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Lightroom folders disappeared completely

ken_2

New Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
3
Lightroom Version
11.1
Operating System
  1. macOS 12 Monterey
Hi

I have 2 catalogs in Lightroom which I've been using for some months. They both have numerous folders in them - all of the folders are on an external drive.

All has been working without any problem until about an hour ago when I opened one of the catalogs to find all of the folders had disappeared - just to be clear they are not listed with the question mark on them but disappeared without trace. The drive they were in has also disappeared.

The other odd thing is that I had some services set up, Flickr for example, but these have disappeared as well. The only thing that is left is folders I had imported from the Mac hard drive - ie so it has not completely reset to an empty catalog.

The same has happened to the other catalog. I've been using Lightroom for years and this has never happened before.

Help! Any help very gratefully received.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
12,221
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Is it possible that you opened an old version? I have never seen any proof that Lightroom could remove folders from its catalog all by itself, despite people sometimes claiming this. And what about catalog backups? Do you make regular catalog backups, either through Lightroom or perhaps Apple Time Machine? Reverting to a backup would be the easiest solution by far, whatever caused this.
 

ken_2

New Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
3
You are right, the only thing that makes sense is that I’m opening an old version of the catalog although it seems strange that both catalogs are old ones.

On further investigation, the back ups may offer a clue. The latest I can find is February. But where the later version of the catalog is gone is a mystery.

But thanks for confirming that folders don’t disappear!
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
1,162
Location
Palo Alto, CA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
search yuour entire system, including external drives, for any file with an extension of ".lrcat". Those are your catalog files.

You didn't perhaps rename a disk drive did you? If so, and your catalog was on that drive, LrC would not be able to find that catalog on launch and would then go looking on your internal drive for a catalog to open and may have stumbled on an old one.
 

ken_2

New Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
3
OK I've solved the issue but what happened is still a mystery.

I used Disk Drill and found the latest versions of the 2 catalogs which had been completely deleted. However what doesn't make sense is the fact that older version of the catalogs were still in their original folders. It was almost as if the latest versions were deleted and replaced by earlier versions.

I realise that doesn't make any sense but whatever, I've managed to get the latest versions back and will be implementing a much better back up routine!

But many thanks for your help
 
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