5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 21, 2010 11:29 PM by Terence Devlin
TreefrogPercussion Level 1 (0 points)
I have been doing some searching, and I have found some some evidence to suggest that the problem I am about to describe is pretty common, but no really good solutions.

I have iPhoto '08 (Version 7.1.5). After recently importing some photos, (About 3 imports) about 7/8 of my photos stopped appearing in iPhoto. I checked and they are still in library, the files are all still there and if I open them individually from the library file they open up in preview. But they don't appear in the albums or events views of iphotos. And the photos that still remain in I photo don't seem to have any rhyme or reason. Some (but not all) pictures from 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010 appear, but other years are completely gone.

I have tried repairing disc permissions and rebuilding the library. I have tried rebuilding with "iPhoto Library Manager". These didn't fix it. Luckily, I have a backup - but my backup drive is at home and I am on vacation for a few more weeks. I am supposed to be working on a photo album for my mom.

Does anyone have an fix for me, that allows me to keep my titles, modifications, etc? I have 5000 or more photos, many, many of which I have cropped, turned, and otherwise modified and the thought of doing it again is not appealing.



P.S. Is this happening a lot out there? Does anyone know if apple is addressing this (Fairly serious) glitch?

iBook, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,710 points)
    This is an occasional symptom for a variety of problems.

    What you're seeing is the effect of a damaged database file. There are many reasons why a db can be corrupted but at heart they break into two main categories: The app is interrupted while writing to the db (by a crash, force quit, disk error and so on) or inappropriate user activity - such as moving or renaming files in the iPhoto Library via the Finder or some other app.

    Obviously the best protection against this - +or any other problems on your computer - is an up-to-date back up. This is a rapid way to restore things to the way they were with no dataloss.

    The next best option is to rebuild with iPhoto Library Manager. This will involve some data loss - books, slideshows etc, but no photos. This is very often successful and I wonder did you get any error messages from iPhoto Library Manager as to why it didn't work.

    FInally, in the absence of the others, a manual rebuild is the next option:

    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.

    So, to be clear: if you don't have a back up and iPhoto Library Manager didn't work then there is no

    fix for me, that allows me to keep my titles, modifications, etc



    P.S. Is this happening a lot out there? Does anyone know if apple is addressing this (Fairly serious) glitch?

    No it doesn't happen a lot. You see reports of this on here, but then again, folks who don't have issues don't come here. Later versions of iPhoto make an automatic back up the db file. But as this glitch is a symptom of a variety of possible problems it's hard to see what more Apple can do.
  • gkillmaster Level 1 (0 points)
    same thing happened to me today. yesterday I took some photos and imported them. Been using iPhoto for over a year with not problems and all photos showing up. Then all of a sudden, 80% of my photo events don't show up. Insane!

    I was able to create a new library with iPhoto Library Manager (instead of moving it to my desktop cause I didn't have enough space to do that) and open iPhoto with the new library. Having checked the "...imported items..." in the autosplit section of the Events tab in preferences, I dragged by Originals folder from my corrupted database into the new library and its seems to be just fine. Then when you are sure, just delete the old library using IPLM.

    Sure seems to me to be a lot of people experiencing this. iPhoto has always seemed over complicated in its simplicity.
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,710 points)
    Sure seems to me to be a lot of people experiencing this

    Experiencing what? Like "My car won't start", saying "80% of my photo events don't show up" is a description of a symptom and the solution is in fixing the underlying problem: flat battery, damaged starter motor, out of fuel... So, with iPhoto a damaged database can be caused by a crash, a force quit, running the library on an overfull disk or anything that interrupts the app writing to the database.

    As with anything on your Computer the best protection is to have an up-to-date back up.


  • gkillmaster Level 1 (0 points)
    What I mean is the experience of opening up iPhoto and a large chuck of your database of photos is not displayed in iPhoto as if they didn't exist. I rebuild the library by dragging my file into a fresh database as spelled out above, Everything was fine for awhile and just moments ago, I reopened iPhoto only to find that none of my photos show up again except the camera import I did today. My computer has been on the whole time. No crashes, no disk full. I thought I was supposed to tell the symptom in hopes of getting a reason. My database is around 35 gigs so re-building the database into a new Library takes a couple hours. yeh yeh, I know about backing up but still, this is screwed up. Something seems seriously amiss here. My external firewire drive that my library exists on checks out ok. I only have iPhoto loaded along with Safari and Mail.
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,710 points)
    So, if your car repeatedly won't start you try and figure out why?

    What format is the external disk?

    yeh yeh, I know about backing up but still, this is screwed up.

    So, obviously you don't care about your data?