Unknown Error when trying to import another catalog May 2018

Community Beginner ,
May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018

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Hi all,

Posting this as a new discussion as I can't find the same issue elsewhere.

I have returned from a trip and want to merge the catalog on my travel laptop into the master catalog on my home PC.

At this point in time both devices are running Windows 10 (1803 Build 17134.48 upgraded last week) with LR Classic CC 7.3.1.

Both devices have catalogs on local C:\ drives and image files on data drives with plenty of free drive space (well over 100GB on each).

PC master catalog folder is ~2.5GB, Lightroom Catalog.lrcat is 167,580 KB.

Laptop catalog folder is ~1GB, Lightroom Catalog.lrcat 43,512KB.

After previous trips I have returned home and followed this procedure:

1. Copy all new (RAW/NEF) and developed images (JPG) from laptop to PC internal data disk (F:\ Drive)

2. Copy the laptop catalog to PC internal data disk (F:\ Drive)

3. Open LR on PC (with local catalog on C:\ Drive), select 'Import from another catalog...'

4. Select the required catalog on data disk (connect to drive directly, NOT via mapped drive)

5. Select 'Catalog Contents' - All Folders, 'New Photos - Add new photos to catalog without moving

6. Import new catalog into master PC and relink folders to new locations

7. Test all OK

This time I have followed the same procedure, but instead of importing the laptop catalog I get "Lightroom could not import this catalog due to an unknown error" after step 5.

I have retried with various ideas, but all result in the same error message.

Catalogs have been optimised, created a fresh laptop catalog, have replaced the master catalog from a copy, tried partial import rather than all folders, tried copy of laptop catalog on PC local C:\ Drive, all with the same result.

If I open the laptop catalog on it's own on the PC it works fine, links to the correct data location, shows all develop settings etc.

Even used PC  to open a local C:\ copy of laptop catalog, created a local backup, then reopened LR to try import from new backup - same error.

I have even re-installed LR on my PC, but it still won't import to the PC master catalog.

Also I tried to import my PC master catalog into the laptop catalog on the laptop - guess what? Same error.

Whatever way I can think of to merge these 2 catalogs the same error appears.

What now? I really don't want a situation where every future trip has to have it's own catalog.

Any other ideas? Is there another way to merge catalogs?

This has taken hours/days this week with no progress - getting very frustrated and don't have another support route to Adobe on my package.

Hope somebody can shed some light on this.

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Community Beginner ,
May 18, 2018 May 18, 2018

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Hi,

I would still like to understand the problem and how/why it happened, or how to solve it in future, but....

After a break for lunch I had another idea, which has worked, although it is not a realistic solution for the process, but may be a work around if pushed.

I decided, that with nothing to lose, I would try and rebuild a catalog from scratch on my PC as below:

1. Close LR and save a copy of master catalog (copy/paste)

2. Place a new blank catalog file in the catalog folder

3. Open LR using this blank catalog

4. Import as normal my master catalog copy

5. Test - all OK

6. Import as normal my laptop catalog - FAIL with original error

7. Close and reopen LR

8. Import as normal my laptop catalog

9. Test - all OK

10. Back up working catalog

11. Relief.....

I've no idea if next time I'll have the same kind of issues, or why I did at all, but for now I can get on with some editing.

It's cost me 3 days this week all in all, so please take note Adobe..... now, back to work.

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Community Beginner ,
May 22, 2018 May 22, 2018

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Update

I have been away for a couple of days and travelling by train.

Took the opportunity to do some LR editing, so configured my laptop with a totally new and clear catalog.

Just home and tried to import my laptop catalog to my PC - here we go again with the unknown error.

Adobe, Adobe, Adobe, this is ridiculous - paying you a subscription, getting no support and more frustrated every day.

This is not acceptable - please help sort out this issue!!!!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 22, 2018 May 22, 2018

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Are either of the catalogs stored on a network drive or NAS?

Edit: should also have asked if trying ton undertake the import over a network connection?

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Community Beginner ,
May 29, 2018 May 29, 2018

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Hi Ian,

No, I've tried all of this on my local C:\ as well as on an external drive using Windows designated drive letters.- either way gives same problem.

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Participant ,
Aug 09, 2018 Aug 09, 2018

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he's not the only one. I'm facing all sorts of weirdness when trying to move catalogues between an old MacBook and a new PC. One of them is the issue that Iain has described. I have about 40,000 images and, initially, I didn't notice anything was wrong. Then I started to see that certain images in a folder were missing Develop history. It was as if I'd never worked on them since import. (that's another issue for another thread).

No worries, I thought, I'll just go back to the original catalogue I took off the MacBook and import the settings again. All went fine, I selected the images I wanted the settings from and clicked to import and Bam...

Both this and the main catalogue live on the same drive (an SSD). I can switch to the old MacBook catalogue no problem, but I can't import from it.

Did Adobe win an award for the most informative error message since the original BSOD? If not, can I nominate you?

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New Here ,
Aug 29, 2018 Aug 29, 2018

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I solved the problem after reviewing the original file and deleting files that were repeated. Also I imported only one folder at a time

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New Here ,
Oct 03, 2018 Oct 03, 2018

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Hey Iain,

Not sure if this will help, but I encountered this problem today - and it seemed to not be an issue after I changed the name of the target catalogue. I noticed both were the same "Lightroom Catalogue.lrcat" and so I just added some characters to the filename. Solved my problem, though YMMV.

Posting in case this helps anyone else who could benefit from this simple solution.

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New Here ,
Nov 25, 2018 Nov 25, 2018

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This actually solved my issue, also I carefully selected the folders so that there're no duplicate photos.

