Hard drive corruption from LightRoom imports

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  • Updated 7 years ago
I am having issues with LightRoom 3.4 corrupting folders and image files when importing from camera CF card to hard drive. Both Photoshop CS5 and Canon's ZoomBrowser EX are unable to open some image files after LR imports them.

At first it impacted only a few images. After more and more imports, the damage grew extensively. I was in denial it was LR until it happened to a brand new laptop. I now have 2 hard drives on 2 separate computers rendered almost useless because of extensive damage. New hard drive is on the way for my primary PC. My plan is to NOT use LR for imports to protect this new hard drive. Still working on a plan to salvage hard drive on new laptop.
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jediwebdude

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Posted 7 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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What is still the same between the imports on for the two computers besides that you're running LR on both: the camera, the memory card, the cable, the card-reader? I'd suspect hardware before software, until you've eliminated all the hardware involved, by using new/different instances of each. Use a card-reader instead of a direct cable tot he camera which eliminates both the camera and any camera-cable. Use a different memory card that you've low-level formatted in the camera to eliminate the memory card. Copy the files locally to the HD instead of using LR to copy them. This would help eliminate LR's auto-import as part of the problem.

If you're not getting CRC-errors on the hard-drive then the HD is probably ok. What errors are you getting? Usually errors are about the file-system getting corrupted, not the HD failing. Are these external or internal HDs? Do you have any other USB-type devices plugged into your computer(s) during the import? Or even a network printer driver installed on both? Is the same OS on both computers?

LR 3.4.1 fixed an issue with photos with huge amounts of metadata becoming corrupted from a specific HP camera but you may want to upgrade to 3.4.1 to see if the situation changes.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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From your description, it's not clear to me exactly what the problem is. Is the problem that when you import a photo from a camera card using Lightroom, the photo doesn't display correctly in Lightroom, but if you copy the photo from the card to your hard drive using Windows Explorer, and then open the photo in some other application, it does display correctly? That would certainly be a specific, well-defined failure that we could productively investigate.

But it doesn't sound like that's what you're saying. It sounds like you're saying that Lightroom is wreaking havoc far and wide across your system, and even somehow rendering hard drives inoperable. That's a broad enough problem that I'm not even sure what questions I'd ask in order to narrow it down. Perhaps you can provide some more detailed information?

Thanks,
Ben
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jediwebdude

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I use card readers (2 diff brands...one is attached to primary PC, the other was newly purch for new laptop) to read from 4 diff CF cards (1 Kingston brand and 3 SanDisk brand). I never use USB cable to transfer images from camera to computer due to potential for inheriting electronic noise.

Hard drive damage (2 internal drives on primary PC, plus new internal drive on new laptop):

1) 640GB Western Digital internal hard drive corruption was so severe, I couldn't even delete 9 image folders. I attempted to do a full format tonight and it failed. This hard drive had only image files.

2) Older 250GB Western Digital hard drive is experiencing similar issues only after I imported images to it via LR. This hard drive is slowing to a crawl and thus is about useless.

3) On my new Toshiba laptop, the 500GB hard drive still works fine for anything except for some of image folders created by LR. I have stopped using LR on the laptop.

I will upgrade to 3.4.1 and experiment on the 250GB hard drive while it is still semi-accessible. My plan is to get everything off of it and onto new hard drive, then I'll attempt to format the 250GB drive, and start over with creating catalogs and doing imports to it.

Sadly, no error messages are thrown except when I attempt to delete a corrupted file/folder. When attempting to access a LR imported image with PS CS5 or ZoomBrowser, the cursor spins and eventually I get the "application is not responding" message.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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It's virtually inconceivable that Lightroom would be rendering a hard drive unformattable. And I only say "virtually" because of course technically, anything is conceivable.

Having said that, if Lightroom were causing a problem like this, obviously it would be of paramount importance to us to track it down and fix it. It's still not clear to me exactly how it is that you've identified Lightroom as the cause. I would suggest removing Lightroom from the equation entirely, and seeing if you still have the problems. If you do, we've established that it's not Lightroom. If you don't then we can pursue it further.

Thanks,
Ben