photos imported into iPhoto have vanished

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by terayon505, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. terayon505 macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
    I am using a MacBook Pro, OS X Leopard (fully updated) and iPhoto '08. My camera is a Pentax Optio W60.

    I plugged the camera into the computer via USB. Then I opened iPhoto, and the camera was there in the source list. I selected it and then uploaded all of the pictures and videos in several Events (it's been a while since I pulled the photos off the camera, so I wanted them to be semi-organized). This went normally and I chose "Delete Originals" (from camera) after each batch was imported. I looked quickly after all the events were imported and they were there in the library, just as I expected. I quit iPhoto.

    Today I started up iPhoto and the events that I'd imported were gone! :eek: AUGH!!! 6 weeks' worth of baby pictures, gone! The photos I'd imported previously were fine.

    This is what I've tried:
    - Going to "iPhoto library," control-clicking and selecting "Show package contents." I looked through all the folders and didn't find any of the newly-imported photos. The old ones are there, of course.
    - Searching the hard drive for one of the photos. I don't know for sure what the file names of the missing photos were, but I can guess based on how the camera names things, and I found nothing.
    - Downloading FileJuicer to try and recover the photos from the memory card. It didn't find any of the missing photos on the card. It appears that when iPhoto deletes them, it really deletes them.
    - Checking the trash on my hard drive. No joy, though I've emptied the trash a couple of times since I imported the photos (not thinking to check to see if iPhoto put my photos there).
    - Double-checking my iPhoto preferences - it is set to copy photos into the iPhoto library.
    - Restarting iPhoto a couple of times to see if the photos would magically reappear.
    - Searching my hard drive for any random iPhoto libraries that might have somehow been created. Hey, I'm pretty desperate here.

    Does anybody know why this happened? Does anyone have any suggestions for recovering these photos?

    Obviously in the future I will not be deleting originals after importing!
  2. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005

    I spend a lot of time in iPhoto. My usual attack is to import, but not to delete originals (on the card), until I have done a Time Machine backup. Still, this may have not helped, as if they never imported, Time Machine wouldn't have backed them up either. That is, if I did my usual and TMed, then deleted the memory card, I may still not have imported correctly.

    This reminds me of older or x.0.0 releases of iPhoto that were not as stable. I learnt that whenever iPhoto crashed, it would often 'forget' changes that were made that session, be it imports, edits or whatever. It nearly seemed that things weren't written until close of iPhoto. Now I don't know if this is true, but I got into the habit of closing iPhoto after an import. It has been very stable since, and I haven't had any issues, but it may be something prudent to know.

    As for any theories on your predicament, I'm not sure. It's possible it crashed upon closing and thus didn't save any changes. I would think that the files are written at time of import, but who knows.

    Sorry to hear, and hopefully you can recover your files.

    I suggest when you import in future, never delete critical images from the card through iPhoto. This preserves a temporary backup (until you can confirm correct importing), but also, it is healthier for the card to format that in camera (leads to less corruption issues from a camera not understanding what an external application has done).

    Also, the next time you do it, check inside the library to see if files actually write, before and after closing/reopening iPhoto).

    edit: Double check your iPhoto Library again. If you have iPhoto 09, it will label the event by date, unless you specified a name on import. The folders for the events should be in the "Original"-> "year" folder. As another check, maybe you could look in the "modified" as well.

    Double edit-> Hold down option+command when opening iPhoto. This gives you an optional rebuild menu. There are many things you can try, but perhaps the first is to look for orphaned photos in your case. It would be prudent to make a backup before attempting anything too crazy.

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