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Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 11169
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
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iPhoto has stopped recognizing my iphoto library. When I open

Customer Question

iPhoto has stopped recognizing my iphoto library. When I open iphoto it says library not found and gives me a chance to select one. When I go to my iphoto library the icon is light grey and I cannot select it. Any ideas? The library is big (110G and has 18K fotos). I copied over an older version of the library from Time Machine (which took a few hours suggesting the whole thing was there), but I couldn't get iphoto to open that one either...
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
Hi My name isXXXXX hope i can help you.

We can try to rebuild the library and see if that helps or not.

Rebuild iPhoto Library
  1. Quit iPhoto if it is open.
  2. Hold down the Command and Option keys on the keyboard.
  3. Open iPhoto.
  4. Keep the keys held down until you are prompted to rebuild the library.
  5. A dialog will appear with rebuild options. Select all the checkboxes..
  6. Click Rebuild to begin the rebuild process. This may take awhile to complete.

Let me know how it goes...
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I had tried that and just did so again.
I get a pop up saying my library was not found and asks if I want to choose a library. When I try that it does not let me select the library. It does show the size of the library file to be 111G however.
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
You can try to trash the iPhoto's preferences.

Close iPhoto and move these files into desktop.. from Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences folder into desktop (x is version number) from Macintosh HD/Users/[your name]/Library/Preferences/ folder into dekstop

  1. Hold down the Option key on the keyboard and open iPhoto. Keep the Option key held down until you are prompted to create or choose an iPhoto library.
  2. Click Choose Library.
  3. Select the iPhoto Library.

Let me know how it goes..
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Still no luck.
When I go to the library it is not highlighted just grey in the menu, and it won't let me choose it.
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
What version of iPhoto are you using ?
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
And how much free space is left on your Mac ?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
127 Gb available
iphoto version 7.1.5
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My iphoto library is on an external drive which has 480 GB available
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
Ok..May be your iPhoto library is corrupted. We can create a new Library and recover photos from your old library. Creating a new library will remove your Events or Albums, but it'll not delete your Photos.

Open iPhoto while holding down the Option key. Choose create new library and create a new library in your Internal drive. Now hide iPhoto (minimize it) and Then right click (control+click) on your iPhoto library on external drive and choose "Show Package Contents". You can see a folder named "Originals". Drag the Originals folder onto the iPhoto icon in your Dock. This imports photos into the new library in your inernal drive, make sure you have enough space on your Internal HD for the iPhoto library.

Once you created new library, open iPhoto and see if iPhoto can open the new Library. If it can, then you can move the new library to your external drive. (Move iPhoto Library : Click Here)

This would take time to reimport your Photos. Let me know how it goes...

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, this feels like a last resort. I had already read about that but really wanted to avoid it.
By losing all the event information, do I lose the timestamps on the photos? We are talking about 18,000 fotos that were carefully arranged... What if any meta data will be preserved?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Also, why would older versions of the library (backed up by Time Machine) all be corrupted?
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
I'm very sorry for the delay...apologies. Too many personal problems and i couldn't reach you on time. Again sorry...

OK. Not sure, but it might the iPhoto problem. Move the Library from your external hard disk to internal hard disk and try to select that iPhoto Library in iPhoto. Let me know how it goes...
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry to hear that. Before I move the library (it will fill my disk), can you tell me why you think that will solve the problem?
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
Because, may be iPhoto can load from Internal hard disk. Don't move the library, copy the Library.

Edited by Ashik on 7/18/2010 at 3:18 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I understand that, but why? What changes?
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
Since the library is 100+ GB, if anything goes wrong (like if it froze) when moving the library from external to internal drive, the library will be corrupted. But if anything goes wrong when copying, you'll still have the original library with you.

Let me know..
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have multiple backup copies on another external drive that Time Machine uses... I still don't understand what the difference to iPhoto is if the library is on local disk or external? My suspicion is that this is an iPhoto problem rather than a corrupted database problem. The reason being that I have tried to open multiple different copies of the library from Time Machine at different dates and all exhibit the same problem. Perhaps there is something in the permissions that is corrupted... I wish I was more familiar with the MAC OS.
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
We already tried resetting iPhoto by deleting the preference files. So it'll reset iPhoto to factory settings and should be worked.Okay..Just copy the library to your internal drive (into Pictures folder), if this is with permission problem with external hard drive, iPhoto can read from your internal hard disk.

If that didn't worked, we can try to reinstall iPhoto application.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'll give it a try. Will take a few hours...
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No change... I copied over the iphoto library and tried to open it, but the same phenomenon occurs where it is greyed out and does not let me select it.
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
My last suggestion..
Run Disk Utility from the Installation Disk

• Insert the Mac OS X Install/restore disc that came with your Mac, then restart the computer while holding the C key.
• When you see the Spinning gear, then release the C key
• Once on the Installer screen, select Utilities menu and choose Disk Utility.
• Click the First Aid tab and select the hard drive icon displaying your Macintosh HD
• Click Repair disk and Repair Permission. Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk.
• Once completed, quit Disk Utility
• Restart your Mac and see if that works or not...
Ashik and 4 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I managed to retrieve the library using iPhoto Library Manager
Permissions problems
One other common cause of this is that the permissions for your library folder or its contents have been turned off so that iPhoto can't read the data it needs. First, try restoring the permissions of the folder by doing the following steps:

Select the library in iPhoto Library Manager and click the Options button on the right
Select "Read & Write" in the "Owner" pop-up menu and click the "Apply Permissions Now" button. This will make your library folder readable and writable. Then click "Done".
Note that if the library in question is owned by another user on the machine, you may not be able to successfully reset the permissions for the library. In that case, you'll need to log in as the user that owns the library and try again.
Open the library in iPhoto and see if it now can read your album data

Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Ashik replied 7 years ago.
Marc, Brilliant. Never thought of that answer. I don't how the permission was changed. Anyway, glad you got it working again.

Best Regards,