Lightroom Classic: Updating to version 9 but my catalog from version 8.4 is incompatible

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Lightroom Classic - Updating to Lightroom Version 9 but my catalog from version 8.4 is incompatible and for some reason, it can't be updated. I can revert back to 8.4 temporarily so as not to lose my collection of work but it's not going to be a solution long term. Can you help give me some steps that might offer a solution to this issue I am encountering?

Any advice, solution or steps that I might be able to try would be most appreciated.

Thank you.

Joe
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Joe Kelly

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Posted 1 week ago

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Do you get an error message and if so, what does it say?
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Joe Kelly

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So, after updating to Lightroom Classic v9 and launching the programme, I get the message telling me that my catalog needs to be upgraded and a new catalog file will be created in a stipulated destination. I’m asked to either ‘Upgrade’ or ‘Choose a Different Catalog’.

If I choose Upgrade, the catalog will go through about 5 minutes of upgrading before I get the message

‘Lightroom encountered problems when trying to update the format of the catalog file and cannot use this catalog in this version of Lightroom’, to which I am given the options, ‘See Adoe TechNote’, ‘Show in Finder’‘Quit’ and Choose a Different Catalog’.

Now, I can start a new Catalog and Lightroom v9 seems to work fine, but I have none of the pictures from the last two years available, nor any of my presets for that matter but I haven’t considered that as an issue of concern yet.

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Joe Kelly

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I actually got it working, thank you. It wouldn't work from the start trying to upgrade my Catalog, but after creating a brand new one, I relaunched my old catalog from within the updated program and for whatever reason, that worked and has remained working after several restarts.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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I love problems that fix themselves! Much easier to deal with.
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Phyllis Peterson

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I have the same problem with my new catalog. None of the recently added pictures are available and I get a message that I cannot access files.  How do I get out of Catalina upgrade or do what Joe Kelly did.  I do not know what he means by 'create a brand new catalog. Where and how would I do that?
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Christopher Barlow

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Following the upgrade to Lightroom Classic v9 (Windows 10) several catalogs upgraded successfully. But the next had the same error message as above
‘Lightroom encountered problems when trying to update the format of the catalog file and cannot use this catalog in this version of Lightroom
I tried to upgrade the most recent backup but encountered the same error message. I am stuck - is there a solution?
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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@Phyllis: When you click 'Choose a different catalog' in the error dialog, you can click to create a new one in the next dialog.

@Christopher: Apparently Lightroom needs to read info from the images (depth info), so one thing to check when you get this error is if the originals are online. If they are not, this may cause the problem.
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Christopher Barlow

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Checked and all the files are online and in the original locations.
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Matthias Heidrich

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Having the same problem here as Christopher. Trying to role back Lightroom Classic to Version 8...
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Cyndi hathaway

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Im having the same issue updated to Catalina 10.15 then upon opening Lightroom got message about catalog being incompatible and have to choose a different catalog.  All my files I work with are on an external drive, I noticed that the drive is now handling file paths different than before.  "volumes" is missing before the drive location.  It is also showing the drive as a duplicate (same drive listed twice).   Getting message file not found in develop module.   How can I relaunch my old catalog? would that fix this?
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Cyndi hathaway

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Im having the same issue updated to Catalina 10.15 then upon opening Lightroom got message about catalog being incompatible and have to choose a different catalog.  All my files I work with are on an external drive, I noticed that the drive is now handling file paths different than before.  "volumes" is missing before the drive location.  It is also showing the drive as a duplicate (same drive listed twice).   Getting message file not found in develop module.   How can I relaunch my old catalog? would that fix this?
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Jonathan Heilberg

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I’m having the same issue. Abode is of no help.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Cyndi, at what stage are you seeing the missing volume? After you've opened the right catalog or the "other" catalog you need to open in that incompatible dialog?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Cyndi, at what stage are you seeing the missing volume? After you've opened the right catalog or the "other" catalog you need to open in that incompatible dialog?
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Steve Gandy

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We have the same problem. Here's the error message. We are using Mac 10.14.5. Classic 9 refuses to open the catalog but reverting to 8.4.1 works. Help. Thanks in advance for your time and effort.
T
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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It's now a confirmed issue, should be fixed in the next release.
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Steve Gandy

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Excellent! We tried everything.

For anyone else out there with the issue. There is a file created each time with a -sync -2 at the end of the file name. We were throwing those out when we retested. And sometimes a lock file would be created. But we threw those out each time as well. 

The error message takes you to a page about deleting the lock files but that is _not_ the issue.

We also optimized the catalog each time we had it open in v8.4.1 so I believe the catalog is not corrupted.
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David Golding

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Try a cold reboot, worked for a couple  in the Adobe Support Community. No reason.

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Steve Gandy

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Didn't work for us.