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Restoring Elements 2022 and its Database

Explorer ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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I need technical assistance in restoring PSE and my photo database. The database consists of ~46 GB with 327 folders and 17,446 files. The files were heavily tagged for location, date, subjects, etc.

 

A Windows 11 failure caused my system to brick. After a effort by Dell Premium Support, they determine that the system had to been erased and Windows 11 and its updates had to be reloaded. Once this was completed, I then had to reload my apps and data files. I have dowloaded Photoshop Elements 2022 Version 20.0 LS30_win64.exe, but I have made no attempt to install it. My data backup was maintained by iDrive.com. I recovered the photo folders and files, returning them to the same logical heirarchy in which they were located before the system failure.

 

Attachments 1 through 4 show the folders, files and paths. Attachments 5 through 7 provide Computer and OS details.

 

Any guidance would be appreciated. Ideally, can I return this system to its original state where PSE 2022 can properly access the backed up files and associated tags? What is the best path to take on recovery?

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correct answers 6 Correct answers

Community Expert , Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

Hi @KPS1941.  First, you need to install Elements 2022 on your new OS installation.   If you double-click the downloaded exe file, it should install the program fairly automatically.  (I assume you have the serial number to go with it, but you don't need to worry about that until you use the Editor.  The Organizer does not require it.

 

Next, you need to make sure the old catalog folder has been restored from your backups.  This is normally stored in the C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Elements Organizer\C

...

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Community Expert , Aug 01, 2023 Aug 01, 2023

It looks like the catalog file you have identified in response #3 may be the correct file.  The only way to find out is to proceed with installing the program and then double-click on the file before launching the Organizer.

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Community Expert , Oct 07, 2023 Oct 07, 2023

Ken, I guess the only way to find out what is in each catalog is to open them all.  I use a free utility called Everything

which allows me to a search for catalog.pse db and all Organizer catalog database files on my computer will be found. 

 

Ashampoo_Snap_Saturday, October 7, 2023_13h27m28s.png

 

I can then use a context menu to open the path for each and double-click on the catalog.psexxdb file and if the Elements version that created the catalog is installed on my computer, it will be opened.

 

I suggest you give this a try.

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Community Expert , Oct 12, 2023 Oct 12, 2023

OK.  So, the catalog manager is showing a single catalog in the custom location.  If you click on the radio button for Catalogs Accesible by All Users, are there any other catalogs besisdes one named My Catalog?  And if you open those catalogs, do you have anything besides an empty catalog?

 

In any event, with the Custom Location catalog selected, have you tried performing a Repair and Optimize.  It may take a while to perform each.  And even if you get a message that says no problems were foun

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Community Expert , Oct 14, 2023 Oct 14, 2023

Wow.  It took a while but I'm glad we were able to reach a successful conclusion.

So, before you do anything else, I suggest you use the feature in Elements 2022 to backup the catalog structure.  You should also do a full backup of your catalog and media using the Elements Backup/Restore tools.  At an appropriate time, I think you should restore the catalog to the default location accessible by all users.  And your media files should be restored to a new location such as C:\My photos (or to anot

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Community Expert , Oct 15, 2023 Oct 15, 2023
quote

 

So, before you do anything else, I suggest you use the feature in Elements 2022 to backup the catalog structure.  You should also do a full backup of your catalog and media using the Elements Backup/Restore tools.  At an appropriate time, I think you should restore the catalog to the default location accessible by all users.  And your media files should be restored to a new location such as C:\My photos (or to another drive entirely).  I can see your current structure being the source of pro

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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in the future, to find the best place to post your message, use the list here, https://community.adobe.com/

p.s. i don't think the adobe website, and forums in particular, are easy to navigate, so don't spend a lot of time searching that forum list. do your best and we'll move the post if it helps you get responses.



<"moved from using the community">

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Explorer ,
Sep 23, 2023 Sep 23, 2023

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Greg_S. and I have worked together for several weeks to try to resolve my problem described in "Restoring Elements 2022 and its Database." I haven't haven't heard from him in a while, so I don't know what that means. Can my problem (with the path we've followed so far) be moved to a more appropriate location?

 

I appreciate your help.

 

Ken

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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Hi @KPS1941.  First, you need to install Elements 2022 on your new OS installation.   If you double-click the downloaded exe file, it should install the program fairly automatically.  (I assume you have the serial number to go with it, but you don't need to worry about that until you use the Editor.  The Organizer does not require it.

