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Creating new catalog corrupts original catalog

New Here ,
Oct 25, 2020

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I am having trouble with the Catalog in PSE 2018. I have a main catalog with most of my stuff in it including Albums, ratings and tags. For a special project I created another catalog and imported all the pictures from a different folder than the Pictures folder. When I went back to my original catalog, there were no pictures so I imported them back in again from the Pictures folder. However all the Albums are gone and so are many (but not all) of the tags and ratings. I am running Windows 10 Professional with all the pictures (and other data) moved to the 😧 drive using sysgen during the windows install. The Catalogs seem to be stored in C:\Programdata\Adobe\Elements Organizer\Catalogs. I have backups of all the stuff in my user directory from the 😧 drive but the Windows File History doesn't appear to back up the Programdata on C so I have no current backup of the catalogs.
Here are my questions:
Am I correct about the location of the Catalogs. There are appear to be other copies of catalogs elsewhere on the system but none that are anywhere near current.
What did I do wrong? I have had ongoing problems with the Catalog and have had to redo Albums , tags and ratings before.
Where are the following stored:
Tags (It appears they are stored in the individual file metadata but why are many of them gone)
Albums
Hope you have some insight into how things are going wrong.
Thanks.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by MichelBParis | Adobe Community Professional

"When I went back to my original catalog, there were no pictures"

It appears you did not 'open' the original catalog. You probably opened a new empty catalog.

"...so I imported them back in again from the Pictures folder."

If you import again, you lose everything in the (not found) original catalog.

"However all the Albums are gone and so are many (but not all) of the tags and ratings."

That was to be expected: you don't recover anything from the original catalog, only tags, captions and ratings which have been copied in the media files themselves.

I am running Windows 10 Professional with all the pictures (and other data) moved to the C:

drive using sysgen during the windows install. The Catalogs seem to be stored in C:\Programdata\Adobe\Elements Organizer\Catalogs. I have backups of all the stuff in my user directory from the C: drive but the Windows File History doesn't appear to back up the Programdata on C so I have no current backup of the catalogs.

I have no idea why you did that, but there is nothing Windows can do to move or backup anything like this. Please explain.

The organizer has its own backup and restore procedure. The catalogs are folders stored in the default location you have mentioned, unless you have stored them anywhere else in 'custom' location.

Here are my questions:
Am I correct about the location of the Catalogs.

Yes. You find the location in the menu Help > System Info of the organizer.

There are appear to be other copies of catalogs elsewhere on the system but none that are anywhere near current.

Quite possible. Older versions or older catalog folders.
What did I do wrong? I have had ongoing problems with the Catalog and have had to redo Albums , tags and ratings before.

Most probably because you tried to import files instead of converting the catalogs. Remember that only the catalogs store the information about albums, stacks and version sets; those metadata cant be written in the metadata section of the media files themselves.
Where are the following stored:
Tags (It appears they are stored in the individual file metadata but why are many of them gone)
Albums

Those data are ONLY stored in the databases of the catalog folder. For instance albums are just sorted playlists of a collection of items. They don't contain any image, they point to the media identifier in the database.

 

You can't access that information unless you are smart enough to use an sqlite management software in the main database of the catalog folder (catalog.pse18db for PSE2020).

 

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Creating new catalog corrupts original catalog

New Here ,
Oct 25, 2020

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I am having trouble with the Catalog in PSE 2018. I have a main catalog with most of my stuff in it including Albums, ratings and tags. For a special project I created another catalog and imported all the pictures from a different folder than the Pictures folder. When I went back to my original catalog, there were no pictures so I imported them back in again from the Pictures folder. However all the Albums are gone and so are many (but not all) of the tags and ratings. I am running Windows 10 Professional with all the pictures (and other data) moved to the 😧 drive using sysgen during the windows install. The Catalogs seem to be stored in C:\Programdata\Adobe\Elements Organizer\Catalogs. I have backups of all the stuff in my user directory from the 😧 drive but the Windows File History doesn't appear to back up the Programdata on C so I have no current backup of the catalogs.
Here are my questions:
Am I correct about the location of the Catalogs. There are appear to be other copies of catalogs elsewhere on the system but none that are anywhere near current.
What did I do wrong? I have had ongoing problems with the Catalog and have had to redo Albums , tags and ratings before.
Where are the following stored:
Tags (It appears they are stored in the individual file metadata but why are many of them gone)
Albums
Hope you have some insight into how things are going wrong.
Thanks.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by MichelBParis | Adobe Community Professional

"When I went back to my original catalog, there were no pictures"

It appears you did not 'open' the original catalog. You probably opened a new empty catalog.

"...so I imported them back in again from the Pictures folder."

If you import again, you lose everything in the (not found) original catalog.

"However all the Albums are gone and so are many (but not all) of the tags and ratings."

That was to be expected: you don't recover anything from the original catalog, only tags, captions and ratings which have been copied in the media files themselves.

I am running Windows 10 Professional with all the pictures (and other data) moved to the C:

drive using sysgen during the windows install. The Catalogs seem to be stored in C:\Programdata\Adobe\Elements Organizer\Catalogs. I have backups of all the stuff in my user directory from the C: drive but the Windows File History doesn't appear to back up the Programdata on C so I have no current backup of the catalogs.

