or no way to open it without doing the restore from the backup?

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New Here ,
Nov 03, 2021 Nov 03, 2021

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Hello, Michel

You've helped me in the past.

I recently had a similar probelem.  I opened Photoshop Elements Organizer without connecting the USB external drive where all the catalogs, all the actual photo files, are stored.  In "Manage Catalogs" NONE of our 7 catalogues appeared in "Accessible by All Users" or anywhere else.  I connected the storage drive, restarted Elements, and found the same result - no catalogs.  I'm pretty sure in past years I've made the same mistake, and once the storage drive was connected, the catalogs appeared normally.  In this case, I used "Custom Location", the "browse" button, to target the stored catalog file folders.  It worked!  All catalogs now appear (and function normally) under "Custom Location".  This event gave me a fright.  Is this normal?  With the catalogs now in "Custom Location" instead of "Accessible by All Users", will all be well?  Is there anything further I should do?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2021 Nov 04, 2021

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quote

Hello, Michel

You've helped me in the past.

I recently had a similar probelem.  I opened Photoshop Elements Organizer without connecting the USB external drive where all the catalogs, all the actual photo files, are stored.  In "Manage Catalogs" NONE of our 7 catalogues appeared in "Accessible by All Users" or anywhere else.  I connected the storage drive, restarted Elements, and found the same result - no catalogs.  I'm pretty sure in past years I've made the same mistake, and once the storage drive was connected, the catalogs appeared normally.  In this case, I used "Custom Location", the "browse" button, to target the stored catalog file folders.  It worked!  All catalogs now appear (and function normally) under "Custom Location".  This event gave me a fright.  Is this normal?  With the catalogs now in "Custom Location" instead of "Accessible by All Users", will all be well?  Is there anything further I should do?


By @josephunit2n

 

This is normal. What is misleading from Adobe is to call what is the default location "Acessible by all users".

As stated on my other answer in this discussion, there is a default location which is hidden by default in the Explorer. In the Organizer, you can see that location from the menu Help >> System Information. There is also another default location if you are using two different user accounts on the Windows computer and don't wish to share the same documents. The 'custom' choice means the catalog folders can be stored elsewhere.

That happens if you use the backup and restore process to "move" your catalog and media files to another drive.

You can also move the catalog folder from the Explorer where you want, in another drive or master folder.

The organizer normally stores the location of the last used catalog in the preferences; that can be in a 'custom' location. So, if you are looking for another catalog, you may search in 'default' location or in 'custom' location. In the latter case, you may have to help the organizer to find the catalog by navigating to the correct drive and folder.

 

Tips:

- to search for catalog folders in the Explorer, search for files named catalog.pseXXdb (XX being the version number, for instance 10 for PSE2022). The found files are in their respective catalog folders.

- To start the organizer with one of those found catalog.pseXXdb files, double click on them.

- There are advantages to storing in default or custom location. In default location it's simpler to locate all your catalogs easily, you may get the best speed. In custom location, you can store the catalog on the external drive with the data so that you are able to run the catalog instantly on two different computers just by plugging them in and out.

 

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New Here ,
Nov 06, 2021 Nov 06, 2021

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Thank you so much!  

Take care, stay well.

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