iPhoto Library Crisis!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jimbo akimbo, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. jimbo akimbo macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2008
    Hello all,

    My iPhoto Library (v7.1.5) has become corrupt. Last week I went to import some new picture into itunes only to be told that it could not find the library. I looked in the 'PICTURES' folder and discovered that the the library was still there but the icon was no longer that of a folder, but now the blank page of an unrecognised file format.

    No problem I thought, I can simply fall back on my so far unused time capsule and simple restore my library from that... Except now, going back as far as January 2010, the folder is no longer a folder, instead it is simply the same blank page icon.

    The only thing that is different about my mac is that I recently loaded the applications that came with my Canon DSLR and I also updated the raw plugin in an attempt to make iPhoto recognize the images from my camera.

    If I open iPhoto, the Albums are all intact, but all of the pictures are blank space holders.

    If anybody has a clue as to what has happened to my photos I would be massively grateful.
  2. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    No idea what has happened, but if you right-click on the iPhoto library you should be able to show package contents and access the original files. Not the easiest way to rebuild the library, but at least some sort of solution.
  3. jimbo akimbo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2008
    Thanks, I had a look at the 'package' but all of the folders within are empty.

    It feels like someone has done a hit and run with all of my photos!
  4. Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2010
    Have you kept the original photos; how did you import them? - Did you save them in a folder, then drag and drop them into iPhoto?
  5. annk Administrator


    Staff Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    Has your library been on an external HD? In my experience if you keep your iPhoto library on an external and you open iPhoto when the external is turned off, iPhoto will automatically create a new library. That can cause some panic, but the old library is likely still there somewhere. A spotlight search can help you find any other orphaned libraries I would think...

    Not sure if this is what happened to you, only speaking from my own experience.
  6. Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2010
    Isn't the iPhoto's library just a file, with reference files to where the original photos are stored?

    Also, depending on how you imported them you could get the original files back via time machine: If you copied the files from your SD to the desktop then imported them, you could recover them using time machine.
  7. Fortytwenty macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2010
    a rebuild could help

    The web is awash with complaints about iPhoto and the disappearance of images. The good news is that they haven't gone anywhere, iPhoto is just not "seeing "them and as a consequence is presenting you with a blank place holder.

    A rebuild of the library MAY help.

    Follow the previous posts instructions to find the Original photo file ( user-pictures-iphoto library- show package contents- back up Originals file ) Copy the Originals file to a totally separate location on your HDD or to a usb drive.

    Now the bad news (there had to be some ). The clitch is suspected to have been a result of editing 1 or more images, which is why we are backing up the Originals file and any editing to images - cropping, red eye, rotation etc, will be lost. This may or may not be a tragedy, but at least you will save your photos.
    so to repeat...

    Backup the library

    To rebuild the iPhoto library:

    1. Quit iPhoto if it is open.
    2. Hold down the Command and Option keys on the keyboard.
    3. Open iPhoto.
    4. Keep the keys held down until you are prompted to rebuild the library.
    5. A dialog will appear with rebuild options. Select the options you want to use.
    6. Click Rebuild to begin the rebuild process. This may take a few minutes to complete.

    Note: Any "recovered" photos may not appear in their original album in the source list. However, they should appear in the newly created "Recovered Photos" album in the source list.

    Hopefully this works.

    Personally I think iPhoto is a piece of junk, use Aperture or Lightroom, they are well worth the money. Lightroom is my app of choice , but I know that not everyone wants professional quality results so iPhoto may do it for you. Just do what you should ALWAYS do and have 2 copies of anything you wish to keep or which is important to you.

    Hope this helps.
  8. jimbo akimbo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2008
    Thank you all for taking the time to try and help me.

    Unfortunately my pictures have gone. They've gone from my hard drive and they've gone from the time capsule. I don't know what has happened and I assure you i'm not some wet behind the ear technophobe whose just mislaid them in an random folder. It has certainly makes you worry, I can only assume the Canon software is at fault somewhere along the line!!

    Thankfully all isn't lost.... 80% of my photos are on an older computer so at least I still have those.

    But once again, thank to all so very much I really do appreciate it.

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