Monday 17 August 2009

A corrupt Lightroom catalogue

My website: Wedding Photographers in Kent

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I was just finishing off the post-processing for Saturday's wedding this morning when we had a very brief power cut. I restarted the computer and relaunched Lightroom to be greeted by:

Lightroom encountered an error and needs to quit. There was a problem reading one of the Lightroom catalogues.


I experienced a brief moment of optimism when Lightroom offered to repair the catalogue but, alas, the operation was unsuccessful. It then instructed me to use a recent back-up copy. I'm reasonably conscientious at keeping my catalogues backed-up but the most recent version was from Saturday morning, and therefore did not contain Sunday's post-processing efforts.

After 30 mins of tinkering, and elevated blood pressure, I managed to recover my work. I created a new catalogue, used 'Import from catalogue', chose the corrupted catalogue and then selected the folder containing Saturday's wedding. The photos were imported together with the sidecar file containing the Lightroom edits. I got an error message when I reached the photo I'd been editing when the power cut occurred, but on restarting Lightroom all the edited photos were present. What a relief! I then imported the remaining unedited wedding photos into the catalogue.

The power supply in Sandwich is a little flaky - we've had about 10 cut-outs in the three years we've lived here, but this is the first time it's impacted on my work. And hopefully the last. Immediately after I'd resolved my Lightroom issue I went to the online Apple store and bought myself an uninterruptible power supply - an iDowell iPack UPS 1000VA. It provides power for about 15 mins in the event of a power cut and fully integrates with the Mac's built-in power management software. This means that the computer can be instructed to shut down when the unit's battery power reaches a certain level - critical if I'm not present when the power cut occurs!

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