iPhoto data recovery

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by paulold, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. paulold macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    My hard drive crashed and my data recovery software is able to recover my files. I can find all my music, but I'm can't seem to find my photos. I have a huge iPhoto Library - it contains years of photos and videos, so it's likely the largest file on my hard drive if iPhoto still maintains the library in one big file. Where do I find it? How do I recovery my photos and vids? I have an 17" Early 2011 MacBook Pro that has the latest OSX and the latest iLife.
     
  2. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #2
    Don't you have a backup in the Time Capsule?

    It will be better to recover from the backup.

    Just be careful when you found the pictures, as iPhoto creates many copies of the originals in smaller size /resoultion, so be aware of recovery the real ones.
     
  3. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 3, 2008
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    Washington, DC
    #3
    Sorry - forgot to mention that while I do own a Time Capsule, at the time of my crash, I did not have a backup of my stuff. My Time Capsule had gotten full to where it was no longer able to backup my files. So I erased it all and meant to turn it back on, but alas, I never did. Live and learn.

    So no backup, but I have a drive that data recovery software can work with. I'm not sure how good/bad a condition my drive is in. I was only running a demo and was able to poke around. But I never found my huge collection of photos. I did hear back from the maker of the software and they said I will have to recover the individual photos/vids instead of the iPhoto Library file. I think the software looks for things that are photos and places them in a recovered folder somewhere.

    I thought it was going to be easier than that - I thought I could just locate the really massive iPhoto Library file and recover that.
     
  4. mpantone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    #4
    The default location of the iPhone Library is a directory called:

    /Users/[you]/Pictures/iPhoto Library.photolibrary

    The original files are in a subdirectory tree called Masters. That's what you want to focus on.

    However, the iPhone application builds dozens of folders and index files elsewhere for previews, thumbnails, text tags, facial recognition, etc. You can pretty much ignore those; it would likely be a wasted effort to recover a portion of these files which will not rebuild the iPhoto database.

    Good luck, you definitely will need it.
     
  5. eschw95458 macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2007
  6. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
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    #6
    Those recovery software allow you to search by file extension or type, also by size, therefore you might be able to aim for both: the library, which is package or the individual photos.
    Recovering the Library is nicer.
    I have the PRO version of this one:
    http://www.cleverfiles.com/
    Works nicely.
    Tomorrow I'll check if I can get discount code for giving you a reference.
     
  7. saggyhaggis macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #7
    I assume that holding the alt key immediately after opening iPhoto and navigating to the 'backup' photo library won't work?

    Navigate to users/username/pictures and control click on the iphotolibrary then select show package contents. Open the masters folder and if you drill down all your iPhoto's will be contained within this folder.

    I don't think think there is a quick way around this as I have had to do this once before, so you will need to open iPhoto and manually select the photos from your backup and drag them into iPhoto.

    Good luck, it will take a little time but you'll get there.

    Once done backup....like a boss!
     
  8. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

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    #8
    Another good way to explore the HDD is by booting from another HDD, and then browsing through the troubled one, and the copying what you need to recover.
    You can also use Disk Utility to check it and repair permissions and diagnose what is going on.
    If you have access to another Mac you can try connecting to your Mac via Target Disk mode.
    Or remove the HDD from your Mac put it in an external case and connect it to another Mac.

    Before panicking, and doing something you will regret tray to recover.

    The Time Capsule may still contain the files also, the recovery software also could potentially recover from it.
     
  9. paulold thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 3, 2008
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    Washington, DC
    #9
    I went with Data Rescue 3 for the recovery software. I liked that they offered a demo to make sure it could help me in the first place, since I wasn't sure just how damaged my hard drive was. I did the deeper scan which found a lot of files (and took many hours) but I have yet to go thru it all to figure out what I want to keep.

    I don't think I will find the iPhoto Library file intact, so I'm not sure that would work. I feel like I'll just find the individual photos and vids. But I do have an old hard drive from years ago that has an old copy of my iPhoto library. While it would be missing a bunch of recent stuff, a huge part of my library is years old. So I'm thinking I should restore that and then go thru the recovered files to add the more recent photos/vids. I just hope I can bring an old iPhoto Library into the current version of the software.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    [[ I don't think I will find the iPhoto Library file intact, so I'm not sure that would work. I feel like I'll just find the individual photos and vids. ]]

    Data recovery software will often "lose" folder hierarchy and file name information, even though it gets back the -files themselves-.

    This is because file names and folder hierarchies are "products of the drive directory" -- and one is often using data recovery software because the regular directory is corrupted or gone.

    Yes, once you have the files back -- unnamed and unsorted -- it can be a considerable amount of work to get them re-named and re-catalogued. But the consolation is that you got the files back at all...
     
  11. srezaeee macrumors newbie

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    Jan 17, 2015
    #11
  12. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    Hmmm...

    Doesn't Time Machine automatically erase the oldest backups to make room for new ones? There should never be a need to manually erase a backup to make room for more.
     
  13. Evren Carven macrumors regular

    Evren Carven

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    #13
    So, you have recover all your photos for iPhoto library but the recovered photos are individual and unnamed? Is it right?

    If all the photos are individual and unnamed, it is a huge work to import them to iPhoto again.
     
  14. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #14
    Time Machine manages that space IIRC, there was no need to start over, Time Machine would have been deleting old backups and keeping the newer ones it had space for.
     

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