10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 30, 2013 6:40 PM by Old Toad
Karen Witter Level 1 (25 points)

Just discovered yesterday that certain pictures, randomly, flash for a split-second and then disappear as I scroll through either Events or Photos.  If I do a search for the pictures in Finder, they're there, but they're not showing up in iPhoto.  What's the deal?

PowerMac G5, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,334 points)

    Assuming your profile is correct, make a temporary, backup copy of your library if you don't already have one (Control-click on the library and select Duplicate from the contextual menu) and  apply the two fixes below in order as needed:


    Fix #1


    Launch iPhoto with the Command+Option keys held down and rebuild the library.




    Select the options identified in the screenshot


    Fix #2


    Using iPhoto Library Manager  to Rebuild Your iPhoto Library


      1. Download iPhoto Library Manager and launch.
      2. Click on the Add Library button, navigate to your Home/Pictures folder and select your iPhoto Library folder.
      3. Now that the library is listed in the left hand pane of iPLM, click on your library and go to the File ➙ Rebuild Library menu option
      4. In the next  window name the new library and select the location you want it to be placed.
      5. Click on the Create button.


    Note: This creates a new library based on the LIbraryData.xml file in the library and will recover Events, Albums, keywords, titles and comments but not books, calendars or slideshows. The original library will be left untouched for further attempts at fixing the problem or in case the rebuilt library is not satisfactory.



  • Karen Witter Level 1 (25 points)

    My iPhoto Library takes up 53 GB of space.  Is it possible to put the duplicate pictures on an external hard-drive, or do they have to be on this computer? 

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,334 points)

    You can put the backup copy of your library on the EHD.  Do you have an ongoing backup of your library?  If you do you don't have to make another backup copy. If not you should consider one.  Also for your other important files.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (76,862 points)

    There are no duplicate pictures in the iPhoto library unless you have imported multiple copies of a photo or duplicated them in iPhoto - It is NOT possible to put certain photos on an external drive - It is possible to put the entire library on an external drive -

    Moving the iPhoto library is safe and simple - quit iPhoto and drag the iPhoto library intact as a single entity to the external drive - depress the option key and launch iPhoto using the "select library" option to point to the new location on the external drive - fully test it and then trash the old library on the internal drive (test one more time prior to emptying the trash)



    And be sure that the External drive is formatted Mac OS extended (journaled) (iPhoto does not work with drives with other formats) and that it is always available prior to launching iPhoto



    And backup soon and often - having your iPhoto library on an external drive is not a backup and if you are using Time Machine you need to check and be sure that TM is backing up your external drive




  • Karen Witter Level 1 (25 points)

    I use Carbonite for back-up.  The thing is, I'm not sure when they started disappearing, although I feel quite sure it was yesterday or at least within the last few days.  It's not even the most recent pictures, but random pictures from over a year ago.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (76,862 points)

    There have been several reports that Carbonite does not work as an iPhoto library backup - and as a pratical matter restoring a package as large as the iPhoto library is a daunting task - I would suggest that you add a large hard drive and run Time Machine locally as your primary backup and consider any cloud backup as secondary



  • Karen Witter Level 1 (25 points)

    Thanks.  I started a Time-Machine back-up last year on a hard drive I bought just for TM, but since I had Carbonite I got lazy and just let that do the backing up.  However, if it doesn't work for iPhoto pics, it won't do me any good so I need to find out.  Meanwhile, I do have the EHD to back up the iPhoto Library to.  This whole process makes me a bit nervous I must confess.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,334 points)

    Is your profile accurate?  Are you still running Tiger?


    There was an issue earlier with Time Machine not backing up an iPhoto library if iPhoto was left open.  I can't remember when that was corrected or what combination of system and iPhoto caused it.  But now, TM backs up iPhoto no matter whether it's open or not.  But that's with newer systems and iPhoto.

  • Karen Witter Level 1 (25 points)

    Have version 10.6.8.  Not sure which this is, Tiger I presume.  Also, not sure what you mean by profile.  I finished the TM backup but not sure where to find the plethera of pictures in iPhoto in the backup.  I just opened one of the events that seemed to be empty and there were some pics in there, but as I scrolled down they just disappeared, leaving no pics left in an event that had 81 pictures to begin with.  It's almost as though a virus was eating the pictures before my very eyes.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,334 points)

    That's Snow Leopard. This is what I'm referring to as your profile:



    That can be updated by clicking on your name and going to the profile section of you account.


    finished the TM backup but not sure where to find the plethora of pictures in iPhoto in the backup.

    Go to your Picture folder and enter Time Machine.  Then select latest backup of your library and restore it being sure to use the Keep Both option.  You current backup will be renamed iPhoto Library (original) and the restore library will be name just iPHoto Library.  Open it and make sure the photos are there.  If it's good you can delete the restored version, rename the original back to iPhoto LIbrary and continue using the library.