Projects losts. Any help?


My photos are stored on 2 external hard drives.
I used to eject and plug again those drives without problem with Photolab.
But today, photos of one of them (of course of the bigger one, grrr) aren’t find anymore by projects. Photos are present on this full (grrr) 6To drive, photolab can read them, but when trying to open them from projects, photolab can’t find them. Maybe an other letter has been assigned to this drive by windows ? I don’t know. Anyway it seems I have to reassign every path, but there are a lot of folders on this drive.

Any simple way for doing that ? Any idea ? A way to edit the database ?
Or is it dangerous to create projects with photos on external drives ? (I hope so not).


The Projects are living only in the database so when that is broken there lost.
i can insert external a project in Bridge as external selections.
which are stored as external projects.( i select a few in Bridge and then double click to open in PL)
this creates a external project.
(non i can also find in Bridge by the way.
So maybe you can have an DAM which holds those projects for you as a copy?

I don’t think database is really broken. I still can see thumbnails in image browser when selecting projects. If, in a project, i select a thumbnail related to the small drive, corresponding photo opens in dxo. If I select a thumbnail related to the big drive, I get a message telling me the photo can’t be found. If I fix image path for this photo, all photos in the same folder are found again when selecting their thumbnail in the image browser.
I think the path of the big drive (the letter) has changed. I could reassign all photo from all project, it would work, but it would be very long and complicated to find every photo.
I could too (and this is what I will do if I have no other easy way) try every letter for this drive to see if this is what have changed.
But I think the same path changing has to be done in every project to path from photos stored in the big drive.

So, is there an editor able to search and replace part of pathes in the database ? (assuming it is not broken). Photolab developers probably have something like that, no ?

Or is there a way to fix pathes for several projects, taking into account that all unfound photo come from the same drive, and the structure directory of this drive has not changed, and this drive has no problem at all.

I also store my photos externally. The amount of projects is under 30, so far I didn’t find any “dangerous” things.

Did someone ask already “backup?” :wink:

Database backup ? Is there a way to make one ?
That’s probably not relevant to my problem, but usefull to know.

(Yes, should be possible to go to user folder and do it manually)

Sure. You can backup your database. In German it says clearly “Project database backup” (File > Project database > ) then you can select if you want to make a backup or import a backup.

“not relevant”? Well, some people say “No backup? No pity” and there’s some truth in it. Sorry, I don’t know how you get back your projects, hopefully some Windows users are more knowledgeable than I am.

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Ohh … I haven’t seen this option.

I do think (but not “know”) there must be a database somewhere in your user directory, so please be patient - ir use the time to wait for answers to search this forum for “database location”.

I know where the database folder is. I’ve even moved it in an other place.
What I’d like to know is if there is an editor able to modify it (it is not ascii but binary) and make search and replace on some parts of pathes.
Or any other way to do this.

Have you changed any drive letter assignments or renamed your photo folders outside of DPL? If you can restore the state of your database and drives, projects should reappear. A regular backup of your drives should deliver, if you know the date and time when everything was in working order (supposing that you have regular backups)…

How did you change the drive’s letter?
Did you connect something extra so that the system wanted to replace the drive’s letter?

Can’t you change it back to what it was instead of all the hassle with the database?

Otherwise ask somebody knowledgeable to do it for you.
→ check for something like Disk Management

and only change the drive’s letter !!

Seeing what’s happening, I only can think this is a drive letter change.
But I can’t figure how this happened. No new drive plugged, and I thought I had assigned a drive letter to this drive when formatting it, so drive letter should not have changed (but not completly sure now).

Anyway I’ll have to try every letter to know.

I would like to have an editor wich allow to read and modify database with search and replace tool.
It would have helped a lot here.
Haven’t dxo developers made a such tool for debugging purpose ?
If a devoloper look at this and if a such tool exist, it would be nice to make it avalaible, even if it is only a command line tool.
It would be very usefull when moving lot of photos too, when this is too complex to achieve in photolab (when moving a lot of folders - but not all - on an other drive for instance).

Just an idea: I use *DB Browser for SQLite" on my Mac to look into the database. The table “ZDOPFOLDERS” lists all folders that DPL has seen so far. Maybe it lists drive letters too? You might find the correct letter in one of the tables…


Note that folders and subfolders are not listed with their full path but with a relation to the respective parent folder.

This is why I think DXO should implement a “forced” backup routine, say every week to help avoid these problems. Users can always just cancel the backup request but DXO being proactive would be a good idea…

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macOS comes with Time Machine, which automatically does incremental backups all the time to an external SSD drive. At present, I can restore the PL6 database from as far back as 15th Dec 2022, or any date between then and now.

It saves…

  • hourly for the latest 24 hours
  • daily for the latest month
  • weekly for months previous to the last month

Just another reason why I use Mac computers :wink:

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You can schedule backups on PC’s the point is that it would be good practice for DXO to prompt the user to backup each week. Lots of other software like Capture One etc does this where a database is involved.

So then you would get system backups, not only of ordinary files but an app’s backups as well?

No, Capture One does a database backup every now and then. Or earlier, if I initialize that backup manually. And it’s only database backup (in case of externally linked files), the external files are on a bigger, slower drive while the database is on a SSD. I don’t know if it’s also asking for database backup once the files are included in the database, i.e. internally, as I don’t trust C1’s database once images are added. Had a few mishaps a couple of years ago. Currently and in general it’s rather stable, but database and images together in one package is a thing for C1 sessions which I don’t use.

I use kind of a double strategy. I allow C1 to backup it’s database to a designated drive/folder, but I also do a SuperDuper backup of the whole drive the database is located. On alternating drives. There’s so much work involved that I really would hate to do again.

Yes. In addition to the constant Time Machine in the background, I also do a SuperDuper clone every so often to another disk. The great advantage with such a clone is, if the internal disk should fail, I can simply reboot from the clone. Excellent software.

I used carbon copy cloner for many years, but Apples new sealed system volume and snapshot file system has prevented bootable clones. Maybe superduper is smarter?