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Smart Preview Catalogs Not Opening Because they are "Not Valid"

John Coveney

John Coveney Photography
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I want to export sections of my main LR Catalog to my laptop for picking, culling & rating using smart previews. I'm not including the original negatives in these exports. I have tried this five times and each of the "Export as Catalog" attempts appears to work fine. However, when I tried to open three of the resultant catalogs, I got the following message:-
"The Lightroom Catalog named "xxxx" cannot be opened because it is not valid. Would you like to select a different catalog?"

Given that this did work twice out of five times, I don't think I am making a mistake with the other three attempts. Nor do i think it is a problem with the computers. Details of these are as follows:-

Main catalog computer: Dell 8500 running Win 8.1 (Dell does not support Win 10 on this model) with an i7-3770 CPU 3.4 GHz and 16GB of Ram and a 250GB SSD. This machine normally runs LR very well for Canon 7DMkII files with a large catalog of over 100,000 files (that's why I need to do a lot of culling!).

Laptop: Dell Vostro 3360 running Win 10 with i5-3337U CPU 1.8GHz and 8GB of Ram and a 250GB SSD. This machine also runs LR well but notably slower than the desktop which is why I want to work with Smart Preview catalogs and then merge changes made on these back into my main catalog.

Both machines are running the latest version of LR 2015.12

Any ideas why some of my exported smart preview catalogs are "not valid". I checked the LR Missing FAQ book, these forums and I've done Google searches but I find little or no mention of "not valid" catalogs, nor how to avoid or deal with them. I do regular integrity checks and optimization of my main catalog when i am backing it up and, despite it size, it appears to work very well.

Thanks John C
 
Last edited:

Roelof Moorlag

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Roelof - yes and the same catlogs work or don't work equally on both machines
Ok, so it must be the export proces and not the transfer.
Do you have the opportunity to export the same kind of sets from the second computer to see if the export proces failes also there?
 

John Coveney

John Coveney Photography
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Messages
36
Location
Ireland
Lightroom Experience
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Ok, so it must be the export proces and not the transfer.
Do you have the opportunity to export the same kind of sets from the second computer to see if the export proces failes also there?
Roelof, I've only got small catalogs there but I'll try that tomorrow. Finishing up for the night now. Thanks John C
 

John Coveney

John Coveney Photography
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I've tried a couple of more of these - it seems to work more frequently for smaller exports - a few thousand images or less.
Anyone know if catalogs that are not valid can be fixed? Thanks John C
 
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1. Are you including the option to build / include smart previews.
upload_2017-7-24_12-4-14.png


2. Any chance you are running out of disk space on your target area for your export.
 

John Coveney

John Coveney Photography
Premium Classic Member
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Ireland
Lightroom Experience
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1. Are you including the option to build / include smart previews.
View attachment 9619

2. Any chance you are running out of disk space on your target area for your export.
Hi Gnits - "Export negative files" is deselected. Next two are selected. First one doesn't come up because I select all shots in a group of monthly folders. I'm exporting the catalogs to a 2TB mobile drive, so loads of space. Thanks, John C
 
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Johan, will do although some previous efforts where I exported to the EHD worked fine

The best (only) way to solve a problem is to take out as many variables as possible, and then introduce them again one by one if you find the problem is gone. Exporting directly to the EHD may have worked fine, but a flakey connection can occur any time.
 
Joined
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The best (only) way to solve a problem is to take out as many variables as possible, and then introduce them again one by one if you find the problem is gone. Exporting directly to the EHD may have worked fine, but a flakey connection can occur any time.

Also, be careful if using USB hubs ..... they may be short of power or the may be USB2 or slower. I have seen an external hard disk go corrupt in front of my eyes because a usb hub was not powered.

I have also started using Anker cables ....
 

John Coveney

John Coveney Photography
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Messages
36
Location
Ireland
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
The best (only) way to solve a problem is to take out as many variables as possible, and then introduce them again one by one if you find the problem is gone. Exporting directly to the EHD may have worked fine, but a flakey connection can occur any time.
Johan, thanks for that. I'm now thinking this is a capacity problem on my machine (I've very little space on my main machine' HDs) - or as you say a dodgy connection to the EHD. Interestingly the sizes of the "not valid" catalogs are tiny compared to those for the successful exports. I don't think this is a LR issue as such, or me doing the exports incorrectly. The solution is culling and and getting another HD rather than spending more time worrying about "not valid" temporary catalogs. Thanks to all for the feedback.

John C
 

John Coveney

John Coveney Photography
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Messages
36
Location
Ireland
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Also, be careful if using USB hubs ..... they may be short of power or the may be USB2 or slower. I have seen an external hard disk go corrupt in front of my eyes because a usb hub was not powered.

I have also started using Anker cables ....
Gnits - good point. I never use hubs for disk drives. John C
 
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