9 Replies Latest reply: May 11, 2013 5:27 PM by MacGadget
Miles Cortez Level 1 (0 points)

I'm praying that someone can help me.  I use iPhoto and Aperture both.  I have about a 60GB library that hold approaximately 22,000 images.  I run my programs on the OSX Drive which is an 128GB SSD and I store the photos on a separate internal 750GB 7200 drive.



The problem recentlty is that about 12,000 masters appear to be missing.  In the browser view in Aperture I get the little yellow triangle with with the exclamation point inside. Most of the missing master appear to be from 2009 and earlier but I do have some masters from they period 2000-2010. 


If I click on the "show package contents" of the library folder and go to the master folder the only years that are showing is 2011, 2012 and 2013.  Nothing from all prior years despite the fact that I can see the preview, high quality in almost full screen in Aperture.


WHAT I DID NOTICE is that if I look at photos from 2010 in Aperture that HAVE the master available, the bottom bar of the photo when I click on it says "From MobileMe".  If I click on one with the master missing (the little yellow triangle) it says "iPhoto Original".


All I know is that I want my master's back.  They are almosty ALL photos of of my kids.Can anyone help?  I've tried all rebuild/repair options in iPhoto and Aperture. I'm almost certain I didn't delete the masters.  I don;t have a time machine backup.  I did have other backups of the library but when I go to those, I have the sam issue, tons of missing masters even in the backup.


I'm worried that I am totally screwed and I'm heartbroken.  I can still see the photos which is what I don;t get.  I guess in the worst case I can go through and do shift-cmd-4 and take screen captures of any critical photos.


I'm wondering if someone can help me.  Is there some way to batch reproduce the masters from the data that I do have?  It's not just a thumbnail---it's a high quality image.  Have I some how created versions and deleted orginals?  Can someone--anyone help me?

Mac mini, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • mores Level 1 (35 points)

    I don't know if this will help you, but I moved a bunch of photos and videos out of the managed libary file and told Aperture to save master files in a separate folder.


    Unfortunately, Aperture crashed a lot during this process and I ended up having a bunch of images with the dreaded yellow ALERT sign next to the reference arrow.


    And the masters are gone from the library ... but they're in the folder where I wanted them to be.

    So obviously Aperture copied the file, then crashed before it could remember the new location.


    Search your hard drive for one of the file names that's missing, maybe you have a secret stash of masters you were unaware of.

  • léonie Level 10 (90,424 points)


    go to the master folder the only years that are showing is 2011, 2012 and 2013

    The year of the folder name is the year of the import session, not the year of the capture date. So these folders may contain still your older images, if you imported them to iPhoto early and then to Aperture. But to be able to help you to lcate the missing masters we need to know how you imported them originally into Aperture. Have you imported older iPhoto liibraries? Then you may have imported them as referenced and referenced them inside their old location in the iPhoto library. In that case - have you moved the iPhoto libraries? That would break the connection between masters and versions.

    So how and when died you import the images with the missing masters? And what is your Aperture version and MacOS X version? Have your missing images been published on Mobile Me? Do you still have a local copy of your iDisk?


    To find out, where Aperture thinks the masters should be, select the images with the missing masters in the browser and use the command "File > Locate Referenced File" (in Aperture 3.3 or later). This should show the reconnect panel, where you can reconnect missing master files - in the upper portion of the window you elect an image that needs reconnection. To the right you should see a thumbnail of the image with the path to the missing master below. Check, where the file is supposed to be. If you can find it by searching your mac  like "mores" suggested in teh post above, you can use the lower portion of the window, to point Aperture to the missing master image file. If the images match, a reconnect button will appear and you can reconnect the originals to the masters.


    If you cannot find the master image files anywhere on your Mac, but still see the images in Aperture's browser, you can at least save the previews of your images - just drag the image versions in question from Aperture's browser to a folder on your Desktop. That will save jpeg files of your images. These will not have the original quality of the master image files, however.




  • Miles Cortez Level 1 (0 points)

    Lots of questions here.  Mac version 10.8.2 Aperture Version 3.4.3.  I previously used iPhoto so that library existed first.  THen I switched to Aperture.  The only surviving library is the one with the missing masters.  It's been a while but I believe that this was the original iPhoto library and when Apple gave us the capability to interchangably use the library in Aperture or iPhoto, I just began to use this library principally in Aperture.  In other words I just opened Aperture and pointed it to the old iPhoto library.

    Some of the missing images were published on Mobile Me (yes I have those masters).  I don;t still have a copy of iDisk but the photos would not ALL be there anyway.  I am missing about 13,000 masters--almost all the "old" photos that existed in the original iPhoto Library.


