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Missing files "Unavailable master files cannot be relocated."

3199 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Nov 17, 2012 11:49 AM by Thronborg RSS
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nikon is Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 1, 2011 7:22 AM

Please help


I have missing masters -


I had 25,000 referenced masters in a directory next to the aperture library and ran consolidate (thought it was successful) but now I see 1012 "Missing" Masters.  When I do "Locate Referenced Files" Aperture says I do not have any referenced files.  But if I go do a Finder search for files in the old referenced location they are all still out there - (and not in the Aperture Library Masters)   (They all have the "Arrow/Triangle/exclamation mark" badge)


So my question is - can I connect the "Missing" to the existing file?  Or do I have to delete all the "missing masters" and loose all the aperture metadata I have on them?


I have read all the treads I can find and have not seen the same issue - 


"Locate Referenced Files" is not an option.



and if I run relocate on the files I get this error:


"Unavailable master files cannot be relocated.

The selected master image is either offline or not found. Please reconnect it and try again."


Any advice or help from the community would be very appreciated - this is my first post - hope it was intelligible 

(living in a cave like you do)

John P.

Multiple, Mac OS X (10.7.2), iMac, MacBook Pro, PowerBook.
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,820 points)

    You need to select the 1012 missing images in your library and then run Locate Referenced Files


    To do this go to the Photos icon in the Library pane of the Inspector, this will bring up your entire library. Now create a filter to find the missing images like this:


    Screen shot 2011-12-01 at 12-01 10.53.33.png


    Now select all these images and run File->Locate Referenced Files...

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)

    With image files in "limbo" status it sometimes helps to repair or rebuild the Aperture Library. The missing files can then be found in an additional project "recovered files". Try the repair as outlined in the Aperture 3: Trouble Shooting Basics.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)


    The "Program" thinks the files are local (managed) but missing



    Are you really sure about this? Local and managed are different things.Earlier you said:

    (They all have the "Arrow/Triangle/exclamation mark" badge)


    The arrow badge only is used for referenced images, so Aperture knows your images are referenced.

    Which of these badges do you see exactly?


  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,820 points)

    But if I go do a Finder search for files in the old referenced location they are all still out there - (and not in the Aperture Library Masters) 

    Are all the files there or only the ones Aperture is reporting missing? And when you consolidated did you elect to move or copy the masters into the Aperture library?


    Also what disk is the library and masters on? How much free space?


    Message was edited by: Frank Caggiano

    iMac Intel 3.06 GHz 8GB Mem; Macbook5.1 2.4ghz 4GB Mem, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Aperture 3.2.1
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)

    Well, that is certainly not amusing! So you even no longer have any previews? Your Aperture Library seems to be a mess. Have you looked inside your Aperture Library package by ctrl-clicking it? Are there any of your images inside the Previews folder?


    Do you have a recent backup?


    And have you tried to reinstall Aperture? It is really weird that you get an error message about "relocating" when you try to reconnect.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)

    I've never heard of a rebuilt Library showing this kind of behavior (which, since I keep my ear to the 'tubes, indicates it is, well, un-heard of).


    I recommend a couple of efforts:

    . make sure a new Library works (including Referenced Masters).  If it does not, re-install Aperture.

    . try to quarantine the problem, and then try to fix it.


    To that end, I'd:

    - make a back-up

    - put all the problem Images in a new Project

    - export all but that Project as a new Library

    - reboot

    - see if the new Library works

    - if it does, either:

    - - delete everything but the Project-of-problem-Images from the old Library.  Empty the Aperture Trash.

    - - restart Aperture, close it.

    - - rebuild that Library, and see if it is still exhibits the the same erroneous referencing.

    - or

    - - export the Project-of-problems to a new LIbrary with Masters included and see what you get.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
    I've never heard of a rebuilt Library showing this kind of behavior (which, since I keep my ear to the 'tubes, indicates it is, well, un-heard of).

    well,the evidence seems to be conclusive, if we can trust our eyes, but I still have probrems to believe it ...



    your reconstruction plan seems to be very promising; I'd like to add a detail to it. Perhaps it will be possible to save the Metadata of the corrupted versions, by exporting them.

         File -> Export -> Metadata

    will create a  tab-separated textfile, listing all the Metadata.


    @nikon is:

    If you know how to program Apple script and Automator, you could try to write a workflow to reassign the Metadata to the masterfiles based on this list. If you have to recontruct your database manually, you at least will have a textfile to cut and paste from.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)

    nikon is wrote:

    6. Ran a program to find duplicates - all it does is add keywords to suspect images.

    What program?  Is there anything that the problem Images have in common, particular in relation to the program you used?

  • seamuswarren Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Last night I messed around with the renaming of Masters and Versions I imported from the iPhone because I forgot to rename them during the initial import. I forgot to select <Custom> <Date> <Time>.


    I followed some online directions but it looks like I must have done something wrong in the process.


    The photos can still be seen in Finder which describes them as located in the Aperture Library.




    /Users/seamuswarren/Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary/Masters/2012/01/15/20120115-002527


    ...but I can't see it in Aperture.



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