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WHERE are my PHOTOS?????

114633 Views 113 Replies Latest reply: Apr 14, 2014 10:27 AM by Terence Devlin RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • elscorcho0 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 24, 2010 11:44 AM (in response to bre bro)
    I also have this problem. Luckily I have backups of everything, but I agree that it is ridiculous to blame the user for a software upgrade that would delete data. That is just completely an amateur mistake by apple.

    My issue is that I can not even open iPhoto as it will try to upgrade my library and I get the error message "iphoto is unable to open this library." Then I check the size of my iPhoto library and it goes from 60 GBs to 12 GBs (or around there as it seems to be different every time). So I do a restore from time machine, repair permissions, open iPhoto again and get the same message. I still have yet to even be able to open iPhoto successfully. Any help would be appreciated.
    G5, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, iPhone 4, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • LizCastro Calculating status...
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    Oct 24, 2010 1:48 PM (in response to chester4444)
    I think it's unconscionable for Apple to release software that deletes people's photo libraries. Sure, you should have a backup, and I'm happy I do. But there are plenty of people who don't and who don't expect commercial software from a company of Apple's calibre to erase such precious files. It's absolutely unacceptable.

    Just for the record, I had more than 50,000 photos and movies, that took up 233GB. The upgrade made iPhoto hang, and when I tried to rebuild, nothing was there. When I go to get info, it says my iPhoto library now takes up 6.3GB.

    Incredible. Please spread the word. A backup is an absolute must. And this software is toxic.
  • chester4444 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 24, 2010 2:15 PM (in response to LizCastro)
    I just spent all night recovering my Photo library from my Time Capsule which took 6 hours to finally restore my entire 120 GB Photo Library and I opened iPhoto, it "upgraded", my photos where intact, I close it, it saves my photo library, I reopen iPhoto and it wants to upgrade again, so I let it and it repeats, after about 3 to 4 times of doing this it deletes my iPhoto library!!! Now I have to restore yet again from my Time Machine backup!!

    THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • numbr007 Calculating status...
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    Oct 24, 2010 2:34 PM (in response to bre bro)
    Similar situation here, except rather than deleting my photos themselves, in my case, upgrading to iPhoto '11 deleted some of my ALBUMS.

    Turns out, if you have similarly-named albums (i.e., "Trip to Phoenix" and "Trip to Phoenix 2"), iPhoto '11 will arbitrarily delete one of them and attempt to merge them into one Album, and it will re-order the photos within if they're manually sorted.

    This is a consistent and repeatable bug. I restored from backup, upgraded to iPhoto '11 again, and the exact same thing happened. Four times.

    Also, FYI, if your keep your events manually sorted, iPhoto '11 will now add new events at arbitrary points in your library, rather than at the "bottom" of the Events window like iPhoto '09 did. Sloppy.

    And did I mention it's molasses-slow on a new quad-core Mac Pro tower? I have one of the fastest Macs available and simply SCROLLING in iPhoto '11 often grids to a halt. My photo library isn't even that large -- only about 45GB. Heck, opening the INFO window on the side results in jerky animation. I can't imagine what this would run like on a MacBook or iMac!

    I eventually stopped trying to upgrade and am sticking with iPhoto '09 until they figure out what the heck their programmers were thinking when they compiled this build. This isn't even a beta release; more like an alpha.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Kidsfalloutoftrees Calculating status...
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    Oct 26, 2010 12:26 AM (in response to bre bro)
    Has anyone managed to recover this without a Time machine backup, my iPhoto library went from 26gb to 19gb instantly on opening iPhoto 11 before the error message unable to open this iPhoto Library. I have repaired the permissions on the disc and repaired the disc using the installation media but still no joy. The last backup I have is from the 2nd October which was just pure luck that I wanted to update the library on my other macs but in the last 4 I've lost all the photos of my new son, his Christening, my family over from Australia and my dad's 70th Birthday, I don't think it's acceptable that a piece of software which is supposed to manage your photos should be allowed to delete them, bad move Apple.
    Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • strick455 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 26, 2010 1:09 AM (in response to Kidsfalloutoftrees)
    Hi Kidsfalloutoftrees.
    I had a similar experience, but recovered some of the photos with program called Stellar Phoenix that finds deleted files on harddrive. You might also find some on the cameras memory card if the data is not overwritten.
    Macbook Pro, imac, powerbook, ipods, ipad, iphones etc, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Kidsfalloutoftrees Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2010 1:57 AM (in response to strick455)
    Thanks, I'm actually in the process of trying to recover using this: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/systemdiskutilities/macfilerecovery.html
    will post results.
    Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Kidsfalloutoftrees Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Oct 26, 2010 3:29 AM (in response to Kidsfalloutoftrees)
    mac file recovery in link above was useless, am trying Stellar Pheonix now
    Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • PatentBoy Calculating status...
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    Oct 26, 2010 9:48 AM (in response to Corby Guenther)
    Wow, this is bad.

    I upgraded with no problem. Weird…

    Just as a test, and I know I am stating the obvious, but open spotlight and search for jpeg files, e.g. ".jpg" without the quotes.

    Sometimes my iPhoto lib gets corrupted and I need to search for the actual photos - this recently happened with my father, but I don't know if it was iLife related. In his case, all the photos were gone from iPhoto, however I was able to find the directory which had the photos and restore his photos.

