LR Catalog backup is being saved in a folder within a folder after High Sierra was installed

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This is tricky to explain. In the past, when I exited LR (5.7), I was prompted to save my catalog, and the location was always the same: Pictures/Lightroom/Backups. And each backup would have its own file. Nice and simple. 

However, since I installed High Sierra last week (numerous problems with LR!!!), I've noticed that the catalog is being saved in a folder within a folder, AND not just the .lrcat file is being saved (which was what I'd end up with in the past after each catalog save upon quitting LR), but ALSO Lightroom 5 Catalog Previews.lrdata, Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat-journal, Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat.lock, Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat.   (I've never seen this before in my saved files, it was only the .lrcat file each time I backed up).

Each time I'm quitting LR, I am now having to manually select where I want the backup to go: Pictures/Lightroom/Backups (like before); otherwise the default that is set up for me to select (if I just pressed "Save"), would be in a folder that was created for a previous backup and then within another subfolder!  See screen shot below, what a MESS.

I just made a change in the Preferences, and instead of having the Default Catalog being set as the most recent catalog (which is what I've always had in the past), I manually selected the last catalog that I saved, (Today's date).  Then when I went to check out my backups, I saw that the catalog saved like it has in the past (without all the other files I listed above), but along with it this time there was the "previews.lrdata" file.  Not sure why.



I'm not sure what is going on or how to fix this! Please, can someone help me?

(I am also following the thread about the "An error occurred when attempting to change modules" issue...and the presets showing all messed up and not in alphabetical order). I hope to get some help with those too, as they are causing me all kinds of grief and there is no technical support anywhere near where I live. So I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that someone here can help.

Thank you in advance.

TB
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Tawna Brown

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  • beyond frustrated and helpless

Posted 2 years ago

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Dave Roberts

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I can’t offer any help I am afraid, running High Sierra 10.13.2 beta and backup structure is as ever and fine!
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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It looks like you are using the backup catalog each time you start Lightroom. Go to the Lightroom preferences - General tab, and check what it says about which catalog Lightroom should use. Select your main catalog, don't use something like 'Most recent catalog'.
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Tawna Brown

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Thanks Johan, I haven't changed anything from the past. Did you see what my backup files looked like from October (before I installed High Sierra)?  What is it supposed to look like if not like that?  What a mess anyway! I really wish I could hire someone to just come into my computer and fix everything. Where I live, there is no such expert help anywhere near me! (maybe 1000s of km away).

As I mentioned in my initial post, I changed the selection for which catalog should be used (instead of "most recent catalog"- which is what I used to always use, I just changed today to today's last backup, Nov 19.  So is that the right one?  Now each time I close LR, it will always save/update that catalog, and when I open it up, it will only go to that one?)  Sorry for my ignorance. I despise all this stuff. :(  
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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I just changed today to today's last backup, Nov 19.  So is that the right one?

I get the feeling that you do not know what a backup is for. When Lightroom makes a backup of your catalog, that is just a copy in case you have a problem with your main catalog. You should not open this backup catalog in Lightroom, unless you have a problem with your main catalog. I don't know where your main catalog is, but normally it is not stored in the folder called 'Backups'. Your main catalog should be in the parent folder, so it should look like this:



Unfortunately, I can't tell you what is the latest catalog now, because you have already been using backup catalogs several times. But judging from the size of the 'previews.lrdata', I think it's the one marked in yellow, but no guarantees. 

If you find that this is the one, you better move the two files to the parent folder and then start Lightroom by double-clicking on the catalog file. Then set this catalog as the catalog to open and do not open any backup catalogs anymore from now on.



So what did happen? If you start Lightroom with a catalog that does not have the 'previews.lrdata' in the same folder, then Lightroom will create it and start rendering the necessary previews. The fact that you have 'Previews.lrdata' in several backup folders can only mean one thing: you have opened these backup catalogs in Lightroom and so it generated the 'previews.lrdata' for them. Lightroom didn't suddenly backup these 'previews.lrdata' after you upgraded to High Sierra, it created them when you looked at the backup catalog by opening it in Lightroom! It has nothing to do with that upgrade.
(Edited)
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Tawna Brown

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OK, I really can't explain why all this has happened. All I've ever done was press quit and save, and never changed the location of the backup, etc.  I only discovered this folder within a folder issue about 5-7 days ago.... And I'm trying to get back to normal. But no idea how!

How do I find out which is the latest catalog? You noted that the highlighted yellow one in your screen shot had a larger previews file than my more recent one.  Why would this be? And how can I determine which is my master catalog?  I have a similar set up as you do, with the main catalog being outside of the backups folder:  users/tawnab/pictures/lightroom (and there is a lightroom 5 catalog and previews file, both dated October 16, and the file sizes are 1.52GB and 25.1GB respectively.  This is the largest previews file i have.  But these are dated OCTOBER 16.... so what happens if I revert to that one as my source catalog?  Do I lose everything since then?

