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Missing master files in Aperture

1002 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Oct 24, 2012 12:54 PM by likepic RSS
likepic Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 23, 2012 5:01 PM

I am missing master files from Aperture 3. I rebuilt the library with no success.


Oddly, I can't even find them in Time Machine even though I know I exported versions of them. The entire month of imports doesn't ever appear in Time Machine even though I have proof that I used the master files to export in July. I haven't used Time Machine a lot so maybe I'm missing something.


What else can I try.

Aperture 3, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • Tony Gay Level 4 Level 4 (1,625 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 23, 2012 5:33 PM (in response to likepic)

    A little more info please.


    1. Are you working with

    a. a Managed library workflow, or

    b. a Referenced file workflow?


    2. Are you working with multiple hard drives & is it possible that the images are on an external drive?


    3. Have you tried searching for another library on your system that may have been accidnetally created and contain the missing images? Search for either

    Aperture Library.aplibrary

    or just



    Let us know how you go.



  • Tony Gay Level 4 Level 4 (1,625 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 24, 2012 12:05 AM (in response to likepic)

    Any external drives that you ever connect, however unlikely it may seem?


    Are the projects that you imported the files into appearing?



  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,380 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 24, 2012 5:52 AM (in response to likepic)

    Have you checked, if the missing masters are inside the Aperture Library package?

    Sometimes Aperture looses the connection to managed masters.


    You need to find out the exact date that you imported your images - you can find that information in the "Import Session" metadata tag - ad this tag to one of the metadata preset that you use to display the metadata in the info panel - set themetadata preset in the  info panel to "edit".


    Then open the Aperture Library package (ctrl-click the Aperture Library in the Finder window) and select "Show package Contents". Inside the window that opens go to the "Masters" folder, then inside to the year , month, day you imported the images. Are the original master image files still there?


    If yes, then make a backup copy of these images, to have a copy just in case, and try to repair the permissions in your library with the library first aid tools:

    Aperture 3 User Manual: Repairing and Rebuilding Your Aperture Library


    If you cannot reconnect the missing originals/masters this way, reimport the masters you found inside the library.


    Please post back, once you looked inside the library, if the masters/originals are still there.




  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,380 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 24, 2012 11:14 AM (in response to likepic)

    When did you export the image? Directly after importing?


    A common reason for missing masters/originals after import is to import them referenced, with the "Store files" pop up menu set to "In their current location". In that case your images will be left sitting on the card, and when you eject and erase the card, the images will be gone. Or import referenced to a different location than you wanted, for example the Desktop or another folder that you frequently erase.


    As for TM not showing them -you may have deleted them shortly after import.


    What also may have happened - if you tried to import referenced to an external drive and the drive has been dismounted during import - you may accidentally have moved and disconnected the cable - then Aperture may continue to import and write to its temporary directory instead /tmp. After some time this directory will be automatically erased, and it will not appear in the backup.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,380 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 24, 2012 12:37 PM (in response to likepic)

    Did you really export - using the export menu and not the media browser or dragging from the Aperture library window. The reason I am asking: You can happily be using your images and never notice that the original masters are missing, if you have high quality previews. Aperture will only use the previews and nor complain, unless you try to use "File > Export" or to edit the images. Do you recall clearly, if you edited the images during that critical period?


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