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Help With Backups! Everything is a Mess :(

Doreen

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I have a love/hate relationship with lightroom. I love the editing process, but I HATE, HATE, HATE the filing/backup system!

I received Victoria's email today and thought I'd follow her advice and check to see where my catalog was stored. The path indicated it was in my external drive (volumes/mybook/lightroom).

Now here's where it gets tricky (and very, very confusing!). I went to my external drive and clicked on the lightroom catalog icon but it said it couldn't open it. I panicked because after all, that's where it said my backups were.

So...I went to my 'pictures' folder and clicked on a folder that said 'lightroom catalog' (see below) and was able to find a recent backup there. I also noticed there was a catalog within that folder with the lightroom icon but when I clicked on it it was an empty catalog.

So I decided to trash it. As soon as I did, the lightroom in my dock (on a mac) was no longer the catalog I've been using (I only use one). It was essentially empty. Why would that happen??

I restored the catalog I trashed (even though it appears to be empty). I dragged the 'good' catalog to the doc icon and that restored it, but...

here's a screenshot of what I'm looking at in my 'pictures' folder. If I open folder on the left labeled 'lightroom' it eventually leads me to an empty catalog, which then takes over the lightroom in my dock. So in other words it's useless, but I'm afraid to delete it. Ditto for the other three icons to the right. The one that is useful is the one to the right labeled 'lightroom catalog', which seems to be backups as well as the .lrcat. I have no clue how all these useless catalogs ended up in my folders, but here they are in all their glory!

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.39.23 PM.png


To make things even more confusing, somehow where the backups go is now changed from 'volumes/mybook' to 'pictures/lightroomcatalog/backups'. I didn't think I changed it during this whole process, but I guess I did!

I would love to clean this mess up but it scares the bejeebies out of me to mess around with this stuff :(. Why would deleting catalogs that have nothing in them mess up the lightroom in my dock, and how can I fix this? I'm always nervous when I click on my lightroom in my dock because I don't know what's going to pop up. :(.
 
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Hi Doreen

Don't worry, you're not the only one to struggle with the filing and backup.

First rule... don't panic!

So which one is the "good" catalog? Still in volumes/mybook/lightroom? Or did you find one somewhere else - perhaps a backup one in a dated folder?

And is the screenshot we're looking at the Pictures folder on your main computer's hard drive, or on the mybook drive?

If the catalog in your Lightroom folder is empty, zip it up for now (right-click > Compress) so you can't accidentally use it and you can confirm it's not essential. Same goes for the 3 files to the right, if you think they're going spare. That way, if you make a mistake, you just unzip them again!
 

Doreen

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Hi Victoria, I just commented on your post on your blog. We must have been writing at the same time :).

Ok, so...I *think* I may have figured it out but to answer your questions:

The 'good' catalog seems to be here:

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 12.24.40 PM.png


I'd like to rename it following your instructions but I'm gun shy. Everything I touch turns to quap with LR.

The screenshot that you were looking at before is on my mac's main hard drive, not mybook.

I think what happened is my Preferences said to 'open the most recent catalog'. So if I was bopping around opening everything to see what they contain it stands to reason LR thought that's what I wanted to open next. Duh. I just didn't know that Preferences option even existed!

Thank you for the tip about unzipping.

Oh, and I asked you another question that is unrelated to this issue (but still annoying!) on your blog. Not urgent but if you get a moment take a peek.

Thank you!
 
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LOL Yes, I saw your blog comment just after I'd replied.

Just have a look on your mybook drive in the volumes/mybook/lightroom and see if there's still a catalog there. If there is, just try opening that again, as it appears you've opened a backup at the moment.
 

Doreen

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Yes, it's there! Now what do I have to do to get it to be the default catalog?
 

Doreen

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I think I know the answer. Since that's the last one I opened, unless I open another one, it will default to that. So now all I need to do is zip up the other catalogs (or should I trash them?) and I'm good to go?
 

DGStinner

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If you go to the general tab in Preferences, there's an option to specify which catalog is opened when Lightroom is started. This option may currently be set to "Load most recent catalog". If you select a specific catalog, then that catalog will be opened every time Lightroom starts.
 

Doreen

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If you go to the general tab in Preferences, there's an option to specify which catalog is opened when Lightroom is started. This option may currently be set to "Load most recent catalog". If you select a specific catalog, then that catalog will be opened every time Lightroom starts.
Thank you! I figured that out this morning. Such an easy fix but since I didn't know about it it caused a lot of confusion!
 

Doreen

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Well done Doreen!
Thank you Victoria! I have been out and haven't messed around with anything thus far, so let's not celebrate quite yet ;).

Seriously, now that I know about that Preferences option, I should be ok. No news is good news, but if I manage to mess things up somehow, I'll be baaaaccckkkkkk. Otherwise, no news is good news!

Thanks so much for your help!
 
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