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PSE 2020 catalog could not be opened. Internal programming error occured

Community Beginner ,
Jul 19, 2023 Jul 19, 2023

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I cannot open my PSE 2020 catalog - it gives me the error "The catalog could not be opened. An internal programming error occurred."

The only advice I have been able to find refers to PSE 2018 on this thread, https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-elements-discussions/catalog-could-not-be-opened-internal-p... ,which seems to be along the lines of using the convert catalog feature. This doesn't seem to work for me - I can't find any catalogs to convert.

Before this, I had moved the catolog, which is on a removable drive, from my (Windows 11) laptop to my (Windows 10) desktop. Something confusing happened with OneDrive on the desktop downloading files. For reasons I do not understand, some images ended up linked to the onedrive folders on the C: drive rather than the removable drive.

I stopped synching to onedrive and tried to fix it by moving files within organiser. That fixed some cases, and I tried to reimport the remaining ones, but PSE wouldn't reimport them as they were detected as duplicates.

Although the situation was stll a bit confused, I thought that I had mostly tidied it up. But, when I moved the drive back to my laptop, I got this error when I tried to start Organiser and I now I can't open it on the desktop either. So I am locked out of my photo library - how do I fix this?

I guess this is not a complete disaster as the images are still on the disk and I have a backup of the catalog that is maybe a few weeks old but it would be a miserable chore to recover the work I have done since the last backup.

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Bug , Organizer , Problem or error

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Community Expert ,
Jul 20, 2023 Jul 20, 2023

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@Billy5FE5 said:  Before this, I had moved the catolog, which is on a removable drive, from my (Windows 11) laptop to my (Windows 10) desktop.

Please explain in more detail what you did.  

What exactly is on the removable drive - the catalog folder, the media or both?  How did you move the catalog from the default location on the C drive to the removable drive?  Copy and paste or backup and restore?

 

@Billy5FE5 said:  I guess this is not a complete disaster as the images are still on the disk and I have a backup of the catalog that is maybe a few weeks old but it would be a miserable chore to recover the work I have done since the last backup.

 
If you are talking about the work you have performed "tidying up" whatever it is you did with OneDrive, I'm not sure it would be such a bad idea to go back and restore that older backup. 

 

If you hold down the Shift key while launching the Organizer, it will bring up the Catalog Manager.  This will allow you to see your catalogs, possibly repair the current one, and if necessary convert an older catalog. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 20, 2023 Jul 20, 2023

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Thanks for picking this up @Greg_S. 

 

Please explain in more detail what you did.  

What exactly is on the removable drive - the catalog folder, the media or both?  How did you move the catalog from the default location on the C drive to the removable drive?  Copy and paste or backup and restore?

 

I moved the library on to the removable drive by doing a full backup of the catalog and the media on to a backup drive. Then I restored the catalog and media from the backup drive on to another, new, removable drive. (I am using PSE 2020, so I don't think I have the option to only backup the cataolg seperately.) 

If you are talking about the work you have performed "tidying up" whatever it is you did with OneDrive, I'm not sure it would be such a bad idea to go back and restore that older backup. 

I am talking about an exercise I have just completed where I went through 25,000 items and star rated all of them, then deleted 3,000 to 4,000 images that I decided I did not want to keep. I can repeated this, but it will be time-consuming.

If you hold down the Shift key while launching the Organizer, it will bring up the Catalog Manager.  This will allow you to see your catalogs, possibly repair the current one, and if necessary convert an older catalog. 

I tried that (that tip was in the thread that I linked to above) and did not see any catalogs that were available to convert or repair. I have to admit that, by that stage, panic was starting to set in and I decided to step away from the keyboard. I will try again later today when I get a chance to spend some more time on it.

I have had a series of problems with the catalog, which I had hoped would be cleared by a full backup and restore, but PSE just seems to getting less and less reliable.

For convenience, here are the links to the other threads where I have asked for advice recently, but they are too long and involved for me to expect you be able to get your head round them - they are just here for completeness. The point is that ever since I moved the library on to removable media, I have hit a series of problems with the catalog and not been able to get an explanation of how PSE is behaving. 

Most recently, having changed the drive letter of the drive and backed up and restored again, many images were linking to files in the old folder structure and to the old drive letter (I have absolutely no ideea why or even how.) I went through these and reconnected the anomolies and thought that I had straightened the catalog out.

https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-elements-discussions/tools-and-tips-for-tidying-messy-file-...

https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-elements-discussions/change-drive-letter-breaking-links-to-...

This may the last straw for me and PSE. If I can't get to the bottom of this, I will never be able to be confident that PSE isn't going to lock me out again and I will need to look at how I can best migrate to an alternative.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 21, 2023 Jul 21, 2023

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@Greg_S. 

I tried following these instructions, from the thread I linked to in my original post.  

  1. Open Elements Organizer, when Organizer is launching keep Shift key pressed.

OK

  1. You'll see Catalog Manager dialog.

OK

  1. In the opened dialog click on new, specify any name, click on Ok.

Created new empty catalog called “recover”

  1. When Organizer is Open, in help menu click on Updates and install all the updates.

Updates was greyed out, so I assume no updates are available.

  1. Once updates are installed, again open Organizer, in file menu select Manage Catalogs.

OK

  1. Click on Convert, a dialog will open.

OK

  1. In the opened dialog, click on the checkbox next to "Show Previously Converted Catalogs", you'll see a catalog.

This checkbox is greyed out and I do not see any catalogs so I can't complete any more of these instructions.

  1. Select the catalog, and click on Convert.
  2. Once the conversion is finished, close the dialog. and double-click on the name of the catalog in the active dialog to open it.

Above steps will restore your old catalog with all the tags and information.

Please write back if you have any questions.

So, there is another layer of mystery here. There are at least two catologs, the ones with my photos and the newly created "recover", but PSE doesn't list them here. There are other catalogs that I have created at various times recently, when trying out ways to restore the catalog. PSE won't list them either, even after using the button to find more catalogs and selecting the folder that explorer tells me hold the files catalog.pse18db, etc.

 

I have also tried to repair the catalog. PSE reported that there were no errors, but there was an option to repair anyway, which I took. PSE reported that the catalog was successfully repaired, but I still get this error when I try to open it.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jul 21, 2023 Jul 21, 2023

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Billy, please show us a screenshot of your Manage Catalogs dialog:

 

Ashampoo_Snap_Friday, July 21, 2023_10h11m12s.png

 

Also, please tell us the full path of all folders containing files named catalog.pse18db.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 21, 2023 Jul 21, 2023

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Screenshot of Manage catalog dialog with the option Catalogs accessible by all users selected

Billy5FE5_0-1689966206764.png

Full path of all folders containing files named catalog.pse18db

Billy5FE5_2-1689967507739.png

The one I want is P:\PSE Library\Catalog 2023. If I go to it as a custom location, it shows up like this.

Billy5FE5_3-1689967960866.png

 

If I go to the convert dialog, it doesn't show and the show previously converted checkbox is greyed out.

Billy5FE5_4-1689968003560.png

 

Hope this helps you help me.

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