Resolved Photos library - repair, reformat, recover?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by LoFord, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. LoFord macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2017
    New Zealand

    I would appreciate some help. I was keeping my photolibrary on a WD 2Tb My Passport for Mac. The file is around 64gb. A few months ago the hard drive became sick and the photolibrary would no longer open. I got quoted around $500 to recover the files and get a new hard drive. (I live in NZ so crazy prices like this are not unusual).

    I decided to wait until my partner went to India, for $30 they recovered the files and put them on a new WD My Passport Drive (which was also cheaper). Now I have the new drive back home. But in the meantime my MacBook Pro has updated software.

    MacBook Pro - mid 2014
    MacOS Sierra Versiion 10.12.6

    I have tried to open the photolibrary on the new hard drive, the message "The library “Photos Library” has inconsistencies that must be repaired" appears first, I click on 'repair" and then get the next messages

    The library could not be opened.

    The library “Photos Library” could not be recognized.

    The only options at this point are 'open other' or 'quit'.

    1. How do I establish if my photolibrary file is corrupt?
    2. Is it possible the library is created in an older software version than the current Sierra 10.12.6?
    3. Please, can you help me fix this?

    I know the immediate answer should have been to store in the cloud, but that was not a practical solution as I was living with very limited internet for some time, and this is likely to be the case in the future.
  2. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    Try this (hopefully it will work for you and the Photos Library are not too corrupted):
    1. Make a copy of your recovered Photos Library (to protect from any possible damage of the original recovered library).
    2. Right click (or control+click if you only have a one button mouse) and select "Show Package Contents".

    Photos Package Contents.jpg

    3. Start with the Masters folder and keep drilling down until you find the jpg pictures you want. This should give you the raw full sized jpg. You can move or copy them to another drive or folder. Previous comments or changes made in Photos will not be preserved, but you will have the pictures.

    Good luck.

    BTW: I would recommend a backup plan that provides more than one copy of important files.
  3. LoFord thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2017
    New Zealand
    Hello CoastalOR

    Thank you very much, this is working! I am copying the files year by year from the originals section. Really appreciate the fast, clear reply, thank you again!

    PS - Yes, while I'm currently in a place with good internet I will upload to the cloud.
  4. CoastalOR macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
    You are very welcome.

    If the internet is not a viable permanent backup solution, then you could backup to more than one external drive, which would protect you if one drive fails but not if your place is destroyed in some catastrophe. It would be ideal if one of the backups could be stored off-site.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "The cloud" isn't always the best solution.

    You need a "second backup drive" -- a physical drive.
    Keep it stored "in a safe spot" either at home, or preferably another location.

    The best backup I've found is a BOOTABLE CLONED backup, created with either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. Great for having nearby if you get into an "I can't boot!" moment.

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