8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 13, 2013 4:22 AM by JTF
JTF Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

Here's a weird puzzle maybe one of you iPhoto experts can solve:

 

I'm using the most updated versions of OS X and iPhoto, and up until recently have had no trouble.

 

However...

 

I was scanning through my full photos database the other day and spotted over 700 white icons where photos should be. Clicking on each goes only to a black screen in the edit area. Under the "File" menu, searching for the original says the file cannot be found. And yet searching for the file name in Finder reveals itin the iPhoto library.

 

Now add this wrinkle...

 

If I hold down the command key and click the file in Spotlight, I get a spinning wheel and iPhoto freezes up. If I double click the Finder version of the file, it opens in Preview. However, if I drag the Finder version of the file back onto the iPhoto icon, iPhoto says it can't import the file because it's unreadable.

 

Note that the file we're talking about is and image and is a JPG.

 

One more thing...

 

I've just discovered that all the problematic image files may be ones that I've selected for various Photostream albums (there are too many for me to check, image by image, but it's been the case of all those I've checked so far). Strangely, I can find the original versions okay in older year-sensitive smart folders inside of iPhoto.It's just that they reappear in my more recent list of iPhoto photos as well, as the white icons.

 

Follow all that?

 

And if yes, is there a fix?

 

To note, I have already tried all of the rebuild options built into iPhoto with no luck.

 

It's a real puzzler... I just want to make sure I'm not losing any photos here.


OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • 1. Re: white icon/missing photo puzzle... photostream?
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,875 points)

    Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild function. (In Library Manager it's the FIle -> Rebuild command)

     

     

    This will create an entirely new library. It will then copy (or try to) your photos and all the associated metadata and versions to this new Library, and arrange it as close as it can to what you had in the damaged Library. It does this based on information it finds in the iPhoto sharing mechanism - but that means that things not shared won't be there, so no slideshows, books or calendars, for instance - but it should get all your events, albums and keywords, faces and places back.

     

     

    Because this process creates an entirely new library and leaves your old one untouched, it is non-destructive, and if you're not happy with the results you can simply return to your old one.  

  • 2. Re: white icon/missing photo puzzle... photostream?
    JTF Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Thanks... just tried it. It was quick and looks like a good software tool. However, it didn't seem to solve the problem I'm trying to solve.

     

    That is, once the new library was finished generating, what I had was a photo set with all the white-icon photos simply removed from the list (the total photo count was lower by the same amount, too).

     

    What I was hoping to do, however, was have those photos -- which appear in Finder but not iPhoto -- restored to the "Photos" list inside of iPhoto.

     

    Your advice much appreciated, just the same... but I think I need to keep digging.

     

    Best,

    JF

  • 3. Re: white icon/missing photo puzzle... photostream?
    Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (115,720 points)

    Select one of the white icons and use the File ➙ Reveal in Finder ➙ Original File menu option.  That will take you to the original file via the Finder.  Open the file with Preview and see if it opens correctly. Post back with the results.

     

    OT

  • 4. Re: white icon/missing photo puzzle... photostream?
    JTF Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Thanks OT, but I've tried that... no go.

     

    (It's what I meant in this paragraph:

    Under the "File" menu, searching for the original says the file cannot be found. And yet searching for the file name in Finder reveals itin the iPhoto library.)

     

    Also, to pre-empt a further similar misunderstanding, note this from the original above:

     

    If I hold down the command key and click the file in Spotlight, I get a spinning wheel and iPhoto freezes up. If I double click the Finder version of the file, it opens in Preview. However, if I drag the Finder version of the file back onto the iPhoto icon, iPhoto says it can't import the file because it's unreadable.

     

    Odd, yes?

  • 5. Re: white icon/missing photo puzzle... photostream?
    Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (115,720 points)

    Open one of the files in Preview and save it as a new JPEF file to the Desktop.  See if that file will import.

  • 6. Re: white icon/missing photo puzzle... photostream?
    JTF Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    OT... thanks, but as the original post also said, that is what I was doing here:

     

    "If I hold down the command key and click the file in Spotlight, I get a spinning wheel and iPhoto freezes up. If I double click the Finder version of the file, it opens in Preview. However, if I drag the Finder version of the file back onto the iPhoto icon, iPhoto says it can't import the file because it's unreadable. Note that the file we're talking about is and image and is a JPG."

     

    Your efforts sincerely appreciated... and my apologies if it wasn't clear... but ya gotta read the original details, my friend. It's all there.

  • 7. Re: white icon/missing photo puzzle... photostream?
    Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (115,720 points)

    I know you were able to open it in Preview but did you create an entirely new file via Save As and try importing that?

     

    Or is the  Finder version of the file one that you created with a Save As in Preview?

  • 8. Re: white icon/missing photo puzzle... photostream?
    JTF Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    OT and Terence... thanks for your input, but I've given up on this one. Just thought it fair to put some closure on the thread. OT, to answer your question, yes I'd tried the Finder>Preview>Save As...>Import to iPhoto route. That also got me an error message about a file that couldn't be openend. Alas.

     

    And now here's something weird. The very files that I was able to find with Finder before are no longer findable (the reason I'm giving up on this one). I just went into iPhoto just now and deleted all the white icons. Whether that means I've lost anything, I don't know, but I'm okay with that. It's one month of photos.

     

    Sorry I didn't see it through... and thanks again for your attempts to help!

     

    (Since I think your recommendations, while they didn't help solve my situation, will no doubt be helpful for others with iPhoto issues, I'm going to click the "This helped me" rating).)