Lightroom Classic: Unexpected error opening catalog on macOS

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  • Updated 4 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
I am running Lr Classic. "8.4 Release". My catalog that has all of my pictures, and that I have always used on a daily basis, will not open. What is the issue?!
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Barnett Williams

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Carlos Cardona

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Did you reboot? It may also be a corrupt cache or application state, or directory damage. Please give your Mac the "once over"! Run the free Onyx (https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/o...), reboot. (In Onyx just run almost everything in the Maintenance tab, deselecting things you may not want deleted, like Launch Services . Hit the "Options" button and deselect more stuff like Cookies & Other Site Data, Browser History, Form Values, etc.), then hit Run Tasks. After it's done it will ask for a reboot.

If that doesn’t work try launching Lightroom from your other (admin or test) account, with a new catalog, as a test. Does it run OK? If it does it may be a corrupted preference in your Username/Library folder. Check The Lightroom Queen site for instructions on how to reset your preferences (https://www.lightroomqueen.com). Basically:
1. Close Lightroom.
2. Hold down [Alt/Opt]+[Shift] while restarting Lightroom.
3. Overwrite the Preferences when prompted by the dialog.
4. Close Lightroom.
5. Restart Lightroom.
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Barnett Williams

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Hey Carlos, hoping for some clarity on the below as I am on a work computer, which I cannot jeopardize. The "things you may not want deleted" particularly has me worried. 

"In Onyx just run almost everything in the Maintenance tab, deselecting things you may not want deleted, like Launch Services"
(Edited)
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Carlos Cardona

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You could delete Launch Services (which just resets which app opens which files by default, but if you’ve ever changed that, with a right-click “Open with...”, you’d have to reset it (so unless there’s an issue with that I just leave it alone). Use your knowledge of internet browsing to save your browser history, form values, cookies, etc. if you don’t know what something means, like “cookies”, then do a web search for it. Generally it’s mostly the internet cache that you’re trying to delete in the Internet area. If you don’t understand something don’t delete it! Mostly you’re trying to get rid of caches, application states and saved versions.
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Barnett Williams

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Can you confirm this is the correct Onyx software?
https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html
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Barnett Williams

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Carlos, I am back. I downloaded and ran Onyx without success. Below is an image of what I cleared using it. Would this have been sufficient?

Alternatively, is there an Adobe support person I can communicate with? This is a massive roadblock in my workflow. 

(Edited)
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Carlos Cardona

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Yes that's sufficient. You can find the Adobe support number on their site? PS-don't upgrade the OS to 10.14.6 (it breaks the panorama function in LR). Also, have you tried opening one of the Backups (by double-clicking on one)? The Backup folder is in the same folder as your Lightroom catalog, generally in Pictures? Choose the most recent, if that's hosed then try other recent ones.
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Bhakti Ramnani, Employee

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Hi Barnett, 
Which OS are you facing this issue? Do you have a .lock file next to the catalog on your system? 
If you hold down the Ctrl key (Windows) / Opt key (Mac), will it allow you to create a clean catalog?   
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Barnett Williams

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I am running OS Mojave 10.14.5, which actually has an update. Could this be the issue? I do not believe I have a .lock file next to the catalog on my system. If you mean physically next to my catalog on my HD, I only have a .lrdata file near it. 
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Carlos Cardona

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The .lockfile appears only when LR is open, it disappears when closed. If it’s there when closed, delete it!!
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Barnett Williams

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Here is a view of my catalogs in my HD. The "primary" is the one I typically use, and the one that is producing the error. When I open Lr using the "backup", this is my view. It looks like there is a .lock file 2 files below the backup. 

(Edited)
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Barnett Williams

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Update: details on how this problem was resolved here
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Excellent news. We may never get to the bottom of what corrupted the catalog (but it could have been the Dropbox sync), but I'm really pleased we got you back up and running!
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Barnett Williams

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Thanks for your help! One thing I notice now is I now have 2 separate Backups folders. One with my old backups, and a new one where any future backups will go it appears. Is this expected?
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Carlos Cardona

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Not sure, maybe the Adobe employees or Victoria knows, but it’s not normal. Maybe if you “adopted” a backup as your new catalog it creates a new set of backups for that?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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When the backup dialog next pops up, you can set the location of your choice in there.
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Barnett Williams

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Can I manually move the location of the new backup to the original backup folder and then direct any future backups to the original folder?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Yes, you can. It's purely a location set in that backup dialog, and once created, LR no longer tracks the backups.