Lost Previews

JoelM

New Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
15
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
6.x / CC 2015.x
#26
I see 6 catalogs! There should be only one. But before cleaning the Lightroom folder, we need to determine which catalog is the real one.

In chronological order based on time of modification:
Lightroom Catalog-2-2 (Nov 25)
Lightroom Catalog-3 (Nov 26)
Lightroom Catalog-4 (Nov 27)
Lightroom Catalog (Nov 27)
Lightroom Catalog-3-2 (Nov 30)
Lightroom Catalog-2 (Dec 02)

Of them, only "Lightroom Catalog", "Lightroom Catalog-2" and "Lightroom Catalog-2-2" have previews.
Based on the size of the preview folders, "Lightroom Catlog-2" has only few previews. The most accurate seems to be "Lightroom Catalog-2-2".

What happens if you open the catalog "Lightroom Catalog-2-2" by double clicking on the file "Lightroom Catalog-2-2.lrcat" ?
Joel, why are you trying to retrieve a backup catalog? The "-2-2" catalog is right there in the same Lightroom folder as all the other catalogs. Simply try File>Open Recent and see if the Lightroom Catalog-2-2.lrcat appears in the list. If it does, click on it to open it. It it does not appear in the list, do File>Open Catalog and navigate to the Pictures/Lightroom folder and select the catalog file.
Joel, why are you trying to retrieve a backup catalog? The "-2-2" catalog is right there in the same Lightroom folder as all the other catalogs. Simply try File>Open Recent and see if the Lightroom Catalog-2-2.lrcat appears in the list. If it does, click on it to open it. It it does not appear in the list, do File>Open Catalog and navigate to the Pictures/Lightroom folder and select the catalog file.
JIM,
I have tried to go that way (see attachment) but LR tells me that "it is too new to be opened by this version of LR". That may be what happened back in November, (that dialog box may have come up and I impulsively tried another version of LR, the one with the woman's face rather than the flower), and maybe that's what set up this train of events. I'm not sure, but I would like to find my way back to that catalog and previews. Otherwise, if I have to load 60,000 files I will lose all my data /keywords/etc.
Here's the latest screen shot.
I'm grateful form your thoughts each time.
Joel
 

Attachments

Jim Wilde

Lightroom Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Lightroom Guru
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
11,110
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
#27
Did you at some point install the trial version of LR Classic?

Do you have subscription account, or a perpetual license?

Do Help>System Info and post a screenshot of the result.
 

JoelM

New Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
15
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
6.x / CC 2015.x
#28
Did you at some point install the trial version of LR Classic?

Do you have subscription account, or a perpetual license?

Do Help>System Info and post a screenshot of the result.
JIM,
Answers:
1 - I opened the upgrade to see if it was for me I think it was the cloud based version so I cancelled that, then the newer version, but felt it wasn't what I wanted just then while on location.
2 - I have a perpetual license renewed by Adobe every year (I was perhaps the first photographer to use Adobe back in 1991 (16 floppy discs!) and I helped to add certain darkroom ideas to their early system.

3 - see attachment below.
You are a most patient man and I thank you for your persistence with this mystery.

Joel
 

Attachments

Jim Wilde

Lightroom Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Lightroom Guru
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
11,110
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
#29
OK, some of the mystery seems to be explained. You've obviously updated to LR Classic at some recent point, and when you do a version upgrade such as that Lightroom will create a new version of the existing catalog.....so it looks as though your LR6 catalog was Lightroom Catalog-2.lrcat, so the upgraded version would be the Lightroom Catalog-2-2.lrcat catalog (which is why LR6 cannot read that, as it is "too new"). Crucially, the catalog upgrade process also "steals" the existing previews cache....thus the Lightroom Catalog-2 Previews.lrdata would simply have been renamed as Lightroom Catalog-2-2 Previews.lrdata.

When you then abandoned LR Classic and reverted to LR6 and opened the Lightroom Catalog-2.lrcat, because the existing previews cache no longer existed (because it had been renamed by the upgrade process) a new empty previews cache is created. That then would normally start to populate the blank thumbnails with new previews, but that requires the actual images to be online....if they are not, the thumbnails remain blank.

To proceed to the next stage, you have a choice:

1. The license type as per your System Info is actually a Creative Cloud license, which should allow you to install and run the latest version of Lightroom, which is Classic 8.0. If you want to go that route, you would install Classic using the Creative Cloud desktop app (which you may need to download and install first, if not already installed). Then you would open that Lightroom Catalog-2-2.lrcat catalog, and that will use the corresponding previews cache, so you would then see all the previews in the Grid, even when the images are offline.

