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Synching Never Completes and View shows nothing to Synch???

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Feb 29, 2020
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Lightroom Version
Lr version 4.2 20210301-0713-6cdd6a3 build
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
  2. iOS
For some time now Lr Cloudy shows a message under the cloud icon that synching is on-going and 8 files remain. Clicking on view option shows an empty grid like it would when synch is done, yet one of my Albums shows the little blue crescent moon label indicating an on-going synch with the images in that Album. So how do I determine if there is an issue, and which 8 files are causing the problem or even if there is a problem? I do synch between a Windows PC and 2 iOS devices if that helps.
 
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If you go to Online photo editor | Photoshop Lightroom is there a Sync Errors collection and if so, what's in it? And is that the only device that shows 8 syncing, or are the others showing issues too?
 
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Victoria - thanks for the reply, sorry for not doing the follow-up. I don't think I am going to be able to give you a proper response. I will start by saying that I am not sure where to look for a "synch Errors collection" as I am only using Lightroom Cloudy and there are no collections that I can find, just folders and albums. That said, none of those are labeled 'synch errors'. All of my PC devices and the cloud show the same number of photos (2107 haven't been doing this long). All my iOS devices also report the same number of total photos so I am stumped. I have not gone through a folder/album comparison because I see no reason to believe they would be different given the same total photo number. The one album that displays an ongoing synch includes all the same photos as the web version EXCEPT that on the desktop 2 of the photos are stacked and the web shows them separately. I can't find anything that would indicate an issue with eight photos on that album or any other one.
 
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Victoria is referring to the web interface, where, if there's a sync problem, a folder is shown. Not sure that's going to help you in this instance, but it's explained on this blog post (and it shows where to look):

 
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That collection/folder/album does not show in the online version of Lightroom for my account. Digging deeper into the organization of my photos I have found 4 albums that indicate synch issues via the cresent shaped blue tag on the album. All of the individual photos in those albums indicate they have completed their synchronization. The only other commonality they have is that they all contain DNG images that were created by converting from Nikon NEF raw images about a year ago from a short period of time where I thought that might be a good idea in case I ever decided LR cloudy was not for me. At the time DNG with their embeded edits seemed like a good idea for portability but some folks here convinced me of the folly of that idea and I quit.
In the 4 suspect albums there are probably 30 or so photos some of which may be duplicates (meaning pointers to the same image in different albums). In the screenshot below you can see two of the problem(?) albums and all of the photos in one of them. Interestingly those same albums on all other devices show the synch as completed.
Since my original post I have used the Downloader Tool to grab a local backup of the cloud and the numbers that it reports are disturbingly different from the numbers that LrCloudy reports. It shows 2491 photos in total (not 2107) and then breaks those down in an HTML report that is in the 3rd screen capture below. I am quickly loosing confidence here in Adobe's ability to keep track of my photos.
 

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Joined
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Just recapping the current situation:

- All your connected devices report the same number of photos, which is also the same total as reported via your LrWeb browser interface?
- LrWeb does not show any syncing issues (i.e. there's no Sync Errors collection)?
- Presumably the iOS devices report all Synced and Backed Up?

If the above is correct, only Lightroom on your desktop (LrD) is showing ongoing sync activity? Your mentioned 8 photos, so presumably that's the number that LrD is reporting when you click on the cloud icon? What happens when you click on the filter and select Sync Status (after first selecting All Photos), then select "Syncing" from the Sync Status drop down list? Do you get the "Black Hole", i.e. no images currently syncing?

If all that is confirmed, that would suggest the problem lies within LrD. If that was happening on my system I would try two things, either resetting the LrD preferences or deleting the local catalog and let Lightroom rebuild it, but which one to try first would be dictated by where the local copy of the originals is stored.

If you have changed the location for the local originals copy from default to a separate location, then I'd try deleting the local catalog first....the reason being that you would not lose the local copy, so there would be no need for Lightroom to re-download it again. But in that scenario, and assuming deleting the local catalog didn't fix the problem, the next thing to try would be resetting the preferences....and that WILL cause an issue with the local copy. Basically, resetting the preferences will reset the local copy location back to the default location (i.e. within the local catalog folder), so as soon as you restart after resetting the preferences LrD will immediately start moving the local copy from the separate location to the default location. You can pause that move, then change the location in preferences again, and next restart it will should move back any that it managed to move to default before you stopped it. Yes, silly behaviour and I have told Adobe that....hopefully they have listened and will close that loophole.

