1 2 Previous Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Dec 12, 2012 4:59 PM by LarryHN
Howmanyds Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have several iPhoto libraries including one that I use for business (product shots and business meetups).  The library was about 40GB and was on a shared drive attached to my Apple Extreme Base Station so I could access it from three computers at home as well as over the internet when away.  This has worked fine for 7 or 8 months. 

 

In the last couple of days I have changed the location of my AEBs in my house, which involved unplugging it and the external drive and relocating.  I also renamed my Base Station.  The drive was then reconnected and the partitions on it were again shared.

 

This evening when we tried to open the iPhoto library that was on the drive, it opened with a bunch of black windows where events used to be.  It couldn't find any pictures.  So we quit iPhoto and tried openning again by clicking the library file from Finder.  This time it wouldn't open at all.  It wouldn't even say the library was corrupted.  I tried command/option open, but it wouldn't give me the repair dialogue either.  It merely gave me a popup asking me what iphoto library I wanted to open and listed my other libraries, not this one.

 

Showing package contents revealed few folders.  134MB in ALL!  My backup is unfortunately more than a month old (kicking myself) so I didn't lose everything, but still way too much to lose to a progam flaw. 

 

Did we do something wrong here?  How can a library on an external drive just ERASE that much data without warning?  It worked yesterday, by the way, when I unloaded an event without problem.

 

We use iPhoto Buddy Helper for launching between iPhoto libraries if that makes any difference.

 

And the only other weird symptom I can think of is what I posted about in another thread: in my family library, not this one which was damaged, iPhoto stopped letting me drag and drop files onto my desktop.  It started by letting me d&d all of them; then I could do only a handful; and now only one at a time.  Weird.

 

Any suggestions on where I might find these 40GB of photos hiding?

 

Thanks.


MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion
  • 1. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,800 points)

    1. This

     

    The library was about 40GB and was on a shared drive attached to my Apple Extreme Base Station so I could access it from three computers at home as well as over the internet when away.  This has worked fine for 7 or 8 months.

    is inherently unsafe. If you're trying to edit the Library (that is, make albums, move photos around, keyword, make books or slideshows etc.) or edit individual photos in it via Wireless be very careful. Dropouts are a common fact of wireless networking, and should one occur while the app is writing to the database then your Library will be damaged. Simply, I would not do this with my Libraries. 

     

    In the last couple of days I have changed the location of my AEBs in my house, which involved unplugging it and the external drive and relocating.  I also renamed my Base Station.  The drive was then reconnected and the partitions on it were again shared.

     

    So you changed the path to the Library - did you change anything else?

     

    I tried command/option open, but it wouldn't give me the repair dialogue either. 

     

    That's because to access the Library Repair options you need to hold the command and option (alt) keys, not just the command one.

     

    I think you need to consider options other than "program flaw" here. iPhoto has no ability to delete material like that and I'd be looking at some thing else. For a start, are you sure you're opening the correct library? It's not uncommon for libraries in these volatile conditions to be actuall run from the /volumes folder of one of the machines attached to it. That's where I'd start looking.

  • 2. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Howmanyds Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    While I've known about the inherent risks, we've been very careful to close the program before putting our machines to sleep.  It's not the family library, so we don't ever keep it open for longer periods of time.  But even so, should the library be damaged, there is usually that repair/rebuild option.  By the way, I was pushing both command and option - the repair options were simply not being offered.

     

    I'm definitely considering that we did something wrong ourselves, I just can't see how, even if we had left the program open when the computer fell asleep, how a library that was more than 50GB yesterday (I said 40 before, but it was actually more) could be 134 MB today.  Unless the system put it in a ghost folder that I can't find.  I've looked in /volumes with hidden files visible.  Usually, to open the library, I would mount it first and it would then be in /volumes/airport files/~.  Then I'd open it using the iPhoto Buddy Helper.  It's conceivable that there could be a ghost volume in the same location but how would I see it if it's there?

  • 3. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Howmanyds Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Do you suggest that we bite the bullet and just plan to use the library non-wirelessly from one computer and one computer alone?  And how about on an external drive plugged into an MBA.  Is this just as risky to data corruption as mounting a drive with the library over the network?

  • 4. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,800 points)

    While I've known about the inherent risks, we've been very careful to close the program before putting our machines to sleep

     

    That has no bearing on the risk I describe above. Thse dropouts can be very brief and if one happens when the library is writing to the db, then the problem arises. By definition the app will not be writing to the db when the machine is asleep.

     

    By the way, I was pushing both command and option - the repair options were simply not being offered.

     

    Well that's not what you said. And if you're getting the option to choose Libraries then you're not holding the option key firmly enough.

     

    I'd be searching the /volumes folder on any and all machines attached to it. Incidenally, iPhoto Buddy doesn't really do anything that holding the command key on start-up doesn't.

     

    What version of iPhoto do you actually have?

     

    As I said above, I would not access my Libraries wirelessly. A wired connection is not prone to dropouts like a wireless one.

  • 5. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Howmanyds Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    "I tried command/option open,"...

