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Problems restoring PSE 2019 catalog with Photoshop Elements 2020

New Here ,
Jul 17, 2020 Jul 17, 2020

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I am a long-time user of PSE. I have thousands of photos, all annotated. I would really hate to lose all this data.

 

Previously I had PSE 2019, but it became unusable when I updated to MacOS Catalina. Before I updated, I did a full catalog backup to an external disk.

 

My photos are on the Mac’s internal disk in a sub-folder, organized into a folder structure that makes sense to me. This structure had not changed from pre-Catalina installation. I restored these photo folders and files from other backups.

 

I installed PSE 2020 just today & did a catalog restore from the external disk. I should mention that I am using a custom location for the catalog.

 

The first time I tried the restore, I neglected to select “Restore original folder structure”. It restored the catalog data successfully, but flattened out the folder structure so now I had duplicate folders (with duplicate files) in the top level, as well as lower in the folder structure. For example, if I had photos in “~/myPictures/myTravels/EuropeTrip/Madrid”, the catalog restoration created a new folder with the same photos in “~/myPictures/Madrid”. The catalog pointed to the new folder, not the original folder.

 

This was unacceptable. So I tried again. I renamed the newly created catalog folders so that PSE would think there was no catalog. I did the restore again, this time requesting that it restore the original folder structure. This time it created an entirely new folder structure, duplicating the entire file path (from root) within my pictures folder. Using the example above, I now have “~/myPictures/Users/myName/myPictures/myTravels/EuropeTrip/Madrid”. Again I have duplicate folders with duplicated photos in the wrong place.

 

What did I do wrong? How do I get the catalog restored and pointing to the existing files in the existing folder structure?

 

Are these the only options: restore folders in a flattened folder structure or duplicate my entire user folder under my photos folder?

 

Is there some way to just move the folders back into their correct place?

 

Is there some way to just restore the catalog without restoring the photos?

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Mac, Organizer, Problem or error

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Jul 17, 2020 Jul 17, 2020
The short answer is that what you should have done when installing PSE2020 is to simply accept the message asking you to 'convert' the previous catalog. A restore from a full backup is not needed. The conversion means the old catalog is read and all its contents are recovered in a new catalog in the latest database format. If you miss that opportunity, it's still possible to do the conversion from the catalog manager of PSE2020. The conversion process is much faster than a backup followed by a r...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 17, 2020 Jul 17, 2020

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The short answer is that what you should have done when installing PSE2020 is to simply accept the message asking you to 'convert' the previous catalog. A restore from a full backup is not needed. The conversion means the old catalog is read and all its contents are recovered in a new catalog in the latest database format. If you miss that opportunity, it's still possible to do the conversion from the catalog manager of PSE2020. The conversion process is much faster than a backup followed by a restore and nothing is altered in your 'custom' media folders tree.

 

Now, I assume the restored catalog is working normally and your problem is the (unused) duplicates created in your last attempts. You have your own 'custom' master folder, which is good. The most obvious way in your case seems to create a new custom master folder and restore there with the original folder structure and then to use the Finder to delete everything under the old custom master folder. Or, if you don't have enough diskspace, you delete first and restore after.

 

 

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New Here ,
Jul 19, 2020 Jul 19, 2020

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You called it. I renamed the current master folder to hide it. I then restored the old master folder from my backup, including the last used catalog from PSE 2019 (which I neglected to do before, not knowing exactly where it was). I was able to  convert that catalog to PSE 2020 and all is well. Notes & data & images in place with no duplicates. Now I just need to bring the restored master folder up to date. It's missing some recent files. But that definitely beats hunting down & deleting duplicates.

 

Thanks for the great info. I now understand under the PSE hood better.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 17, 2020 Jul 17, 2020

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Is there some way to just move the folders back into their correct place?

The problem is to delete selectively the duplicate subfolders.

Is there some way to just restore the catalog without restoring the photos?

In your case, you need simply to convert the catalog. Generally you can always copy or move the whole catalog folder somewhere else, even in a new drive, partition or master folder. The contents are not changed. The location of the catalog is given by the menu Help >> system infomation.

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New Here ,
Sep 15, 2020 Sep 15, 2020

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Hi Michel,

 

1. We had to replace our ancient MacBook Pro with a new MacBook Air. After a successful migration, we upgraded our Elements 15 to Elements 2020. The installation was successful except for:

 

1. We had three catalogs on the old MBPro E15 version. Only one of the 3 moved over to E2020. Have tried to follow directions from the support pages to restore the other two but to no avail. We have all the previous photos and back-ups stored on a dedicated external hard drive and it appeared that the E2020 found one of the three catalogs. 

 

2. One restore catalog file attempt indicates that at least one of the two missing catalogs exists already. We don't know how to reconnect that catalog so Elements Organizer recognizes it. Any ideas besides calling tech support and wait for hours?

 

We're in our 70's and it's quite challenging to navigate all the changes, the tech language, etc. We only purchased Elements 2020 September 4 or 5 and have not been able to do it despite many attempts to find support. I also purchased a second Elements 2020 for my own laptop but I've been so absorbed in getting my husband's program working to start the great reorganizing of my own files on Elements 2020.  Any advice is so appreciated. 

 

Jade

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 16, 2020 Sep 16, 2020

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Jade,

When installing a new version the organizer searches for the last used catalog and prompts you to convert it.

If you have several catalogs, either in the default location or on 'custom' location, it's up to you decide which catalogs to convert.

In the catalog manager (menu File >> manage catalogs) you have a button 'Convert'.

In the dialog that opens, you are shown a number of catalogs with their versions and number of items.

You also have the option to click on the button 'Find more catalogs' to browse to the custom location. You can also tick the box to show already converted catalogs (you can convert them again).

Can you fnd your other catalogs from this menu?

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New Here ,
Sep 16, 2020 Sep 16, 2020

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Dear Michel,

 

You're the best! This is the second time I've benefited from your expertise and generosity. Why can't Adobe support provide the clarity you did. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Guided by your response, we were able to convert the catalogs for use in E2020. All is well and he no longer despair the possible loss of years of work. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jade

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 16, 2020 Sep 16, 2020

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Jade,

I am very happy that it worked as designed.

Just a note about Adobe Help.

There is a good online help doc about catalogs. Practically all users of this forum ignore the 'Resources' section on the top right of this page; in the 'Troubleshooting' section, There is a subsection about Catalogs, including this paper:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop-elements/kb/backup-restore-move-catalog-photoshop.html

 

You also have 'Similar discussions' for each new discussion. Unfortunately, many users would prefer only discussions about Elements rather than all Adobe softwares.

 

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New Here ,
Sep 16, 2020 Sep 16, 2020

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Thanks again, Michel. I’ve saved it.

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