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Snafus with PSE Catalog Move Using Backup-Restore

New Here ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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I’ve been using the Elements Organizer in various versions going back to Photoshop Album some twenty-ish years ago in different computer generations.  For years now, I’ve had a PSE 6 catalog, which has worked fine.  Now, I am trying to move that PSE 6 Catalog from a Windows 7 computer to PSE 2021 on a Win10 computer.  I did this via backup and restore.

 

I started by reconnecting, optimizing and repairing the PSE 6 catalog on the old computer before running backup.  All well.

 

The problem came with the restore on the new computer (to an external HD).  I’ve tried two different ways to restore, but both are creating problems.

 

If I allow PSE to flatten the folder structure down to the final folder, then the new catalog comes out messed up.  This is because many of the final folders had the same name even though under different trees.  For example, I might have had a final “good” folder under a “2010 10 07” folder and a “2010 11 09” folder, etc.  The restore kept only the final folder, merged all those separate “good” folders into just one “good” folder, and dumped all the “good” images there.  So the catalog could not distinguish pictures with the same JPG number, with the result that version sets got messed up (e.g., JPG 14 paired with some other JPG 14 even though the actual images were different).

 

To fix that, I next selected restore to original folder structure.  This solved the former problem, but somehow resulted in TWO copies of the original folder structure and all of its photos.  So I ended up with duplicates – confusing, and taking up excess space.  (Actually, it seemed like the duplication only took place after PSE 2021 started to “convert” the catalog following restore.)  To be more specific, I now have a folder called “Master Catalog” and also “Master Catalog 1,” and both have the same sub-folders and media.  This is confirmed by the fact that the restored original-structure folder is roughly twice the GB of the original PSE 6 folder or the PSE 2021 flatten-restore.  Apart from the duplicates showing in Windows Explorer, however, the original-folder restore seems to work fine relative to achieving a functional PSE2021 catalog.

 

Neither result is optimal though.  How can I solve?

 

One possibility I have considered is running backup-restore off the newly created PSE2021 catalog resulting from the restore-to-original-folder-structure of the PSE 6 catalog.  My hope would be that PSE 2021 would back up only the catalog-linked media and leave the duplicates behind upon restore. 

Or am I better off just settling on the restored PSE2021 catalog – since it seems to work at least – and not worrying about the duplicate set showing in Windows Explorer?  The dupes aren’t really hurting anything, for now, but I fear they will lay the groundwork for confusion in later years and so would prefer to clean them up if possible.

 

Please advise.  Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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I've moved this from the Using the Community forum (which is the forum for issues using the forums) to the PSE forum so that proper help can be offered.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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To be simple and safe:

- Restore on a new drive, partition or empty new master folder

- Specify to keep the original folder hierarchy. You can reshape or simplify your folder tree after the restore.

  • - When satisfied with the result, you can delete the old folders from the Explorer.

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New Here ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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Many thanks to you (and Peru Bob) for your prompt attention.  I really do appreciate it.

 

Your response puzzles me a bit, though, and I think that may be because we are miscommunicating.

 

This is not a case where the duplicates consist of the original source copies plus the restored copies.  That would be easy.  As per your suggestion, I would simply delete the original source copies following a successful restore.  I think your response is aimed at that simple problem.

 

But my problem is different.  The problem here is that the restore/conversion itself spawned duplicates.  See the attached screenshot from Windows Explorer illustrating the trees. 

 

I restored the PSE6 catalog to an empty HD (Photo Drive(D)) and into an empty folder (PSE Catalog).  The restore generated “Master Catalog” (the name on the prior HD used with PSE6) but also “Master Catalog 1.”  As you can see from the screenshot, the folders in the two “Master Catalogs” under "PSE Catalog" overlap substantially.  “Master Catalog” contains approximately 20,000 files (as it did on the source HD with PSE 6), and “Master Catalog 1” has about 60,000.  I don’t think I can possibly tell which among these many files PSE needs (or not) so as to delete safely.

 

My question is, is there a way to restore to a functional catalog that does not result in spawning two copies of my approximately 20,000 photos?

 

At this point, I have only two ideas. 

 

The first is to give up and live with the duplicates as the price for a functional catalog.  I mean, the catalog seems to look fine and work well at this point.  The only problem is that Explorer is clogged with duplicates; that’s bad house-keeping and a potential problem in later years. 

 

The second is to run a backup-restore off my new PSE 2021 catalog in the hopes that doing so will capture only the catalog-linked media and not any extraneous duplicates.

 

Please advise.  Many thanks again.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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I read again your first post which I admit I did not pay attention to details.

In PSE2021, what you are describing about the folder structure suggests you are in the default list  folders view (shows only last step folders alphabetically) instead of the usual 'tree' view with the whole hierarchy like in the Explorer. Select the second option on top of the folders panel.

