Lightroom: Mysterious automatic edits ruining pictures (LR2 Win)

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  • Updated 9 years ago
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I am using Lightroom 2 on my HP laptop and have been suffering from some bugs for a long time. I plug in my cameras and edit the photos as usual; but, on occasion, the pictures become drastically cropped, re-edited, corrected, etc. without my doing so. I edit my pictures, export them into folders, maybe even upload them to Facebook, and all is normal - but when I re-visit those photos in Lightroom again later, sometimes they have become extremely distorted and re-done, sometimes to the point of no return. I am extremely frustrated because it takes a very long time for me to restore the pictures to the edit settings I got them to, and I would like for this to not happen in the future. Please help me fix this problem! Thanks!
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Jenna McPhail

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Posted 9 years ago

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Something could be corrupted, and a way to diagnose this is to take regular backups and then open a backup catalog and see how far back the distortions go to better narrow down how long ago the problem happened. Is there anything else happening on your computer that seems odd.

A guess as to what could be happening is that Auto Sync is enabled (or whatever it was called in LR 2) and other photos that are selected at the same time pick up the edits of your current photo without it being obvious.

You say it takes a long time to undo/redo the edits. Have you looked in the history panel to see if you can just go back a few steps? The history should have any intervening edits in it and it shouldn't be that hard to just go back.

Another thing that could be affecting settings is if you change your LR defaults and then do a reset, the reset always resets back to whatever the current LR defaults are, not the way they were when the photo was first imported. If you have LR defaults set for only specific ISOs then it could be dependent on a photo being a particular ISO.

Finally, what exact version of LR 2 are you using, LR 2.7 was the last of the 2.x series. And is there a reason you're not using LR 3, which is up to 3.4.1 by now? Bugs do get fixed in subsequent versions, although, of course, new things can come about as the program is changed, too.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hard to say what the problem might be. I would suggest that you test your catalog to see if it's corrupted.

1. Go to Edit>Catalog Settings
2. In the "General" tab, in the "Backup" section, set the pop-up to "When Lightroom next exits" and click OK.
3. Quit Lightroom.
4. In the "Back Up Catalog" dialog, make sure that both checkboxes are checked, and then click "Backup."

If the progress bar finishes, and Lightroom quits without giving you any warnings, then your catalog is not corrupted, and that's not the problem. If your catalog is corrupted, Lightroom will tell you during this process.

If the catalog is not corrupted, another thing to try would be throwing out the Lightroom preferences file:

Also, updating to the latest version may help, a free trial can be downloaded here:

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Rob Cole

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Have you ruled out 'Autosync'?

Another thing that can cause inadvertent edits is a faulty keyboard - I'm having this problem now.

PS - I also recommend upgrading to Lr3 if possible.
(If you upgrade to Lr3 you can use ChangeManager to lock your photos).
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Checking Auto-Sync is a good suggestion, thanks Steve and Rob.

1. Select two or more photos.
2. Switch to the Develop module.
3. Look in the Settings menu and verify that "Enable Auto Sync" is NOT checked.