But if you haven't changed the default location for the local copy, I'd try things the other way round, i.e. reset the preferences first as that would have no effect on that local copy. If that doesn't work, and you need to try deleting the local catalog, you could then perhaps think about temporarily changing the location to a different location, wait until LrD moves the 2000+ images to that location, then go ahead with the local catalog delete. On restart, you could then revert the location back to default and LrD will move them back (probably a quicker process than having them all downloaded again).

Regarding the Downloader, I'd forget about trying to reconcile the numbers back to the number of photos in the cloud. The Downloader does some wacky things which make that reconciliation very difficult.....the main issue is that, for reasons best known to the designers, the Downloader will generate and download an additional "edited" jpeg (i.e. with baked-in edits) but only for any jpegs in the cloud which are identified as "edited". Unedited jpegs, and all other file types, are excluded from that process, though Raw and DNG do at least get an XMP sidecar file containing the Lightroom edits (but any PSD/TIF files edited in Lightroom do not, so those edits would be lost).

Have a think about what you might like to try (maybe Victoria might have an alternative suggestion), though if you are reluctant to do either of those things you might think about posting a summary of the issue at the official Adobe feedback site (link at the top of the page), you might be able to have one of the engineers dig into your account to see if they can figure out what the issue might be.
 
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Thanks VERY much for your INCREDIBLY detailed reply. Your recap was spot on and as you suggest I am going to have to read it more than once and consider the options but I wanted to express my gratitude for the effort you put forth to help me out - its knowledgeable feedback like this that keeps me subscribing to LQ forums! I will return to document the results as I go in case it would benefit others
 
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Looking at EDIT > PREFERENCES choices I made I see that I have selected a specific folder for local storage.
So, I am guessing that I have established that originals are stored to an external drive in a catalogue of some kind.

Looking at that location on the hard drive I see the following for 2/13/2020 (the date where the problem may be_:


catalog.png

So presumably all original photos imported or taken on 02-13-2020 are backed up in this directory – notice that in the lower corner it says there are 40 items. However, if I go into LrD and search all photos for 02-13-2020 it tells me that it only has 35 images:

At this point I decided to engage Adobe. Their first response was same as Victoria’s – look for a Sync Errors Album on the web but they also suggested looking at deleted items. Lo and behold a number of issues abound there so I replied to them as follows:

Unfortunately, I tried looking for that special album online first and there is no Sync Errors Album online currently, so the web version appears to believe all is fine, only the Lr Desktop on Windows, where I do most of my editing, thinks there is a problem.​
Looking at Deleted Items on the Lr Desktop version seems to have a number of issues. There are 7 images that report​
Capture.JPG
Not sure how I do that for a deleted item and I am not sure I want to if the web version is happy with the image it has. It would seem to make more sense to restore the image using the web interface if need be. Deleted ITEMS also has 7 more images that report sync issues (could these be 7 of the 8 problem children):​
Since only one of my devices appears to be having this issue my question is... can I restore the 7 with sync issues using the ONLINE WEB interface for Lightroom to solve the synch problem first which might leave only 1 more to find. All these issues may have happened 10 days ago since all the troubled images in deleted items have 50 days remaining before they will be permanently deleted.​
BTW, checking on another Windows desktop I had retired but still has LrD shows that all of the items in the DELETED album have synchronized and/or are not corrupted so I guess I have the option of restoring them from that PC exists as well. My fear is any change could make things worse... how do I force Lightroom on this desktop Windows PC to bring down a "fresh" copy of what is in the cloud and perhaps fix the problem that way?​
Suggestion, right click on an Album should have a SYNCH Images in this ALBUM option as well. There must be 1000s of folks out there with more photos than me that could benefit from such a partial re-sync.​
Suggestion #2: Maybe a search to VIEW SYNCHING files on the desktop should include results with images that are synchronizing in the DELETED ITEMS album too.​

At this point I believe that the LrD version of the catalog does not separate images that have been deleted ant that accounts for the different total number of files (40 in the backup and 35 online, with 5 more in deleted items online). I am guessing duplicates and versions only exist online as well but have not researched it.

We’ll see what they say next, but I am looking for a safe way to put a new "local storage" copy on my external hard drive that does not incorporate any of the data or move any of the existing files in the current local storage.

- HRB
 
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If they're in Deleted, it should be possible to permanently delete them (under the thumbnail in Deleted's grid view should be a trash can icon, that is the "permanently delete" button, so clicking on that should purge those 7 images from the system).