     

    Well that's not what you said. And if you're getting the option to choose Libraries then you're not holding the option key firmly enough.

     

     

    While I appreciate the expertise of Terence's 102K points, I'm not sure it's worth dealing with his whininess of whether a "/" more commonly means "and" or "or" or whether that even matters pointing out.

     

    As for not pushing the key hard enough, ahem...  I'm just not sure what to say about that suggestion.

     

    For those who are interested in helping me with this strange BUG that in less than 24 hours caused my library to shrink from more than 50GB to 134MB, you might be interested to see this strange and upsetting thing that happens when I try to open the corrupted library: http://screencast.com/t/iHAgLNsQvmR.

     

    By the way, I'm using iPhoto version 9.4.2.

     

    Thanks in advance

  • 6. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,800 points)

    Apologies, I misread your original post.

     

    That said, we sometimes see people reporting that you only get the Choose dialogue and not the repair one. The solution is always that the key is not being depressed or the wrong key is being depressed - which would be my next suggestion.

     

    Before you declare something a BUG you need to demonstrate that it's not an issue specific to you and your set up.

     

    Good luck with your issue.

  • 7. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,675 points)

    Do you suggest that we bite the bullet and just plan to use the library non-wirelessly from one computer and one computer alone?

    No - suggestion you only use it on a wired network

     

     

    And how about on an external drive plugged into an MBA.  Is this just as risky to data corruption as mounting a drive with the library over the network?

     

    No - it is a wired connection

     

    This issue being warned about is editing in iPhoto over a wireless network

     

    ANd it clearly is NOT a bug since no one else is or has ever reported - it is a problem with your configuration or your system - local to you - and mose likely due to your wireless network

     

    I'm not sure it's worth dealing with his whininess

    you have a really strange way of asking for help from volenteer experts - and it very well may impact the promptness and accuracy of your answers

     

    LN

  • 8. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Howmanyds Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You are both absolutely right. Apologies for my snarkiness. I was put off by the suggestion that I wasn't pushing my keys right, but I guess to be fair, after you volunteers have dealt with thousands of people, that's probably something you do see from time to time, though in this case, as my linked screen video above proves, this is not the problem.

     

    My biggest concern at this point is preventing this from happening again, so if that means going wired, I'll have to do that. I'd also be thrilled to find my lost 50 GB of photos though the /volumes folder in each of my computers is not showing anything. I wonder if there is a deeper level of hidden folders that the command to show hidden files doesn't show. Or if there's any temporary location one of my computers would've for some reason put the folder.

  • 9. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,675 points)

    Several things can happen (and either Old Toad or Terance are the experts in this area) including a phantom library being created by trying to access your library on a volume that is not available

     

    In the finder go to your library on the shared drive and right click on it and show package contents- MAKE NO CHANGES - just look - your original photos are in the original (or masters - you do not mention what version of iPhoto you have) folder assuming that you have a default "managed" library (the iPhoto preference to "copy imported items to the iPhoto library is in its checked state)  - are they there?

     

    LN

  • 10. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Howmanyds Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Version 9.4.2.  Unfortunately I tried that.

    This screenshot shows the huge difference between my library contents today, with about 32 pics in all vs my backup of the very same library from a month ago, which was made using Carbon Copy.

    http://screencast.com/t/aN4RRr5w

  • 11. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,675 points)

    Well that looks like a new empty library was recently created and has had a few imports into it

     

    When you hold down the option key and launch iPhoto have you tested each of the libraries there?

     

    LN

  • 12. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,800 points)

    Still at that first video: iPhoto doesn't know that Library exists, does it? It's just seeing the backup Libraries? You mentioned that you renamed the base station... what happens if change it back?

  • 13. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Howmanyds Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    That's right: after attempting to open the library the way I showed you in the screen video, if I open another library which works, then close it, then attempt to open the broken one again, it will simply try to import the 32 or so photos from the corrupted library to that last good library that I opened. 

     

    I tried renaming the base station back to what it was before.  It didn't help; the same partitions and folders/files are showing up with the same amount of data each, specifically, the corrupted library with only 134 MB.  The IP of the base station has changed, however, because before it was extending a wireless network from my FIOS router, and now it's creating the wireless network in bridge mode from my FIOS router which now has wifi turned off. Don't know if that has any bearing on anything.

     

    Larry, if I choose one of these other libraries from that dialogue it simply opens that functional library and tries to import the 32 photos from the corrupted one.

  • 14. Re: Ah!  My library just shrank to nothingness!
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,800 points)

    I'm no expert in networking but I cannot help but think that the changes to your network are involved in this.

     

    The path to the library in the video is quite simple > Device/Airport Files/ Library

     

    (I'm not quoting accurately, but the screencast takes forever to downlaod and I have closed that tab, sorry)

     

    But iPhoto does not know that Library exists, it's not in the 'Choose Library' window.

     

    The paths to the other libraries are complex.

     

    It's the only thing that has changed from before, when things were normal, and now, when things are not, right?

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