Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2014 8:38 PM by LarryHN
jacfromkl Level 1 (0 points)

I had recently upgraded my iMac to 21.5-inch with OSX 10.8.5 and iPhoto '11.

In the process of wanting to transfer all my photos at iPhoto Library from my old Mac (OSX ver. 10.6.8 with iPhoto '08 ver. 7.1.5), I have accidentally reduced my iPhoto Library's size from 24GB to 14.8GB. when working with my Time Machine and Finder (TM showed the lesser size). Would like very much to know what are the implications? I'm unsure whether anything or any photos have gone missing.

However, when I open the iPhoto Library, it stated at the bottom bar, the exact number of photos/events as was previously therein and other details such as file name/keywords/etc are intact.

Would appreciate very much your expert advice before I transfer this reduced sized iPhoto library to my new imac. Or should further restoration be made using the Time Machine from the iPhoto window (Browse backups and restore/restore all)?

Much thanks for any help offered.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Copy iPhoto Library to iMac M/Lion
  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,365 points)

    If you still have the original available Connect the two Macs together (network, firewire target mode, etc)  or use an external hard drive formed Mac OS extended (journaled) and drag the iPhoto library intact as a single entity from the old Mac to the pictures folder of the new Mac - launch iPhoto on the new mac and it will open the library and convert it as needed and you will be ready move forward.



  • jacfromkl Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much, LarryHN. As per your advice, I've dragged the iPhoto library from my external hard drive that's used as Time Machine backup, to my new iMac (Mountain Lion) and launched it successfully.

    But, the outcome is soooo scary. Scrolling through my iphoto library which contains photos from year 2004 until to-date 2014, I observed that all my photos from year 2011 till 2013 are missing. So mysterious... like now you see them, now you don't (leaving behind only empty thumbnails) as I scroll through them? Checked their info and seemed okay. Even checked at Finder, the 'Master' folder at 'Show Package Contents' of iPhoto library and saw that the folders from 2011-2013 are included but without the .jpg photos. What's up??

    So spent several hours today searching for a solution... even referred to Apple's surpport at to repair and rebuild its database, but to no avail.

    Would greatly appreciate your further assistance and advice on how to get back all the missing photos. Much thanks in advance.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,365 points)

    1 - my advice was to drag the original to yoru new systm - not to drag a Time Machine backup


    2 - you do not drag and drop Time Machine backups - you restore them -



  • bjnoypi Level 1 (0 points)

    I already did restore from back up but some of the files doesn't show. What should I do?


  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,365 points)

    third try


    Do you have the original library avaliable (not the TM backup - the original library on the old Mac)


    if you do (you have not yet said) then the solution is as originally posted


    Connect the two Macs together (network, firewire target mode, etc)  or use an external hard drive formed Mac OS extended (journaled) and drag the iPhoto library intact as a single entity from the old Mac to the pictures folder of the new Mac - launch iPhoto on the new mac and it will open the library and convert it as needed and you will be ready move forward.



  • jacfromkl Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry, Larry... I'm technically challenged.

    Anyway, the original iPhoto Library at my old imac is already no longer viable as I've 'corrupted' it unknowingly with some erroneous restore functions, using the Time Machine backups.

    Hence, the only feasible iPhoto Library is the one that I currently have at my new imac with the missing photos from 2011-2013, doing their disappearing acts as explained in my previous message.

    Is there any other way to go about using the data available from this 'surviving' library to restore all my photos?

    Please help...

    Much thanks for your effort and assistance, Larry.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,365 points)

    try Back up your iPhoto library, Depress and hold the option (alt) and command keys and launch iPhoto - rebuild your iPhoto library database



  • jacfromkl Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the prompt response, Larry... have done this yesterday. Anyway, I've just rebuilt the iPhoto library datasase again as suggested but the outcome is the same.

    What else, please? I read at another discussion here that iPhoto Library Manager has a rebuild function too - should I try this or otherwise? Thanks.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,365 points)

    Yes IPLM is the next thing to try



  • jacfromkl Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Larry. I've just used the IPLM to create a Default Library (rebuilt) with the following message:

    Rebuilt complete

    7533 photos were imported

    8 albums were copied

    562 events were copied

    4833 errors occured during the transfer.

    This means that it was unable to restore into the rebuilt library, all my photos for year 2011-2013 which account for the numerous errors above. My original library had about 12330 photos and 911 events... I wouldn't want to lose so many (close to 5K) precious shots if at all possible. Please help... any more suggestions?

  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,365 points)

    Well then unless you can go back and find an older library in Time Machine that has the photos the may well be missing


    You can right click on the iPhoto library and show package contents - look (do not make ANY changes of any sort) in the Masters folder and see if your photos are there? I'm guessing they are not



  • jacfromkl Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry for the late response, Larry. I telephoned Apple Support last evening for help and its rep spent more than an hour patiently assisting me through the various process of trying to restore a good copy of iPhoto Library from my external backup disk (used as time machine). Hard luck... still no trace of missing phots, a disaster though I was most grateful and thankful for her support.


    I expressed to her that I find it really strange that though the Masters folder at 'Show Package  Contents' does not contain the photos between 2011-2013, yet the  iPhoto Library when open does display the missing photos as I scroll up  and down to view, though for a split second and disappear to leave  behind no-photo thumbnails!! She agreed that it was indeed strange.


    As a last resort, she recommended me to get help from a data recovery company or some kind of softwares to resolve my problem. At my request, she named a few data recovery softwares, such as Disk Drill, Photo Recovery Guru and Data Recovery Free.


    Has anyone tried any of these softwares and found success in restoring all your missing photos?

    Would appreciate any help given to enable me to regain all my lost treasures!




    iPhoto-only thumbnails.jpg

  • jacfromkl Level 1 (0 points)

    Just to update on the current status of my missing photos...

    I've purchased the Disk Drill's data recovery software and am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel! So very happy... probably 95% of my missing photos can be retrieved. Am still filling the empty-photo thumbnails gradually with the recovered jpeg images... though a humongous task ahead, I'm absolutely thrilled beyond description.

    A big THANK YOU to Ms. Emily of Apple Care Phone Support and LarryHN for all assistance rendered. God bless.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,365 points)

    You are welcome - sorry that the outcome is not perfect


    as a quick note the iPhoto plibrary contains three versions of each photos - the orginal (in the masters folder), a preview of the current version (in the previews folder) and a very small thumbnail (in the Thumrnbials folder) - so the quick flashes you are seeing are the thumbnails but without the originals they are of no value



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