 

Am I wrong in thinking that you are restoring directly under your D : drive root folder? It's never stated clearly, but when choosing a 'custom' restore destination, you should always create your own master folder under the root.

Then you get your 'personal master folder' including all the photo files and the restored  PSE6 catalog folder (the database) which has been renamed with a 1  suffix and the present PSE2021 catalog folder (same name as before). Then you can tell the number of media files in your 'personal master folder' excluding the two catalog folders.

 

Thanks for your feedback, I'll have more time later in the day.

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New Here ,
Jul 29, 2021 Jul 29, 2021

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Thanks again for your prompt engagement.  I remain concerned, though.

 

No, I did not restore to the 😧 root.  As per my prior post and screenshot, I restored to a new, empty folder on 😧 called “PSE Catalog.”

 

Viewing the tree through PSE2021 does not show the duplicates (see attached PSE2021 tree snapshot).  That PSE view is the same as from my original PSE6 catalog as viewed in Windows Explorer (see attached Windows Explorer snapshots of original PSE6 catalog drive).

 

The problem remains that Windows Explorer shows duplication in the restored PSE2021 catalog (see prior screenshots of “PSE Catalog”).  That “PSE Catalog” now appears to contain two copies of every photo, whereas before there was only one.

 

For now, I expect the restored catalog will work fine with PSE2021.  So that’s good.  But the duplicates will likely prove problematic for later PSE versions (or if I move to a different system).  So I would like to straighten this out now.

 

At this point, if possible I would prefer for any solution to build from the newly restored PSE2021 catalog rather than reverting to the PSE6 backup again.  I’ve already spent a lot of time getting the new PSE2021 catalog running – restoring, converting, reconnecting missing files, optimizing, repairing, reviewing.

 

Any further thoughts?  Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 31, 2021 Jul 31, 2021

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quote

At this point, if possible I would prefer for any solution to build from the newly restored PSE2021 catalog rather than reverting to the PSE6 backup again.  I’ve already spent a lot of time getting the new PSE2021 catalog running – restoring, converting, reconnecting missing files, optimizing, repairing, reviewing.

 

Any further thoughts?  Thanks!


By @Everett5C24

I feel like you that you are right that starting from your new converted catalog would be the right solution.

What puzzles me in your screenshots is that I don't see the file structure I would have expected after a restored followed by a catalog folder conversion.

When I do the same as you did, a PSE6 full backup ending with an automatic conversion to the PSE2021 catalog format, I get my new master folder, which I take care NOT to name with the word 'catalog' to avoid any confusion. Let me call it 'My Library' or 'My photos'. The result is that master folder, containing all your media files in the same folder hierarchy, and also containing two disticnt 'catalog folders', the strict copy of the original catalog folder in PSE6 format, useable with PSE6 and renamed with a ' 1' suffix; then the other converted catalog folder, with the same name as before the conversion, useable with PSE2021.

The problem I see is that instead of having a common library folder including two strict 'catalog folders' which don't contain any photo file, you seem to have the photo files inside catalog folders. I don't understand why that happend, but that might explain the duplication in the Explorer.

Normally, it's your choice to keep the strict catalog folder in your new master folder or to use the catalog manager to move the catalog folder (without the photos) back to the default location on your C : drive. I don't know if that command would only move the catalog folder to C without the photo files. I don't think you can live safely with the photo files within the catalog folders. In your case, the 'move' back to default location in C : might move also the photo files...

It seems that seen from your PSE2021 catalog folder view, you don't see duplication. In that case, I would try to move all or a part of your photo files hierarchy by drag and drop in your left folder tree view to a new location outside the catalog folder itself. I don't see much risk, but it takes time as it would from the Explorer. If the process works, that would allow successful new backup and restore or moving the catalog back to default.

Does the above supposition help a bit?

 

 

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New Here ,
Aug 01, 2021 Aug 01, 2021

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Thanks, it does help, at least by pointing me in the right direction.

 

As I understand it, what you are saying is that my original PSE6 organizational structure – which combined the photos and catalog in a common folder – may be the source of the problem.  That folder structure was just the organic by-product of 20 years of evolution over different computers and PSE versions.

 

Now I’m not sure whether I can successfully revise the structure from within PSE2021, or will instead need to go back and re-organize the folders in PSE6 to prevent the dupes from spawning in the first place.  In light of your explanation, I fear I may actually have to go back to PSE6 because, otherwise, PSE 2021 will just automatically preserve the dupes to be cautious.  I have both PSE6/PSE2021 running now on different computers.

 

What I am sure of is that this will take a lot of time any way I slice it – both to figure it out, and to run the processes.

