Elements Organizer/Catalog Problem

New Here ,
Jan 22, 2021 Jan 22, 2021

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Everytime I backup My Catalog, a duplicate shows up in the directory for each item.  This is making the My Catalog get bigger each time. 

 

How can I avoid the backup option making these duplicates?  My Catalog now has 71,064 items, the actual number of photos I have is about 23,300, the total showing in the Elements Organizer is 21,730.

 

Looking at My Catalog each photo is there 3 times.  The duplicates are renamed picture.1.jpg,  picture.1.1.jpg, and picture1.1.1.jpg.

 

I'd like to backup and restore without the program making more duplicates.  How can I get rid of all of these duplicates to make the My Catalog directory a normal size without the duplicates? How can I do this? Why does the program even create duplicates? Now that they're there how can I get rid of the duplicates. Is there a setting to correct this? I've read all the troubleshooting articles but none of them address this problem.

 

I'm attaching photos of how the items looks in My Catalog and how the items are showing in Elements Organizer.  

 

Pat

 

 

 

 

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Actions, Organizer, Problem or error

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021 Jan 23, 2021

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Hi Pat,

Just a side note: this forum platform leads you to 'attach' files instead of 'embedding' them in your post. The result is that many users reading your post will never open them by fear of malwares. Rather use the 13th icon on the top bar of the post to embbed your attachements, thanks in advance.

Your two screenshots tell us useful information, but we need to know more about your backup process.

1- Your photo files are in a master folder just under the C : root folder: 'My Catalog'. It's good practice to store your photo library there, but 'My Catalog' is used and understood by other readers as a catalog folder, not a photos/videos folder. I assume it's not really your catalog folder which should be in a hidden location under ProgramData as you can verify from the menu Help >> System Information. If your photo files were stored inside your catalog folder, you would have worse issues!

2- You are renaming your files. The duplicates you are getting keep the renamed filename while adding a -1 suffix. This excludes that duplicating takes place at the first import stage. What can explain such a duplication would be either the 'watched folder service' or a wrong workflow in the backup process.

 

To troubleshoot your issue and rule out the watched folder hypothesis, set it to nothing watched.

Then, describe in detail your backup process.

Do you first backup on an external drive,

Then do you restore them back on the C drive?

With which options?

Was the 'My Catalog' on C created by a restore or directly by yourself?

 

Also, to clean up your library, it's interesting to know if you have mainly tags and captions or if you have a lot of stackes, albums or version sets?

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New Here ,
Jan 23, 2021 Jan 23, 2021

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I backup My Catalog to Drive C.  All of my photos are in a directory on Drive C, My Pictures.  I have them catagorized by year, event, etc. In My Catalog I have tagged them with people names, year, event.

 

I created the My Catalog on Drive C and have restored it from that location. 

 

When I look at the files in My Catalog there are directories which are the same as the ones in My Pictures.  I haven't renamed any of the photos in the Elements Organizer. 

 

When I backup the catalog, the program renames each picture with -1, -1-1, -1-1-1, etc. This makes the My Catalog directory larger each time I backup.

 

What I want to do is get rid of all of the duplicates in the My Catalog directory.  They do not show as duplicates in Organizer but the name is changed to name-1,jpg and so on.  I want to keep the name the same as it is in My Pictures.

 

I've tried to embed a clip of the two directories but can't seem to figure out how to it when the clip is in my computer.

 

 Pat

 

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021 Jan 23, 2021

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So, you are creating a full backup from your photos directly on the C drive? For your safety it does not make sense to store the backup folder on the same drive: if that drive is no longer available (theft, fire, flood, disk crash or user error) you can't restore anything. However, technically, instead of using an external drive as the support for your backup folder you can create a dedicated new folder on the C drive. The backup is stored in that backup folder. It's recommended to name that folder with a very clear name to distinguish it from normal photo folders, for instance "BackPSE2021-2021-01-23".

As stated in my previous post, your catalog folder, which is stored by default on the hidden ProgramData system folder will be found by the menu Help >> System Information.

What you did not clearly state before is that you are performing a restore from the backup folder on C to the photos folder (My Pictures). This restore will necessarily try to write back the files in their original location. I suppose you have chosen the option to keep the original structure. You should receive a message to allow 'overwriting' of the original files or 'skipping' them. If you did not, the result will be that the restore will save a renamed duplicate in the same subfolder location if the file still exists. That's my explanation for the creation of duplicates, unless I did not understand your workflow.

Now, two practical issues: using a safer worklow and cleaning up the duplicates.

 

Use an external USB drive for your backup folder. Choose if you want to restore the backup over the original files or if you want to restore the photo files (and the catalog) to another location: other drive, partition, master folder.

My personal choice is to restore the photo files on another drive or partition, just under the root folder (C, D...S,T...)

No risk of duplication, no risk of remaining files no longer in the catalog backup.

If you choose to keep your files in the 'My Pictures' system folder, test the restore process to watch for the message to overwrite or skip. Create a small catalog, do a backup and restore on the same location.

 

To clean up the duplicates there is no fast and easy solution. Be sure to keep your latest backup folder for safety.

The organizer menu Find >> By filenames lets you select duplicates with the criteria filename ends with -1.jpg, but that also selects version sets with names ending with edited-1.jpg. So you'll have to create a search combining two criterias: files ending with -1.jpg AND files don't contain 'edited-1'. You may also have other types of extensions like .psd, .tiff, .png...

Your problem will be that the majority of your files are indeed duplicates, and that PSE is unable to delete such a big number of files in one batch. In my experience, only deleting a few thousands may succeed if you have enough RAM. In which case, after selecting the duplicates I would assing a keyword such as 'dupl' to select smaller batches and delete the files progressively.

Instead of deleting, you might also move the duplicates to a new folder. Then select the remaining files, write metadata to files. Create a new empty folder and reimport only from the original folder.

We can discuss your options in more details.

 

 

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New Here ,
Jan 26, 2021 Jan 26, 2021

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I finally gave up on trying fix my catalog problem.  I found an old backup on my older computer which I copied to an external Drive H: My Catalog, along with the H: Adobe/Elements Organizer. I then uninstalled Elements, reinstalled it and restored the old backup.  It worked well and I only had to add a few photos that were not in Organizer.  I also copied My Catalog and Adobe/Elements Organizer to an additional external hard drive in case one fails.

 

Now I'm afraid to backup this corrected My Catalog because I don't want duplicate photos to be created in the catalog.  How can I avoid this?

 

Are there any worthwhile new features in PE 2021 wth more options?

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Pat

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Explorer ,
Jan 28, 2021 Jan 28, 2021

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Looks like you found an easier way to solve the issue.

I have had photoshop elements for many years 20+.

Every year at Christmas I back up my photos. Never had a problem with this except last year with the same issue of duplicates (2). I do a full backup. I am also afraid to back up this year.  But I have been having a new problem to deal with constant crashing of the organizer. Right now I cannot back up because elements crashes in about 10 minutes into the back up. I sent a message to technical support and after 2 emails back and forth they havent responded back in 10 days. Hopefully Michael can give advice or direction on this issue

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