iPhoto Library lost after upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by coupone, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. coupone macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2014
    #1
    Hi,

    I recently upgraded my parents' iMac from Snow Leopard to Lion. It didn't occur to me to back up their photo library before the update, and it now appears that their photos in iPhoto are gone. According to my mom, when she tried to open iPhoto after the upgrade, she received a message that indicated she had no library, or something to that effect.

    Their current version of iPhoto is '09 v 8.1.2 on Mac OSX 10.7.5.

    I opened the package contents to see if there was a master file directory for the originals and none could be found. My concern is that the OSX update, and presumably, subsequent iPhoto update resulted in a fresh install replacing the old directory. All other files that were previously on their computer are still there. Only the photos are appear to be missing.

    Does anyone have any insight into this issue, and hopefully, a solution to possibly recover any photos? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Bruno09, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014

    Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #2
    Hi,

    the photos are stored in an "iPhoto Library", whose default location is the "Pictures" folder.

    Check there, and if you find that iPhoto Library, double click on it, this will open iPhoto and make this Library the default one.

    What "package" did you open ?
    The iPhoto application itself does not contain any picture : the pictures are in the iPhoto Library.

    BTW : there is no reason that upgrading the OS could delete an iPhoto Library.
    However, as always : "before upgrading, backup your data...."
     
  3. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #3
    You are looking for iPhoto Library.photolibrary folder which should be located at Macintosh HD>Users>Home>Pictures. If that folder was in another location, other than the path I posted, when you upgraded, good chance iPhoto could not locate it. As already stated, just find that folder and double click. This will allow iPhoto to then point to that folder.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. coupone thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2014
    #4
    Thanks for the quick reply!

    By package, I meant the iPhoto Library found in the '[user]/pictures' folder. It shows as an iPhoto Library icon (not folder), and so I have to right-click and 'show package contents' in order to access -- sorry for the confusion. No images or master pictures folder can be found there. It appears that the old iPhoto Library was replaced by the current, fresh iPhoto Library which has no photos at all, effectively deleting the old one.

    Doing a blanket system Spotlight search for anything ".jpg" produces nothing other than application jpegs and other pics found in separate folders on the computer.

    I posted this thread primarily to find out if anyone else has come across this issue. I imagine any chance of recovery might be lost, but perhaps, it might be possible with data recovery software? Would data recovery even work in this context? Not sure.
     
  5. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #5
    Weird indeed...

    The "empty" iPhoto Library could be a new one that has been created when iPhoto was launched for the first time after upgrading the OS.

    The "old" one might have been renamed and/or moved to another folder.
    Do a search with ".photolibrary"
     
  6. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #6
    Never heard of an iPhoto Library being wiped out from an upgrade. If there was no backups being done your chances of recovering the lost photos is very slim. First thing is to quit using the computer so it quits writing to the HDD. Then you would have to look into data recovery software. I can not help there as I am not familiar with that kind of software.

    Not to sound harsh, but there is a lesson to be learned here. That being, backup, backup, backup. I can not say it enough. External drives are dirt cheap, but so worth every dime you will spend for one. Also a lot less frustration when this type of thing happens.

    Hope you can find that iPhoto Library.
     
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #7
    Simply restore the iPhoto database package from the last Time Machine or CCC backup before the upgrade.
     
  8. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #8
    You've read enough sad tales of people not backing up their computer for years. Do you really think there's a recent backup here? I have my doubts.
     
  9. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #9
    Let's just say I would not be shocked. It is an old sad story.
     
  10. coupone thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2014
    #10
    Thank you all for your responses. The original iPhoto Library was likely overwritten. What I believe might have happened was that iPhoto somehow wasn't able to link to the original photo library after the upgrade. Without realizing what was happening, my parents probably somehow created a new empty library which had overwritten the old library. That's my best guess.

    They didn't have a complete backup so some photos were lost, but we were able to recover most of the photos via some archives and other family members' photo collections, so it wasn't a complete disaster. I've set up Time Machine and have given them an external HD for future backups.

    Thanks again for your help!
     
  11. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Now, please update them to Mavericks for free, if at all possible
     
  12. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Warning : upgrading iPhoto from iPhoto 8.1.2 to 9.5 (for Mavericks) is NOT free.

    Only iPhoto 9.x.x can upgrade for free.

    More here : https://discussions.apple.com/message/23513231
     
  13. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #13
    Excellent point! Thank you for keeping the OP safe from misunderstanding my post.
     

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