Lightroom Classic: Corrupt catalogue

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 4 months ago
  • (Edited)
I have a problem with my Lightroom CC Catalogue on Mac OS X.

When closing Lightroom it asked to backup the catalogue. However, that failed. Now I can no longer open the catalogue file as it is corrupted. Repairing the catalogue fails as well. I can however still open old Backups. Unfortunately, my last backup was a while ago. Can someone from Adobe therefore help and try to repair the catalogue?  

Thx in advance for your help! !
Photo of Fabian Pönnighaus

Fabian Pönnighaus

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 1 year ago

  • 1
Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

  • 7535 Posts
  • 1726 Reply Likes
Lightroom CC does not have a Catalog backup facility. Are you perhaps using LIghtroom Classic instead? Please go to Help>System Info... and get us your installed LIghtroom version number. 
Photo of Fabian Pönnighaus

Fabian Pönnighaus

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks for your quick reply! I am sorry, that I posted in the wrong forum. I even opened up lightroom and it says its called Lightroom CC (Version: CC 2015.14 [ 1149743 ]). Can you maybe move my post to the correct forum?

Is there any way to fix the catalogue? 
Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

  • 7535 Posts
  • 1726 Reply Likes
Fabian,

Is there a reason you are running the older version of Lightroom? Current is 8.2 and you are using the equivalent of 6.14? 

Regardless, I will contact you offline about getting a copy of your catalog from you and we will see if we can recover it - no guarantees!
Photo of Allen Schill

Allen Schill

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
Although this thread is a year old, maybe my input will be of some use (also posted elsewhere):

Lightroom is acting up - says it needs to quit due to a problem reading a catalogue, and puts you on a merry-go-round of error messages.

I’m running MacOS Mojave 10.14.3 on an iMac 27”, late 2013, with 24 GB of RAM.  Lightroom Classic 9.2 as of Feb 20, 2020.  Generally Lightroom has run smoothly for me.

I’m not certain just what I was doing when the problem first came up - whether I was trying to back up the catalogue and quit LR, or if I was simply working with the catalogue.  In any case, I had been using LR to eliminate many small image files which were on an external drive, sometimes working directly from LR, selecting files and choosing Remove from Disc, and sometimes selecting and trashing from the Finder, then synchronizing the relevant folders in my LR catalogue.  This all went without a hitch.

But then came these error messages, at certain intervals:

1.  “Lightroom encountered an error when reading a catalog and needs to quit.  Lightroom will try to diagnose the problem the next time it launches.”  (But it doesn’t ever really quit, it seems.)

2.  “The last time Lightroom ran, it shut down prematurely due to a problem reading the catalog. Lightroom must now check the catalog before proceeding.”

3.  “Now checking integrity of LR catalog.  This may take several minutes.”

and back to the top, above, when LR attempts to reopen.  The only way to escape this vicious cycle is to force-quit LR.

The first time this happened - March 1 - LR did not correct itself right away.  But after I went through the cycle again, LR went back to behaving normally again, but only for a day.

On March 2, after some hours working with my catalogue, the problem returned, and resisted any attempt to be resolved.

A web search yielded the suggestion to trash the Previews folder, although this was offered for a slightly different problem:  when the error message says “Lightroom encountered an error when reading from its preview cache and needs to quit.” or similar, like “when reading from catalog file).  Actually, my search yielded many results mentioning this error message, and hardly any that mentioned my particular error - “when reading a catalog”.  

Anyway, it seemed reasonable to try the same thing, so I went ahead and trashed my Previews folder.  But when I then empty the trash, all the contents get tossed but the folder remains, and I get this message:  

“The operation can’t be completed because the item “Previews.lrdata” is in use.”

I’m not sure whether LR was still running at the time when I trashed the Previews, if this is an issue.  Probably I had force-quit LR, as its behavior was just a nuisance.

The only thing to do was to move the Previews.lrdata file back to the LR folder.  (A new Previews.lrdata gets generated somehow, with little or nothing in it, even if LR never really gets going.)  I trashed it again and tried then to empty the trash, making sure LR was closed, but it refused to be emptied from the trash because it was “in use”, as above.

I succeeded in opening an older LR catalogue (as long as I opted to open a recent one instead of the current corrupted one).  Of course the older catalogue doesn’t reflect the current state of the files and folders catalogued, but one by one - to be sure of what I was doing - I synchronized the folders.  They got updated, with more recently added files and folders, eliminating old versions of the files (most of which had simply been renamed).  They all seem to have their keywords. 

The main drawback is that my Keyword list was in an older state, less sorted than what it was before my catalogue developed a problem.  (I have many keywords, especially relating to a large collection of images of art, and I like/need to keep them somewhat organized.)  Luckily for me there weren’t too many.

As I worked to synchronize these folders, I noticed that my new Previews.lrdata was slowly building up again, and even the Smart Previews.lrdata.

Files that had to be reimported into LR kept all their old Develop settings - tonality, crop, etc. - but lost their history, sorry to say.  Also, virtual copies were lost.  (I typically keep the principal copy of a master file for printing, and a virtual copy, with different settings, from which to make copies of a file for viewing on computer - for submission or web publishing.)  Although I keep records of my print settings and could reset them anytime, this way my print files are ready to print.  I will have to make new virtual copies, and adjust them for computer viewing, if I need to make new files.

The moral of the story is that I’m trying to establish a new habit of backing up Lightroom every time I use it, which is just about every day.  (Formerly I backed up only about once a week.)  I was fortunate to have a backup that was only missing a few recent modifications.  If I had had to resort to something a month old, I would have been very upset to have to repeat all that work. 


Alienal
Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

  • 7535 Posts
  • 1726 Reply Likes
It is possible to repair corrupted catalogs if your backup is too old. If you are interested, let me know and I will contact you directly.