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10 Messages

 • 

240 Points

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 10:54 PM

Solved

Lightroom: Unable to backup catalog in Lightroom 4

I have not been able to backup my catalog in Lightroom 4 since upgrading two days ago. I did not have this problem with 4 beta. It runs through checking integrity, backing up, and optimizing, and then I get a message that it was unsuccessful and to make sure I have enough space and check directory permissions. There is plenty of space, and I have tried to create it to two different drives without success.

I am using the 32-bit version with Windows 7. The size of my catalog is 1.7 GB and includes my previous LR3 and LR4 beta catalogs. Thanks.

Responses

Official Solution

474 Messages

 • 

10.7K Points

8 years ago

This issue has been fixed in Lightroom 4.1, which is now available. To download the 4.1 update, go to the Help menu in Lightroom and choose "Check for Updates".

Thanks,
Ben

10 Messages

 • 

240 Points

9 years ago

I seem to have found a work-around by splitting the catalog into two new ones using the Export as Catalog feature. Exporting to a single catalog creates a new catalog, which also fails to back up.

Is there a limit to the number of photos you can have in a catalog? I had well under 200,000. Could something in the original catalog cause the backup to fail?

I hate cryptic messages that don't identify what caused the error.

8 Messages

 • 

150 Points

9 years ago

I'm a devoted Lightroom fan with the same backup error in Lightroom 4. I reproduced this error message 4 times (every time I try to exit):

"Lightroom was unable to back up the catalog named "[my specified name]"
Please check your folder permissions, and make sure that you have available space on your backup drive and main catalog's drive.
Try Again / Choose different Backup Folder... / Exit"

The catalog optimization seems to work without an error message (done both within Lightroom without exiting and also during the exit), but no backup is created after the error message during exit. Pressing "Try again" doesn't help.

I suppose a workaround is to simply manually copy the lrcat file to a backup location, or rely on my normal daily Windows Backup program take care of copying the lrcat file to my external USB backup hard drive. The problem makes me uneasy about the stability of Lightroom 4 and I hope Adobe can solve the problem.

The catalog is 3 gigabytes in size with 70,000 images. I have plenty of hard drive space (481 gb free on a 1.8 tb drive) and folder permissions are not a problem. No problem in previous Lightroom version 3.6 or earlier. I have Windows Vista Home Premium.

I tried moving the catalog.lrcat, Previews.lrdata, and Lightroom Settings files from where they started by default: USERS/myname/APDATA/ROAMING/ADOBE/LIGHTROOM/DEVELOP PRESETS/USER PRESETS/
to a folder in my PICTURES directory, but that didn't help the problem.

I sure don't want to split the catalog. That makes photo portfolio management a pain. Important image collections cross all directories. Adobe support, please advise.

Tom Dempsey
tom@photoseek.com
206-372-7673 mobile

10 Messages

 • 

240 Points

9 years ago

Tom, your description of the problem is the same as mine, except that I'm using Windows 7 rather than Vista and my catalog is a bit smaller.

Even after splitting the catalog, the backup still fails. For now, I am simply copying the catalog to back it up, but hopefully Adobe will address this.

8 Messages

 • 

150 Points

9 years ago

Richard,
I got the Lightroom 4.0 catalog backup to work during Exit by NOT selecting the boxes for "Test integrity" and "optimize catalog after backup". I waited 10 minutes for "backing up" the 3 gb catalog, and the backup finally worked! I could see the backup nicely in the folder after Lightroom exited. Next test:

When I restarted Lightroom 4.0 (and registered the product so I could get support Monday-Friday: Adobe Support 800-833-6687), and this time re-selected the boxes for "Test integrity" and "optimize catalog after backup" during Exit, I reproduced the earlier error message after patiently waiting 25 minutes for my large 3 gigabyte catalog to say "Testing integrity," and "backing up catalog" -- which actually created the backup file as shown in Windows -- but it was deleted after the "optimizing catalog" process, which ends with this error:

"Lightroom was unable to back up the catalog named "[my named catalog]"
Please check your folder permissions, and make sure that you have available space on your backup drive and main catalog's drive."

- Pressing "Try Again" just creates the same error message.
- "Exit" will exit okay but without backing up.
- "Choose different Backup Folder" hangs for a long minute before sometimes responding with a black window labeled "&Choose Folder (Not Responding)" or no window at all, with the mouse cursor in forever "waiting" mode. After minutes of waiting, I'm forced to make Windows close the window and abort the hung Lightroom process. Not pretty.

Current workarounds:
A. Backup by copying the lrcat file manually, not automatically during exit,
B. or if choosing Backup during exit, DON'T select the boxes for "Test integrity" and "optimize catalog after backup".
Use File>Optimize Catalog command maybe once every few weeks within Lightroom 4.0, but NOT during Exit.