    I am not sticking up for Apple, but something as basic and terrifying as having the program delete your photos seems to be something easily found during the beta process. More specifically, as I believe someone else had said, I would be shocked if iPhoto would assertively delete files without user confirmation. This is why I suggest to 'search for the files'. Perhaps the photos were moved from their original location.
    15 Al PB and other stuff..., Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • PatentBoy Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2010 10:15 AM (in response to PatentBoy)
    … when I say search I mean search the name of the file, not the contents. The option to search the file name needs to be specifically selected in the search window.
    15 Al PB and other stuff..., Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • techgoose Calculating status...
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    Oct 26, 2010 11:15 AM (in response to Ian Parkinson)
    This is a rather serious bug -- iPhoto's upgrade process should be engineered in a way that precludes the possibility of losing user original data. The fact that it is photographs -- truly irreplaceable and cherished data -- simply amplifies the importance of this.

    Where is the Apple response to this thread? Warnings about this are all over the Internet - Mac Fan sites, FaceBook, etc. -- and here on Apple's own board. The Silence from Apple is deafening. This is not something for the usual software review process, this is an urgent bug that is trashing irriplaceable user data. This is where you call your software team to come in 24/7 until a patch is published, and you warn users to hold off on installing until then. Have we not yet learned this?

    Finally, to those who predictably choose this as an opportunity to chastise users who don't have a backup prior to installing -- give it a rest. To all of us geek heads, yes; it's obvious to us that a computer user should always have a backup prior to attempting any software upgrade. That does not change the fact that not everybody DOES, and it in NO WAY relieves Apple of the responsibility to release a product that doesn't delete user data. When someone does lose their photo library, they do not want a lecture about backups -- it is apparent that they are in the process of learning that lesson the hard way.

    Choosing the advent of a catastrophic loss due to someone else's negligence (Apple's, in the case of iPhoto 11's initial release) to rub the users nose in it is akin to lecturing a pedestrian who stepped into a crosswalk and got creamed, that they should have looked both ways first. Duh.
    various, Mac OS X (10.5.6), I use lots of computers with many os's
  • Bill Bard Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 26, 2010 12:06 PM (in response to techgoose)
    Regarding backups, even if you have a backup it can still take a long time to restore it. Troubleshooting the problem and then restoring can take many hours, time that is essentially wasted.

    I had a iPhoto backup from Feb and then I also save the originals in a separate folder before importing them. Some cropping and editing was lost, but not that much of a big deal other than the time wasted.
  • Norrin42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2010 7:36 PM (in response to bre bro)
    The first thing you should do is stop using the memory card you used to take your pictures. The more you write data to it, the harder it will be to retrieve old data from it. Unless you used some sort of secure delete program, chances are very high that your pictures are still on your camera's memory card, even if they don't show up in the Finder and the card appears to be blank. When you ask where your photos are, I'm going to assume you mean the ones from the camera memory card, and not prior pictures you already had stored on your internal (or external) hard drive. I very highly recommend a free program named PhotoRec, http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec. It is a program that will run through Terminal and goes after the data on a given disk, regardless of format. I successfully used it to retrieve photos from a friend's daughter's high school graduation earlier this year from an SD card that had been accidentally wiped. I also found pictures dated from a year ago during the retrieval process. So trust me, chances are good that your photos are still there.

    What I did, and what I would recommend you do, is create a disk image copy of your memory card using Disk Utility in OS X. Then run the PhotoRec program on the newly created disk image. That way, if something goes wrong, you won't hurt your original data source and you can try again if you need to. The PhotoRec program will not put any watermarks on anything and is actually capable of retrieving other filetypes (such as audio) as well as image files. I accidentally deleted some audio files on a 1GB digital voice recorder last year and I was able to retrieve them all using this software.

    I could type up a detailed step-by-step process, but this post is probably already long enough already . Give it a shot and see what you can do and let us know how it goes.
    Mac Mini 2.4GHz (Mid 2010), Mac OS X (10.6.4), 320GB HD, 2GB RAM
  • Terrell Smith Level 4 Level 4 (3,010 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2010 10:30 PM (in response to techgoose)
    techgoose wrote:
    Where is the Apple response to this thread? Warnings about this are all over the Internet - Mac Fan sites, FaceBook, etc. -- and here on Apple's own board. The Silence from Apple is deafening.


    Yes, there are major problems with iPhoto '11. But these discussion boards are not the place Apple reads (rarely they might), or responds. This is a place where users help other users.

    The best ways to let Apple know is to call Apple Care:
    800-APL-CARE (800-275-2273)

    and to send Feedback to Apple, which they do read, but rarely reply to:
    http://www.apple.com/feedback/iphoto.html
    MBP C2D 2.33, 2 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Kidsfalloutoftrees Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 27, 2010 4:47 AM (in response to Kidsfalloutoftrees)
    Stellar Phoenix took 14 hours to run but did find 102 gb worth of 'lost' and/or deleted files however most of these were just iPhoto thumbnails and 'faces' thumbnails all of the pictures I wanted but it was unable to find the full size originals. I think its something to do with where the original file was imported from ie if it was imported from a folder or on the desktop it found the file but if it imported straight from phone or memory card then photo could not be found. Friends and family have provided me with a lot of photos though from the last 4 weeks so no huge loss but still frustrating. Anyway I thoroughly recommend Stellar Phoenix to find any files which you have deleted from your mac which you may want back, although $99 seems a bit expensive I suppose it depends how important the files were to you.
    Mac OS X (10.6.1)
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