8 Replies Latest reply: May 24, 2013 12:53 AM by to cheuk yin
draellme Level 1 (5 points)

Exported my newly imported images using the Export Originals function in Aperture. After that, all exported images were gone from the file system (previews still showing in Aperture but the refernced files are gone, also not in the Trash, but "fully gone").

Aperture 3, OS X Mountain Lion
  • léonie Level 10 (85,555 points)

    After that, all exported images were gone from the file system

    I am not sure which files are gone now, please clarify:

    • The files that you created on export
    • The original masters in Aperture
    • Both the exported files and the original masters in Aperture?


    If you still have the exported copies rename them exactly as they were named in Aperture and use the "locate referenced files" command to reconnect them.


    I am very puzzled by what happened. I see only three ways to reconstruct what happened to images:

    • If you imported from your card and selected to import referenced with the option "Store files in there current location" then the files will vanish, as soon as you eject the card.
    • If you managed to overwrite the referenced original files when exporting
    • If your referenced files are on a problematic external volume or network volume tht went offline or is wrongly formatted or the location of your master files is enclosed in a file vault. You cannot use Aperture together with file vault - it can store te images there originally, but not access them again.




  • draellme Level 1 (5 points)

    Hello Léonie


    Thanks for your reply. I was obviously too annoyed to be precies. This is what has happened:


    1) Imported images form my CF card as referenced files (like the other 30'000+ images, copied to the HD when importing). All files residing on the main drive of my iMac (as all the others).

    2) Made a an album with a subset of these images, then started working on the album, deleteing some images, applying adjustments.

    3) Exported all images inc their versions as JPG. Worked will.

    4) Then wanted to export all orignals of these images. It said that 0 out of 25 were exporeted. I then looked for the originals. They were all gone from the file system. Looked in the Trash - not there. Looked for the images with Spotlight - not on the hard drive.


    Note that the previews are still acessible and only the files that I exported are gone. This is annoying. Not to mention that Aperture crashed in the meantime, then claimed the library is locked, I had to reboot and then to wait 30 mins for the library to be fixed as it was corrupted...


    I am on Aperture since version 2 appeared - this is really a shame...

  • léonie Level 10 (85,555 points)

    One more question - I forgot: What is your current Aperture version? Have you upgraded to Aperture 3.4? Then you may need to reinstall Aperture - see this support article:

    Aperture 3.4: May quit unexpectedly on launch after updating


    Not to mention that Aperture crashed in the meantime, then claimed the library is locked, I had to reboot and then to wait 30 mins for the library to be fixed as it was corrupted...

    After a crash Aperture will repair the library, but it may be necessary to rebuild it is well, see: Aperture 3 User Manual: Repairing and Rebuilding Your Aperture Library


    Looked for the images with Spotlight

    Did you search the entire mac from the Finder?


    In the Finder, choose File > Find or press Command (⌘)-F.


  • draellme Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi Léonie


    I am on version 3.4 (see haedline). Thanks for pointing me to the support article. Though Aperture only quite once, I might do a re-install.


    It has repaired the library. It did not rebuild it. Might be a good idea. Thanks.


    And yes, I asked Spotlight to lookeverywehere.




  • léonie Level 10 (85,555 points)

    I am on version 3.4 (see haedline).


    I did not yet have my morning coffee ....

  • draellme Level 1 (5 points)

    Hmm, I am in the same timezone as you, though a bit south (Switzerland) and I already had three double espressi


    I am awake. And if not, my little son makes sure I will be

  • léonie Level 10 (85,555 points)



    Spotlight will not show you the private system folders, unless you navigate there.

    Use the Finder''s "Go" menu to open the temporary directory, by selecting "go to folder" and entering "/tmp" into the search field.

    Then search this directory for your raw files (kind "images")


    Aperture sometimes writes files there, if it has a problem to write files.


    If your images are really missing, don't do anything that might write to your disk and use disk recovery software to restore image files, for example "Disk Drill" is free:







  • to cheuk yin Level 1 (5 points)

    I am experiencing the same problem. This is ridiculous! I have spent weeks working on a Photoshop-intensive project and after applying the final finishing touches, all that was left to do was export the TIFFs for the client. After clicking "Export Originals", an error appears saying that no files have been exported. Now, when I go back into my library, all the files I had attempted to export are now corrupted and missing.


    All the files I worked on for hours on end are gone; complete and utterly gone! They are not in the trash, nor anywhere on my hard drives. I am currently rebuilding my Aperture library as I type, as well as running Disk Drill to see if the files can be found. I am praying they will turn something up, but judging from the other responses in this thread I am not hopeful.


    I just cannot believe such a game-ending bug can exist in Aperture 3. If Aperture 3 was a new product I could understand, but over 3 years into release is outrageous. Has anyone had any luck in recovering their deleted originals? Has anyone heard anything back from Apple?


    Seems like I won't be sleeping tonight.