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All of my edited photos are lost in Lightroom Help Please!

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I opened my Lightroom and lo and behold All of my edited photos were not there. I can find them on my hard drive, listed as IMG Files; but none of the photos are in Lightroom,as if I had never imported them.

The Lightoom folder on my hard drive contains :

Backups
Lightroom Catalog previews.Irdata

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

oleleclos

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The most likely reason is that you have opened a new or different Catalog. You need to find and open the Catalog relating to your edited pictures. Try File/Open Recent inside Lr.

Based on the file names you list, the name of that file should be "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat"

If that has somehow disappeared from your disk, you hopefully have one or more of Lightroom's backups in your "Backups" folder or your own backup on a separate drive, but we can look at that later if need be.

BTW, you say that your originals are listed as .IMG files. That's odd; I thought the IMG extension was only used for disk images (i.e. copies of whole disks), not for photos. You're sure you're looking at the right files?
 
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You could also look for the missing catalogue file in your Recycle Bin.
 
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The most likely reason is that you have opened a new or different Catalog. You need to find and open the Catalog relating to your edited pictures. Try File/Open Recent inside Lr.

Based on the file names you list, the name of that file should be "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat"

If that has somehow disappeared from your disk, you hopefully have one or more of Lightroom's backups in your "Backups" folder or your own backup on a separate drive, but we can look at that later if need be.

BTW, you say that your originals are listed as .IMG files. That's odd; I thought the IMG extension was only used for disk images (i.e. copies of whole disks), not for photos. You're sure you're looking at the right files?
Thank you for your reply. I tried File/OPen Recent inside LR. Did not find my edited photos. I know I have not backed up anything on a separate drive: so how would I find them in the LR "Backups" folder without causing myself further problems?

Thank you!
 
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You're not looking for your photos in the Backups folder, you're looking for catalog backups (photos are not IN the catalog, they are simply referenced from their existing location and the data about them is stored in the catalog database). If the catalog that you have opened shows zero images (look at the "All Photographs" line in the Catalog panel, left-side panel of the Library module to see what number of images is recorded there), then it's likely that you have somehow managed to open a new empty catalog. You could do a search in File Manager for any files ending in .lrcat and post the results in a screenshot here.

Also, again using File Manager, open that Backups folder and show us a screenshot of the contents.
 

oleleclos

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If you can’t find your original “Lightroom Catalog.lrcat” file, but you have the backup copies in the folder Backups, you can restore your Catalog.

Your Backups folder should contain a number of folders with names made up of dates and times. Inside each of these is a .zip file of your Catalog at that date and time:

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 16.50.32.png


Select the latest version and double-click on the .zip file. That will place an un-zipped Catalog (.lrcat file) in the same folder:

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 16.52.18.png


Now drag that Catalog to your Lightroom folder (leave all the backup files where they are), and start Lightroom by double-clicking on the .lrcat file.

This will return you to the Lightroom state that existed when the backup file was made. If you have imported photos or made edits in the meantime, you will need to repeat that. You can use “Synchronize Folder” to find the new imports, but any edits will have to be done manually.

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 17.01.38.png
 
Last edited:
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If you can’t find your original “Lightroom Catalog.lrcat” file, but you have the backup copies in the folder Backups, you can restore your Catalog.

Your Backups folder should contain a number of folders with names made up of dates and times. Inside each of these is a .zip file of your Catalog at that date and time:

View attachment 9373

Select the latest version and double-click on the .zip file. That will place an un-zipped Catalog (.lrcat file) in the same folder:

View attachment 9374

Now drag that Catalog to your Lightroom folder (leave all the backup files where they are), and start Lightroom by double-clicking on the .lrcat file.

This will return you to the Lightroom state that existed when the backup file was made. If you have imported photos or made edits in the meantime, you will need to repeat that. You can use “Synchronize Folder” to find the new imports, but any edits will have to be done manually.

View attachment 9376
Ok, I have looked in my backups folder and only found one folder made up of dates and times : This folder only contains photos I have been re-importing from my hard drive with the thought of starting all over again and re-editing. I must confess I am woefully inadequate at file management in general!

upload_2017-5-22_21-15-50.png
 
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No, that folder should contain a backup of your catalog that was created on May 17th at 22:34. Open the folder and you should find a single file which will end in .lrcat.zip (catalog backups are zipped after creation). If you click on the zip file and extract the catalog, then open the extracted file in Lightroom, do you see all your original image data?
 
