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Today, suddenly, my LR will not import photos!

XavierB

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Lightroom Classic version: 7.0.1
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Today I woke up and wanted to start working on my photos (just as I do every morning) and, all of a sudden, after popping in an SD Card, the Import dialog opening on its own, me selecting the photos I want to import, and clicking on Import... nothing happens. I.e. the "importing photos" progress bar appears up top but absolutely nothing happens: there's no progress at all, nor is there any error message.

I've researched online and can't get any reason for this or any way to solve it. I don't know what could be causing it, as yesterday there was no problem and nothing has been changed since then: I haven't updated anything, installed anything else, nor have I changed any configurations on my computer. So, I've tried everything I can think of and am now at the end of my tether and I can no longer continue my work.

These are all the details, including everything I've attempted:

  • My system:
Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 16.19.56.png

  • I'm running Lightroom Classic version: 7.0.1 [ 1142117 ]
  • I have all my photos and catalog on an external HDD that has no issues (I've just run First Aid and no issuer were found) nor has it ever had any issues. Plus, it has plenty of space available.
  • I'm having the same issue with all my SD cards, not only one.
  • I've successfully imported the very same photos I need in my wife's LR in her MBPro, which is running the same version of LR and and te same macOS version.
  • I've run catalog optimisation.
  • I've tried creating a new catalog and importing there.
  • I've tried deleting all the contents of my /Library/Cache/ contents and rebooting.
  • I've tried erasing LR preferences in my /Library/Preferences/ folder and rebooting.
  • I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling LR again.
None of this works, unfortunately.

Am I missing something? Any input will be highly appreciated!
 
Joined
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It sounds like your card reader isn't working properly. Something changed, and you say it wasn't your software. That makes it likely to be hardware. Can you get the images loaded onto your hard drive using something other than Lightroom (dragging them in the Finder ought to work) and then import them from there?
 

XavierB

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It sounds like your card reader isn't working properly. Something changed, and you say it wasn't your software. That makes it likely to be hardware. Can you get the images loaded onto your hard drive using something other than Lightroom (dragging them in the Finder ought to work) and then import them from there?
Hi, Hal, thanks for your response!
Yeah—sorry, forgot to add that item too in my OP:
  • To rule out an issue with my card reader I moved all the photos in question from my card to my Mac and there was no problem moving them. In fact, it reads my SD cards and writes to them as usual.
  • I then ruled out any possible card-reading conflicts in LR by trying to import the photos that were now on my Mac, and the problem persisted: LR wouldn't import them.
:(
 

XavierB

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I will say I did have an issue on Friday and Saturday, a rather big one, and perhaps this is somehow related (although, as I mentioned, my LR was working just fine yesterday, and Saturday and Friday, too...). Anyway, on Friday I tried to open Cinema 4D to work on a project I had been working on the previous day and C4D simply wouldn't launch, no matter what I did. After a day and a half of online research and scouring the forums I finally was able to round up enough info to try to solve the issue. In the end, it had to do with the Private file MobileDevice.framework. I got rid of that file and everything went back to normal. I managed to pinpoint the possible culprit: on Thursday I had, for the first time, tried updating my iPhone on mi Mac, as it wouldn't update from the phone itself; before updating, however, iTunes said I had to install an obligatory security update on my Mac, which I did. I'm 99% sure this security update meddled with that framework file, which in turn messed up C4D (the only software that I know had issues). I would say perhaps that update did something else that is now creating issues with LR, but (a) I can't seem to fin anyone who's having the same issue, (b) it stands to reason that Friday morning I should't've been able to import photos into LR if that were the case, however, I've been working on LR as normal—importing photos every day—since then, and I've only just run into that issue, and (c) I've tried launching LR from its executable in Terminal to see what's going on and it launched normally, i.e. it encountered no errors.
 
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Hmm...interesting.
I've tried launching LR from its executable in Terminal to see what's going on and it launched normally, i.e. it encountered no errors.
Are you saying that launching LR in Terminal allowed it to import images or just that it launched OK?

I've got to say that you've covered all the bases I can think of and that your logic sounds good. I've never had a Mac, but I understand that they come with fairly comprehensive hardware diagnostics. Have you tried running them?
 

XavierB

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Hmm...interesting.

Are you saying that launching LR in Terminal allowed it to import images or just that it launched OK?

