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Pictures disappear temporarily in iPhoto

2082 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Jun 6, 2011 9:47 PM by Fred Ochs RSS
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Fred Ochs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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May 25, 2011 6:49 PM

This is driving me crazy and making it very difficult to get much done. I wish I could characterize when this happens, but it seems pretty random. BTW I have iPhoto 11 9.1.3 on OSX 10.6.7. I believe the problem started with this release of iPhoto 11. The most recent time this happened I had the pictures for an album displayed, clicked on the Events button, double clicked on a particular event, and no photos were shown except one at the top of the right pane where you can enter info. The info button was highlighted. When I put the cursor over that one photo and swept back and forth, it appeared that all the photos I expected in the event were displayed. So clearly they were still in the library. In the upper right corner of the main pane there was a message that there were no photos in the event. I wish I had written the exact text down, but if I can figure out how to update this entry I will later as it is bound to happen again. I clicked on All Events and then retried double clicking on the event that displayed no pictures in the main pane, and all the pictures reappeared.

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)
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    May 25, 2011 7:21 PM (in response to Fred Ochs)

    Make a temporary, duplicate copy of the library and apply the two fixes below in order as needed:

     

    Fix #1

     

    1 - delete  the iPhoto preference file, com.apple.iPhoto.plist, that resides in your Home/Library/Preferences folder. 

    2 - delete iPhoto's cache file, Cache.db, that is located in your Home/Library/Caches/com.apple.iPhoto folder. 

    3 - launch iPhoto and try again.

     

    NOTE: If you're moved your library from its default location in your Home/Pictures folder you will have to point iPhoto to its new location when you next open iPhoto by holding down the Option key when launching iPhoto.  You'll also have to reset the iPhoto's various preferences.

     

    Fix #2

     

    Launch iPhoto with the Command+Option keys depressed and follow the instructions to rebuild the library.

     

    Select the options identified in the screenshot AND the option to rebuild the small thumbnails.

     

    Click to view full size

     

    OT

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2011 11:18 AM (in response to Fred Ochs)

    That's what you have to do:  keep using iPhoto after applying Fix #1 and if it doesn't do what it did before the fix worked. Hopefully it worked and you're done troubleshooting.

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)
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    Jun 2, 2011 12:16 PM (in response to Fred Ochs)

    Try Fix #2 and if that doesn't help try this:

     

    Rebuild the library using iPhoto Library Manager as follows:

     

    Using  iPhoto Library Manager to Rebuild Your iPhoto Library


      1. Download iPhoto Library Manager and launch. 
      2. Click on the Add Library button, navigate to your User/Pictures folder and select your iPhoto Library folder. 
      3. Now that the library is listed in the left hand pane of iPLM, click on your library and go to the File->Rebuild Library menu option 
      4. In the next  window name the new library and select the location you want it to be placed.
      5. Click on the Create button.

     

    Note: This creates a new library based on the LIbraryData.xml file in the library and will recover Events, Albums, keywords, titles and comments but not books, calendars or slideshows. The original library will be left untouched for further attempts at fixing the problem or in case the rebuilt library is not satisfactory.


  • Dave_K. Level 3 Level 3 (595 points)
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    Jun 3, 2011 12:34 PM (in response to Old Toad)

    Thanks Old Toad for your long service to these forums!

     

    With that said- yikes- I started having the same symptoms as the original poster yesterday!    Viewing an Event, and while scrolling through the images, the pictures suddenly all disappeared!   The title bar remained correct, and the photo count still said "72 items"    I clicked the Return Arrow in the top left of the Events pane, then clicked back to the same Event.    This time double yikes- still no pictures and it now said "No Photos"!!!

     

    I quit and relaunched iPhoto, and like the OP, the problem was gone.    My Event and Photos were back.   I should point out one additional data-point.    The photo that I was viewing when the problem occurred was now Duplicated.    Very strange.

     

    I located this thread and after backing up my iPhoto Library, I started with Fix #1.    Alas, I was seeing the same behavior again almost immediately.

     

    I then went to Fix #2.    Big problem.    iPhoto quickly advanced through "Repairing Library Database" and said "Rebuilding Library: 28887 Versions Restored".    Unfortunately, for the next 8 hours nothing else happened except the spinning gray spike-wheel.     I saw in another thread that this was the point to Force Quit iPhoto, so I did.     Not surprisingly, the iPhoto Library was no longer usable and iPhoto launched with zero photos.    Of course not worried yet since I had that backup.    

     

    I then Deleted the corrupted Library and restored from my Backup.    Also redid Fix #1.   When all done, iPhoto launched just fine.    Basically was back to same state as a day ago, though with many hours lost accomplishing the above.     At this moment, I have NOT seen a reoccurrence of the original problem.    But as the OP said, this thing is maddeningly unpredictable.     It's also not at all clear if it is merely "cosmetic" or if it is a problem that will eventually get more frequent and/or result in Data Loss.

