12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 1, 2010 7:14 AM by fakeExpert
fakeExpert Level 1 (5 points)
I used the "Share->Burn" option to backup selected photos to DVD. I examined the resultant DVD, and verified that a complete iPhoto Library structure was saved, including RAW files in the "Originals" folder, as well as .jpeg versions in "Modified".

Now, to test the ability to actually use this backup in the "disaster strikes" scenario, I:
1) Opened iPhoto using "option" to create a fresh new library on my hard drive.
2) Inserted the backup DVD I made from above.
3) My disk shows up in "SHARES" in left hand panel, and I can turn down the triangle to reveal Events, Places and "Flagged" folders.
4) Clicking on "Events" shows the 3 events that I saved to the DVD. To restore these to my fresh library, I drag one from the right panel over to the word "Library" in the left.
5) I can watch import progress, and when that is done, my event has been transferred to my new library...

HOWEVER: There are NO raw files anywhere to be found. If I do "Show File", it opens up a .jpg version of the photo that it has placed in the "Originals" folder. All the other photos are here, too, but as .jpgs, not .CR2 (Canon RAW) formats, as stored on the DVD.

Why is iPhoto not able to restore the RAW files? I have no way to revert back to the RAW without explicitly importing from the DVD "Originals" folder, and when I do that, I lose any modifications.

How can I restore the RAW files, as well as the changes I made in iPhoto, so that I can get back to the state I was in when I did "Share->Burn"? Preservation of both Original/Modified can be done with .jpg originals, just not with RAWs.. Anyone know what's going onhere?

iMac 24", Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPhoto 09....
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,705 points)
    What you describe should work. Was the back up made by the same version if iPhoto?

    The only thing I can think of here is instead of this

    To restore these to my fresh library, I drag one from the right panel over to the word "Library" in the left.

    You could try drag from the List of Events on the left hand panel up to the word Library at top.

    Workaround: Copy the Library from the disk to the desktop (as a unit) and use iPhoto Library Manager to move the Events and associated versions and metadata to the main library.


  • fakeExpert Level 1 (5 points)
    The backup was made by the same version of iPhoto (8.1.2), and was actually made on the same Mac only a few minutes before the restore was attempted.

    I tried dragging from the List of Events on the left panel, but these items do NOT seem to be drag-able. You can only drag from items displayed in the right panel. I tried lots of different options: dragging events, dragging individual photos, etc.. Same result each time. RAWs are not transferred.. Only jpegs. Upon examining the library using "show package contents", there are actually 2 .jpgs for each photo, one in Original, and one in Modified...

    I have verified the above "bug" a number of times on two different Macs. You state that this should work. Is this just hypothetical, or have you actually verified that it works for you with RAW files and iPhoto 8.1.2?

    Thanks for your help. I appreciate any reply you can offer..
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,705 points)
    Yes I have verified that it works.

    Your problem is that the Raws are not on the disk:

    Upon examining the library using "show package contents", there are actually 2 .jpgs for each photo, one in Original, and one in Modified...

    If the Raws aren't there, they can't be copied.

    Are you sure they're in your Library?


  • fakeExpert Level 1 (5 points)
    It is good to know you have verified that it works, but let me clarify.

    When I said that there were .jpgs in both Modified and Originals, I was talking about the DESTINATION library. When looking at the source library on the DVD, the RAWS are in Originals folder, as expected. In fact, I can clearly see them as RAWs when I access the DVD images directly from "Shared" in iPhoto...

    So the RAWs are definitely there in the burned DVD. But are gone when transferred to my local disk-based library. That is the whole point/problem I am having... It is comforting to know I don't actually lose those RAWs, but it does me little good if I can't efficiently recover them. (I know I could manually re-import from the Originals folder on DVD, but then I lose any mods, which is unacceptable...)

    Can you give some details on exactly what you did to verify that it works? I really can't get the RAW Originals transferred back no matter what I do... Perhaps there is an issue with whether or not there were modifications made? In my case, there were (I adjusted color for white balance prior to the whole "share"/"recover" experiment. I will see if I can tryy it with unmodified, though that would also be of little value, since I really want the mods to be recovered too..

    Perhaps there is something messed up in my iPhoto install. I experienced a number of iPhoto crashes during some of my experiments...

