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Would it be possible for you to create a new folder on the desktop then copy your iPhoto library from the old drive to the folder on your desktop.
Once the library is copied can you then drag the existing iPhoto Library folder to the desktop then launch iPhoto and In the next window that opens choose to create a new library.
When the new empty library opens can you go to File/add to library and tehn navigate to the library on your desktop and choose it and then see if it will import the library and recreate it for you?
Let me know if that does not wrk.
What is the current version of iPhoto you are running and do you know what version you had prior to the crash?
If you run your mac updates are there any updates available for iPhoto and let me know
If you create a new library file then drag and drop your photos in small batches into the iPhoto window does it take them or does it error out?
If you close iPhoto then drag the existing iPhoto Library folder to the desktop then launch iPhoto it should pull up a window that gives you the option to create a new library.
if that works you should end up with a blank iPhoto library just as you tried before, Except this time instead of trying to drag the whole old library folder into iPhoto can you try opening the file and dragging groups of files to the new library.
If it wont give you the option to drag groups and only gives you the one main file can you hold down the Command and Option keys on the keyboard then open iPhoto and keep the keys held down until you are prompted to rebuild the library, Then see if you can select the old library from the desktop and rebuild it.
Let me know