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New Here ,
Oct 09, 2018 Oct 09, 2018

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Same problem here...

Returned from a trip, followed the same process as previous trips and got exactly the same error message as the OP

- "Lightroom could not import this catalog because of an unknown error."

I tried one file at a time but no joy.

It's bad enough that Adobe STILL can't process my Fuji X-Trans files but now this.

It's about time someone from Adobe responded to this with a solution.

It's only the cataloging that keeps me here now.

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New Here ,
Oct 22, 2018 Oct 22, 2018

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Found a solution: change the name of one of the catalogs and it works fine.

Adobe, this shouldn't be a problem, but for everyone else while it is this is the answer.

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Explorer ,
Nov 02, 2018 Nov 02, 2018

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My catalogs have totally different names and I'm getting the error. Will try importing one folder at a time.

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New Here ,
Dec 08, 2018 Dec 08, 2018

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Unbelievably, renaming one of the catalog file names worked for me. What a shit show smh.

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New Here ,
Sep 12, 2020 Sep 12, 2020

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Renaming one of the catalogs (so they both don't have the same name), worked for me as well!

(I'm currently running the latest version 9.4)

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 01, 2021 Jan 01, 2021

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I optimized both catalogs and renamed one of them to get rid of this error. I'm using the latest Windows version (as of 1/1/2021) and my catalogs are located on an external hard drive. Glad I saw this post - it was really annoying.

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New Here ,
May 05, 2019 May 05, 2019

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This error happened to me as well. In my case, I believe the issue was caused by duplicate folder names. The catalog I was importing was going to import to a file system folder named after the date of the pics, but there was already a folder with that name. The folder in the destination was empty but nonetheless LR didn't like it being there - which is probably good because it could result in overwrites so i can see why the import should fail. However, the error they throw upon failure is completely useless. Adobe need to clean up this error and provide better indication of possible root causes in the error message. It's an easy fix once you know what is wrong.

Credit to this thread for sending me on a search for duplicate things. Saved me a lot of time.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 07, 2019 Jun 07, 2019

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I am getting this message "Could not import this catalog because of an unknown error".  I have tried the previous suggested solutions without any luck - any new good hints ?

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New Here ,
Jun 15, 2019 Jun 15, 2019

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Same problem here.. Have tried all above with no luck. Please keep us posted with updates. Hopefully someone from Adobe will notice.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 25, 2019 Jun 25, 2019

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Hi.

I had this error tonight and worked around it after reading all the prior messages here.

While working in my "master" catalog (300000+ images) I had exported-as-catalog one folder of images - I'll call that Catalog B.

I then opened Catalog B and edited the images. 

When done, I opened the master catalog and selected Import From Another Catalog and picked the Catalog B's .lrcat file. I of course had duplicate files, and I selected the option to overwrite metadata and settings.  I hit Go and eventually got the error message that is the topic of  this thread.

(I then optimized both catalogs, and tried many of the other things others here report trying, without success...)

What worked for me was simply opening my "master catalog" and then renaming from within Lightroom THE FOLDER that contained the duplicate files in question.

I then tried again to Import From Another Catalog, and it completed without the error.

I won't pretend I understand exactly what went on here, but after the import finished, I had a greyed-out entry with a question mark with the folder's original name in the folder list (with 0 images), but more importantly, in the folder I had re-named were all the imported images from Catalog B with edits intact.

I'm still confused about some stuff here, but I offer this info in case it helps anyone in a similar situation. 

Owen.

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New Here ,
Sep 22, 2019 Sep 22, 2019

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I had the same issue and nothing seems to work, except for the "split in X sub-catalogues" the want-to-import catalogue. I tried to understand better the problem, and found that if export the entire want-to-import catalogue, it is still working... It seems that this file is somewhat corrupted even if it is working ok, but during import this corruption cause the error.

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Explorer ,
Apr 17, 2020 Apr 17, 2020

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I'll try this now, I just imported 20-30 Catalogs into a master and 3 failed.

I tried to import each of the failed into a new Empty clean Catalog also failed.

So in my case its not the Master Catalog having an issue or conflict as the Empty one has nothing to conflict with.

 

I tried integrity testing and exporting /saving the troublesome catalogs as their own new catalogs and still same issue which is really strange.

 

Im trying to decide if i should do a:

a) Divide up the troublesome catalogs into areas to narrow down the problem.

b) Just open troubled catalog, highlight all the files and save the metadata next to them (Write Meta Data to files) and then in the Master Catalog - just add that folder tree which should bring in all files with side car edites and metadata info.

 

I might test it first but I think option B might be the way to go I'll try on the smallest troubled catalog and see how it goes.

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Explorer ,
Apr 18, 2020 Apr 18, 2020

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Ok so update I went with Pan B - Only 1 issue - No Virtual Copies anymore. 😞

 

So saved all the metadata out to XMP added folder to new empty catalog as a test and imported that new catalog in. (Extra step but I just wanted to see).

 

Missing only 8 files and thats my virtual copies. I need to find a solution for the virtual copies as the other two troublesome catalogs have a lot of them.

 

I'm likely going to Export all Virtual Copies to DNG and set the options to be "same folder" - subfolder "VirtualCopiesDNG" and ensure Add to Catalog is ticked.

Do that before I save metadata and add folder to new Catalog.

 

 

 

 

 

Rob.

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2020 Nov 23, 2020

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I think another thing you lose with Plan B is photo stacks.

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New Here ,
Jan 08, 2021 Jan 08, 2021

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LATEST

This solved the problem for me:

1. Open the catalog you want to merge in your latest lightroom version

2. Export it with a new filename without previews

3. Open your existing catalog

4. Import the newly exported catolog

5. Success

 

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