OMG I think I will shoot myself. I have several thousands of hours of cataloging photos from the first version of elememts called Adobe Photo Catalog. 25 years ago?? I have over 100,000 photos with each photo having aan average of 5 custom tags. I have a very structured TAGS index several levels deep. I have been to 46 countries taking pictures. For security I moved my entire file to a very robust SS 4TB portable drive. My Catalog is on the same external SS drive. I recently decided to add the meta data to each and every photo to save the Tag data. While connected to my PC with limited HD space I was warned there was not enough space on my PC to perform the action for all photos so I took smaller chunks from my Taged catalog index and it added meta to all 100,000 photos over a three hour period. But I soon relaized my PC's drive was full. The Photoshop SW had coped every picture to my PC's hard drive to write the meta data to each picture in a Users File folder. I check my original external SS drive file and could see each photo now had the meta data added to each photo. SO, I deleted the photos from my PC's hard drive Users folder after making sure they existed on my external SS Drive. Now when I open Elements Organizer it shows there is only 2,800 photos in the My Catalog xxx active file. And I now see a temp catalog My Catalog xxx temp file but that catalog file only brings up 2,400 pictures. My Tags structure still shows my entire structure for the 100,000 photos but brings back a limited file set. And all of the File Folders still show up on the left side of the screen but most now show as enpty Wht should I do beside putting a 45 to my head?
I'm really sorry to read about your misfortunes but unfortunately I think there's nothing anyone can do here. The only advice I can give you is to make sure that you always leave some free space on your system drive. Modern operating systems depend on it in order to store temporary data.
The best solution I can come up with is to upgrade to a more current version of PSE and see if the organizer can somehow get you out of this mess.
I check my original external SS drive file and could see each photo now had the meta data added to each photo.
If it's still true, there is hope. I'll be back in a few hour and ask you a few questions to start troubleshooting. Don't despair!
I am back and would like to know more about your catalogs, size and location.
What is reassuring in your description is that it appears that you still have all your photo files with the tags written in the files metadata header in the external drive. You even mention that in a catalog, the tags structure is still available even if the files are not seen (I take it they are 'disconnected'. So, creating a new catalog while keeping that tags structure would be possible.
However, what is very mysterious is that 'writing metadata to files' never makes a copy of the files, it overwrites the file or create a small xmp sidecar file for raws.
Do you know how to add screenshots in your answers? Use the small icon (4th from the right) to browse to the location of your screenshot.
To find your catalogs, do an explorer search for files named 'catalog.pse17db'. They are databases each in its catalog folder. What are the interesting data about those catalog folders? Their dates, sizes and locations.