Without a response to my earlier post I'm considering just importing my 90k photos to my new version of Elements. However, in trying to test using import from files and folders I can't uncheck the 'copy files on import' option as it's greyed out. The photos need to stay where they are. Any suggestions?
Where are the files currently stored? And please give us a screenshot of the dialog that you say is greyed out.
I know almost nothing about Macs, but what happens if you import a folder? Does a dialog pop up asking you where to save the imported files? If not, then it is quite possible that the box is greyed out because it has no effect on what is about to happen - the import of files to the catalog. So just try importing a few files or a folder and see what happens.
Please help us understand what you want to do. If you state that you are on a Mac, Windows users won't answer and leave the few Mac users answer. I don't believe it's a specific Mac problem but the core of the question is to know if:
- you want to move the catalog and your photo files folders to a new computer or drive in which case you have to use the full backup and restore process.
- to install a new version of PSE or your Mac operating system on the same computer, in which case you have to only update your catalog without any restore or re-import
- the original photo files are on the main (default) computer or a different drive, external or internal; and where do you want them to be now (into which computer/drive?)
The fact you want to reimport suggests the first case. Then reimporting is a very bad choice. You are losing a great part of the information stored into your catalog, even if you have written metadata to files.
The fact that you get a missing checkbox for copying the files suggests that you are trying to use the 'Import from files and folders' option from an existing external drive. In that case the option is always greyed out because because you are supposed to keep the files where they are on the imported drive. It's only available if you use this option with a card reader or a USB stick.
The photos aren't moving - they're on an external drive and I'll want to access them in the same location. I have Elements 14 on my old mac and 21 on my new Mac, so I want to move the catalog from one to the other whilst maintaining the link to the external drive.
I've tried backing up but that's created copies of all the images (luckily there was enough room to do this) but I don't want to create another version of the images if I use 'restore' so not sure this is an option. It might work if I could just get the catalog and not the images.
I've tried just taking a copy of the catalog but the Mac gave an error when I tried to pick it up from a USB stick. I've now created a copy of the old catalog on the external drive & am trying to copy it to replace the empty catalog on my new machine. Will be a while before that pastes and I can try opening it via elements.
Now we have half of the necessary info to help you. Your photo files (what I call your 'library') is on an external drive, which is an excellent choice since it does not need any copy when you change computer.
What is missing is the location of your catalog. More precisely, your catalog folder which contains the main database and its associated files. You read its location from the menu File >> System Info of the organizer. By default it's in a hidden location on your system drive, but you may have moved or copied it anywhere else including into the same external drive as your library.
So, it's easy to copy and paste the whole folder from one computer or drive to another. That does not change the contents of the catalog, which means the links to the original photo files on your external drive are still updated. However, since you are using a new version of the organizer, the database structure has been changed and you need to 'convert' the catalog in the PSE14 structure to a new catalog in the PSE2021 structure.
First copy the whole catalog folder where you want: either in the default location on the system drive or beside the master folder of your library in the external drive.
Then, use the catalog manager in PSE2021 to 'convert' the catalog to the current structure version. The catalog name is kept and the old catalog is renamed with a ' 1' suffix.
I've located the catalog folder. I've copied the folder to the external drive in order to pick it up (trying to get it from a USB stick didn't work) and after several different errors I appear to have it in the right place. I'll get a strong coffee before I open Elements and try the conversion!
I now have a 'catalog conversion error'. sigh.
I now have a 'catalog conversion error'. sigh.
Here is the guide for troubleshooting conversion errors.
Try them in the order they are listed.
If you have difficulties with some of those steps, ask here for help.
You could also try this solution:
- create a copy of your catalog folder somewhere else in the new computer
- in that folder copy, keep only the catalog.pse14db file, delete everything else to get a stripped down minimal catalog
- close completely your PSE2021 computer, reboot.
- double click the catalog.pse14db file to open the organizer with the minimal catalog.
In many types of conversion errors, this relatively fast step creates a catalog keeping all your keywords, tags and albums (with their hierarchies) but not face recognition, similarity tagging and automatic creations. The thumbnail cache is re- created automatically (that will require several hours).
If that does not work, please report the error message.
Well I have made some progress, thank you. After my second attempt I was still getting the conversion error so did as you suggested and deleted all the other files. I still got the conversion error but cancelling and pressing on with 'Done' has successfully opened the catalog. Now have a different issue as it's seeing the external drive as being offline and while I can reconnect a file manually it will take a while to do 90k this way. Off to Google...