     

    I should also point out that I had been running iPhoto 11 9.1.3 and OS 10.6.7 since they both came out.    Yet I only noticed this behavior starting yesterday after installing the follow updates via Software Update:

     

    Security Update 2011-003

    ProKit 7.0 (recommended for all iPhoto users)

    Digital Camera Raw Update 3.7

     

    I should also point out that after installing those updates, there is definitely a different Startup behavior when launching iPhoto.    iPhoto launches to a blank Events pane and remains in that state for 10 seconds or so.   No spike-wheel, no beachball, just nothing.   It's really kinda scary and looks like an empty Library.   Then all of a sudden the Events appear.    Prior to those updates I don't recall this behavior.    Rather, Events would appear almost immediately, though there was some Beachball while the app fully launched.

     

    As we speak, I decided to go ahead and let iPhoto Library Manager have a crack at this.   I definitely am not thrilled at the option of losing my Books and Slideshows, but since my original Library will be untouched, I'm willing to let it run and then compare the two Libraries.

     

    I'll post further when I do...it's been running about 4 hours so far...

     

    Dave

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 1:04 PM (in response to Dave_K.)

    I've not installed the Pro Kit as it appeared to be more geared to the Pro apps with iPhoto as an incidental and I had no problems with font smoothing or gaps between menus.  Maybe that's what triggered your problem.  Let us know if the iPLM library works OK. 

     

    As for books, I create a new, separated library for each book that I make.  This allows me to easily archive that library for later use and ordering after the first book order is made. Often a photo could be deleted from a library that was in the book thus messing up the book for later  orders.  This tutorial describes how to go from a full library to a book library for each book: #9 - Archiving an iPhoto 7(08)/8(09)/9(11) Book for Editing and/or Ordering at a Later Date.  It might be useful.

  • Dave_K. Level 3 Level 3 (595 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 5, 2011 3:40 PM (in response to Old Toad)

    Old Toad wrote:

     

    ILet us know if the iPLM library works OK. 

     

     

    Thanks again OT.    Been a busy weekend, but I let iPhoto Library Manager rebuild my Library yesterday (anyone doing this be aware it can take many hours.)

     

    It went fine and I now have both the rebuilt and original Libraries on my HD.    I've worked with iPhoto quite a bit since then- both in the old and new Libraries- because I wanted to give it a good workout before reporting back.

     

    With that said- as to whether the iPLM rebuild solves the problem of the disappearing photos, I'm afraid it's inconclusive.    I have not been able to duplicate the problem in the past day in either Library!    Frustrating.

     

    So given that fact- and that the rebuilt Library lost all my Books, Cards, and Slideshows, I've decided to continue working in the original Library.    For now anyhow.

     

    So that's issue #1.

     

    Issue #2 is the slow iPhoto launch times and the "blank screen pause" during app Startup.    After my testing, it turns out that behavior is identical with both the old and new Libraries.   However, further testing led me to another thread.     I won't go into great detail here to avoid thread-creep, other that to say l discovered that the launch time of iPhoto is less than half if I turn OFF my internet connection before launching iPhoto.    This is discussed in this thread that you probably recall as well OT.    So I'll post my findings there.

     

    Dave

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)
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    Jun 5, 2011 8:17 PM (in response to Dave_K.)

    Did you try the solution that houseboats got from the Apple Developers and posted in that topic thread?  It fixed the initial slowness for me. ;

  • Dave_K. Level 3 Level 3 (595 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 6, 2011 12:23 PM (in response to Old Toad)

    Old Toad wrote:

     

    Did you try the solution that houseboats got from the Apple Developers and posted in that topic thread?  It fixed the initial slowness for me. ;

     

    Thanks OT.   I did indeed- assuming you mean deleting the SystemConfiguration folder.    It didn't change my launch time.    The hang really seems to be Mobile Me related, and there seems to be a set amount of time for whatever iPhoto is doing (more details in that thread.)   The only thing I did get after deleting that folder is a new "Bonjour Shared" volume in my Finder Sidebar that has me totally puzzled.    (Details on that as well in the other thread.)

     

    Dave

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (112,980 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 6, 2011 3:19 PM (in response to Fred Ochs)

    There are two ways to get the rebuild library as the default:

     

    1 - select the rebuild library's radio button in iPLM and click on the Launch iPhoto button at the top. From then on the rebuild library will be the default whenever iPhoto is launched.

     

    Click to view full size

     

    2 - launch iPhoto with the Option key held down and select the rebuild library from the list of libraries in the window.

     

    Click to view full size

     

     

    OT

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,810 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 6, 2011 3:20 PM (in response to Fred Ochs)

    Depress the option key and launch iPhoto - use the select library command to select the library you want - it will stay your default library until you do this again

     

    LN

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