 

Next, you need to make sure the old catalog folder has been restored from your backups.  This is normally stored in the C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Elements Organizer\Catalogs folder.  If you have not renamed or created a new catalog, the folder probably has a name like My Catalog.  If your old catalog folder has already been restored to your new computer, look for a file named catalog.pse20db.  If you find it, double-click on this file and your old catalog should open in the Organizer.  If the media files have been restored to their original relative locations, you should be good to go.

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Explorer ,
Aug 01, 2023 Aug 01, 2023

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I really appreciate your help!

#1--I have not yet installed PSE 2022.

#2--I've located "C:\ProgramData\Adobe\". It does not contain the "Elements Organizer" folder; it contains only a folder labelled "ARM".

#3--I've located the file named "catalog.pse20db". Its size is 94,701 KB. It is located in the folder "Elements 2022 Catalog". Here is the path:

"C:\Users\kensy\2022 Elements Catalog\Elements 2022 Catalog\catalog.pse20db"

#4--FYI, the media folders and files are contained in a folder named "Pictures" Here is the path:

"C:\Users\kensy\2022 Elements Catalog\Users\Ken\Pictures"

Given #2, above, am I stuck, or can the Elements Organizer folder be generated with the backup files that have been restored?

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Community Expert ,
Aug 01, 2023 Aug 01, 2023

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It looks like the catalog file you have identified in response #3 may be the correct file.  The only way to find out is to proceed with installing the program and then double-click on the file before launching the Organizer.

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Explorer ,
Aug 02, 2023 Aug 02, 2023

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One clarification. After installing PSE2023:

 

1) Do I open PSE 2023 (but NOT select the Organizer option) before double-clicking on the catalog.pse20db file?

 

2) Or do I NOT open PSE 2023 at all before double-clicking on the catalog.pse20db file?

 

I'm probably driving you crazy on this, but I really appreciate your time helping me.

 

Ken

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Community Expert ,
Aug 02, 2023 Aug 02, 2023

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There should be no need to launch anything after installing.  But it is possible that the Welcome Screen will open automatically.  That's OK.  Just double-click on the catalog.pse20db file and the catalog should open in the Organizer.

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Explorer ,
Aug 03, 2023 Aug 03, 2023

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I installed PSE 2022. At the end of the install, the Welcome screen was displayed. I left it alone and double-clicked catalog.pse20db. The Organizer opened but had no content.

 

The File menu, attached, shows Manage Catalogs and Restore Catalog. Would either of these be of use in restoring access to my catalog and content? Is there another method?

 

Thanks

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Community Expert ,
Aug 03, 2023 Aug 03, 2023

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@KPS1941 said, The Organizer opened but had no content.

Please show us a screenshot of the screen.  Also check the View>Media sub-menu to make sure that you have not filtered out all photos.  (Make sure all items have a check next to them.)

Ashampoo_Snap_Thursday, August 3, 2023_12h8m12s.png

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Explorer ,
Aug 03, 2023 Aug 03, 2023

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# 1 Organizer (full screen on right portion). #2 View menu. Hope these help.

 

Ken

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Community Expert ,
Aug 03, 2023 Aug 03, 2023

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Your latest screenshot shows that the opened catalog is named the default My Catalog.  However, earlier, you said:

I've located the file named "catalog.pse20db". Its size is 94,701 KB. It is located in the folder "Elements 2022 Catalog". Here is the path:

"C:\Users\kensy\2022 Elements Catalog\Elements 2022 Catalog\catalog.pse20db"

 

Normally, the catalog name is derived from the folder containing the catalog.pse20db file.  In your case the catalog should be named Elements 2022 Catalog.  That suggests to me that you double-clicked on the wrong file. 

 

How was the C:\Users\kensy\2022 Elements Catalog\Elements 2022 Catalog folder restored to your new installation?  Please give us a screenshot of the contents of that folder.

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Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2023 Aug 05, 2023

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The file structure and content was recovered from the latest backup data stored in the iDrive (iDrive.com) backup database for my computer. It was restored to its original path in my computer. The Organizer screenshot I sent was what was immediately displayed when I double-clicked "catalog.pse20db" in the path:

C:\Users\kensy\2022 Elements Catalog\Elements 2022 Catalog

 

The contents of the Elements 2022Catalog is attached in #1 Elements 2022 Catalog Screenshot 2023-08-04 201409. Would it be helpful to you to see the contents of any of the subfolders?