In my backups folder, you see that I have preview files also, but of a much smaller size. 



Continued screen...



Please be gentle. This isn't fun for me, nor is it easy trying to figure this out with screen shots and this forum.... But it's all the hope i have....

TB
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Like I said, the previews are generated when Lightroom opens the catalog file. So the bigger the previews file, the longer and the more you've worked with that catalog apparently. That is why I assume that the one I marked in yellow is the most recent catalog you really worked in. There are two slightly more recent catalogs, but the time difference is only a few minutes and they have very small previews files. That suggests that Lightroom has opened these catalogs too, but only for a short while.

This is also the reason why I suggested to set the catalog file in the Lightroom preferences, and not let Lightroom open the 'most recent' catalog. Perhaps there is an incompatibility between Lr5 and High Sierra, that makes Lightroom think that the backup it just made is the most recent catalog, so it switches to that catalog the next time you start Lightroom. I would expect every backup to have a small previews file in that case, but perhaps it doesn't happen all the time, just some of the time.

If you go back to that main catalog dated October 16, you will indeed lose all edits and imports you did after that date. The easiest way to solve this is as follows. Double click the catalog I marked, and check if all you recents edits and imports are there. I'm pretty sure they will be, but do check this first. If not, check the catalog that is really the most recent one. If you are satisfied that everything is there, quit Lightroom and then move this catalog to the users/tawnab/pictures/lightroom folder. The Finder will ask you if you want to overwrite the existing catalog file. Say Yes. Then start Lightroom again by double clicking on that file, so you know for sure that Lightroom has started with the catalog in that folder. Then go to Preferences - General and set this catalog as the one Lightroom should always use. That should be it. Any missing previews will be regenerated when needed, so you don't have to worry about the previews file not being up to date.

If you want, you can now clean up the mess inside the backup folder. Or you can just leave it there for a while until you are 100% sure that you're not missing anything after all.
(Edited)
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Tawna Brown

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I really do appreciate you taking the time to help me.  Earlier yesterday, I did set LR to select the specific catalog I pointed it to (and not the other option, being the most recent one).  I selected a November 19 catalog, but I didn't move its location to the LR folder, it was still in the backups folder.... So that's probably something i need to fix.

As you mentioned in the beginning of your last message, if I go back to the October 16 catalog, then i will lose all edits and imports I did after that date (which has been a lot, including a fairly significant assignment for a client). But if I seem to have everything in the catalog I'm working from now (Nov 19), then shouldn't I be safe with that? And if so, then I need to drag and drop which of the "2017-11-19 1004" files to the users/tawnab/pictures/lightroom folder? All 4 of the individuals files in that folder?  Or just the catalog, or the entire folder? (See screen shot)

The Oct 16 catalog presumably isn't the latest catalog, since the last time it was opened was Oct 16. And the previews file is likely as large as it is, because i was working on 1000s of pics from a trip to Italy and Bali, this is my guess.  But if I see all those previews, etc. in the more current catalog (Nov 19), then I should be safe continuing to use this Nov 19 catalog, but I need to move it out of the backups folder, correct?

I am guessing that as soon as I click on the Oct 16 catalog (to just check it out and see what it shows me), that its date will change to Nov 20... is that right?

I guess what i'm trying to figure out is why would I go back to the Oct 16 catalog, if I've been working off of more updated catalogs (but they just happen to be in the backups folder for some reason).

Is there anything wrong with moving the Nov 19 catalog to replace the Oct 16 catalog, and then using that one as the master source catalog? Is that what I'm trying to sort out here? (I just need to know which exact file(s) to manually move from the backups folder into the LR folder, and then I'll follow the other instructions for telling LR to use that catalog from now on....

Happy Monday...

TB

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Michel DELFELD

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I you have a mess with your catalog. You have to make check of all these you are not sure.
Perhaps do you remember the las action you did on Lr? If so, just open the last one (2017-11-19) and check if you can find this very last action. The best would be that you had made an import on that day! or just days before. This is easy to check you can make a dynamic collection to find that

Same way of checking the modification date, you can use a dynamic collection to find these backs. Look at that kind of dynamic collection
A dynamic collection analyse the entire catalog
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Tawna, we are talking about the same thing. You won't go back to the Oct 16 catalog if you follow my instructions. You will overwrite (replace) the Oct 16 catalog with the one you are currently using. So yes: all you would do is move the current catalog (the Nov 19 one) to the main catalog folder. You don't have to move any other files or folders, just the catalog. Exactly as you just asked.
(Edited)
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Michel DELFELD

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Completely Ok with you Johan
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Tawna Brown

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OK, I will work on this tonight... Fingers and toes crossed!!! I'll let you all know what happens!
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Michel DELFELD

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As Johan says, you have to create your own backup place for LR. DO NOT put these backup files in your System disk. Put these files on an other disk than the one where you put your Lr bata base. 
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Tawna Brown

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Thanks Michel. I have the backups saved on my laptop hard drive, but I also usually copy that catalog (copy and paste the most recent saved version) to my external drive... so I have another backup.....  I do still need help:( Not sure where to go at this point...
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Michel DELFELD

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If you need more help, ask me
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Tawna Brown

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I do, very much so... but just sent a response back to Johan and then I'll see what's next. Thank you!
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Michel DELFELD

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To be clear, I explain you the way I am organising my self regarding Lr Catalogs.

