5 Replies Latest reply: Apr 11, 2012 7:27 AM by johnnyqrh
Michael,Michael,Motorcycle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Despite all the negative reviews at the App Store about iPhoto '11, I decided upgrade from iPhoto '08 so I could conveniently upload photos to FaceBook from iPhoto. (The FaceBook Uploader for iPhoto never worked for me.) I thought the ratio of negative reviews were unbalanced because people who are satisfied with the product have less motivation to write a review. Maybe I was wrong.

My problem:

I only bought iPhoto '11, not the iLife package, from the App Store. When I first opened iPhoto '11, I was warned that my library would no longer be readable by earlier iPhoto versions. No problem, I expected that. As I had somewhat over 15,000 photos in my iPhoto '08 Library, I was also notified that that it would take an hour or longer to rewrite the library. No problem, I expected that too. iPhoto first read my old library, then started rewriting. When the rewriting progress bar was just past halfway, iPhoto '11 suddenly quit and sent an "iPhoto Problem Report" to Apple. This has happened about 5 times now, both before and after restarting my computer. It might seem related to free disk space, but I just put in a new 750Gb hard drive with over 400Gb free. All my other specs also meet or exceed iLife's requirements.

My Questions:

1. Can anyone suggest what they think the problem is and how to proceed? I couldn't find a similar problem in the Apple Support Community.

2. If I can't upgrade, how do I go back to iPhoto '08? I backed up everything to an external drive using Time Machine before trying to upgrade. I know there's a iPhoto Library file in Pictures but there's also another file somewhere that contains the data for titles, events, comments and edits. How do I find it and how do I restore them to my MacBook?

3. Can I get my $14.95 back from Apple? I don't see a way to talk to Apple without costing me more than the $14.95


MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4 GB SDRAM
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,465 points)

    What's happening is that some file (or files) in the Library are damaged in some wy and that's tripping up the upgrade. This file (or files) may not necessarily be photos but could be one of the background database files. Unfortunately there's not any real way of knowing.


    Any time you upgrade or update an app or the OS you run the risk of exposing a problem that has bee hidden heretofore. That's why you make back ups.


    Possible solution: 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 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.  


    Reverting means restoring your Librry from Time Machine and re-installing 08. It's not a big thing to do.


    Contact App Store support about a refund. There's an email link on the right hand side of the app store window.

  • Michael,Michael,Motorcycle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Terence,

    Thanks for such a quick reply! I was wondering about that. I already have iPhoto Library Manager. Should iPhoto Library Manager rebuild the same library that iPhoto has been trying to rewrite on my MacBook, or should I restore the old Library from Time Machine before rebuilding?

    And thanks again for your advice,


  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,465 points)

    Lazy me would simply try rebuild the one that has failed a few times. If that doesn't work then I'd try rebuild a restored one. But that's lazy me






  • Michael,Michael,Motorcycle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Terence! You were right, there were damaged files in the Library. It took over 36 hours for iPhoto Library Manager to complete rebuilding my Library. iPhoto imported file event by event to rebuild the Library, but when iPhoto came across damaged files, it stopped to list the damaged file. and wouldn't restart the rebuilding process until I responded to the prompt in iPhoto. So quite a bit of time was wasted because I couldn't sit around waiting for a prompt to restart the importing and rebuilding process. I saved the list of "damaged" jpg files and I think I'll be able to import most of them manually from my old Library on my Time Machine backup. So far almost all the "damaged" file are actually fine, after I imported back into the rebuilt iPhoto Library. So thanks again!


  • johnnyqrh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same problem, but stupidly had not backed up my iPhoto Library!  After a very stressful 48hrs following every link I could find, I came across this one:


    http://appletoolbox.com/2010/10/iphoto-11-gets-stuck-on-updating-library-spinnin g-wheel-fix/


    The final suggestion worked fine.  What a relief!