Lightroom Classic CC: Photos Vanished from New Catalog

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  • Updated 8 months ago
  • (Edited)
I created a new catalog yesterday, and imported a recent wedding I shot. Made some adjustments, flagged a bunch as normal, etc...I switched catalogs to work on some different photos, then came back to the new one and...all photos have vanished. 

I've used LR since 1.0 so I know what to look for...There shows the number '0' beside 'recent imports', the folder which the photos reside isn't even visible (should have nearly 4000 images), no previews for anything (why would there be if LR sees no photos in the catalog). The external drive where the photos live is green-lit in LR, and the photos show in Explorer though.

I open catalogs via the context menu in Windows, which shows recently accessed catalogs. The one I just created is indeed there, but it's like I never imported a thing. It's completely empty. I've never seen this in all my time using LR. Even the preview folder for this catalog is suspiciously small. 

I've searched my computer for a possible random duplicate of this catalog, but nothing comes up. What's happened here? I'm totally stumped! 

*update* - I've noticed a couple of files named 'Temporary Import Data' exist within the catalog folder despite the catalog / LR being closed. Could this be suspect? I didn't abruptly exit LR during an import or anything, so I'm not sure why these files would still exist...Thoughts?
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jbedford

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Posted 8 months ago

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Sounds like Lightroom created a new catalog. Have you searched your computer for files with an .lrcat extension?
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jbedford

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Thanks for your reply. I've already searched for newly created catalogs and nothing appeared. Certainly LR wouldn't have just created a whole new catalog on its own...I can confirm that it hasn't.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Maybe not, but Lightroom also doesn't delete 4000 images all by itself...
(Edited)
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jbedford

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I don't know what else I can say...It's like it never 'registered' the import to begin with. I played around with the files for a few hours, flagged a bunch, re-opened the catalog, then 'poof'. Gone. So weird.
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Melissa Rios, Lightroom Support Product Manager

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Were you at all using an external drive and moved the catalog you were working on to that drive? If the external drive isn't connected when you did a search for ".lrcat", you won't find it unless you reconnect it.
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jbedford

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Hi Melissa, no I didn't move the catalog to the external drive. I've searched that drive 'just in case'...It shows me a few other backup catalogs (not the one I'm missing) but not the one I need. The 'recent' catalog list shows the catalog I'm looking for, but when opening it, it's basically the same as a new catalog. No photos imported or registered.

I know this seems crazy, but that's what happened. Could it have something to do with the 'Temporary Import Data' file that resides with the catalog? Could it have been corrupted somehow? IDK...