My windows 10 system has crashed. cant repair. My files are all in tact and I can retrieve them with a USB/SATA adaptor. I will place all pictures in the same path they were located before. I need to purchase a new photoshop elements but instead of importing I would like to use the app data that I can retrieve to either import and immediately recognize my pictures and folders or place in a directory making the newer install think it is upgrading and keeping my app data and catalogs in tact. Please help. I tried to install lightroom thinking it would just import the pictures but it did not do well recognizing "capture date or date taken" .
Retrieving the media files and placing them in the same path (same folder tree) is not enough.
First, you have to find your catalog folder on the old drive. It's a folder in your ProgramData folder. To find catalog folders, search with the explorer to find files named catalog.pseXXdb, where XX is the PSE version number, for instance 15 for PSE15 or 18 for PSE2020. Without that catalog, you can't retrieve your old organization.
Then, what's more annoying is that even if you re-create the same folder tree, same path, same drive letter, all your files will appear as 'disconnected' because the internal serial drive number will be different. Reconnecting will be very tricky and slow for a big library.
I think that the only way to solve the drive serial number and drive letter issue would be to edit the catalog.pseXXdb sqlite database, which requires an editing sqlite utility and to be familiar with sqlite.
Initially I fogured I would migrate my wife to lightroom after this windows crash. It spent a day cataloging the pictures but missed "date taken" or proper "capture times" so old pics were mixed with new ones. This whole process is extremely frustrating and I have been a "computer guy" since the 80s. Is there a way to trick a new install thinking that it is upgrading and will bring over all the parameters? Thank you
The only way to recover about everything of PSE to LR is to use LR to convert the PSE catalog to its own catalog format. This is quite easy if you have a working PSE catalog or a valid backup folder. Contrary to LR, PSE backups store both the catalog and the media files. What is much easier in LR is to 'reconnect' files when the folder tree has been re-created on another drive. I must say I don't understand your issue about capture date or date_taken.
PSE like LR don't 'write metadata to files' by default. If you did in PSE or LR, you should be able to recover the captions and tags in most third-party file manager.
Can you find the old catalog folder in the old drive?
I have found under programdata\adobe\catalogs\My catalog.psa
It was an older version of elements maybe 7
"I have found under programdata\adobe\catalogs\My catalog.psa
It was an older version of elements maybe ?"
Yes, that's an old catalog for versions up to PSE5 (in those old version, it's a single file, not a folder).
Check from the file date. PSE5 was issued in October 2006. Does that sound possible?
In PSE6 the database engine changed from Microsoft Access to Sqlite, which makes catalog conversions harder.
Oh yes ..I have older software I could have used. The only dates on this file is "created", when I switched computers the last time (2015), and the the last modified date of the file which was Dec 2. I noticed under Programdata\adobe\photoshopelements\ there is a folder "4.0" which copuld be the version?