 

I will give it a shot and report back.  I think you’re right that it needs to be fixed.  Could take me a while though.

 

Please let me know if you have any additional suggestions in the meantime.

 

Thanks again.  I appreciate your efforts.

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New Here ,
Aug 03, 2021 Aug 03, 2021

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Since our last exchange I have made good progress using the principles you helpfully explained.

 

Basically, I figured out which copy set the PSE2021 catalog was using, and then manually deleted (in Explorer) the duplicate set that was not being used.  The dupes were perfect mirrors stored in different locations but under the same folder tree structure, so it was possible to delete the duplicate folder trees en masse.  Also, I separated the catalog and media folders per your suggestion.  Those efforts resulted in an orderly folder tree, without dupes, supporting a PSE2021 catalog that was seemingly identical to the prior PSE6 catalog.  So, good.

 

But a new problem has since arisen.  You can see it in the attached screenshot, which shows a side-by-side comparison of the current file structure – PSE folder list on the left, Explorer on the right.

 

Until yesterday afternoon, the PSE/Explorer screens showed identical drive letters/folders under both PSE/Explorer.  As expected.

 

Then, I plugged in the F drive (Explorer letter), created the folder “Post-2021 Transfer” under the D drive (Explorer letter), and used Explorer to copy some new media from F (Explorer letter) into D (Explorer letter) “Post-2021 Transfer.”

 

For some reason, that caused the PSE folder list to split the four folders under Explorer D “My Photos-Videos” between PSE Drive letters D (one folder) and F (three folders).  (The actual folders under Explorer F have different names entirely.)

 

Can you please explain why this happened, and how to fix it?  The drive letters/folders should be the same in PSE/Explorer.

 

Thanks so much for all your help!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 03, 2021 Aug 03, 2021

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quote

Since our last exchange I have made good progress using the principles you helpfully explained.

 

Basically, I figured out which copy set the PSE2021 catalog was using, and then manually deleted (in Explorer) the duplicate set that was not being used.  The dupes were perfect mirrors stored in different locations but under the same folder tree structure, so it was possible to delete the duplicate folder trees en masse.  Also, I separated the catalog and media folders per your suggestion.  Those efforts resulted in an orderly folder tree, without dupes, supporting a PSE2021 catalog that was seemingly identical to the prior PSE6 catalog.  So, good.

 

Indeed, that's good news.

 

quote

But a new problem has since arisen.  You can see it in the attached screenshot, which shows a side-by-side comparison of the current file structure – PSE folder list on the left, Explorer on the right.

 

Until yesterday afternoon, the PSE/Explorer screens showed identical drive letters/folders under both PSE/Explorer.  As expected.

 

Then, I plugged in the F drive (Explorer letter), created the folder “Post-2021 Transfer” under the D drive (Explorer letter), and used Explorer to copy some new media from F (Explorer letter) into D (Explorer letter) “Post-2021 Transfer.”

 

For some reason, that caused the PSE folder list to split the four folders under Explorer D “My Photos-Videos” between PSE Drive letters D (one folder) and F (three folders).  (The actual folders under Explorer F have different names entirely.)

 

Can you please explain why this happened, and how to fix it?  The drive letters/folders should be the same in PSE/Explorer.

 

Thanks so much for all your help!


By @Everett5C24

I am sorry, but I don't understand what you did from your screenshot. Did you copy some subfolders or files from F to D from within the Explorer without importing or moving them from the organizer?

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New Here ,
Aug 03, 2021 Aug 03, 2021

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Yes, I did.  I moved "2021 07 31" and "YLC Photos and Videos" from F to D using Explorer.  Those files were not previously cataloged.  Then I went to PSE to import, and found the strange split.

 

I understand that you have to move catalog files within PSE or PSE loses track of the files.  But I did not expect any problem with moving new, non-catalog files using Explorer and then asking PSE to see the drive and import the new files. 

 

I obviously did something to vex PSE, though, but I am not sure what nor how to fix.  And I really think I should fix it before doing any further work relative to those new files.

 

Let me know if other questions, as I can well imagine this is hard to follow second-hand.

 

Thank you.

 

P.S.  I much prefer the dark-background user interface in PSE6 to the lighter one in PSE2021, becasue it really made the photos stand out.  But I guess that must be a minority view!

 

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New Here ,
Aug 04, 2021 Aug 04, 2021

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I think I have fixed the second problem now too.  I ran "reconnect all missing files," and that re-mapped the catalog files back to the correct drive.  I don't know why the problem occurred.  Somehow, it seems like PSE scrambled the drive letters when I plugged in a new external HD (even though I used a different port and did not change the catalog HD).  Anyway, all good for now.  Thanks for your help!

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