To start on that subject, very first considerations.

About the use of words
I consider that what the function called by Adobe  "save the catalogue" is in fact a backup of the current catalogs. It's easy to understand when looking (in the finder) at the "save" file type that is a .zip (compressed file). 

About Lr Catalog and Relational Data Base
You must consider that Lr catalog is a "relational DATA BASE". Each time the user start Lr, he is applying modifications on the DB. Each time the user is quitting Lr, the data base stays at the situation the user has created when working on it (ea working in the dev module on a picture is a modification in the DB). Out of the "save function" that is organised following time count there is no specific save done when quitting Lr.

This mean that there is no save action as you can consider.

Trying to be more clear, a relational data base is made of many different folders that are in relation with each other (following certain rules like key words applied on one or more pictures) each time an access is done on one of these files, the file is immediately modified (ea saved) as well as the one in relation with.
Consider that the Data Base is continuously save during the use of it.

About Save action or Data Base Backup
So said, the called "save function" in Lr must be considered as a backup. 
But, as LR catalog is a relational data base, this save is a "frozen" situation. With other words, the save is a picture of the data base made at a certain moment.

All these considerations to comme to the fact that it may NOT be situated in a system disk or event on continuously used HDD (as all the other backup).

About my way of working
Considering all what I said before, I explain you myself way of working with Lr.

Being in a catalog, I open the "catalog parameter"
In this pop up screen I put the save catalog parameter at "At the next Lr shutdown" (i am not completely sure about the word used in english. But this must be something tike this.)



Than, I go to Lightroom menu and ask to quit Lr



Due to the changeI did in the "catalog parameter" i get a pop up screen in which In can choose the place where I want to put my catalog backup.

So said, click on "Select" this will open the finder. Giving you the opportunity to choose the place of your backup file


Here under, you may see my HDD organisation. You may see that I am having 6 HDD on line.
Evidently, what I explain here works also for single or/and external HDD.

You can see that the db backup is every time named AAA-MM-DD HHMM


The essential consideration is about Backup. Not only a backup for Lr Catalogs but for the complete data use on a computer. Personally, I have An Online backup, a backup on a NAS and last but note least backup made on HDD using a dock station. These HDD are stored in an other place than the computer.
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Tawna Brown

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Merci Michel for all of this detail. I'm having a bit of a hard time understanding, but I'm in discussions with Johan as you can see, and hopefully later today I'll have a better idea of what to do. It appears that my catalog is "housed" in the backups folder, because the main source catalog that I used to be using (Dated Oct 16), was housed/located where it should be, in the LR folder, not in the backups folder.  But I've been using LR everyday since October 16, and yet somehow I haven't been working from that master catalog....

So I need to find out if the catalog that is in my "backups" folder, dated Nov. 19 (1004) can be used as my replacement catalog for the Oct 16 one, and if so, I will move it from the backups folder, into the LR folder, and delete the Oct 16 catalog.   I just am not clear if a backup can be used the same way as the catalog. (you know, like the difference between a backup of your OS and a bootable backup).  Can I simply move one of my backups into the LR folder, and tell LR to use that catalog from now on as the one and only catalog.

Standing by to hear back from Johan, as I included more info. in that message. Thank you again. I've never had any problems like this before, and it came out of no where. So now I find myself in this mess.  I appreciate everyone's help.

Have a good day!

TB
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Michel DELFELD

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Yes, a backup can be used as a catalog as long as you didn't modified your pictures organisation within the finder and using the finder. The backups are in .zip format, you need to expend it. 

When using Lr, never modify the picture organisation out of Lr!

The aim of a backup is to give the user the possibility to not loose any data. This mean that a backup must be usable without the least possible manipulations.

It is so simple to do it with Lr. Just open the backup and work on it. Think of making a backup depending of the level of security you need.
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Tawna Brown

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Michel, none of my backups are in .zip format.... why is that?
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Michel DELFELD

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Because what you look at is a Folder.
Here in my dump screen, you see the folder 201-11-20 1133, if you click on that folder you will see the file DxO Test-2.lrcat.zip that is the effective Lr catalog backup it is a .zip file (.zip files are compressed files). On a Mac computer, I you click twice on that compressed file, the file will be un-compressed and than you will get the uncompressed file (in my exemple you will get: DxO Test-2.lrcat) that you can open with Lr in view to use it as the future main catalog.

