Lightroom Classic destroys LRCAT file when rebuilding

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  • Updated 2 weeks ago
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If you are running Lightroom Classic 8.31 on OSX 10.14.5 and you try to open a corrupted LRCAT file lightroom will completely destroy the file if it tries to repair it. 

Here's what I did. My Lightroom catalog files are stored in the Creative Cloud Library, backups in Dropbox. When I tried to open the most recent catalog file I got a warning that the file had a problem and Lightroom would try and rebuild it, 

Without any option except forcing Lightroom to close the rebuilding process began. The next time I tried to open Lightroom the app crashed almost instantly. 

I tried several options to repair the file externally including using the Mac Terminal and some SQL tools following instructions on the web. These efforts failed. 

I then went through several versions of the same catalog file from backups with the same result. The files were corrupt and Lightroom further damaged the files when a repair was attempted. A couple of times I forced Lightroom to quit before it had a chance to try and repair the files and I tried to repair them using the two-step SQL process found in several places. I found out that if a file had been repaired by Lightroom I got hundreds of lines of error messages using the SQL techniques. If I did not let Lightroom try and repair the file the first tie I went through the technique I did not get error messages. The file was not fixed, but I didn't get a bunch of error messages.

Further research leads me to believe that is is a corrupted preview file that causes the failure. If I put the LRCAT file in a separate directory and open it I don't get the error. I don't get any previews, but I don't get any errors. I can then rebuild the previews and end up with a working file. 

I don't know what is causing the failures. Some folks on the Adobe forum have suggested that the problem is caused by the previews file not syncing through Creative Cloud Folder, I don't know.

Another problem is that when I finally got things fixed and waited for the Creative Cloud folder to sync it took way too long, more than 24 hours, to sync just 3 files. I had to pause sync, remove all files from the folders on two machines and using the web browser, then load the folder and the 3 lightroom files from a repaired catalog and wait for the sync to complete. There were thousands of files on the list in the progress bar and at one time more than 100 hours were projected as the time necessary to complete the sync. I don't know what was going on there and I tried several suggestions involving deleting library files to speed it up. I just had to wait. Now that the Creative Cloud folder is synced up I can add files and it will update and sync in a matter of minutes. It's not quite as fast as a dropbox sync, but it is usable.
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Rick Gerard

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Yves Crausaz

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I understand that the catalog of LR Classic is not intended to be used from a folder on the Cloud!

Whether you make a copy, ok, but not work directly from this folder.
 
 By default, LR Classic creates the catalog on your internal HDD in the image folder of your user account .... So do not do acrobatics and you will not have any worries of this kind.

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Fortunately I do not have to repair my catalog frequently, but the few times I had to repair it this went without any problems. I can imagine however that there might be a problem if some syncing of the catalog file takes place during that process, so I agree with Yves. Don't push your luck, use Lightroom as intended and don't sync a catalog while it's been accessed by Lightroom at the same time.
(Edited)
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Rick Gerard

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I think you both missed my point, It doesn't matter where a damaged lightroom catalog was stored, I had backups in several locations, Every lightroom catalog I tried to repair, no matter where it was stored, was destroyed. 

Show me where in the documentation that it says you should not save your LRCAT in the CCloud folder? 

Syncing collections - my primary use of the feature, is clearly documented here: How to sync Lightroom Classic photos with ... - Adobe Help Centerhttps://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/help/lightroom-mobile-desktop-features.html

The FAQ has no warning about storing catalog files in the CC Folder that I can see: Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC catalog FAQ

I searched the User Guide and Adobe Help pages and cannot find any warning anywhere. I'd be happy to change, but any cloud-based storage system that I have ever used or heard of looks at the last modified by date on a file to decide which one should be used and if there is a potential conflict, even with something as straight forward as Google Drive, you get a warning and are asked which file you want to keep. The CC Folder should be at least that smart, and the LRCAT files should not be that sensitive. I also never work on both the desktop and the laptop at the same time, There is no reason I can think of that the files in the CC folder should ever not be in sync,

One more time, no matter where the Lightroom Catalogue was stored, when Lightroom repaired the file It destroyed it. Several different LRCAT files from several different times and several locations were reported as damaged and every single time Lightroom repaired the file it failed and the file would then cause Lightroom to crash immediately, 
(Edited)
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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I will review this with the Classic team and get their thoughts on this workflow.  I've pulled in the information with your User-User forum thread: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2636401
(Edited)