Power Failure, All Catalog Folders Disappear

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#1
Lightroom Version
LTR 5.6
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Windows 10
While working in LTR 5.6 all neighborhood power went off. When power came back I clicked to open LTR and it gave me a window asking me for my serial number registration, as if this were the first time I was opening the software. (Power failures have happened before but I've never been asked to validate my registration before.) But I entered the registration info, moved ahead, and came to a screen showing no folders and zero images in LTR. I can't remember what came next but I quickly had a screen asking me to click the Import button to begin (screenshot PowerFailure, No Folders). Something told me I didn't want to do that.

I backup when shutting down almost every day. Screen shots Power Failure 2, 3, and 4 show steps leading me to "Relaunch Lightroom with this catalog?" Is this what I should do?

I have about 200,000 images in my LTR catalog from 3 (of 6) external hard drives. The last time I had a catalog problem was quite a few years ago and I'm no techie. I'd very much appreciate guidance on what steps to take to restore all the missing folders and images. Many thanks. Ollie
 

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#2
What I suspect has happened is the power failure caused some Lightroom files to be corrupted, specifically the registration file (which is where the serial number is stored) and the preferences file (where the information about the current catalog information is stored). In these situations, on restart you'll need to re-enter the serial number to have it stored in the registration file again, which you have done.
Secondly, because of the problem, Lightroom cannot find an existing catalog in the default location, and because it has no knowledge of your actual catalog, it assumes it's a new installation and creates a new empty catalog (which is what your first screenshot shows....see that the All Photographs total is zero). In this situation you simply have to show Lightroom where the actual catalog is via the File>Open Catalog command. I assume the catalog is the one inside the "New LTR Masters2" folder (check the Date Created and Date Modified dates of the "Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat" file to make sure). Then you should hopefully find everything is good to go, but be sure to check things thoroughly, just in case the power outage also corrupted the catalog,
 
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#3
Jim: Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. There are still a couple of things I don't understand about the relationships between the folders on my hard drive. Screen grab PF-5 shows that my "New LTR Masters2" folder contains 216,688 files and takes up 94.0GB of space--more files than I thought, but that's a minor point. But it shows a Date Created of June 11, 2014 (probably when I moved to my current desk top, or maybe when I upgraded from LTR-4 to 5), and it shows no Date Modified. Screen grab PF-7 shows the folders in my Backup folder, the most recent being 2018-11-14. Should I click on that, or on the New LTR Masters2 folder? There's also (screen grab PF-6) the folder named Lightroom5 Catalog.lrcat, but it's only 1.3MB in size and was created yesterday, maybe when I re-registered after the power failure, and it probably has nothing in it. The absence of a Date Modified on the LTR Masters2 folder gave me pause. I don't want to revert to the catalog of June 11, 2014. What's the relationship between the LTR Masters2 folder and the folders in the Backups folder? Many thanks again for helping me understand this.
 

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#4
When you start Lightroom for the first time, it creates the new catalog in that default Pictures>Lightroom folder, although you can subsequently change that if desired. When you first exit Lightroom and request a catalog backup, it sets the default location for the backups in a sub-folder called Backups, also in the same Pictures>Lightroom folder. The only way you can change that location is during the initiation of a backup operation, and if you change the location of the actual catalog file but don't change the location for the catalog backups then Lightroom will continue to backup to that default location.

What I can determine from the screenshots is that almost certainly your active catalog is in Pictures>Lightroom>New LTR Masters2, and is called Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat, and this is the catalog that you should be trying to open. Before you can do that, however, you need to delete the "Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat.lock" file (that's a temporary file which is created when launching a catalog, and is supposed to be deleted when you close the catalog, but as the catalog didn't close cleanly the lock file is still there and must be removed before Lightroom will open the catalog).

Until you try to open that catalog we have no way of knowing if the catalog is corrupt or not, so you need to try it (it can't harm anything, but we do need to know). If it is corrupt, then you do have a fairly recent catalog backup to revert to. So in your situation I would go ahead and try to open the catalog in the New LTR Masters 2 folder before doing anything else.

The high number of files showing in the properties for New LTR Masters2 includes all the preview files in the Previews.lrdata database, so a high number is expected.
 
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#5
Jim: What a relief! Yes, the images are back and it appears that I did not even lose any work done in the couple of hours before the power failure. It did take two tries, however. The first time I opened the catalog the images appeared briefly but then LTR told me it had encountered an error, needed to quit, and would attempt to fix the error next time it opens. So I closed it, re-opened it, and it's now working. Opened it a second time and it seems OK. The info appearing on the thumbnails in Library mode is not the way I usually show it, but I should be able to return it to my usual mode. So does this mean there are really two backups of the catalog--the one you directed me to in the NewLTR Masters2 folder (called Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat), which seems to be up to date to the minute of the failure, and the most recent backup folder in the larger folder named "Backups", which would have been made a day earlier?
 

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#6
So does this mean there are really two backups of the catalog--the one you directed me to in the NewLTR Masters2 folder (called Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat), which seems to be up to date to the minute of the failure, and the most recent backup folder in the larger folder named "Backups", which would have been made a day earlier?
No. The catalog in the NEW LTR Masters2 folder is the MASTER catalog, not a backup catalog, i.e. it is the catalog in use when you had the power failure. The backup catalogs are in the Backups folder in the root of the Lightroom folder.

Incidentally, having the catalog backups on the same drive as the master catalog is a dangerous practice unless you separately backup that Backups folder to a different drive.
 
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#7
Thanks, yes, I'll start sending the Backups folders to a separate drive. I occasionally copied a backups folder to another drive in the past, but only occasionally.

