First of all, to save the preview images select all thumbnails of the images in question in the Browser and drag them out of the Aperture window to a folder on your Desktop. That will create jpeg copies of the previews in the folder.
But how did you import your iPhoto library?
Did you use the command "File > Import > Library" in Aperture 3.4.5? Then Aperture should have imported the images exactly in the same way as tehy have been imported in iPhoto. If iPhoto has been referencing the images, they would have been referenced, and if iPhoto has been managed, then the images would have been managed. Either way, deleting the iPhoto library after importing it, should not have broken the references to the originals. Or have you deleted additional folders with images used by iPhoto?
Thank you for the quick reply, I did not realize I could just drag and drop it to my desktop. I imported my iPhoto library using the directions you listed above, the library was also managed because I imported from my SD card straight into iPhoto. I also purged my hard drive a few months after this, that may be the cause of my problem. I know this may be redundant, but is the thumbnail the highest quality version of the lost image I can save?
but is the thumbnail the highest quality version of the lost image I can save?
When you drag the thumbnails from the Browser,Aperture will export the high quality preview images it created. The quality will depend on the settings you had set in the "Previews" preferences, when you imported the images.
I also purged my hard drive a few months after this, that may be the cause of my problem.
With a cleaner app, like MacKeeper or CleanMy Mac? That is risky and might account for this.
But if you imported your images as managed, look inside your Aperture library, if the originals or really lost. Sometimes they get disconnected even inside the Aperture library.
- Ctrl-click (or right-click) the Aperture Library Package and select "Show Package Contents". Browse the folder "Masters" in in the Finder window that opens. This folder is organized by year-month-date of the import session. You will probably findthe iPhoto import images in the year folder for the year you imported the iPhoto library.