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Repair of corrupted catalogs

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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And the moral of this story is, "Back up every single time you shut down Lightroom." If you quit for the night, that's a great time to do the shutdown.
 
Joined
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And the moral of this story is, "Back up every single time you shut down Lightroom." If you quit for the night, that's a great time to do the shutdown.
Currently, this thread has over 250 entries. This may be the longest thread in the forum. The solution to the corrupt catalog problem is so simple, yet time and time again here we are. I almost wish Victoria had not made the option possible. I have not made an analysis on the success rate of repairing corrupt catalogs, but I would guess that the number of successful repairs is small.
[Begin Rant] The recommendation (rule) is to regularly back up your master catalog file as insurance against corruption. I don't understand why there are people that think the rules do not apply to them and they deserve special treatment [End Rant]
 

David Hird

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Sep 6, 2020
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Andalucía, Spain
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My corrupt catalogue did not result from not backing up. I backup every time I exit Lightroom Classic.
I have a removable 2TB Seagate expansion drive which holds my photographs and LRC catalogue and move this drive between a laptop and a desktop PC. I have a main backup of the catalogue and photographs on the desktop PC and when I am away from home a backup of the photographs I had been working on, on the laptop.
I had been away from home and had been working on the PC. When I got home I connected the removable drive to the desktop to backup the catalogue and found the catalogue folder on the removable drive was corrupted. The catalogue folder also contained the Lightroom exit backups and they were also corrupted.
I then realised how stupid I was to hold the catalogue and its backup in the same folder. In future I will continue to save the catalogue to the removable disk but will save the backup to the internal drive of the PC.
I have a backup copy of the catalogue on my desktop PC but it is about a month old.
It was my process which was the cause of my problem not that I was not backing up.
I do not know what caused the catalogue folder corruption but I do strongly suspect Lightroom.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Premium Cloud Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
2,271
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
My corrupt catalogue did not result from not backing up. I backup every time I exit Lightroom Classic.
I have a removable 2TB Seagate expansion drive which holds my photographs and LRC catalogue and move this drive between a laptop and a desktop PC. I have a main backup of the catalogue and photographs on the desktop PC and when I am away from home a backup of the photographs I had been working on, on the laptop.
I had been away from home and had been working on the PC. When I got home I connected the removable drive to the desktop to backup the catalogue and found the catalogue folder on the removable drive was corrupted. The catalogue folder also contained the Lightroom exit backups and they were also corrupted.
I then realised how stupid I was to hold the catalogue and its backup in the same folder. In future I will continue to save the catalogue to the removable disk but will save the backup to the internal drive of the PC.
I have a backup copy of the catalogue on my desktop PC but it is about a month old.
It was my process which was the cause of my problem not that I was not backing up.
I do not know what caused the catalogue folder corruption but I do strongly suspect Lightroom.
Some people keep old backups going back months. I think it was Clee who said he had to go back six months to rectify a really bad issue involving the catalog. A 4TB external drive costs less than $100 these days. Western Digital Desktop External Hard Drives | Newegg.com.

How much is your time worth to recover from a corrupted catalog?
 

jwrjrobertson05

New Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
5
Hi David,

I know I am a bit late on a reply, but from your description, it sounds more like NTFS corruption than just a catalog. Was anything else on the drive or folder corrupted?

While there is no guarantee, there are companies as well as software that can do filesystem recovery. It just depends on the real root cause. So depending on the criticality of that data, there could be other options.

Another option for your workflow could be to always keep the catalogue on the internal drive and have scripts on the drive to copy the catalog to and from the removable drive. I don't like using external drives like you are because I have seen too many problems with usb connections and they (normally) are not as fast as internal drives.

Best,
Jonathan
 

monoworm

New Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
2
Hello, I have a corrupt catalog after lightroom suddenly in the middle of a workflow stated it was missing a file and I can't for the life of me figure out sqlite, is there a way to get help from a wizard. I'm truly desperate. thank you all!
 

monoworm

New Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
2
Hello Victoria, I sent you the corrupted .lrtcat via wetransfer! I was in the middle of finishing the work done and uploading and hadn't quit the program to backup during that day hence no backup, well lesson learned to always backup even during a session of power editing. I hope it's okay I sent it through. Having trouble figuring out SQlite on my mac :/

- Monja
 
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