Lost Virtual Copies

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  • Updated 2 years ago
This happened almost two years ago when I purchased a new external hard drive and moved my files over to it.  I assumed I had done something terribly wrong (and I may have) and that I was just out of luck regarding the edits of all my photos (2014 and earlier).

I still have the original CR2 files and the exported versions, but no virtual copies and thus no record of edits.  If I want a different exported size than what I already have, I would have to re-edit the originals from scratch.

However, talking with a friend the other day, he suggested that maybe all is not lost and that I've just gotten the files separated somehow.  Other than that brief suggestion, he couldn't help me, but he did give me a glimmer of hope.

Has this happened to anyone before?  Do you have any suggestions about how I might get my virtual copies and edit history back?  (I do still have the old hard drive.)  Is there a specific file type I should look for on my hard drives to locate the missing files or data?

Any help appreciated.  But if I'm sunk, I won't cry.  I've long since accepted the loss.
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Beverly Parks

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Posted 2 years ago

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Steve Gandy

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So, Virtual Copies aren't real files but rather just an alternate set of instructions for the program to perform on the image. Those sets of directions are saved in the Lightroom Catalog. I wonder if you started a new catalog when you got the new drive? If so the VCs are in the old catalog.
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Niala

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I second Steves' thought.
(that means you could envisage to import that old catalog (if You find it) into your 'present' one.
(Scansearch all your drives for file's extentiion .lrcat
(not .ircat) )
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Beverly Parks

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Thanks for the replies.  I have only one huge catalog, but I guess it is possible that I created a new one for some reason and imported all the previous photos into it.

Am searching the drives now.  It's finding several hundred, most are backups.  The ones that are not backups are Lightroom 3, 4, and 5 catalogs.  One has no version designation.

If I do find it, I will have to merge it with the current catalog.  That will be scary.
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Niala

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maybe no rush needed to merge. You might envisage to upgrade (or not] an old catalog. to current LR version, keep it in parallel to your todays main Catalogue. Or export some (new or old) (trial) collections (from old catalogs) as tiny new catalogs, and import those only (thus practicing wthout great riscs. especially if you make a backup of your main catalogue just before)
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Carlos Cardona

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If you ever edited photos the old-fashioned way, with Bridge and Camera Raw, you would have a lot of .XML files next to the raw file (in the same folder). If they get separated, all the edits are gone. With the move to Lightroom, this no longer happens since all the edits are in the Lightroom database catalog. Search for .xml?
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Beverly Parks

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I've only used Lightroom, so that shouldn't be an issue.  I'm at a loss about what to do at this point, but Niala had some good and relatively safe suggestions.

I sure appreciate the help!
 
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Niala

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(In the old .lrcat. you might create a (smart) collection (by filtering) uniting thuse "all the virtual copies". Even if preview pics or path to image are missing, exporting this collection (of only all virtual copies of entier old catalogues) as new catalogue. and importing to. your main one ( same or not the same as 'merging' ?) - that could do the trick ? (just idea)