6 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2012 12:49 AM by léonie
AW1960 Level 1 (0 points)

I recently imported some old photographs into my Aperture library from an external disk drive, used to backup the Windows PC where the files were originally managed.  When I open Aperture now, I get the spinning icon in the lower left of the screen and Aperture is unresponsive.  I can see all of the project thumbnails but cant open any of them. 


I have tried running the Apeeture first aid utilities to no avail.


I'm running Aperture on an iMac 11,3 and have the current version of Aperture. 


Has anyone been able to resolve a similar problem?

Aperture 3, iOS 5.1, iMac 11,3 20 Gb memory
  • léonie Level 10 (90,434 points)

    How did you import the images - did you import them referenced or managed?

    Can it be that Aperture still references the old drive you imported from?


    Do you still have the recently imported images on your external drive?


    Then I would suggest to repeat the import , and then to delete the other images that are causing the trouble from Aperture.


    My guess is, that Aperture is hanging because it is trying to build Previews for your recently importet images, but cannot process them for some reason. What is the format of the images? Raw? Or mayby you have a format incompatabilty between your Windows backup drive and the format MacOS expects (MacOS extended).

    To get Aperture responsive again and to be able to delete the images from Aperture, launch Aperture again, but defer the generation of previews by holding down the "Shift" key when launching Aperture.


    Before you import again check the images carefully: Copy them to your system volume to ensure you are importing from a MacOS extended volume, and open all in Preview to be sure the permissions are o.k. and they can be read.




  • AW1960 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks.  I'll try this.


    I copied the images from a Windows NTFS drive to a MacOS extended drive (actually the internal drive in my iMac before attempting the import operation.  The NTFS drive had been disconnected first.


    The images are all JPEGs, although I have a mixture of RAW and JPEG images in the library.




  • SierraDragon Level 4 (2,695 points)



    Since it is very likely that the problem relates to the new batch of images  easiest might be to just start over with a new Library:


    • Verify that the original image files are backed up to at least two locations.


    • Finder-copy the original folder of images to a known-good external Mac-formatted hard drive where you want the Masters to permanently live and connect that drive to your Mac.


    • Create a new (test) Library and import the folder of images as a new Project, selecting "Store Files: in their current location" in the import window. If there are more than 400 image files break the folder into smaller Projects as needed before importing.


    Note that Managed-Masters is Aperture's default and usually works ok for small Libraries but I  recommend use of referenced-Masters as described above. If you insist on managed-Masters you can convert after your problems are fixed.


    • Do some work with the test Library and see how it works. If it works perfectly delete those image files from the original problematic Library and see how the problem Library works. If it works ok then import the pix by reference like you did with the test Library.


    • Then report back here so we can see how it went please. Please provide maximum detail if any of the above steps fail. If the test Library fails odds are that there are one or more corrupt images among the originals.


    Good luck!


    -Allen Wicks

  • AW1960 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks to those who responded to my post so quickly with good advice.


    Aperture is now working again for me.


    1. I installed an additional 16 Gbytes of memory in my iMac - it only had 8 Gbytes of memory (what it came with from the factory when I bought it about 18 months ago).
    2. I used the Aperture first aid tool again to ensure that all file and directory permissions were OK.
    3. I then went through the newly imported photos at random with Preview to verify I could view images without any problems.
    4. I then ran the second first aid tool to update the library.  These ran relatively quickly (only a minute or two for each) as my photo library is not that large (about 70 Gbytes).
    5. When the library update/refresh finished, Aperture started - showed the flash screen (Welcome to Aperture) which I leave switched on.  The flash screen stayed on-screen (Aperture did not respond to mouse/keyboard commands).  The progress symbol (swirly icon) showed at the lower left of the project preview pane of the Aperture screen.
    6. I just left the computer alone overnight (after it appeared to do nothing for about 4 hours - remained unresponsive with the "wait" swirly icon spinning away in the corner).
    7. In the morning I woke up to a responsive, working system - total of about 12 hours of Aperture crunching away on the library, even after using the first aid tools.


    I'm surprised that Aperture seems to do so much with images when it comes to maintaining library information, and the patience needed while it does its stuff.


    The additional memory made a difference I think.  Before I installed it, the system memory was fully used and the computer was constantly paging, rendering it unable to readily run over applications - i.e. it took several minutes to open Safari (while the iMac allocated memory I guess).  The free memory got down to about 25% of total memory while Aperture did whatever it was doing to get thiungs straightened out.


    Two lessons for me:


    1. Aperture benefits from a fair bit of memory at times (although I had never had problems previously with the computer running slowly or appearing to spend a lot of time paging information to and from disk).
    2. Sometimes it just pays to be very patient after importing a large number of files - this wouldnt occur when simply, routinely downloading images from my cameras.


    Thanks again,



  • AW1960 Level 1 (0 points)

    I found that the problem did not, in fact, go away.  I got to the bottom of with a bit mroe research using the Activity Monitor.  The problem was being caused by Photostream.  It was apparently treating all of the newly uploaded images as photos it should place in the cloud for use by my iPad or iPhone. 


    I turned Photostream off on my iMac and the problem vanished.

  • léonie Level 10 (90,434 points)

    Great you got it sorted out!


    One more thing, I missed this in your earlier post - just in case:

    external disk drive, used to backup the Windows PC where the files were originally managed.

    Aperture does not deal well with MS DOS (FAT) volumes. Make sure you keep your Aperture Library on local volumes, formatted MacOS X Extended, and if you import images, import them from a MacOS X Extended volume. In especially case sensitive disk formats may render files unreadable.