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Dear Jim,
All I am seeing when I extract the zip file to Lightroom is the images I have imported after I lost all the previous data. None of these has any editing data.

upload_2017-5-22_23-9-4.png
 
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OK, there seem to be only two possibilities. Either there's another (the original) catalog lurking on your system somewhere (have you done that search for .lrcat files that I suggested in an earlier post?), or the original catalog has inadvertently been deleted, so have you checked the recycle bin?
 
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Thanks Jim, Nothing in my recycle bin nor anything when I do a search for .Lrcatfiles
 
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In which case I don't think we're going to be able to help. Without any backup to restore from, I'm afraid you'll have lost all your previous work in Lightroom and you'll need to start over with that new catalog. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you do start over please ensure that you put in a backup scheme (both catalog and photo files).
 

oleleclos

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Ok, I have looked in my backups folder and only found one folder made up of dates and times : This folder only contains photos I have been re-importing from my hard drive with the thought of starting all over again and re-editing. I must confess I am woefully inadequate at file management in general!View attachment 9392
For how long have you been using Lightroom? It is very odd to find only one, 5-day old, backup file in your Backups folder.

And did your problem only start on 20th May, when you posted your question? You say that your backup from 17th May contains only the pictures you imported AFTER your problem started, so the question is, where are not only your .lrcat file from before May 17 or 20, but all your backups (assuming you have done them regularly)?
 
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Thanks guys for all of your advice. Not the end of the world for me. I have only been using the program for a short time, so not that many edits lost. I can start over again. I certainly will learn how to create a back up system. I've been watching a lot of You Tube videos on that subject. Thanks again!
 

Ian.B

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Having no external backup is like driving witout a seat belt. Crash and you can kiss it all goodbye.
I love that one liner!!


all the best with it ruffroad :rofl: (love that one) --I think we all have bounced alone that same ruffroad but it does get smoother with time and patience

with backing up -- remember you need to back up your photos AND the catalogue separately . 1st thing is to go LR>edit>catalogue settings to set up a reminder to back up the catalogue (pops up when shutting down LR) -- LR will save to Windows 'Pictures' . Now to be really safe you then need to back up the back up to an external drive .
If not done really; put ALL photo folders into ONE main "photo" folder -- that will make it easier to back up the photos to the external h/drive . Some would suggest we should have third back up h/drive . I would suggest not to use cloud storage although many do use it (??)

It is important to get a LR filing system set up early --- new files names /folders /keywords/ labels/stars will help you keep things tiding --- think it's like the cutlery draws in the kitchen -- the more separation the easier it is to find that one little spoon; especially if you are blind and without that LR system it's just like being blind when looking for that one photo taken 5-10 years ago

If you're not sure about something; post a question before experimenting too much
 
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Thank you Ian! I have finally located my catalog , with my edits , and sorted everything into folders. Then I took your advice and tried to back up everything to a separate hard drive. "E".

I proceeded to Export as a Catalog my entire collection to the E drive. Now I have nothing in my Lightroom at all! Here are a couple of screenshots.Originally all of my photos are kept on my D Drive.

My Question is : How do I get everything back into Lightroom from the E Drive?

Thank you!
 

Attachments

Ian.B

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import it again (??) ; but best wait for real gurus to give the prefect answer

I think you have mistaken 'backing up' with 'exporting' --- once lr has made the 1st back up; which by default is stored in Pictures, you then copy and paste that back-up the other hard drive --- same goes for actual photo files although most have that set up to happen automatically --- I still haven't work that out so I do it manually

The big thing to remember with lightroom is catalog and photo files are very separate and both need to be backed up separately
 
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Hi Ian, Thanks for your reply Mate!

I found all my edited files on the E drive by going to File /Open Recent. All is well there when I open it. It just prompts a restart of Lightroom, and opens everything on the E Drive. So it looks like I have just transferred all of my photos to the E drive , and have emptied what was on my D Drive, where I want everything to reside as the originals , not the backup.

I'm hoping someone can show me how to get things duplicated on both drives.

Thanks again!

Scott Ruffner
 
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Just copy everything to the internal drive; both the images as well as the catalog folder. Then start Lightroom, choose 'File - Open Catalog' and navigate to the catalog on the internal disk. Lightroom will restart and open it. From now on, it will open this catalog (unless you've set something else in the preferences). The catalog will still point to the images on the external disk however. You solve this in the following way: right-click on the top folder in the Lightroom folder panel and choose 'Update Folder Location'. Navigate to the top folder on the internal disk and select it. Done. Lightroom will now point to the internal disk, and all the subfolders will be 'reconnected' as well. If you do not have one single top folder, you may have to repeat it with each top folder.
 
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