5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 18, 2011 10:30 AM by léonie
maculric Level 1 (0 points)

After installing Aperture 3, I noticed that all the image files I had on my MacBook Pro immediately disappeared. These were stored in various locations throughout my computer depending on subject (e.g. "Emergency Response Training", "Summer 2009", "Car Restoration" and so on). A small number were in the "Pictures" folder but most were kept in other locations. All the folders and subfolders where these images were stored are intact but the images are gone. There is simply a "thumbs.db" file inside and the folder size is about 6 kb on average.


I did nothing other than install Aperture (no importing or library creation) and none of these images or folders are in the Aperture library. A similar thing happened with iPhoto where all my iphoto thumbnails show up but there appears to be no actual photo. No images prior to Aperture installation appear anywhere on the Macbook using tailored queries with "Find". 


Apple support indicated that Aperture would not search out these photos unless prompted and would never delete them but It's hard to imagine how else this could have happened, as it happened only during installation (subsequent photos are fine) and targeted all image files in every location. Hard drive is new and indicates no problems.


Any ideas what might have happened - and, more importantly, how I might be able to recover the missing images? Unfortunately, my upgrade to Lion obliterated my DNS 321 back up disk, as well, and I don't yet know if I can recover those files.


Thanks for any help you can offer.

Aperture 3, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • shuttersp33d Level 4 (1,540 points)

    So you simply had image files stored in folders on your hard drive? They were not being managed by any application, they were imported from a camera directly to folders?


    And all you did was install Aperture, not choose to import any images, just installed it, and your images disappeared?


    And you're positive all the images were there before you installed Aperture?


    When you say the hard drive is new, is this an external drive where this is all going on, or did you get a new internal drive.


    Let us know, thanks.

  • SierraDragon Level 4 (2,695 points)

    Sorry but what you describe (Aperture deleting files unbidden, OS X obliterating a hard drive) AFAIK is not possible unless there is a whole lot more user input than you describe.



  • maculric Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, that is correct. Simple installation and all files disappeared from the hard drive and yes, I had been looking at one of the files prior to installation. The hard drive was a new install a few months earlier and has been working fine, as far as I can tell.

  • maculric Level 1 (0 points)

    Apple support claimed it was impossible for Aperture to delete files, as well, Allen. All I can tell you is I installed Aperture and the files immediately disappeared. I installed Aperture with the intention of learning its capabilities over the ensuing months, as I had never used it before, and so made sure to do nothing but install and launch so I could have a look at it and see how it was set up.


    The network hard drive obliteration occured when I was trying to transfer novie files from my Macbook to my DNS 321 network drive, which I use to store all my backups and most of my media files. I've done this countless times with Snow Leopard without a hitch. However, when I tried it with Lion the system locked up during the transfer and I lost my connection to the drive. Once I managed to reconnect, I found that I couldn't get into the folders on the network drive anymore. All that would come up was a "My Documents" folder, which had no content. After doing a websearch I discovered that Lion no longer supports DNS 321 and that others with similar style drives had been having similar problems. What might be unique to my situation was that when I hooked up an old PC to the DNS 321 I was able to get back into my original folder set up but I found that the folders labelled from (A to J) were missing entirely and that the remaining folders had no content.


    So, as I mentioned in my first post, the only input from me was installation and launch of Aperture and the only thing I was doing with my network drive was transferring movie files from the Macbook to the DNS 321 drive. If neither of those actions could possibly have caused the problems I described, I'd be very eager to learn what did.

  • léonie Level 10 (85,375 points)

    It might just be a coincidence that the files vanished when you installed Aperture.

    Maybe the file system on your disk is corrupted or the disk has a hardware problem. Have you checked your disk with Disk Utility?


    Also, you might have a look at your Time Machine Backup (if you have one) to find the exact time when your pictures vanished. MAybe, that was much earlier then you suspect.