Photoshope Elements 9: Retrieving photos after reinstallation

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  • Updated 6 years ago
About 6 months ago, I upgraded from PSE8 to PSE9. During the upgrade process, I converted all my PSE8 catalogs to PSE9 format. After the conversion, I have also added some new photos directly into PSE9, organised and tagged them. Each week, I rotuinely back up my hard drive, including all photos to an external hard drive (not via Adobe backup). Now I have reinstalled Windows 7 and have also reinstalled PSE9. When I tried to load the catalogs from my back-up hard drive, they could not be found, only the PSE8 catalogs. So I again converted these catalogs to PSE9 format, but could not find any of the photos I added in the past 6 months (or when I first converted from PSE8 to PSE9). The original photos exist, but they did not get included in the PSE9 catalog after reinstallation. Here are my questions:

1. How can I retreive the tagged photos I made after conversion to PSE9?
2. Do I now need to reload all the photos I have taken over the past 6 months and retag them all? Or is there a simpler way to get them back into PSE9 (tagged and organised)?
3. Finally, how can I prevent this from happening again when I must reinstall? Do I need to back-up to Photoshop.com?

Thank you!
Photo of Stan French

Stan French

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Posted 6 years ago

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Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

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I'm not sure what is going on with your back-ups, but from your description, it sounds like it didn't back-up the Photoshop Elements 9 catalog files. I can't image why not. They are not much different than the Photoshop Elements 8 catalogs, they would be of similar size, the same format, and in nearly the same file location.

If you have to reconvert the PSE8 catalogs, then any changes or additions you made previously in PSE9 will have to be made again.

I would check to verify whether the catalogs were backed-up by manually navigating to the folder where the catalogs are stored by default (it is possible to save a catalog to a different location, so if you did so, I would not be able to tell you where they are now). By default, catalogs are stored here:
--C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Elements Organizer\Catalogs

I'm not sure how this file structure will translate in your back-ups.

Each catalog then gets it's own individual folder in the above location. So, if you use the default name, the folder will be called "My Catalog". PSE8 and PSE9 both use this same location. When you convert a catalog, that catalog folder is duplicated, and one copy is converted, while the other remains behind. To avoid confusion, it is good practice to rename the catalogs so you know which ones go with which version. It is possible that your catalogs are still there, but you did not use a default name and have not correctly pointed PSE9 to them.

1. The information about what tags are attached to which files in Elements Organizer are stored in the catalog file, unless you write the tags information to the files themselves. If you did not write the tags to the files, and you cannot find the catalog that stores this information, then there is no way retrieve this information.

2. Again, if the file that tells Elements Organizer what tags are on which files cannot be found, then you basically must retag the images.

3. Backing up to Photoshop.com will send your images to the website along with their tags. Then, if you redownload them after a reinstall, those tags will still be attached.