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aperture/iphoto missing masters

1118 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 11, 2013 5:27 PM by MacGadget RSS
Miles Cortez Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Feb 24, 2013 2:37 PM

I'm praying that someone can help me.  I use iPhoto and Aperture both.  I have about a 60GB library that hold approaximately 22,000 images.  I run my programs on the OSX Drive which is an 128GB SSD and I store the photos on a separate internal 750GB 7200 drive.



The problem recentlty is that about 12,000 masters appear to be missing.  In the browser view in Aperture I get the little yellow triangle with with the exclamation point inside. Most of the missing master appear to be from 2009 and earlier but I do have some masters from they period 2000-2010. 


If I click on the "show package contents" of the library folder and go to the master folder the only years that are showing is 2011, 2012 and 2013.  Nothing from all prior years despite the fact that I can see the preview, high quality in almost full screen in Aperture.


WHAT I DID NOTICE is that if I look at photos from 2010 in Aperture that HAVE the master available, the bottom bar of the photo when I click on it says "From MobileMe".  If I click on one with the master missing (the little yellow triangle) it says "iPhoto Original".


All I know is that I want my master's back.  They are almosty ALL photos of of my kids.Can anyone help?  I've tried all rebuild/repair options in iPhoto and Aperture. I'm almost certain I didn't delete the masters.  I don;t have a time machine backup.  I did have other backups of the library but when I go to those, I have the sam issue, tons of missing masters even in the backup.


I'm worried that I am totally screwed and I'm heartbroken.  I can still see the photos which is what I don;t get.  I guess in the worst case I can go through and do shift-cmd-4 and take screen captures of any critical photos.


I'm wondering if someone can help me.  Is there some way to batch reproduce the masters from the data that I do have?  It's not just a thumbnail---it's a high quality image.  Have I some how created versions and deleted orginals?  Can someone--anyone help me?

Mac mini, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • mores Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 26, 2013 3:34 AM (in response to Miles Cortez)

    I don't know if this will help you, but I moved a bunch of photos and videos out of the managed libary file and told Aperture to save master files in a separate folder.


    Unfortunately, Aperture crashed a lot during this process and I ended up having a bunch of images with the dreaded yellow ALERT sign next to the reference arrow.


    And the masters are gone from the library ... but they're in the folder where I wanted them to be.

    So obviously Aperture copied the file, then crashed before it could remember the new location.


    Search your hard drive for one of the file names that's missing, maybe you have a secret stash of masters you were unaware of.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,580 points)
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    Feb 26, 2013 8:09 AM (in response to Miles Cortez)


    go to the master folder the only years that are showing is 2011, 2012 and 2013

    The year of the folder name is the year of the import session, not the year of the capture date. So these folders may contain still your older images, if you imported them to iPhoto early and then to Aperture. But to be able to help you to lcate the missing masters we need to know how you imported them originally into Aperture. Have you imported older iPhoto liibraries? Then you may have imported them as referenced and referenced them inside their old location in the iPhoto library. In that case - have you moved the iPhoto libraries? That would break the connection between masters and versions.

    So how and when died you import the images with the missing masters? And what is your Aperture version and MacOS X version? Have your missing images been published on Mobile Me? Do you still have a local copy of your iDisk?


    To find out, where Aperture thinks the masters should be, select the images with the missing masters in the browser and use the command "File > Locate Referenced File" (in Aperture 3.3 or later). This should show the reconnect panel, where you can reconnect missing master files - in the upper portion of the window you elect an image that needs reconnection. To the right you should see a thumbnail of the image with the path to the missing master below. Check, where the file is supposed to be. If you can find it by searching your mac  like "mores" suggested in teh post above, you can use the lower portion of the window, to point Aperture to the missing master image file. If the images match, a reconnect button will appear and you can reconnect the originals to the masters.


    If you cannot find the master image files anywhere on your Mac, but still see the images in Aperture's browser, you can at least save the previews of your images - just drag the image versions in question from Aperture's browser to a folder on your Desktop. That will save jpeg files of your images. These will not have the original quality of the master image files, however.




  • William Lloyd Level 6 Level 6 (19,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 26, 2013 5:03 PM (in response to Miles Cortez)

    Ugh.  Dropbox renames files with ridiculous names if you ever have a sync conflict of any kind.  This would wreak utter havoc on your Aperture library.


    Given it was a year ago, I think you're SOL.


    And don't store your Aperture library on Dropbox.  Ever.  I guess you could store the masters there, though you'd quickly blow through your Dropbox space.

  • MacGadget Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 11, 2013 5:27 PM (in response to Miles Cortez)

    Thanks for sharing your experience.  I have been fearful of using iphoto and apeture on the same library although I have both programs.  I have addtional fear at the prospect of putting part of the library on an external drive (which I was researching when I saw your post).  I have about 130 gb of photos and its just too much space on my SSD harddrive....anyway,  this is probably too late to help you, but after making a back up of your drive, you might consider running disk warrior.  It is an awesome disk utility that analizes and rewrites corrupted disk directories.  It really saved my bacon one time when my thesis went missing! I use it a few times a year to keep things running well and whenever im having problems.  cheers



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