8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 12, 2010 7:35 PM by Chau
Chau Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
Hi,

I am using iPhoto 8.1.2 and have had no issues with iPhoto for many years. However, when I tried to access iPhoto yesterday I obtained the following message:

"You can’t open your current photo library using this version of iPhoto.
You have made changes to your photo library using a newer version of iPhoto. Please quit and use the latest version of iPhoto. QUIT"

I then tried to restart and re-install the iPhoto 8.1.2 update. Afterwards I got the following message:

"Your photo library is either in use by another application or has become unreadable
Shut down and restart your computer, and then open iPhoto again. If the problem persists, try rebuilding your photo library. To do this, quit iPhoto, and then reopen it while keeping the Option and Command keys pressed. You can also try restoring your photo library from a backup. QUIT"

I backed up my photo library and went ahead and restarted the computer again and then proceeded to try and rebuild my photo library. After looking at several discussion threads in this forum, I hoped for the best and checked the following boxes:
- Rebuild the photos' small thumbnails
- Rebuild all of the photos' thumbnails
- Recover orphaned photos in the iPhoto library folder
- Examine and repair iPhoto library file permissions
- Rebuild the iPhoto library database from automatic backup

It took a long time, however in the end it seems like iPhoto was once again able to access my photos. However, there are 3 things that make me feel concerned:
(1) I don't think all my photos were present. Originally, if I am not mistaken, there were around 22,000 photos and now only 20,000 are present.
(2) During the process of rebuilding the library, iPhoto gobbled up another 5GB of hard disk space. I don't know why, but I think iPhoto might have doubled at least some of my photos.
(3) Afterwards it seemed like iPhoto froze during "building thumbnails" (the blue bar was about 80-90% complete) - possibly because of lack of hard disk space - and after letting it work over night, I decided to force quit iPhoto this morning.

I then decided to throw away the new "rebuilt library" because of the missing photos and the extra 5GB. After throwing the library away, I placed once again my previous backed up photo library in the pictures folder. So, essentially (I think), I am back to square one.

I would appreciate any help and advice on what I should do. I am afraid of doing the wrong thing and irremediably doing damage to my photos and photo library.

Thank you in advance.

MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iPhoto 8.1.2
  • 1. Re: iPhoto 8.1.2 - Rebuilding Photo Library - Photo Library is unreadable
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)
    How big is your HD and how Much free space on it?

    The messages you describe are consistent with a damaged database. As you're unhappy rebuilding the Library from the automatic backup I would move on to 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, Events, Faces, Places 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.

    Regards

    TD
  • 2. Re: iPhoto 8.1.2 - Rebuilding Photo Library - Photo Library is unreadable
    Chau Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    Hi TD,

    Thank you for your quick reply and support.

    My HD has a capacity of about 320GB. When I received the error message I had about 24 GB free space. The actual Photo Library is about 19GB in size.

    I did the back up on my hard disk, after duplicating the Photo Library I had about 5 GB left over space during the Photo Library Rebuild.

    However, after I did the rebuild, the Photo Library size jumped up to over 24GB! Leaving me with only 100MB of HD space left, at this point the thumbnail rebuild seemed to stall. This is when I decided to eventually force quit iPhoto.

    Now that I have thrown away the bloated Photo Library and returned to the original one, I am back at about 25GB free space.

    I think I know the source of my issue, I don't know if this will help you in advising me on how to get myself out of this mess. I foolishly did a clean up of my hard disk with a clean up / space freeing program. I think one of the little files that was accidentally cleaned up was linked to / related to my iPhoto library.

    Thanks for the link to iPhoto Library Manager. I realize that this is definitely an option, but if possible for me only as a last resort (I would like to keep all the books, and calendars data, etc. if possible).

    Are there any other solutions? Why did iPhoto double some photos during the rebuild? Why did my Photo Library bloat up in size during the rebuild?
    Did I check too many check boxes? Can I attempt another rebuild and if so, what can I do to do it properly?

    Thank you again for your help.
  • 3. Re: iPhoto 8.1.2 - Rebuilding Photo Library - Photo Library is unreadable
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)
    Do you have a back up? The most simple solution right now is to restore your back up. Problem solved and everything saved.