Tom

46 Messages

 • 

630 Points

9 years ago

I had the same problem. Could not make a backup to S:\users\cfw\Pictures\ .
I tried another drive and then it went fine.
I tried S:\ disk again it failed.
Then I changed drive letter S to X: and it's working since .
I have a catalog with 38.000 photos.

Frans

10 Messages

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240 Points

9 years ago

Tom,

Your message was very helpful. I got similar results to yours.

I tried an optimize from the File menu separately from exiting and creating backup. It appeared to optimize successfully in just under 5 minutes. I only got a "bing" sound when it completed and no other confirmation, but when I tried to optimize again, the time it gave for previous optimize was a minute earlier.

I also told it to make a backup next time I exit, and I unchecked the "text integrity" and "optimize during backup" boxes. It successfully created a backup in just over 3 minutes.

Last night when I attempted to make a weekly backup with both boxes checked, the process seemed to take several hours and left me with an empty directory. I assume it created the file, but deleted it during the integrity checking process.

I'm surprised more people haven't reported this problem, but at least I know it's not just me.

Frans, I have tried creating backups to several drives, all without success. All the drives have plenty of space. I'm glad it worked for you.

Richard

10 Messages

 • 

240 Points

9 years ago

Tom,

I just did some further testing.

When I tried to create a backup with unchecking only the "test integrity" box, but leaving "optimize catalog" checked, I was successful in about 7 minutes.

When I tried the reverse, checking "test integrity" but unchecking "optimize catalog", I was successful in just over 3 minutes.

It only seems to fail with BOTH boxes are checked. If only one, either, is checked, it works.

The work around for now would seem to be to optimize separately, and uncheck the "optimize" box when creating the backup. Hopefully Adobe has a more permanent solution.

Richard

474 Messages

 • 

10.7K Points

9 years ago

I am not able to reproduce this problem. If you create a new Lightroom catalog, will it back up successfully? You don't have to make much of a catalog, just create a new catalog in Lightroom 4, import a couple images, and then try backing it up (with "test integrity" and "optimize" both checked). Let me know if that works, and we'll proceed from there.

Thanks,
Ben

8 Messages

 • 

150 Points

9 years ago

There is no problem when I create a new catalog in Lightroom 4, import 100 images, then backup with "test integrity" and "optimize" both checked. The backup then works fine.
I only get the problem using my large catalog converted from LR version 3.6.
What's the next step to isolate the problem?
Tom

474 Messages

 • 

10.7K Points

9 years ago

Thanks Tom. I am contacting Richard privately to obtain his catalog for testing, if he's willing to provide it. Just contacting Richard first, since his catalog is smaller. If for any reason that doesn't work out, or doesn't give me the info I need, I'll contact you privately as well. I'll post back to this thread with what I find.

Thanks,
Ben

8 Messages

 • 

150 Points

9 years ago

My 3 gb database also fails the backup with the error message when I check "optimize" and uncheck "test integrity."

To work around the problem, I uncheck both boxes during exit.
I used File>Optimize Catalog command once, inside of Lightroom 4, which seemed to work (taking about 20 minutes or so on 3 gb datalog), but it would be nice to get it working during exit.

10 Messages

 • 

240 Points

9 years ago

I have sent Ben my catalog to test.

474 Messages

 • 

10.7K Points

9 years ago

Hi Richard,

Unfortunately, your catalog backs up just fine more me, so I have been unable to reproduce the problem. If you and Thomas (and anyone else experiencing the problem) could try the following, it may prove helpful. These steps describe how to enable debug mode for Lightroom:

1. Right click the Lightroom icon you use to launch on the desktop and choose Copy from the menu.
2. Right click the Desktop and choose Paste from the menu.
3. Right click the new icon and choose Properties... from the menu.
4. In the Target field of the properties dialog append -tracebacks (separated from the path by a space): (It will look like this at the end when you're done (leave the rest of the path alone): lightroom.exe" -tracebacks)
5. In the general tab, you might also want to change the name so you can easily visually distinguish this new icon from the original (we'll delete it when we're done).
6. Go to this site in your browser: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sy...
On the right hand side of the page, click the "Run DebugView" link (it's safe – it's just a debug output viewer from Microsoft)
7. Click through the Eula if necessary.
8. With DebugView running, double click the new icon we created in steps 1-5.
Repeat the steps in Lightroom that cause the problem that you are seeing.
9. Save the output from the debugger. You can either highlight and copy/paste or choose "Save as..." from the menu to save the output to a file.
10. Post the debug info back to this thread.

With luck, there will be something meaningful in there that will explain the failure. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
Ben

P.S. Just for yucks, try throwing out your Lightroom preferences, if you haven't already. That will often fix all manner of weird little problems. Go to Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Lightroom/ and in there you'll see a folder called "Preferences." Throw that out, or just move it to the desktop if you want to keep it. Then If removing it doesn't help, you can put it back if you wish.

