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accidentally deleted catalog

mesenjah

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i accidentally deleted my catalogs, all my photos are gone, and the back up folder is empty !!! i need helpppp...
 
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Welcome to the forum. Without back-up catalogs in the backup folder, there are only two things that I can think of that may "save your bacon".

The first is to look in Windows trash can for any files with the "lrcat" extension ("lrcat" is all lower case).
The second is to search all of your HDs for a file with the "lrcat" extension.

When did you delete this catalog? How do you know that it is deleted? And why do you think your backup folder is empty?

Do you have a regularly scheduled system wide backup of ALL of your critical files (Documents, spreadsheets, master image files and Lightroom Catalogs)? If you do not, then now is the second best time to consider your disaster recovery alternatives.
 

Jimmsp

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i accidentally deleted my catalogs, all my photos are gone, and the back up folder is empty !!! i need helpppp...
Did you really delete the photos, or is just that because the catalog is gone you can't see them?

As Cletus said - open up the trash folder. You can generally restore all the files that were put there.
 

mesenjah

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your help is appreciated..i tried looking in my trash bin and the trash bin is also empty..!!! iam going to try searching for the lrcat extension on my HD..will report my findings soon after..thanks again
 
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Jimmsp

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your help is appreciated..i tried looking in my trash bin and the trash bin is also empty..!!! iam going to try searching for the lrcat extension on my HD..will report my findings soon after..thanks again

Use Windows Explorer and search through the areas where you probably stored your photos - like "my pictures".
If you can find them, let us know.

BTW - what kind of camera are you using? and are you shooting jpegs? or raw?
That can be your next search.
 

mesenjah

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i have been searching my HD for the extension lrcat and its been like looking for a needle in a haystack to say the least. ohh yeah already checked in "my pictures" nothing there...:( ...i will continue to search my HD for that extension lrcat..but i must admit it takes for everrrr...
 

wianb

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Use the search box and search for *.lrcat That will search your entire system.
Searching in individual folders will take forever!!
 
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As Cletus asked...what makes you think your catalogue is deleted ? Did you intentionally delete it or are you just assuming it is because you can't find anything ?
 

mesenjah

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i appreciate your help...but im beginning to think my pics are gone for good...im running out of patience...
 

mesenjah

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i intentionally deleted photos from collection folder..i didnt know that would cause them to also be deleted from their original catalog..which in my opinion is not a very smart feature. lightroom has lots of great features and my experience before this fiasco had been great.
 
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i intentionally deleted photos from collection folder...
What are you calling Collection Folder? When you open LR do you have a catalog open?
Unless you went outside of LR and deleted your catalog (that LRCAT file we've been trying to get you to find) It should still be on your HD The could be more than on and you could have opened a new empty one by mistake. I'm beginning to thin it is more of a situation where you do not know what you are looking at and have panicked into thinking you lost every thing.

Let's start with opening LR and seeing what it can tell us.
  1. Open LR and using the menu navigate to the following menu item {File}{Open Recent}. This should expose a list of recent catalogs opened by LR.
  2. Reply here with the list contents. There should be at least one item. All items will be catalog names and one of them will be checked.
After you have done that we can give you other instructions based upon you answer.

LR has a Folder panel and a Collection panel on the left side. The folders are the reference point to the real folders on your HD. The collections are "buckets" that group images together (i.e. All of the images that you found of flowers.etc.). Collections have no relationship to the Folder panel or the real folders on your HD. You can empty the "Bucket" or you can throw the "bucket" away. The images that are in these "buckets' never leave the folder where they were stored on the HD after you imported them.

If you Remove a folder from the Folder panel, It will only get removed from LR and any image files contained in it will be removed from LR BUT nothing will happen to the files and folders in your filesystem.
If In the Collection panel you delete a Collection, only the collection (bucket) will get deleted. The image files still are on your HD and are still found in your Folder panel.
 

mesenjah

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ok here are my findings..after following your instructions...
check lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat.lock-journal.lock
lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat.lock-journal
lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat.lock
lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat

this is the list that was exposed....

also keep in mind that i have added new photos to lightroom .
just so theres no confusion about what these list of catalogs might be (they might just be the catalogs containing the new photos)..hopefully i havent lost you..

thanks again..
 
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lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat.lock-journal.lock
lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat.lock-journal
lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat.lock
These files are not catalogs. I'm surprised that they even show up in the menu list.
let's go through step 1 again:

Open LR and using the menu navigate to the following menu item {File}{Open Recent}. This should expose a list of recent catalogs opened by LR.
And this time in step 2 click on the list item "lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat " to open it.
Then report to us what the result is.
 

mesenjah

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ok here are my findings: i got this message

confirm
the lightroom catalog named "lightroom 5
catalog" cannot be opened because another
application already has it open.


quit the other copy of lightroom before trying to launch.

choose a different catalog continue exit

and no i do not have another copy of lightroom open so i dont know why im getting this message..not to my knowledge
 

JimHess43

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Delete the .lock files. They are associated with the database that Lightroom uses. When Lightroom closes normally they are deleted automatically. But, sometimes when Lightroom shuts down unexpectedly this file will not be erased. And that is the most probable cause for the message that you received. Close Lightroom, and then erase those files that have the lock extension. Then try to start Lightroom again by double-clicking on the lrcat file.
 
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As Jim Hess has said.
1. Close LR
2. Navigate to the folder where the catalog lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat is found
3. Delete the files with the ".lock" extension
4 Reopen LR and open the file named lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat or just double click on the file.
 

marco

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also keep in mind that i have added new photos to lightroom .

If you DID delete the photos then writing to your harddisk (by adding new photos to LR for instance) CAN make it harder to recover the lost files!
Be careful.
Best thing is to not use your computer at all, except for the recovery actions. Every other action, like downloading recoverysoftware, should be done from another computer.
 

mesenjah

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ok so should i save photos in LR by extracting them to a desk top folder..and then try and follow instructions to delete all files with "lock" extension..???
 
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ok so should i save photos in LR by extracting them to a desk top folder..and then try and follow instructions to delete all files with "lock" extension..???
Just follow my 4 step instructions:
1. Close LR
2. Navigate to the folder where the catalog
lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat is found
3. Delete the files with the ".lock" extension

4 Reopen LR and open the file named lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat or just double click on the file.

You really at this point do not need to do anything else. If you don't know where the catalog lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat is stored, we can help you find it.
 

mesenjah

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yes ..please help me find where this catalog is stored...
 
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In Step 4 above I asked you to open the catalog named Lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat , If you do that, then
  1. In LR Open Catalog Settings
  2. In the {General} tab in the information section there is a listing labeled "Location:" This shows you the path to the catalog that is open.
  3. There is a button labeled {Show} to the right of this. Press {Show}
  4. This will open the folder in Explorer that contains this catalog.
  5. You should see the files named :
    • lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat.lock-journal.lock
      lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat.lock-journal
      lightroom 5 catalog.lrcat.lock
  6. ​These three files AND Only these three files are the ones that need deleting
 

mesenjah

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ok i have deleted all "lock" extension files now what????
 
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mesenjah

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ok here are my findings....i believe i found the images originally imported..but i did not find the edited versions of these. i had originally imported these pics i then created three (3) collection folders...(1) was labeled "finish" (2) was labeled "for editing" and (3) was labeled "miscellaneous". all folders have their pictures exept THE "finished" folder which contained the edited pics .. and the pics that do show are marked as missing so i cant edit them...hope that make sense..thanks again.
 
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