I've got to say that you've covered all the bases I can think of and that your logic sounds good. I've never had a Mac, but I understand that they come with fairly comprehensive hardware diagnostics. Have you tried running them?

Sorry about that! I see it was an equivocal assertion. LR launches as it should normally, showing no errors at all, however, the issue persists even though there are no errors logged: it still doesn't import anything.

What I meant by this detail was that, apparently, there's no issue with the launch of LR, at least nothing that would point towards a specific system file that may have been damaged or changed by the security update I mentioned; which was certainly the case with that framework I mention: in a Terminal launch C4D logged an error pertaining the specific framework file I ended up erasing.

I've run all the diagnostics I can think of. Honestly, I don't know where to go from here.
 
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I don't, either. Have you considered an exorcism?
 
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I finally was able to round up enough info to try to solve the issue. In the end, it had to do with the Private file MobileDevice.framework. I

Removing parts of the Apple supplied OS is just asking for trouble. Seems that this is a key part how Apple communicates to with mobile devices attached to the system. I wouldn't be surprised if Lightroom could be using it to read from SD cards. I would try putting that file back and see if that resolves your import problem.

If it does then you should contact the developer of Cinema 4D (C4D) and tell them about the problem.

-louie
 

XavierB

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Removing parts of the Apple supplied OS is just asking for trouble. Seems that this is a key part how Apple communicates to with mobile devices attached to the system. I wouldn't be surprised if Lightroom could be using it to read from SD cards. I would try putting that file back and see if that resolves your import problem.

If it does then you should contact the developer of Cinema 4D (C4D) and tell them about the problem.

-louie

Hi! Thanks for your input!

You're right that sticking your hand in the system pot is asking for trouble; which is why I didn't permanently erase or move anything, I have everything backed up just in case. On the other hand, actually, I didn't just erase the framework file, I substituted the updated file with the same file from my other Mac in which iTunes had not been updated. (I'm afraid yesterday I was rather tired after hours of trying to solve the LR issue, so my communication here seems to have been riddled with holes!) So it still has the file the system needs, albeit just the previous version that has no conflicts at all.

On the other hand, LR was working perfectly for over 4 days after doing this, so I don't think swapping the file has anything to do with my current issue. Plus, it doesn't seem LR targets that framework at all, as it doesn't reference it in Terminal. Moreover, that framework is part of MacOs's private system files, which shouldn't really be used by third-party programs (as problems will probably ensue—as they did with C4D). I was rather surprised C4D uses a private system file, but it apparently does, so I wouldn't swear to the fact that Adobe doesn't... but I would be very much more surprised if Adobe did.

Anyway, if I manage to solve this someday (hopefully soon), I'll return and let you guys know how I did it and if I was able to pinpoint why it happened.

Cheers!
 

XavierB

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OK! Update! Although not specifically a solution or a positive update per se: today I tried importing photos again and the issue remained; however, the last attempt I didn't try to cancel nor did I quit LR, I just left it going and sort of forgot about it. Result: I just heard a ding in the background, which I immediately recognised as LR telling me "I'm done importing!" So it's taken its lovely, long time to import one single photo, but it's managed to do it in the end!

This is so very strange. But it means that LR still can import photos, it just takes way too long.

Common sense would point toward the SD card reader as a possible culprit but, as I said in one of my first 2 posts, I tried moving the photos to my Mac's hard drive and tried importing form there and the issue is also present. (BTW, I forgot to mention this in my previous response to @LouieSherwin, who mentions the possibility that messing with the framework might've messed with how LR reads from the SD card.)

I would then assume it's an issue with the catalog, although I've optimised it and all. I would say I should try creating a new catalog and importing all my data through "Import from Another Catalog" and seeing if that solves the issue. But the fact is that one of the first things I did was create a new catalog in my Mac's hard drive in order to test whether it was a catalog issue and, at the same time, whether it was an issue with writing to the external hard drive where I have my catalog and RAW files. You can probably guess that didn't work either.
 
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If you haven't already, try creating an new user on your Mac and create a new catalogue in that account. Will imports work there?
 

XavierB

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So—good news and bad news! The good news is that the problem is solved! Yay! :D The bad news, however, is that it now it suddenly works fine, just as suddenly as it stopped working the other day. There's no solution I found, nothing I did, nothing that changed in my hardware or software (at least that I know of)... it just happened. So I have no solution to give to anyone who has this issue. And, there's nothing that guarantees that it won't just come back tomorrow.

Curiouser and curiouser!
 
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