5 Messages

 • 

112 Points

9 years ago

Hi and Thanks to all who have already posted with this issue.
I am also having problems and can now backup my catalog by unchecking optimize and chechk integrity- so thanks for that woprk around.

I have also just run the bug check that Ben has mentioned. Is seems as though there is a memory issue but I'm not too clear from the data why.Here is the data:-

00000001 0.00000000 [972] L:
00000002 0.00005184 [972] canceled
00000003 0.00005184 [972] 0: global error - C
00000004 0.00005184 [972] 1: [unnamed] - 1250880549:150+4
00000005 0.00005184 [972] 2: [unnamed] - C
00000006 0.00005184 [972] 3: global pcall - C
00000007 0.00005184 [972] 4: upvalue ? - 2040030245:1819+4
00000008 0.00005184 [972] 5: upvalue ? - 2040030245:2514+28
00000009 0.00005184 [972] 6: field readNegativeInfo - 2040030245:2554+8
00000010 0.00005184 [972] 7: field loadNegative - 476383837:280+37
00000011 0.00005184 [972] 8: [unnamed] - 1225751237:0+9
00000012 0.00005184 [972] 9: [unnamed] - tail
00000013 0.00005184 [972] 10: global pcall - C
00000014 0.00005184 [972] 11: [unnamed] - 155295939:73+43
00000015 0.00005184 [972] 12: [unnamed] - C
00000016 0.00005184 [972] 13: global AgCallWithAutoreleasePool - C
00000017 0.00005184 [972] 14: [unnamed] - 155295939:0+25
00000018 0.00005184 [972] ---------------------------------
00000019 0.00009547 [972]
00000020 0.00055177 [972] L:
00000021 0.00058308 [972] canceled
00000022 0.00058308 [972] 0: global assert - C
00000023 0.00058308 [972] 1: field readNegativeInfo - 2040030245:2554+9
00000024 0.00058308 [972] 2: field loadNegative - 476383837:280+37
00000025 0.00058308 [972] 3: [unnamed] - 1225751237:0+9
00000026 0.00058308 [972] 4: [unnamed] - tail
00000027 0.00058308 [972] 5: global pcall - C
00000028 0.00058308 [972] 6: [unnamed] - 155295939:73+43
00000029 0.00058308 [972] 7: [unnamed] - C
00000030 0.00058308 [972] 8: global AgCallWithAutoreleasePool - C
00000031 0.00058308 [972] 9: [unnamed] - 155295939:0+25
00000032 0.00058308 [972] ---------------------------------
00000033 0.00061131 [972]
00000034 242.96647644 [972] L:
00000035 242.96656799 [972] Database "D:\Libraries\lightroom\lightroom 4.0\lightroom 4\lightroom 4.lrcat": out of memory
00000036 242.96656799 [972] Statement: VACUUM
00000037 242.96656799 [972] 0: method exec - C
00000038 242.96656799 [972] 1: method exec - 59600407:436+44
00000039 242.96656799 [972] 2: method exec - 1098400342:842+5
00000040 242.96656799 [972] 3: [unnamed] - 219380148:1250+5
00000041 242.96656799 [972] 4: global pcall - C
00000042 242.96656799 [972] 5: [unnamed] - 64465982:209+5
00000043 242.96656799 [972] 6: global pcall - C
00000044 242.96656799 [972] 7: [unnamed] - 1098400342:536+44
00000045 242.96656799 [972] 8: [unnamed] - tail
00000046 242.96656799 [972] 9: [unnamed] - tail
00000047 242.96656799 [972] 10: global pcall - C
00000048 242.96656799 [972] 11: [unnamed] - 1098400342:1046+19
00000049 242.96656799 [972] 12: [unnamed] - tail
00000050 242.96656799 [972] 13: global pcall - C
00000051 242.96656799 [972] 14: [unnamed] - 40549723:887+13
00000052 242.96656799 [972] 15: global pcall - C
00000053 242.96656799 [972] 16: [unnamed] - 1098400342:499+13
00000054 242.96656799 [972] 17: [unnamed] - tail
00000055 242.96656799 [972] 18: [unnamed] - 1317688261:99+46
00000056 242.96656799 [972] 19: global pcall - C
00000057 242.96656799 [972] 20: [unnamed] - 1002929302:1193+34
00000058 242.96656799 [972] 21: [unnamed] - tail
00000059 242.96656799 [972] 22: [unnamed] - tail
00000060 242.96656799 [972] 23: [unnamed] - tail
00000061 242.96656799 [972] 24: method dispatch - 1002929302:971+75
00000062 242.96656799 [972] 25: [unnamed] - 1002929302:1679+77
00000063 242.96656799 [972] 26: global AgCallWithAutoreleasePool - C
00000064 242.96656799 [972] 27: method run - 1002929302:1642+28
00000065 242.96656799 [972] 28: [unnamed] - 435542093:0+6
00000066 242.96656799 [972] ---------------------------------
00000067 242.96665955 [972]

I hope that this can be of some use

Mike