I would expect rebuilding might make a new Vault smaller. However 40 GB seems too much to just be consolidation efficiencies.
My response to your earlier post is reiterated verbatim below:
Sorry I cannot answer the where-are-my-pix question, except to suggest Spotlight searches on file names, and a careful review of the Trash folder.
As a database person IMO a really large DB populated with (relatively) large unchanging individual field contents should be avoided in favor of a smaller DB referencing the large unchanging individual fields. In Aperture that means I recommend using a Referenced-Masters Library.
Large files like a 300+ GB Library simply become unwieldy, and unwieldy leads to errors. Whether or not the errors are human PEBKAC or computer-generated does not matter. IMO Aperture should open with a warning message suggesting how to switch the DB to externally referenced Masters once a Managed-Masters Library reaches a certain size (say, 50 GB).
Whether using a Managed-Masters Library or a Referenced-Masters Library, backing up originals on external drives prior to import into Aperture or any other images app is the best way to provide real images security.
If you look in the Library tab of the Inspector is there a project called Recovered files (or something like that). In a complicated library structure it can be easy to miss especially if you're not looking for it. You can use the search box at the top of the Library Pane to try and locate it.
When the Aperture repairs run any orphaned files are place in this Aperture created project.
Thanks for the good advice. I will move to a referenced library. Here is what I plan to do... please comment if this seems like the best method to proceed.
I have my masters stored in projects with logical names, so I plan to select each project, then use the "Relocate Masters for Project" to move the masters for that project into a sub-folder with the same name onto the same hard drive. I will then use the vault(s) to back up the library and use time machine to back up the masters (and all other files on the disk).
Any comments on my plan?
What I've seen is a Folder called "Recovered Folder" and within it a Project called "Recovered Project". Searching the Library tab of the Inspector for "Recovered" should turn up everything.
The one time it turned up I could not figure out why it was there, or why the Images in it were there (they were from a few Projects, and none of them had been missing). Of course it was weeks later that I even saw the Folder.
That approach sounds fine.
My workflow is a bit different. Perhaps because of having come from a background of shooting film in remote and/or difficult locations, I am absolutely paranoid about losing/corrupting original images. And hundreds of stories like yours on this forum reinforce my paranoia.
Original images never change, so I prefer to manually copy them to two locations asap after capture: one location is the MBP SSD and the other is an external backup HD that itself gets backed up off site regularly. That assures me that "the pic is in the can." Until two digital files exist on different media I do not consider the pic in the can.
Then I reformat the card in-camera.
The Masters then get imported into Aperture from the SSD by reference (i.e. "Storing Files: in their current location" on the SSD). After editing is complete (may take weeks or months), from within Aperture I relocate the referenced Masters to an external hard drive for long-term storage.
I do use Time Machine routinely on the MBP, but for the daily-volatile activities going of the MBP. I prefer not to have TM be my backup-of-originals protocol. Instead TM backs up the SSD on the TM schedule and I back up original images asap based on my shooting schedule. Also the TM drive is a different drive than the drives used for long-term original image files archiving.
TM does back up my Library because the Library lives on the SSD but I do not assume that TM works for Library backup. I back the Library up to Vaults (on the same drives I put archives of Masters on) independent of TM.
As an aside, I have no fear regarding losing Versions, because unlike Masters edits can be redone. And after losing hundreds of hours of Photoshop editing over the years (the joys of Adobe's destructive workflow) I learned that the re-editing goes much faster...