2 Replies Latest reply: Jun 28, 2013 8:25 AM by LarryHN
ScopiJohnson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I had all my photos on an extral hard drive that failed.  The files were referenced in iPhoto, but not copied to the library.


The pics still show in iPhoto, but when selecting them, they enlarge, and it gives me the missing source file error.


Is there a way to recover the files based on these "ghost" images in iPhoto with any degree of simplicity?  Or do I just have to do selected screenshots?

iPhoto '11, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • 1. Re: Deleted source file thumbnails
    Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (115,665 points)

    If the source (referenced) files were on the external hard drive that failed and you don't have backups of them they are gone for good.


    What you're seeing are preview files of the original/source files that iPhoto uses for thumbnails and viewing at smaller sizes. 


    You can try taking screenshots but those will be good for little other than viewing on your Mac at the size they were recorded.  They will be inadequate for printing quality prints.


    What you experienced are the pitfalls of not having a backup strategy and using a reference library. Both of which are strongly not recommended.



  • 2. Re: Deleted source file thumbnails
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,645 points)

    If you can use disk recovery software or find a disk data recovery service that can recover your photos you can use them to create a new library - in the future it is strongly recommended that you do not use a referenced library and that you always have a good backup


    There is no way to do anything except view your thumbnails on the screen in small size = you can drag the preview foldr to the desktop[, create a new library and impor tthem to iPhoto - but they are such low resolution that they will not be of much use