Zombie Folders

Recently I decided to reorganize my folders. Since you can’t do anything with a folder from the Mac version of PL6, I did this with the Finder. Everything seemed fine - PL6 just read the new folder tree and all the corrections were still there.

Then today I did a keyword search. I found many, many instances of images that could not be found. That was when I remembered a problem I reported previously with PL4 (Getting PL4 to "forget" a folder) and had forgotten about. PL6 recognizes the images in the folder where I moved it to, but it thinks the folder is still in its old location and complains that it can’t find the images in it. The problem can be fixed by right-clicking on one of the “missing” images, selecting the option to locate the file, navigating to the new location of the containing folder, and selecting the image. That fixes it for all of the images in that folder. Problem is, this is very laborious and I moved almost every folder I have.

I tried re-indexing to no avail. PL6 doesn’t seem to have a way to “forget” a folders old location.

So I am thinking of trying something drastic. What if I were to just remove the current PL6 database and reindex again? I think that the .dop sidecar files in my folders would allow the index to be rebuilt without my losing any important info, tight? Has anyone ever done this? And if so, is there just one or two of the three database files I should remove, or should I do all three?

You should never change the folders outside of PL, otherwise you will have problems with “zombies” files.
If you use the Side-Car *.dop and *.xmp files you can delete the database and redo an indexing then.
But beware the projects are only saved in the database, they will be lost.
If you are afraid of making a mistake, you can rename the current database file and put it back if necessary.

Thanks. The problem is that with the Mac version, you can’t change a folder within the program. Can’t even change its name, much less move it. What I should have done is to create a new folder in the place I wanted to move the original folder, used Photolab to move the images to the new folder, and then deleted the old folder with the Finder. I think that would have avoided the problem, since PL would know that images were no longer in the original folder. It’s messy, and I can’t believe DxO hasn’t fixed it. I reported this as a problem back in PL4 days.

Luckily I don’t have many projects.

Removing the database and reindexing fixed the problem. As well as losing my projects, I noticed I also lost the editing history for all images. Not a big deal, but something to know for anyone who wants to do the same thing.

I have to say, this really annoys me. I’ve been vacillating between DxO and Lightroom for about three years now, and this fragility of DxO tends to push me again toward Lightroom. With Lightroom, I can rename and move folders within the program, and if I do something in the Finder that results in a zombie folder, I simply right click on the folder and select Remove. As I said, I reported this problem to DxO back in the PL4 days; after all this time it’s still not fixed.

I reorganized my folders on mac because of performance problems.I had my folders organized in year-folders, but they did hold up to 15000 Images+xmp+dop etc. It took PL6 VERY long to show the folder contents.
Changing to month subfolders in the finder helped somewhat but now i got missing images displayed.
Deleting the database deleted all projects and projectfolders and all edit histories.
The indexing on mac is very slow and the missing folderediting in mac pl6 is poor engineering.
Obviously you have to plan the folderstrucuture primary and should not change it Form the DXO viewpoint.

One can still reorganize a folder structure without trashing the database. The process is fairly annoying, but it should deliver, using the following steps:

  1. create the target structure, be it as a new set of folders and subfolders, be it by changing an existing structure
  2. open PhotoLab, select a target folder, then select a source folder. This makes DPL know about the folders and their contents.
  3. in PhotoLab, select the images that must be moved or copied and drag them to the target folder. Use modifier keys to copy instead of move or vice versa.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until done. The database should now have a complete catalog of all images in their target folders…an a few zomby images that can be “trashed” along the way by deleting them in PhotoLab.

I’ve tested the procedure successfully a while ago with DPL on macOS, but it was a small scale test, but did not check if projects and history were kept alive or not.

I strongly advise to test the procedure in your environment and proceed in several sessions…and to have a proven backup of all things involved.

What you describe should work, platypus. It’s what I concluded I should have done when I rearranged my folders. It’s annoying that the Mac version does not allow movement or even renaming of folders from within PL.