Virtual copy

From tieme to time , when I open a folder in Photolab, a virtual copy of each picture is automatically created. Then I have to manually delete all these copies. Why does this phenomenon occur?

I have had the same problem: it seems to be random and I don’t like softwares with a random behaviour. But, asking the support, I got the answer that everything was ok.

“I got the answer that everything was ok.” Its that sort of response from support that meant customers were well served by having DXO staff covering this forum. No you shouldn’t be getting virtual copies when opening a new folder. As I understand it can happen if the images are already in the PL database. Some find they get it copying them back and forth between different computers. I do this and have for years but I have never had it happen. So if the folder had been copied between different PC’s that might be the problem, but as I said I don’t have it happen and when it does it strikes me as a bug that needs sorting in the program not merely saying its normal!

(In my case I create, when away, basic processing on a laptop, copy to my desk top and do final editing and weeding. Then copy the remaining edits back to the laptop. As I don’t use PL as a DAM I usually delete the data base on the laptop so there aren’t any existing records and Syncovery removes the deleted image’s and dops in returning the edited folder to the laptop. I have done this for over 5 years with no virtual copies)

I agree, as I use only one computer and my raws are on one NAS, unchanged for years, VC should be created on two instances only:

  • If I have moved raws out of DPL,
  • If I intend to modify with PL7 a raw previously modified and processed with PL6.
    The problem is that these VC are randomly created.

Even where they are created moving between computers its poor programing to have to have PL set up to be used independently on each install. I dont understand why my use between two installs never created any problems but others find it does every time. I dont always rember to delete the database but still
I have never had vertual copies when copying back to the laptop. A program sold to allow multiple installs should not have this problem.

See also Why does DxO PhotoLab automatically create a virtual copy of some of my images? (Windows only) – Help center

@Wlodek Please, read my post: it is random.

And it doesnt really fit with my use either The prblem is DXO have ignored the problem when using more than one install and even worse if its randomly doing it with just one install.

This is not a random occurrence - it’s the result of PL applying a “safe” solution to the situation where it finds some ambiguity.

For example;

  • When an image is encountered by PL, it creates an entry for that image (AND its location) in PL’s database … also, assuming this option is ON in Preferences, it creates an associated Sidecar/.dop file.

  • Next time that image is opened by PL it again checks the database - and, if the image is found, it checks to confirm that it’s exactly the same image (in the same location) … If that’s not the case - or if the Sidecar/.dop file somehow refers to a different version of the image … or any other such ambiguity – then PL creates a Virtual Copy for each different version that it finds … just to be safe … because it has no way of determining which is the “correct” version.

In your case, do you perhaps have your images on a removeable device ? - or some other situation whereby the image’s location is not fixed and unchanged ?

HtH - John M

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Rsp has his on a fixed NAS which doest fit any if the critera for vertual copies being needed and its he whi says they are random

Each of my folders has it’s date as a name. So easy to know wich version of DPL was used at that time.
Once I open an old folder and VC are created immediately for each image, before I selected one of them and tried to modify it. No need to do so as I didn’t modify anything.
Then, I open another folder, same year and month, no VC at all are created. Why not as it is the same situation as above ?
In another folder, some Raws have a vc created, others not.:face_with_diagonal_mouth:

…didn’t modify…?

  • Have you, by any chance, renamed those folders between then and now?
  • If you search for the filename of a file with unwanted VC,
    do you find files that show a question mark instead of an image?

I have had VC created because I had moved a folder: I understand why, no problem in that case. I never rename a folder as the name is the date of the shooting.
And I never found files that show a question mark instead of an image except for files I had deleted directly with Windows browser, which I understand.

Anyway, I have deleted the PL7 data base and I’m re indexing the folders. The old DB was a legacy with all the changes since I bought OP7, ten years ago. I had no more projects in it, so no regrets. It’s probably worth the time it takes. And I’ll see if things are OK or not then.

One can look at it like that but the main problem is that this software keeps “the same” data at two different places and that is bound to create problems over time. It is not a good IT-habit to have “two diffrent truths” in one environment.

Pat, John and others, I have this same problem many times with DXO PL, starting with version 3 (as best as I can recall) and now version 7.

I have the DXO PL Elite version on a windows laptop and a windows desktop. I have reported the problem of unwanted Virtual copies more than once to DXO and there appears to be no formal resolution to it that will be coming from DXO. While I am not an IT expert, I view the situation where the DXO PL software cannot figure out that the same but modified image is being viewed when it is moved back to a computer to be a design flaw. Stated another way the problem may occur with you use two computers at different times to view or process or keyword images in DXO-PL. The first time you look at and rate or process an image is not the problem like on a laptop. The problem occurs when you copy that same file folder with processing done on a desktop (the second computer) back to the laptop. DXO PL does not know which .dop file to use so you get a Virtual copy.

One responder to a previous post on this same topic presented a work around that appears to work. ( I hope I am remembering all of the details correctly. ) His recommended workaround was to delete the file folder along with all images, side car files and dop files BEFORE you copy the file folder with processed images back to the original computer. In my example that would be the laptop. When you copy the file folder back to the laptop make sure the name of the file folder is different than the original name of the file folder on the laptop. This should prevent any Virtual copies.

Please search under my user name to see if you can find helpful information when this matter was discussed previously. If I can find any of that info I will post it.

Any corrections to the above are welcomed as I am relying on my memory and this is a complicated matter. Please experiment before implementing my suggestion to make sure my suggestion works.

Thank you for all these informations. Effectively, when I am travelling I use my Laptop and when I am coming back at home I copy the pictures to my PC. Morever I use a backup disk.
Nevertheless I consider that this problem is not normal,I and it should be adressed by DXO.

I use a laptop as well but I have never had a virtual copy problem? Indeed when I finish desk editing I copy the results back to the laptop as I use a DAM that this keeps it up to date on both devices. I wonder if using Syncovery both ways makes a difference? I also usually but not always delete the database but as not always that doesn’t look to be why no problem.
I agree it needs addressing by DXO as they sell 2 or 3 installs so it being used on two or more PC’s needs addressing not ignoring.

The real problem is that, differently from earlier versions of DPL, copies are tagged as master and copy respectively. If copies were treated as equals, one could tell DPL to e.g. delete the older copy and the newer copy would become the new master.

We don’t need to distinguish between master and copy. They only exist as separate “recipes” (sets of entries) in the database and .dop sidecar. No matter what we call those recipes, they are applied on displaying and export. And we could always distinguish the exported files by metadata or filename.

Update from testing:

  • PhotoLab versions 1 and 2 treat master and virtual copies as equals. Instead of labeling the images as “M” and “1”, they are labeled “1” and “2”. No matter whether I deleted the copy labeled “1” or “2”, the original file was not moved to the trash.
  • PhotoLab 3 introduced the master/copy paradigm.

And a lot asked them to restore the orignal system as it was seen it was a poor replacment.