    I've tried locating the referenced file to no avail.  I can't see the master in the lower pane.



    If you cannot find the master image files anywhere on your Mac, but still see the images in Aperture's browser, you can at least save the previews of your images - just drag the image versions in question from Aperture's browser to a folder on your Desktop. That will save jpeg files of your images. These will not have the original quality of the master image files, however.



    Regarding this method---yes that is what I've done and re-imported the files (about 25,000) into a brand new library but I am missing the high quality versions of the 13,000 masters.  What's REALLY interesting here is that this new library (a blend of about 50/50 high quality images and the lower quality images that don;t have masters) is about 30GB.  The library that is showing the missing masters with the arching arrow and the yellow triangle with the exclamation point is more than 60GB.  This would SEEM to indicate that the masters of all 25,000 images are there somewhere!! 


    Thanks for taking the time to help me.  I really want to recover these things.

  • Miles Cortez Level 1 (0 points)

    I think all of this may have happened when I moved the iphoto library (renamed Photo Library) to Dropbox.  When I go to File>Locate Referenced File the missing master (top pane) is looking for the file on the 750GB drive at 750Drive>iTunes>Photos>iPhoto Library.  The library is located at 750Drive>Dropbox>Photos>Photo Libary (NOT iPhoto Library) but the master file is not there,  The missing master is from 2001.  The Master is 336KB from a 1.9MP camera.  The only copies I can locate from dragging and dropping the thumbail is only about 1/4 of this size.  I've tried to go back to Dropbox to see if I can get the original file that was copied over to the Dropbox but It's probably over a year ago. 


    Any ideas?

  • William Lloyd Level 7 (21,040 points)

    Ugh.  Dropbox renames files with ridiculous names if you ever have a sync conflict of any kind.  This would wreak utter havoc on your Aperture library.


    Given it was a year ago, I think you're SOL.


    And don't store your Aperture library on Dropbox.  Ever.  I guess you could store the masters there, though you'd quickly blow through your Dropbox space.

  • Miles Cortez Level 1 (0 points)

    UGH...between Dropbox, Time Machine/Time Capsule and a separate 2TB Western Digital Drive I thought I had multiple backups.

  • Miles Cortez Level 1 (0 points)

    I mean it should be pretty simple right.  If I am looking for master DSCN0114.JPG for instance and I know its original master file size I can search for it on the Mac and external drives.  It's either there or not right?  Assuming that I've shown hidden files on my Mac a search that doesnt turn it up means it's gone.  Is that accurate? 


    The only reason that I'm slow to accept this outcome is because the library is still like 90GB.  That would seem to indicate that the files are in there someplace.  Give that I appear to have lost about 50% of the master, that would mean the library was at one point pushing 180GB which is definitely not the case.  Moreover when I rebuilt a new library with the orginal masters that I DO have and the smaller photos for which I don;t have masters, the new library is on like 30GB. All the master files miust be in there somewhere.


    I've heard of Apple actually rescuing and restoring these libraries.

  • Miles Cortez Level 1 (0 points)

    I'll post this in hopes of helping someone else.  I'm sure there was an easier way to do this but I basically KNEW the files were there based on the size of the library.  Essentially what I did was extract the photos out of the library and into finder with iPhoto Library.  I beleive that the Previews also came out in theis process.  The result was that I would have a series of photos, say IMG_1001 throu 1009, shot with the same camera at the same time with vastly different file sizes (ranging from 400k to 1MB to 4MB to 8MB).  Then I imported these files into iPhoto.  I was still at this point getting a LIBRARY size consistent with having 100% of the originals though a lot of the files were smaller than they should've been.  After they were in iPhoto.  I re-exported them to the desktop at the highest setting for JPGS.  This time when they were exported, the smaller file sizes were approximately 4 times bigger and the larger file sizes were about 2x bigger.  All I can think is that the IMG files that were showing individually at first a size of about 400 must have been previews that stored the data from the original.  At any rate...I feel better because, while I have a ton of duplicates of different sizes, I have reasonably high quality originals of everything.  I didn't lose any files.  No more storing the library in Dropbox for me.  I'm probably in about 30 hours on fixing this with considerably more work to do.

  • MacGadget Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for sharing your experience.  I have been fearful of using iphoto and apeture on the same library although I have both programs.  I have addtional fear at the prospect of putting part of the library on an external drive (which I was researching when I saw your post).  I have about 130 gb of photos and its just too much space on my SSD harddrive....anyway,  this is probably too late to help you, but after making a back up of your drive, you might consider running disk warrior.  It is an awesome disk utility that analizes and rewrites corrupted disk directories.  It really saved my bacon one time when my thesis went missing! I use it a few times a year to keep things running well and whenever im having problems.  cheers