My laptop suddenly failed. Bought a new laptop and got it up and running and installed PSE. I had no official recent backup file of my active catalog but was able to recover the appropriate folder from the dead computer. I've looked at Move your Elements Organizer catalog to another computer from the support site and it seems to be focused on moving from a PSE backup file and I don't have a current one. A chat with Adobe support suggested a Create and edit catalogs document. It resulted in an attempt to open the file through the Manage Catologs dialog which crashed the program, and it would not restart. The support chat person at that point said there were no other suggestions and pointed me at the Forum and informed me that my version 17 no longer gets support.
This seems like a simple problem to resolve but so far, no go. Help would be greatly appreciated.
You don't say if you are on Mac or Win and which version?
Yes, the correct answer to moving catalogs and media files to another computer is the backup and restore process.
Can you confirm if you have been able to recover both the catalog folder AND your photo/video files tree?
Even in that situation, the catalog folder copy will have links to each file on the original drive, not on the new drive with the restored file tree. Opening the catalog copy should work, but all the files would be shown as 'missing' or 'disconnected'. The 'reconnect' function of the organizer generally can't cope with a medium sized catalog even with manual reconnections.
I'm using Windows 10, latest verstion
Are you saying if I have no backup file I'm dead in the water?
I'm not sure I understand " recover both the catalog folder AND your photo/video files tree". The attached Snip of the file structure of the recovered file is all I've got.
Instead of placing this structure in the standard C: > program data > adobe, etc, location. I've placed it in the My Documents folder Catalog Manager (CM) can see it but can't seem to open it. I tried "Convert" and it seemed to recognize the Catalog and said it completed conversion but nothing in the newly created Catolog.
Any other suggestions?
I realize there may be connection issues but I can probably live with connection issue if only I can see all my photos.
I have been asked in a 'no reply' e-mail from the system if this answered my question but this is no simple answer to the question and I recieved no followup to my answer to Michele's question where I raised added questions. I guess the answer is that "other than backup & restore via PSE there is no way to recover my catalog".
I was really hoping someone on this forum had figured out a way around what appears to be a very poorly designed aspect of PSE, i.e. recovering files from a crashed program when all my data has been recovered (I have an up to date backup created by the standard MS Backup utility) but the program refuses to recognize anything other than something created by PSE.
I consider my issue still open for a solution and hope someone replies.
The problem here, as I see it, is that a catalog also relies on the specific location of your media files. So if you move a whole structure to another location then that could result in issues with unlinked files.
So I'd first start by trying to copy everything back to their original location(s) and see what happens from there.
Another thing which comes to my mind... once you've opened a catalog, what does it tell you about missing files? What happens if you try to verify it?
"I was really hoping someone on this forum had figured out a way around what appears to be a very poorly designed aspect of PSE, i.e. recovering files from a crashed program when all my data has been recovered (I have an up to date backup created by the standard MS Backup utility) but the program refuses to recognize anything other than something created by PSE."
No MS (or other softwares) backup utility can help you totally, that's why the organizer provides the backup and restore function.
You need two kinds of data to restore after a crash like yours.
- the photo/video files
- the catalog (with database containing links to the original location of each photo file on the physical disk).
The catalog is a folder stored by default in a hidden location in the C: drive. Menu help >> system information.
Even if your external backup has saved both kinds of data, the catalog database still holds links to the original drive, not to the new one. So, even if you restore your image files tree with the same path and structure as suggested by @ShelLuser the links don't point to the new physical drive. All files are disconnected, and reconnecting is very problematic even done manually.
So, the first question is if you have recovered the catalog from your MS backup,
the second one is to try to reconnect...
Thank you both (Michel and ShelLuser) for your replies. I have all my photo files properly recovered. They will be on a 😧 drive on my new laptop due to a quirk in the way the SSD & HD were set up by the mfg whereas they were in C: on the earlier. I can live with the disconnected files in Organizer since I don't have to have everything in the PSE database connected right away, I'll connect them as I need them.
I also have recovered the complete file structure of the PSE program as shown in my response to Michel's first note. The file structure of PSE includes what I've come to understand is the Organizer file called "catalog.pse17db". Michel, you mention in your last post that the file is stored by "default in a hidden location in the C: drive" but don't give the specifics. Fortunately, I figured that out several PSE versions ago and managed to include it in my MS Backup file.
As careful as I was to save the critical files, apparently all is for naught because the only way to use the "catalog.pse17db" file is via the Organizer backup process. I certainly wish someone had made that very clear in the Adobe Elements instructions.
I have tried seemingly every possible variation of encouraging Organizer to recognize the critical "My Catalog 5" using both PSE 2019 and 2021 versions. The PSE files are correctly located in my new C: drive just where they were in the old. I've tried several ways to use "Manage Catalogs" and in one case it actually showed "My Catalog 5 and 5.2". The '5' version was my last active catalog. Even then I could not get Manage Catalogs to do anything with the files.
Needless to say, my immense frustration is that not having the critical "backup.tly" file must have happened to others in the past and Adobe has not developed or shared a workaround (or corrected what I consider a massive programming flaw) and none of the experts on this Forum have either.
I guess I must consider this exercise to be completed but not solved. I appreciate the additional input and don't want to appear ungrateful but they don't tell me anything that I hadn't gleaned from Michel's first reply. I'm strongly hoping that a computer specialist I hired will be able to resurrect my old laptop's memory long enough to create the "Backup.tly" file but it is looking bleak.