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
  • fakeExpert Level 1 (5 points)
    One interesting note. In my testing, the recovered pictures were actually tagged with a "Raw" tag in iPhoto, however, the actual file is NOT RAW. This threw me off a little when I was testing.
  • fakeExpert Level 1 (5 points)
    More info following some more testing. It looks like it's actually worse than I thought. It appears as if iPhoto only transfers ONE copy of each photo from the DVD, NOT both the Original and Modified. Most of the time, it takes the Modified version. In the case of RAW photos, there will ALWAYS be a .jpg "processed" version of the Original RAW file in the "Modified" folder, so this is the one it always takes. In the case of .jpg files, it depends on whether you actually made any changes to the photo. If it is right out of the camera, there will be no version in Modified, and iPhoto will transfer the one in Originals. In all other cases, it takes the versions from Modified.

    ALL the files are transfered to the Originals folder in your destination library, even though many of them were in Modifieds on the DVD.

    The big downside of all this is that for ALL photos, JPG and RAW, you don't get the Original recovered. It stays on the DVD. This is a real bummer. Because of this, you cannot "reprocess RAW", or "Revert to Original", or tweak any previous adjustments and/or effects. It treats the "old" modified as if it were a fresh "original", with no changes.

    iPhoto Library Manager is not much help. For RAWs ILM seems to prefer to transfer Originals, which at least preserves your RAWs, but you lose any mods.

    There does NOT appear to be any way to transfer Modified AND Originals off the DVD within iPhoto...

    This seems like a bug to me, though casual users would probably not recognize this as a pretty serious problem.

    Perhaps there is some option/ secret keystroke, preference setting, etc. that can get it to work? Anybody out there have any suggestions?
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,705 points)
    Unfortunately I'm not an home and so not in a position to test this again, and won’t be for a few days. You may indeed have discovered a bug, or it may be a glitch of some sort, local to your set up. It will be midweek before I'm in a position to confirm.

    However, I note this comment of yours:

    iPhoto Library Manager is not much help. For RAWs ILM seems to prefer to transfer Originals, which at least preserves your RAWs, but you lose any mods.

    I have just confirmed that iPhoto Library Manager will move Originals (Raws) and Modifieds between Libraries. I cannot test on a DVD based Library.

    Try copy the Library from the DVD to the Desktop and see if Library Manager will work from there.


  • fakeExpert Level 1 (5 points)
    Actually, after your last reply, I went back and played with ILM a little more, and it seems I was wrong about it. It DOES allow me to recover both Originals and Modified. I am not sure why I thought it didn't before. Perhaps I had previously tested with un-modified images, and came to the wrong conclusion that it only copied originals?? In any event, you are right. ILM can do what I need.

    It is a little cumbersome, though, as I have to do the following:

    1) Copy iPhoto Library from DVD to local hard drive.
    2) Open the library in iPhoto (press "option" when starting iPhoto, and select the copied library..
    3) Open iPhoto Library Manager and copy the selected photos from the copied library back into my active iPhoto Library.
    4) Trash the copied library.

    (#1 and #2 are REQUIRED because it is the only way to get "album data" created for iPhoto Library Manager.) Apparently this data is missing from Share->Burn-ed DVDs..

    It would be tons better if I could do this directly from within iPhoto, and directly off the DVD, though. The above is a workable alternative, but quite a bit more cumbersome... I think iPhoto is supposed to allow you to do this, but maybe not.

    I've also been able to reproduce all this on 3 separate machines, so it seems unlikely that a machine-specific glitch or mis-configuration is at play here. I am starting to resign myself to the idea that this may be just how iPhoto is meant to work...

    TD, Thanks a lot for all your help on this. If you discover some other workaround, or can think of something I may be doing wrong, I would greatly appreciate it...
  • fakeExpert Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi TD...

    Still unclear... Are you able to recover BOTH Original and Modified versions of files from Share->Burned DVD backups? I still have not been able to do this directly from within iPhoto.

    If you can do it in iPhoto, can you share the secret?


    - Frank
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,705 points)

    Sorry I never got around to trying this this week. I will today and post back.


  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,705 points)

    I just ran a test on a small Library with a CD rather than a DVD but I can confirm your report. I think you've found a significant bug. On restore iPhoto produces a jpg into the Originals folder, not a NEF (or Raw), although it is identified throughout the iPhoto Window as a Raw (Keyword, Kind etc), and these is no way to revert to the original Raw file.

    iPhoto menu -> Provide iPhoto Feedback and let Apple know what you've found,

    In the meantime, copying the Library to disk and using iPhoto Library Manager is a workaround.


  • fakeExpert Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for checking on it. I'll report this to Apple and see what happens..