I have no idea why you did that, but there is nothing Windows can do to move or backup anything like this. Please explain.

The organizer has its own backup and restore procedure. The catalogs are folders stored in the default location you have mentioned, unless you have stored them anywhere else in 'custom' location.

Here are my questions:
Am I correct about the location of the Catalogs.

Yes. You find the location in the menu Help > System Info of the organizer.

There are appear to be other copies of catalogs elsewhere on the system but none that are anywhere near current.

Quite possible. Older versions or older catalog folders.
What did I do wrong? I have had ongoing problems with the Catalog and have had to redo Albums , tags and ratings before.

Most probably because you tried to import files instead of converting the catalogs. Remember that only the catalogs store the information about albums, stacks and version sets; those metadata cant be written in the metadata section of the media files themselves.
Where are the following stored:
Tags (It appears they are stored in the individual file metadata but why are many of them gone)
Albums

Those data are ONLY stored in the databases of the catalog folder. For instance albums are just sorted playlists of a collection of items. They don't contain any image, they point to the media identifier in the database.

 

You can't access that information unless you are smart enough to use an sqlite management software in the main database of the catalog folder (catalog.pse18db for PSE2020).

 

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Organizer, Problem or error

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Oct 25, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020

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"When I went back to my original catalog, there were no pictures"

It appears you did not 'open' the original catalog. You probably opened a new empty catalog.

"...so I imported them back in again from the Pictures folder."

If you import again, you lose everything in the (not found) original catalog.

"However all the Albums are gone and so are many (but not all) of the tags and ratings."

That was to be expected: you don't recover anything from the original catalog, only tags, captions and ratings which have been copied in the media files themselves.

I am running Windows 10 Professional with all the pictures (and other data) moved to the C:

drive using sysgen during the windows install. The Catalogs seem to be stored in C:\Programdata\Adobe\Elements Organizer\Catalogs. I have backups of all the stuff in my user directory from the C: drive but the Windows File History doesn't appear to back up the Programdata on C so I have no current backup of the catalogs.

I have no idea why you did that, but there is nothing Windows can do to move or backup anything like this. Please explain.

The organizer has its own backup and restore procedure. The catalogs are folders stored in the default location you have mentioned, unless you have stored them anywhere else in 'custom' location.

Here are my questions:
Am I correct about the location of the Catalogs.

Yes. You find the location in the menu Help > System Info of the organizer.

There are appear to be other copies of catalogs elsewhere on the system but none that are anywhere near current.

Quite possible. Older versions or older catalog folders.
What did I do wrong? I have had ongoing problems with the Catalog and have had to redo Albums , tags and ratings before.

Most probably because you tried to import files instead of converting the catalogs. Remember that only the catalogs store the information about albums, stacks and version sets; those metadata cant be written in the metadata section of the media files themselves.
Where are the following stored:
Tags (It appears they are stored in the individual file metadata but why are many of them gone)
Albums

Those data are ONLY stored in the databases of the catalog folder. For instance albums are just sorted playlists of a collection of items. They don't contain any image, they point to the media identifier in the database.

 

You can't access that information unless you are smart enough to use an sqlite management software in the main database of the catalog folder (catalog.pse18db for PSE2020).

 

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Oct 25, 2020 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020

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There's a lot to unpack here.

Yes, the default location for catalogs is C:\Programdata\Adobe\Elements Organizer\Catalogs.  Each catalog should have a sub-folder with the catalog name you created.  However, there is no requirement that the catalog be located in that location.  For example, if you restore a backup to a new computer, the catalog will be restored to the location you specify.  This can become very confusing and I have seen catalog folders be created within other catalog folders.

 

For a special project I created another catalog and imported all the pictures from a different folder than the Pictures folder. When I went back to my original catalog, there were no pictures so I imported them back in again from the Pictures folder.

This is probably not what has happened.  The only way this could be possible is if you overwrote the original catalog with the new catalog, by using the same name.  But you would have received a warning if you tried to do this.  I suspect that the original catalog still exists on your computer.  To find out, do a thorough search of your computer for a file or files named catalog.pse16db. (Make sure that Windows File Explorer is set to show file extensions.  There is a toggle in the View menu.)  Double-click on each such file that you find and they will open in the Organizer.  Hopefully, you will recover your original catalog this way.

 

When you import photos that have previously been tagged into a new catalog, the tags will show up under the category Imported Tags (if you allow them to be imported via the import dialog).  Albums will not be transferred.  Nor will People, Places or Events tags unless the metadata has been written to the file (using Ctrl+W or if the file has been edited and saved in the Editor).

 

 

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Oct 25, 2020 0
flyguy2 LATEST
New Here ,
Oct 25, 2020

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YOU'RE MY HERO!! Searched for catalog.pse16db and found the original one in (surprisingly) D:\Default. It APPEARS that my moving all my data files to D using sysgen during os install (because I have an SSD for the OS on C: and want to have all the data on D:) confuses Organizer when I created a secondary Catalog. I'll do a COMPLETE backup of the catalog to an external drive and then play with how I can have 2 Catalogs with both of them working.

Many thanks for your quick and very helpful response.

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