5 Replies Latest reply: Jun 11, 2009 4:09 PM by jberry
jberry Level 1 (0 points)
Out of the blue, when i try to open iPhoto, it says library damaged or unreadable and it says to restore from a back-up database. A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS: is the back-up something that i would have created? If not, is it a "re-build" that needs to be done, and how is this done? If i restore from a back-up or re-build, is there a way to do it without deleting albums and books that i've previously created (this is the big question for me). THANKS to whoever can help me!!!!

Dual 1.8 PowerPC G5, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,725 points)

    is the back-up something that i would have created?

    Yes. Your photos are important to you so, of course, you have an up-to-date back up. An up-to-date back up will have all your albums and books.

    There is no way to "restore" from a rebuild. A rebuild means just that: you build your database again.

    Some options:

    Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild function. This will create a new library based on data in the albumdata.xml file. Not everything will be brought over - no slideshows, books or calendars, for instance - but it should get all your albums and keywords 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.

    If that doesn't work then you'll need to create and populate a new library.

    To create and populate a new *iPhoto 08* library:

    Note this will give you a working library with the same Events and pictures as before, however, you will lose your albums, keywords, modified versions, books, calendars etc.

    In the iPhoto Preferences -> Events Uncheck the box at 'Imported Items from the Finder'

    Move the iPhoto Library to the desktop

    Launch iPhoto. It will ask if you wish to create a new Library. Say Yes.

    Go into the iPhoto Library (Right Click -> Show Package Contents) on your desktop and find the Originals folder. From the Originals folder drag the individual Event Folders to the iPhoto Window and it will recreate them in the new library.

    When you're sure all is well you can delete the iPhoto Library on your desktop.

    In the future, in addition to your usual back up routine, you might like to make a copy of the library6.iPhoto file whenever you have made changes to the library as protection against database corruption.


  • jberry Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi and thanks for the reply. Question: is your suggestion even if i have a back-up, or is it a separate rebuild if i don't have a back-up....i'm still wondering if i can get back my previous albums, books and other that i've created....is this a lost cause no matter what? thanks again.
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,725 points)
    Simply: if you have a back up, then you can restore things to the way they were. If you don't, then you can't. You will need to start over - as detailed above - and learn the hard way the value of having a back up.


  • jberry Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks T.D. That's very helpful. I think i've got a fairly recent back-up on an external....i assume that a back-up keeps the albums, books, etc., right? Thanks again....and you're right, i've now learned to back up more frequently.
  • jberry Level 1 (0 points)
    dumb question now...can you give me the steps to restore a back-up that's on my external hard drive. i can't open up iPhoto without the error. when i "option iPhoto" it asks if i want to create or choose a library...with either choice, the back-up is grayed out so i don't think i can click on it. can you walk me through restoring a back-up. thanks