Regarding your first suggestion, I'm not following you....are you suggesting some form of interrogation of the local hard drives for images which have not yet been added to Lightroom? There's a "Synchronise Folder" option in Lightroom Classic which looks at a specific folder in Classic to see if there are any more images in it which haven't yet been imported, are you thinking of something similar? But you couldn't do that with an "Album" as that doesn't physically exist, it's just a virtual collection of images. Or are you meaning something different?
 
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Putting my current DELETED ITEMS issues aside I also still currently have 4 ALBUMS that show synching issues with no way to self-serve a fix without jumping through all these hoops. My guess right now is that these 4 albums never completely learned of some deletes made on another device and thus are partially out of sync but it is probably to early to jump to that conclusion. My thought is that any data. associated with an Album or even a folder - images, edits, metadata, deletes, etc. could be re-sync'd from the cloud to the device and vice-versa to resolve differences. There is no reason these items can't be brought down or pushed up to Adobe again as need be to try and resolve issues like I am having or insure the latest and greatest changes are also stored everywhere needed if there ever is a doubt. This type of transaction replication and audit trail is done in the world of databases all the time which is essentially what a sync is or should be. Technically my suggestion would just be a partial redo of what happens naturally in the LR cloudy version all the time across disconnected devices that re-attached to the same account when they come back online.

:( I am not sure that explanation of my idea is any better, hopefully it helps. If the idea didn't make sense to you I better be prepared with a better explanation for them too.
 
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Well adobe got back to me and told me to use the WinPC without sync issues to clean up the deleted items. So Logged into that PC and launched LrD and opened the DELETED ITEMS folder. Since I can't be sure what image file is there to know that I have a backup I restored the seven images that showed synch issues to ALL PHOTOS. Now I can get file names and other data but unfortunately I have also now replicated the sync problem to the second WinPC. The web interface (lightroom.adobe.com) still does not indicate any synch issues and the restored files have been removed from the DELETEDITEMS folder.
Using their suggestion as basically replicated the problem on the other WinPC as far as I can tell. My only hope right now is to sync the iOS devices and hope that the sync system is waiting for that to happen.
My plan going forward is to identify the troublesome images, insure I have a backup on a local hard drive, and then permanently delete them from lightroom.
 
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If they're no longer in Deleted Items, they might show up in the Sync Errors section of the web interface... worth a look.

If they were in Deleted Items, properly deleting them from there should have cleared the error on all devices.
 
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I took a slightly different approach because I decided that I wanted to restore a couple of the files from deleted items. Its worth noting that every one of the files that had issues were DNG files created with ADOBE software, some external to Lightroom, some using Lightroom. As I said I first attempted to restore the files and they got stuck in sync but now I could see the data details including filename. I have been making backups using Adobe Downloader and was able to identify copies and XMP files for the ones I wanted to keep so I made copies in a desktop folder for later use. Then I went to the WinPC number 2 again and viewed the 7 sync trapped photos and deleted them so now they were sync trapped in deleted items. I then permanently deleted them from from deleted items. I also did the same thing with the files that were marked corrupted and waited. Shortly there after WinPC #2 no longer showed sync errors. Hooray! I looked the the iPad which had never shown any errors and it still did not. Then I went to WinPC #1 where the issue was originally discovered and it still had the crescent moon showing ongoing syncing but...


Capture.JPG

It now only shows 1 photo stuck - progress!?! maybe???

Ok so I hit view and Lightroom returns the rather now annoying Oh no! A Black Hole screen. On a whim, I also tried searching for ERRORS but that produced the same result. Assuming it was because search ignores all files in deleted items I assumed that I would find something stuck there again. Unfortunately I did not, but I noticed that both PCs reported the same number of files in DELETED ITEMS which gave me an idea to check the count on each one of my folders and compare the two PCs to see if I could identify a difference.

After some digging I noticed one of my folders (labeled Favorites) has a count of 47 on the WinPC without sync issues and 46 on the one with sync issue. Again doing a side by side comparison I found the discrepancy. On WinPC, the problem child, there is a grouped image with 2 items in it. On WinPC the happy camper these are two separate images.

Obviously if synch were working properly this should not be. I checked the iPAD and it agrees with the happy camper.

At this point I am going to open a new post for suggestions on how to resolve this problem because to me it is a unique issue within the bigger issue that I think is now resolved, at least for the time being.

If the forum permits I will reference this thread in the new post.
 
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