    As to rebuilding: I would go with hold down the command and option (or alt) keys while launching iPhoto. Use the resulting dialogue to rebuild. Choose to Rebuild iPhoto Library Database from automatic backup only.

    One reason why the other attempt at rebuilding failed could well be that as iPhoto rebuilt all the thumbnails it lack of disk space made it impossible for it to clean up properly and remove the many temporary files that the process uses.



    If that fails:

    Option 2
    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, 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.

    I think one of the little files that was accidentally cleaned up was linked to / related to my iPhoto library.


    But which one?

    Regards

    TD
  • 4. Re: iPhoto 8.1.2 - Rebuilding Photo Library - Photo Library is unreadable
    Chau Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    Hi TD,

    I have 2 backups:
    (1) On a Time Capsule, unfortunately last backup was on 31 March 2010.
    (2) On my iMac. I have transferred the entire Pictures Folder, including my iPhoto Library for safe keeping on my iMac.

    Would it be possible to restore from back up no. 2? The copied Picture Folder / Photo Library?

    I will take your suggestion also into account, and hopefully you're right. I will try and do a Rebuild iPhoto Library Database only (without all the other checks and with more HD space, I will leave 25GB free).

    Luckily, the clean up program (CleanApp) keeps a history of erased files, so I believe these might be the culprits:
    Under the heading com.mac.bwebster:

    /Users/mbp/Library/Preferences/com.mac.bwebster.iPhotoLibraryManager.plist
    /Users/mbp/Library/iPhoto Library/com.apple.iPhoto.plist
    /Users/mbp/Library/iPhoto Library/iPhotoMain.db
    /Users/mbp/Library/iPhoto Library/Metadata Backup/Albums/Album.999035.ipmeta
    /Users/mbp/Library/iPhoto Library/Metadata Backup/Albums/Album.999039.ipmeta
    /Users/mbp/Library/Library/iApps
    /Users/mbp/Library/iPhoto Library/Metadata Backup/Albums/Album.999047.ipmeta
    /Users/mbp/Library/iPhoto Library/iPhotoLock.data

    Reading through the names of the erased files makes me realize just how foolish I was in hitting the erase button without properly checking the file names carefully. Any chance of maybe repairing permissions / recreating these files?
  • 5. Re: iPhoto 8.1.2 - Rebuilding Photo Library - Photo Library is unreadable
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)
    You've trashed the Library, I'm afraid and chucked away lots of the database files.

    Restore from one of the back ups.

    Regards

    TD
  • 6. Re: iPhoto 8.1.2 - Rebuilding Photo Library - Photo Library is unreadable
    Chau Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    Hi TD, thanks again for your help.

    Two questions:

    (1) Would reinstalling iLife '09's iPhoto 8 and then patching it up to 8.1.2 recreate the missing library and database files? Would this help at all?

    (2) How do I restore from the back ups? I assume I do the option-command, and then check the "Rebuild the iPhoto Library Database from automatic backup"? But how do I point iPhoto to restore from the Photo Library database on my iMac?

    Thanks.
  • 7. Re: iPhoto 8.1.2 - Rebuilding Photo Library - Photo Library is unreadable
    MadisonP Level 5 Level 5 (4,485 points)
    1 -- No. Reinstalling only deals with issues with the iPhoto program itself. The issue you are experiencing is with you library. Reinstallation has no affect on the library.

    2 -- To restore from your backup go to the copy you made to your other computer (as you said your Time Machine backup is not fully up to date) and copy the "iPhoto Library" from the pictures folder back to the pictures folder on the affected computer. You can then use that library instead.

    Cheers
  • 8. Re: iPhoto 8.1.2 - Rebuilding Photo Library - Photo Library is unreadable
    Chau Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    Dear TD and MadisonP,

    I got it to work again. After making another backup, I went ahead and took TD's advice to retry rebuilding and clicking ONLY the Restore iPhoto Library Database, and it worked.

    I am very happy. Thanks for the support and advice that you both have provided!

    I am now going to do do a new Time Machine backup and I will be more careful with clean up applications. Thanks again.