 

Also, I've attached #2 Adobe ProgramData Screenshot 2023-08-04 202954. Back on Aug 1, I mentioned that the Adobe ProgramData folder contained only the folder "ARM." #2 shows a series of folders created on Aug 3 when I double-clicked "catalog.pse20db." Would it be helpful to you to see the contents of these folders?

 

Thanks...

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Explorer ,
Aug 09, 2023 Aug 09, 2023

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Do you have any further input on a solution?

 

Thanks,

Ken

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Community Expert ,
Aug 10, 2023 Aug 10, 2023

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Ken, I have been on vacation without a computer. I will try to get back to you soon. 

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Explorer ,
Aug 10, 2023 Aug 10, 2023

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That's the best way to enjoy a vacation!

 

Ken

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Explorer ,
Sep 11, 2023 Sep 11, 2023

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Greg, do you think I should have hope for a good resolution!

 

Ken

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Community Expert ,
Sep 23, 2023 Sep 23, 2023

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Hi Ken.  Sorry for not getting back to you before now.  I have taken a fresh look at your problem and your screenshots.  They have raised a number of new issues in my mind.  I don't know whether we can salvage your catalog, but let's give it another try.  (In future, if you are posting a screenshot, please do so within the body of the post rather than as an attached file.  It is far easier to view and compare that way.)

 

So, going back to your original post, I see a number of issues that need to be resolved.

  • First, your media files have been put in an unusual (and unsuitable) location. Was this intentional before the crash or was it a result of you restoring computer backup folders/files without really paying attention to the original location?

 

Ashampoo_Snap_Saturday, September 23, 2023_17h5m3s.png

  • The above screenshot demonstrates that you have duplicated the folder path within itself.  It also strongly suggests that when Dell reinstalled the OS, a different User account name was applied.  So, although you have said previously that you replicated the earlier Pictures folder hierarchy, that does not seem to be the case.  As a result, the hierarchy is different and the restored catalog will not know where the photos are.
  • The default location folder for Elements catalogs is shown in one of your screenshots.  Please show us the contents of the folder I have highlighted in the following screenshot:

 

Ashampoo_Snap_Saturday, September 23, 2023_17h1m35s.png

 

  • The Elements 2022 Catalog folder is contained within a folder named 2022 Elements Catalog.  Again, something seems to have gone wrong with restoring folders from your backup files (or at least is causing confusion for me, if not for you).

 

Ashampoo_Snap_Saturday, September 23, 2023_17h4m2s.png

 

  • One other possible ray of hope:  Your prior screenshots show that there is also an Elements 2021 Catalog folder (within the 2022 Elements Catalog folder.  What are the contents of this folder?  Perhaps there is a valid catalog that can be converted in Elements 2022.  Even if it is an older catalog, it may save some work if all else fails.

Ashampoo_Snap_Saturday, September 23, 2023_17h7m31s.png

 

 

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Explorer ,
Sep 24, 2023 Sep 24, 2023

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Glad to see you again, Greg! I'm deluged by some personal stuff at the moment. I hope I can get back to you tomorrow afternoon/night. I probably don't have a good explanation for the apparant mess, but I'll give it a shot and get you the screenshots yuo need!

 

Ken

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Explorer ,
Sep 26, 2023 Sep 26, 2023

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Greg,

I'm not certain what Dell did, but the hierarchy appeared at that point to be the same as it was before the computer bricked.

 

When I accessed my backed-up files on the iDrive cloud storage, I selected download to the original logical location. Based on a local offline copy, I found no errors in that operation. The peculiar file paths are the same as they were in the original file system. I first noticed them in a previous version of Elements. The tags for the Elements 2022 (Version 20.0) system (pre-crash) were built on that pecular file structure. I encountered no problems with Elements 2022 since I installed it in February 2020. Here's the screen shot of the folder you asked for:

 

Screenshot 2023-09-26 162218.jpg

Let me know if you need shots of the folders within these.

 

FYI, here's a shot of the Elements 2021 Catalog within the folder 2022 Elements Catalog:

 

Screenshot 2023-09-26 180231.jpg

 

And here's Elements 2022 Catalog within the folder 2022 Elements Catalog:

 

Screenshot 2023-09-26 180329.jpg

I'm fairly certain when I was tagging photos before the crash, that I was interacting with this catalog.

