Catalogs Need help restoring Lightroom catalog

Glenncca

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Jan 14, 2018
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3
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5.x
#1
Operating System: Windows 8
Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info):5.7

I had a problem with my computer yesterday. It would not start and I had to do a system restore. I have been diligent about doing backups so I think I have all of the files I need but I have not been able to get Lightroom back to where it was.

I downloaded and re-installed Lightroom. I searched in this forum for information on restoring and found some instructions and I also referred to the instructions in this blog post: How do I move Lightroom to a new computer? | The Lightroom Queen.

I located the most recent catalog backup file and copied it to the Pictures\Lightroom folder. However, when I double-click on this folder nothing happens. And when I follow Windows 10's instructions to find an app to open the folder and try using the LR.exe file also nothing happens.

I also used the "Open Catalog" command on the Lightroom File menu, nothing happened when I did that either. I also tried holding the Ctrl key down on launch and opening the catalog that way, no luck with that either.

The process seems like it should be relatively simply and straight forward but I'm not getting anywhere. What am I missing? Any help would be appreciated.

Glenncca
 
Last edited:

Jim Wilde

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#2
Operating System: Windows 8
Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info):5.7

I located the most recent catalog backup file and copied it to the Pictures\Lightroom folder. However, when I double-click on this folder nothing happens. And when I follow Windows 10's instructions to find an app to open the folder and try using the LR.exe file also nothing happens.

I also used the "Open Catalog" command on the Lightroom File menu, nothing happened when I did that either. I also tried holding the Ctrl key down on launch and opening the catalog that way, no luck with that either.
The first paragraph that I've quoted needs some clarification. You said you copied the backup file to the Pictures/Lightroom folder, can you confirm the file extension of the file you copied was ".lrcat"? Then you said you double-clicked on the folder, did you really mean "folder" or did you intend to say "file"? The next sentence about following Win10's instructions to find an app implies that either Lightroom has NOT been correctly installed (not likely as you appear to be using it OK in the next paragraph), or you're not double-clicking on a file with the ".lrcat" extension.

After you then used the "Open Catalog" command, a file browser should have appeared, and you need to use that to navigate to the catalog file (that ends with ".lrcat") that you say you copied to the Pictures/Lightroom folder. Is that what you were doing?
 

Glenncca

New Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
3
Lightroom Experience
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Lightroom Version
5.x
#3
Jim:

Thanks for your reply.

The first paragraph that I've quoted needs some clarification. You said you copied the backup file to the Pictures/Lightroom folder, can you confirm the file extension of the file you copied was ".lrcat"?
Yes, it was an ".lrcat" file.

Then you said you double-clicked on the folder, did you really mean "folder" or did you intend to say "file"?
Sorry, I did mean "file".

The next sentence about following Win10's instructions to find an app implies that either Lightroom has NOT been correctly installed (not likely as you appear to be using it OK in the next paragraph), or you're not double-clicking on a file with the ".lrcat" extension.
I believe that Lightroom installed properly but hard to tell without a catalog.

After you then used the "Open Catalog" command, a file browser should have appeared, and you need to use that to navigate to the catalog file (that ends with ".lrcat") that you say you copied to the Pictures/Lightroom folder. Is that what you were doing?
Yes, a browser window appears and I select the ".lrcat" file but then nothing seems to happen. There is data in this file, over 1 MB.

Glenn
 

Jim Wilde

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#4
OK, what does "nothing seems to happen" mean? Are you selecting a different catalog to the one that LR is currently using? Are you certain you have correctly copied the correct backup file over to the Lightroom folder? Can we see a File Explorer screenshot of the contents of the backup folder, and another of the contents of the Pictures/Lightroom folder? Use the "Details" view so we can see size and date info.
 

Glenncca

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Jan 14, 2018
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#5
Jim:

Thanks for your help. I went back to the beginning, made sure I had located the most recent "lrcat" file, and started over. I was using a different "lrcat" file this time. I took screenshots along the way to post in the event that I wasn't able to recover the catalog. But, I am happy to report that I was able to restore the catalog. This time everything went as described, when I double-clicked on the "lrcat" file Lightroom opened and immediately populated with my photos. Quite a relief. The only downside is that the catalog backup was not as recent as I thought it would be so I did lose some catalog data. I had recently started to revamp my backup process to ensure that I had everything completely up to date, I will be focusing on that now to ensure my future backups of the catalog are more current. The good news in all of this is that now I know that the backup can be restored relatively painlessly.

Glenn
 
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#6
I will be focusing on that now to ensure my future backups of the catalog are more current.
Lightroom offers to do a backup once a week. You just need to accept.
If you want it more often than that you can set it to every day in Edit > Catalog Settings > General.

one important point to note is that the default location for the back-up catalog is a "backup" folder inside the same folder as your working catalog. This is pretty worthless as a backup because a disk failure will likely kill both files. If you have a second physical drive, a NAS or an external drive you should really change the location so the back up goes to that instead. To do this run a backup and when the Catalog backup dialogue is displayed it gives you the option to choose the backup location. Choose the new drive/location and run the backup. Note: If you don't actually run the backup the new location wont be set.
 
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