This said, in your different files, if you determine which is the the good one (the last one) you only open the decompressed backup and that's it!

Make some controls on this catalog and if it's the good one than apply the procedure I explained in a earlier message starting by the words "to be clear, I explain......."

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Tawna is running 5.7 according to her OP, so the catalog backups will NOT be zipped (that feature was only introduced in LR6).
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Michel DELFELD

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Jim you a right, I was in my trip with the version 6. But, out of this non compressed catalog,  this doesn't change a lot
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Actually, it created the whole problem, because Lightroom somehow switched to the backup catalog several times. In Lr6 this could never hapoen, because the backup catalog is zipped. I'm still unclear if this was user error, or if it is an incompatibility between Lr5 and High Sierra when you have 'Most recent catalog' set in the preferences.
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Michel DELFELD

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This can be the fact Johan. Effectively, since years, I have decided to use specific folders for my working catalogs as well for the backups. Backups files are recorded on an other folder on an other HDD. I can't tel something about compatibility between Lr5 and High Sierra.

Since Lr 4, at the opening of Lr, I choose that Lr ask me which catalog I want to open. (as I have more catalogs, this useful) This mean that at each Lr opening I open the last catalog I have used and it will be always the same as long as I don't have a problem.

When closing Lr, depending on the periodicity (see catalog preferences), a backup is done at the place I decided to record it.

With that kind of organisation, every thing is clear and easy to handle.

I must add, that coming from Lr CC 6 I had to redo my catalog and Lr settings after Lr Classic CC install.

Having a bit read and answered about the situation of Tawna I consider the level of complexity in relation with the level of help given by Adobe. It is a pity at all. 

In fact, one can find practically all needed info about every Adobe soft. But the documentation made by Adobe may be easily complex to get into for users having a low level of computer aspects. Here (Belgium) I meet lots of users, students, I would rather says candidate users, that stop using Lr and/or PS, because of they low knowledge of data processing. And it's not only due to the language. The point is also due the intensive use of Cloud. From long I have tested different cloud solutions. Until now there is no one I find safe. The reason I don't use/need Adobe cloud.

Today, I am afraid to see so many users having troubles only going from one version to an other. I did get any of the troubles I have seen until now. My question why? not me and why the others. Today the only answer I have is that Adobe didn't gave enough information about this new version.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Please let's stick to the original question. The original question is not about upgrading to Lightroom Classic or even Lightroom 6, it's about using Lightroom 5 in combination with MacOS X High Sierra. The OP didn't upgrade Lightroom, she only upgraded MacOS X.

What she describes looks like a simple user error, but she seems to be somebody who has used Lightroom for much longer than a few weeks, so it's strange that this user error was suddenly introduced, right at the time she upgraded to High Sierra.

I remember having helped somebody else who didn't seem to know how backups work and who had a similar problem. Unfortunately, I don't remember all the details, such as the version of Lightroom and whether or not it was on MacOS X High Sierra. But now I wonder if it's a compatibility problem after all.
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Michel DELFELD

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Ok, I will see if somebody of my knowledge has an Lr V5 to test on High Sierra
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Tawna Brown

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Thank you Michel and Johan for your continued help.   I seem to have things working now, catalog is now "housed" outside of the LR backup folder, and I seem to have everything in it. (I will clean up my backups folder soon, as it has 58GB of data with all the various versions from the past few months).

 

But I am curious whether i should upgrade to LR 6 or the CC version....(remember, my backups aren't zipped).  I'm just terrified of glitches, and not sure I want to do this without having someone ready to help me right away if something goes wrong.  

I haven't received any comments on the other string I commented on a few days back (which was marked as "solved").... which is about getting the "An error occurred when attempting to change modules." message pretty much every other time i open LR. When i get this message, I have to close it and then open and again, and then it usually works. But I will keep that for the other string... i might start a new conversation since no one has replied to my question yet.

Thank you again very much for your help!

Tawna
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Upgrading might be a good idea, if only because of the zipped backups! This may or may not be a compatibility problem with MacOS X High Sierra, but you can be sure that any future upgrade of MacOS X is not going to solve it. At best it will not cause more problems (and more likely it will cause more problems). Staying up-to-date is always the best action.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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BTW, you can safely trash all those old 'Temporary Import' files. These are all very old files that were left behind when Lightroom didn't quite correctly.
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Michel DELFELD

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I got a message from one of my friend running Lr5 and HighSierra. He got seemly the same problems with Lr5 backups. Today he has made the upgrade to Lr Classic CC and ad me have no problem at all.