2. Or, if you prefer to stay with LR6, rather than upgrade to Classic, with LR closed you could first delete the existing "Lightroom Catalog-2 Previews.lrdata" package, then rename the Lightroom Catalog-2-2 Previews.lrdata package to bring it back in line with the LR6 catalog, i.e. rename it to "Lightroom Catalog-2 Previews.lrdata". Then, using LR6, open the Lightroom Catalog-2.lrcat, and you should then see the previews in the grid.

Having done either of the above (please take care to ensure you don't get the "-2" and "-2-2" files mixed up), you should then bring ALL the drives online, and then run the Library>Find All Missing Photos command to see how many missing images you still have.
 

JoelM

New Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
15
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
6.x / CC 2015.x
#30
OK, some of the mystery seems to be explained. You've obviously updated to LR Classic at some recent point, and when you do a version upgrade such as that Lightroom will create a new version of the existing catalog.....so it looks as though your LR6 catalog was Lightroom Catalog-2.lrcat, so the upgraded version would be the Lightroom Catalog-2-2.lrcat catalog (which is why LR6 cannot read that, as it is "too new"). Crucially, the catalog upgrade process also "steals" the existing previews cache....thus the Lightroom Catalog-2 Previews.lrdata would simply have been renamed as Lightroom Catalog-2-2 Previews.lrdata.

When you then abandoned LR Classic and reverted to LR6 and opened the Lightroom Catalog-2.lrcat, because the existing previews cache no longer existed (because it had been renamed by the upgrade process) a new empty previews cache is created. That then would normally start to populate the blank thumbnails with new previews, but that requires the actual images to be online....if they are not, the thumbnails remain blank.

To proceed to the next stage, you have a choice:

1. The license type as per your System Info is actually a Creative Cloud license, which should allow you to install and run the latest version of Lightroom, which is Classic 8.0. If you want to go that route, you would install Classic using the Creative Cloud desktop app (which you may need to download and install first, if not already installed). Then you would open that Lightroom Catalog-2-2.lrcat catalog, and that will use the corresponding previews cache, so you would then see all the previews in the Grid, even when the images are offline.

2. Or, if you prefer to stay with LR6, rather than upgrade to Classic, with LR closed you could first delete the existing "Lightroom Catalog-2 Previews.lrdata" package, then rename the Lightroom Catalog-2-2 Previews.lrdata package to bring it back in line with the LR6 catalog, i.e. rename it to "Lightroom Catalog-2 Previews.lrdata". Then, using LR6, open the Lightroom Catalog-2.lrcat, and you should then see the previews in the grid.

Having done either of the above (please take care to ensure you don't get the "-2" and "-2-2" files mixed up), you should then bring ALL the drives online, and then run the Library>Find All Missing Photos command to see how many missing images you still have.
DEAR JIM,

WELL, that is an incredibly thoughtful analysis and sleuthing you have done for me and this problem. Brilliant!
I will sit with both now and move ahead with the one that will be easiest and most useful going forward. Probably the Classic 8.0 route seems best. How do you feel about 8.0 Vs. LR6?

I will let you know how the repopulation goes.

If you send me a mailing address I will ask my publisher to send you something.

With gratitude and admiration.

Joel
 

Jim Wilde

Lightroom Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Lightroom Guru
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
11,110
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
#31
Joel, don't try to use both on and ongoing basis, that would be a bad idea. Given that LR Classic 8.0 is the same base program as LR6, except it has a bunch of significant updates, I'd obviously come down in favour of 8.0.....it would make little sense to me to continue to use LR6 when you have the no-cost option to use the latest version.

Note also that if you rename that previews folder back to the "-2" level in order to use the LR6 catalog, and then you install LR Classic 8.0 and open the "-2-2.lrcat", you'll have no previews again (because the LR6 catalog will have them), so Classic 8.0 will create a new initially empty "-2-2 Previews.lrdata", so it will start off with the blank thumbnails. Another reason to decide which version you intend to use going forward....
 

JoelM

New Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
15
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
6.x / CC 2015.x
#32
Dear Jim,

I want to report that your advice, and leading up to that, your precise sleuthing, brought me back online with all my previews intact.

I am immensely grateful for the time you took with me and for the step by step consideration of how to make them visible once again. I am reconfiguring my entire LR /Digital archive so that all original files - more than 100k of them - will reside on an external drive here in Italy which mirrors my New York server system. As it was I had some sections of the LR files on separate drives here which I would search only when there was a call for a select work.

My offer still stands to send you something from my publisher in London should you wish to send me an address for shipping.
My email is: [email protected]

With gratitude,

Joel Meyerowitz
 

Jim Wilde

Lightroom Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Lightroom Guru
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
11,110
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
#33
Joel,

I appreciate your very kind offer, but really your thanks are more than enough!
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Messages
15
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
6.x / CC 2015.x
#34
Well, Jim, I am appreciative, and truly grateful for the effort you made to help me sort this out.
I won't forget your clarity and kindness.
Joel
 
Top