Lightroom Classic: "Some save metadata operations were not performed" error occurs when merging to HDR

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  • Updated 1 week ago
  • (Edited)
This is a recent, intermittent issue (I've used LR for years, and only seen this recently).  I'm running Lightroom Classic CC release 7.5.  When merging photos to HDR, Lightroom will process the images and at the moment it creates the DNG it sometimes outputs an error "Some save metadata operations were not performed".  It then states "Photos have read only access (1)", and lists the new dng file that was just created.  This also happens occasionally when merging to Panorama.

To try to debug this, I made sure that the folder containing all my raw files had no read-only files in it (I did this in the properties pop-up for the folder, clearing the "read-only" attribute box and applying that setting to all files in the folder).  This was done BEFORE any HDR merges were performed.  If there's a read-only file involved, its something LR is creating temporarily during the merge.

I also checked the files in question after the error (both the raw images and the new dng):  none of them are read-only.

I can also state that this doesn't happen consistently.  I had 30 sets of bracketed images that I set to processing all at once in the background (using ctrl-shift-H on each set of 3).  The error popped up for only 2 of the 30 sets.

One other unfortunate side-effect of the problem is that it halts all background tasks until its acknowledged.  That's the big reason I'm logging it and not just ignoring it:  I routinely turn a large queue of background tasks loose, then leave and enjoy life elsewhere.  Coming back several hours later to find out nothing has happened is a drag.
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Mike S

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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SatishT, Employee

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Hi Mike,

Are you able to detect any pattern which can help us to debug this issue?
What is the version of the operating system you are using?

-Satish
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Mike S

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Hi Satish,

I'm running Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit, Version 1803.

All I can point to so far is:
- It only happens in merge to HDR or panorama, and the new DNG file is the one identified as 'read-only'.  It hasn't happened for files created by photoshop (e.g., start in LR, further edit the image in photoshop creating a new TIF, and return to LR).
- I've only noticed it when a bunch of merge's are occurring at the same time, so there's a queue of background processing occurring.
- Since its random, one suspicion I have is that it might be a file conflict occurring, where one thread is creating the DNG and another thread tries to access it for a metadata operation, and sees it locked by the first thread.  But that's just a wild guess.

The next time it happens, I'll see if it repeats for the same group of files.  I'll also look for other patterns.
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Mike S

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Hi Satish,

I believe I've got this narrowed down for you.  It appears its related to "face detection" and/or "address lookup".  When these are active (so they're processing new DNGs as soon as they're created), this error occurs.  When they're paused, I haven't managed to recreate it yet.

Here are some observations that led to this:  When a number of HDR merges are underway, clicking on the "xx operations in progress" message displays a list of all the operations, as well as their status messages.  For a "Creating HDR" operation, I observed the following status messages and timing:
  • Performing merge
  • Saving HDR
  • Importing
  • Applying Development Settings:  While this status is being displayed, face detection and address lookup both become active if they're enabled.  They can stay active throughout the remainder of the task.
  • Copying Metadata
  • Adding to Collections:  When this status message is displayed, a brand new task is added to the queue:  "Saving Metadata".  It is when this task is added that the error sometimes occurs, stating that the DNG in question is 'read-only'.  'Face detection' and 'address lookup' have still been active when this has occurred.
  • Task Completed.
So I'm guessing that either 'Face detection' or 'Address lookup' is momentarily opening and locking the DNG file, and if the "Saving Metadata" task happens to access it during that window, problems ensue.

After observing all this, I paused both of them and ran another 30 HDR merges without any failures.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

- Mike

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SatishT, Employee

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Hi Mike,

Thanks for sharing your observations. We will try to reproduce this issue with the steps mentioned above and get back to you if need any other information.

-Satish
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Mike S

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Hi Satish,

Great.  If this does get fixed, it would be nice if you could post something here.  Sometimes LR updates just say "numerous bug fixes", so there's no way to know if this particular issue was corrected, or is still lurking.

- Mike