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks,

Ken

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 27, 2023 Sep 27, 2023

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Ken, I'm sorry, but your folders are a complete mess.  So, first let's see whether there are any catalogs where they are supposed to be.  What is in the following folder:

Ashampoo_Snap_Wednesday, September 27, 2023_15h0m12s.png

 

Also, have you tried opening the catalog.pse19db file shown in your second screenshot.  In this regard, do you have (or can you reinstall) Elements 2021 on your computer.  If so, try double-clicking on it and see what happens.  Interestingly, it is slightly larger than your Elements 2022 catalog.  If you don't have Elements 2021 installed, you can try converting the catalog in Elements 2022.  Go to File>Manage Catalogs and use the Convert button.  You will then have to navigate to the Elements 2021 Catalog folder and the catalog should show up in the conversion dialog.  If not, make sure that the box is checked to show previously converted catalogs.

 

Also, it might just be easier to contact Adobe support. With your permission, they can take control of your machine and see what is going on in the folders easier than we can do on the forum.  But, if you decide to do this, you should do so soon, because the time for support of Elements 2022 may soon be running out.

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Explorer ,
Oct 03, 2023 Oct 03, 2023

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Greg,

Here is the screenshot you asked for. The only item in that folder is “My Calendar.”

Screenshot 2023-10-02 203855.jpg

 

Here is a screenshot of the contents of “My Calendar”:

Screenshot 2023-09-28 152327.png

 

Meanwhile, back to the odd path of OS (C:)>Users>kensy>2022 Elements Catalog>Elements 2022 Catalog:

 

Regarding catalog.pse19db, please note that its date is 2/5/2022. Later that month I installed Elements 2022 and discovered that, for whatever reason, I had lost all of my photo tags. It was at that point that I decided to just go ahead and retag all the photos. The date on catalog.pse20db is 6/19/2023, shortly prior to when my computer bricked.


I didn’t retag my photos using Elements 2022 in the same manner as they were with Elements 2021, so I’m not surprised that catalog.pse20db is smaller than catalog.pse19db.


Given the date on catalog.pse20db, plus the other support folders and files in the folder Elements 2022 Catalog, it seems to my admittedly ignorant eyes, that catalog.pse20db is the better of the two catalogs to use. What do you think?


The option you suggested of using Manage Catalogs to restore seems reasonable. What about using Manage Catalogs in Elements 2022 to connect to catalog.pse20db? If this seems to you to be a reasonable approach, how exactly would I do this? (Would this still a conversion?)


Thanks for all you help!
Ken

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 07, 2023 Oct 07, 2023

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Ken, I guess the only way to find out what is in each catalog is to open them all.  I use a free utility called Everything

which allows me to a search for catalog.pse db and all Organizer catalog database files on my computer will be found. 

 

Ashampoo_Snap_Saturday, October 7, 2023_13h27m28s.png

 

I can then use a context menu to open the path for each and double-click on the catalog.psexxdb file and if the Elements version that created the catalog is installed on my computer, it will be opened.

 

I suggest you give this a try.

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Explorer ,
Oct 12, 2023 Oct 12, 2023

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Thanks, Greg.Everything was helpful and I expect it will be useful in the future.

 

Here's what I did:

 

I installed Premier Elements 2021, then double-clicked on “catalog.pse19db.” It opened in Premier Elements 2021. I did a cursory check and everything looked good. Image files and tags were up-to-date only to Dec 2021; that’s not ideal, but it’s better than starting from the beginning.


A short while earlier, I attempted to open “catalog.pse20db” by double-clicking it. That failed and Elements 2022 crashed; a crash report was sent to Adobe, together with my notes on the background. I thought I should try that again, so I could document the results. This time after double-clicking “catalog.pse20db,” I received the following:

 

Screenshot 2023-10-12 120310.jpg

I selected “No” and received this:

 

Screenshot 2023-10-12 121324.jpg

I then selected “Elements 2022 Catalog (Current),” the  I received this:

 

Screenshot 2023-10-12 120513.jpg

My question is can any of the buttons here be used to resolve the problem with “catalog.pse20db”? My hope, of course, is that solving whatever problems with it will restore my files and tags, etc., up to this year.

 

If not do you see any other course of action?

 

Thanks,

 

Ken

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Community Expert ,
Oct 12, 2023 Oct 12, 2023

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OK.  So, the catalog manager is showing a single catalog in the custom location.  If you click on the radio button for Catalogs Accesible by All Users, are there any other catalogs besisdes one named My Catalog?  And if you open those catalogs, do you have anything besides an empty catalog?

 

In any event, with the Custom Location catalog selected, have you tried performing a Repair and Optimize.  It may take a while to perform each.  And even if you get a message that says no problems were found, complete the Repair anyway.  Also perform the Optimize. 

 

And, in future, if you get the abnormal exit message, it doesn't hurt to try again.

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