Things are now more or less back to normal but a few anomalies keep cropping up, which I think must be LTR default settings that I had changed years ago mow re-asserting themselves until I override them. Here's one I can't figure out. Normally my habit has been that after doing maybe 95% of my processing of a DNG file in LTR I then hit PHOTO>EDIT IN>ADOBE PS CS5 to get a PSD copy in Photoshop, in case I want to do any fine-tuning before saving the PSD file, which I consider to be my master file. Since restoring my system after the power failure now when the image is opened in PS it comes with the word Edit after the image file number and before the .PSD. (See Screen grab). I've been doing this for years and the word "Edit" has never before added itself to my file name. Do you know what I need to do to stop this from happening? I have seen that if I just export the DNGs to another folder as PSDs they show up there without the Edit in the file name but that's leapfrogging over Photoshelter and not allowing me to make the fine-tuning adjustments I may want to do.

There's one more question maybe you can answer, illustrated by the second and third screen grabs. The IPTC and EXIF data from LTR (the location data and country ISO code) is not conveyed into Photoshop when the image is exported from LTR. The situation has always been this way--it's not a result of the power failure and re-installation of LTR--but I'm just wondering if you know why this happens.
 

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#8
The "Edit" addition to the file name is the default naming scheme for externally edited files. You can change this in the Preferences>External Editing tab.
 

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The other issue is probably a misunderstanding. In Lightroom in the IPTC section of the Metadata panel (which is what you're showing in the screenshot) you can enter location data, as you have done. However, that does not define if the location is the place where the photo was taken from, or describes the location shown in the photo. That can be entered in LR in the IPTC Extension section, i.e. two separate sets of location data. That's then what should be shown in the IPTC Extension tab of the Info display in PS. Have you entered that data in LR?
 
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#10
The "Edit" addition to the file name is the default naming scheme for externally edited files. You can change this in the Preferences>External Editing tab.
Found it! Using "Filename" (only) gets rid of the "Edit." I hadn't zeroed in on that field at the bottom of the Preferences page. Thanks again.

As for the IPTC question I have always used "EXIF and IPTC." This seems the most comprehensive, since it accepts all the data that seem relevant to me: image dimensions, ISO, date-time of photo and all the location data. (First two screen grabs). IPTC shows location data but omits data about the image file (Third screen grab). The IPTC Extension option (last screen grab) looks odd to me, excludes info on the image file, date, ISO, etc., and seems like most fields would not apply to what I'm doing. If that's what it takes to get the location data into Photoshop I guess I'll continue to forgo that option, which looks like it would just add another step to the image processing process. I also don't think I understand the difference between "the place where the photo was taken from, or describes the location shown in the photo." Anyway, thanks again Jim for patiently expanding my understanding of Lightroom.
 

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#11
I don't use the IPTC Extension fields for location data, either. I do use the standard EXIF & IPTC option in the Metadata Panel, and enter location data there. When I edit in Photoshop, and view the File Info I see a different display to that which you showed in your earlier screenshot. This is what I see:

Info.png

As you can see, I have the option to view the standard IPTC fields, which does include the location data that I entered in Lightroom, or I can show the IPTC Extension fields instead (which I don't use, and is thus empty). I don't need to differentiate between Location Created and Location Shown, as I always use the location fields to specify where the photo was taken from, and I use keywords to describe the contents of the image.

Regarding the difference between Location Created and Location Shown, imagine you take a picture of the Manhattan skyline from the New Jersey shoreline....what do you put in the Location fields? As I said, I would always enter the shooting location, not the subject location.....but others wouldn't know that, hence the option to specify both.
 
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Jim: OK, understand the distinction between Location Created and Location Shown. Regarding your PS File Info panel, that's very interesting. Your Photoshop display panel is different from mine. I'm using CS5, version 12.0.4. Yours is probably newer. But seeing yours showing a menu along the left side of yours led me to explore mine more. I found a tiny menu button in the far upper right corner. Disappears when I open my screen grab tool, so I can't show it to you. But it offered a number of choices I'd never seen before, among them being a tab named "IPTC." Also, it allows me to unclick the "IPTC Extension" tab. So the IPTC data was always there, just hidden in a tab menu I didn't know existed. And when I open the IPTC tab and scroll down a bit there comes the location info, including ISO country abbreviation. Thanks again for leading me to a new dimension--this time in Photoshop--I didn't know about. Hopefully I'm back to normal now and you'll be free to help others in need. Many thanks again, Ollie.
 

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#13
Jim: Thought I was finished, but a new question has just come up as I was shutting down LTR for the night. This is probably another "legacy" default thing that I turned off years ago but I don't see anything about it on the Preferences tabs. As I was exiting LTR tonight I got this window (attached) telling me that LTR had not yet finished saving metadata to XMP files. But I don't use XMP files; at least not so far as I'm aware. Years ago I decided I didn't want to have to worry about copying them with my other image files. Why is this warning showing up, and what can I do to remove the reason for it? Thanks again. Ollie.
 

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#14
Check Catalog Settings>Metadata Tab, you've probably got the option to "Automatically write changes into XMP" checked. Uncheck it you don't want that.
 
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You are right that that box was checked. I'm guessing this is another "legacy" default setting that I had unchecked many years ago, when I decided I didn't want to deal with XMP files. The Warning that pops up when you uncheck the box sounds ominous. "Changes made in Lightroom will not automatically be visible in other applications." I've never noticed any unexpected difficulties working with my images in Photoshop, or if I should use any plug-ins (HDR Efex Pro-2 or Photomatix Pro, Viveza, etc.). What kind of changes or other applications do you think this warning is referring to?
 
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