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All of the work I did on RAW files has vanished - HELP!!!!

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22 comments

  • Rick Sammartino Community moderator

    You should be talking to On1 support about this. If there is a problem, they'll need to know about it. You can copy/paste from above to the request and then include the info requested here...

    https://on1help.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018405111-How-to-submit-a-problem-to-ON1-Tech-Support-A-Step-by-step-Guide

    Open a ticket here...

    https://on1help.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

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  • Tom Ellis

    Thanks Rick.  I did send a message to On1 support, and received a reply that due to the recent release of 2021.5 they are very busy so it might take awhile for me to get an answer.  Hopefully they will respond quickly.  But it has been my experience that often other users on forums can respond more quickly than official support, and this is a time-critical issue for me.  I have to know whether to start over from scratch on these jobs, meaning a LOT of hours, or if the data can be recovered.

    And if I do have to start over it will be using Lightroom, not On1.  Not going to get burned twice.

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  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Do you run backups on your system? If so you may be able to recover lost edits by restoring the .on1 sidecar files.

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  • David Tillett
    Great answers

    See my post https://on1help.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/4405127296653-Recovering-from-lost-edits-event for how I got out of this situation. Since recovering I have had no problems. 

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  • Tom Ellis

    Brian, I do run backups but the two shoots that I am most concerned with were just done in the last few days, and I had not backed up anything yet since I still have the original RAW files on the cards.  I do my first backup of RAW files after I have finished edits and made JPGs.  In this case I had not quite finished the edits, so had not yet done any backups.  But already a LOT of time spent on edits!

    I do have all of the sidecar files, but it is not clear to me whether the reason things went wrong is due to the sidecar files being wiped or something else.  I only relatively recently switched over to On1 from Lightroom, and I have been spending my time learning how to transition my editing style.  Never had a clue I'd have to worry about edit data disappearing.  And I have no idea how to tell if the sidecar files are now wiped or if the issue is something else entirely.  If you know of a way that I can check this I'd love to hear it. 

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  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Something I've noticed is at times the program will not display the badge that shows the files which have been edited. They don't appear to have been edited but the edits are still there. You can see in the Info field whether the edits are still there. If the Info field shows the edits but the preview does not they can usually be recovered by opening the file in the Editor, making a small change, then returning to the Browser. If necessary, you can then reedit to remove that change.

    If the Info field does not show the edits then they are gone. A restore from the .on1 files on backup will usually recover them.

    I run backups every night to clone my drives and I have a Time Machine for hourly incremental backups so I have multiple avenues for recovery.

    David Tillett's process is also a good one as it recovers the internal database too.

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  • David Tillett
    Great answers

    Tom, if you closed down On1 once you spotted the problem then it is likely that the sidecar files are ok, and it is just the database that has got corrupted. I think that the database takes precedence over sidecar files, so if there is a database entry for a file it doesn't look at the sidecar file, but if any change to the editing of a file takes place then the empty database entry overwrites the sidecar file.

    If you open a sidecar file in Textedit and you see lots of letters and numbers that don't make any sense then it is probably all ok since this is how On1 stores the edit data.

    If you have not got a system Time Machine backup then I suggest you try the second method in the post I linked to earlier. This will force On1 to recreate its database and then it will read in any sidecar files and restore the edits.

    By renaming the <user>/Library/Application Support/On1 folder it is still available and can be renamed back to the original one if the recovery doesn't work.

    Starting with a clean folder and database does mean that you lose any albums and any catalogued folders will need to be recreated which will take time but it sounds as though that may be of less concern than wanting to recover the edits.  My post gives details of how to restore presets etc from the renamed original folder so you don't have to recreate those. (If you have used albums then a trick is to set a keyword that links a photo to an album, then it is easier to select files that were in an album and create the replacement.)

    Just for clarity, as I had a Time Machine backup I was able to go back to just before the corruption happened and so did not actually recover my edits in the way I am suggesting. However, while trying to work out how best to recover I did start the process of using sidecars to repopulate the clean database and it worked.

    Good luck.

    (I am in Australia so only morning for me so I will be around for a while if you need any other help)

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  • Tom Ellis

    Brian, when you say "If the Info field does not show the edits then they are gone" do you mean that the sidecar files have been wiped?  If not, how do I do a restore of the .on1 files?  In my case all of the Info is now set to default.  I've been reading the User Guide but so far it has not been very helpful.

    One weird thing is that on the files where I created layers to change the sky, the thumbnail shows the edited file/image. But when I open the file in Edit mode the changes are all gone.  And when I open an old folder/shoot in Browse mode the thumbnails all initially show the changes, but they fairly quickly change back to the initial RAW file look.

     
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  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Yes, if there are no edits shown in the Info field then they are gone from the sidecar files. You can restore them by simply copying the .on1 and/or .xmp files from the backup drive to the place where the photo with the missing edits is stored. You can do this with Photo RAW still running. This is one place where I disagree with David's assessment that the internal database has precedence. I think the sidecars take precedence. Otherwise, moving an edited file to a different machine would wipe those edits rather than the sidecar updating the database on the new system.

    Something that has worked in the past to recover the edits that are still in the sidecar but not being shown is to move the file to a new folder in Photo RAW's Browser so the sidecars get moved too. The database gets updated from the sidecars in the new location and keeps that info when they get moved back to their original location.

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  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Have you tried deleting your settings? DO NOT RESET THE PROGRAM. Deleting settings just clears program state & preferences files to their defaults clearing any corruption that could be the cause of the problems. It's worth a shot.

    https://on1help.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360049641431-Delete-Settings-File

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  • Tom Ellis

    Unfortunately as I said earlier I do not have any backups, since I had not yet reached the point of my workflow where I make them.  That would have happened right after I created JPGs.  Frankly I never even considered the necessity of a backup at this stage of editing since I never had any issues like this with Lightroom.

    This is looking increasingly bad.  Deleting settings sounds quite extreme and not something that can be undone, but might be my final option.

    For now I think I will look further into David's suggestion.  I opened a few of the .on1 files in Textedit and there is a bunch of text there, so perhaps the info is still there and I just need a way to access it again. 

    I'm afraid that I am really not that great at figuring out things on my computer, and this kind of issue really leaves me lost.  I really appreciate all of your help, losing all this data and having to redo the editing would be a killer.  I sure wish I understood how/why this can happen so I can try to prevent it in the future.

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  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    Deleting settings can be undone easily by resetting your Preferences settings. That's all that gets reset, no internal databases or anything like that. AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT RESET THE PROGRAM! Resetting is more like David's recommendation to remove the ON1 folder from Application Settings. Resetting essentially does what David's process does. David's procedure allows for recovery though.

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  • David Tillett
    Great answers

    OK Brian, I have done some tests and stand corrected on my assumption that database takes precedence.

    I had based my assumption on the fact that when edits go missing and sidecars are intact they can be used to restore the edits, but do not do so automatically. This suggested to me that On1 didn't normally read sidecar files for files that are in the same location as they are in their database entries.

    But playing around with deleting and restoring the sidecar files of different versions of an image did result in sidecar version being used for the editing information.

    This leaves me even more confused since if this is normal behaviour why are sidecar files not being used to restore edits lost by the database corruption? It probably indicates that something is fundamentally wrong with the database and may be wise to do something like the two processes I suggested to either start a clean new database or get back to how it was before the corruption happened. Restoring edits to suspect database by moving files and their sidecar files might work in short-term but could still be issues with the database that will recur in the future. In fact I was concerned that there might have been something building up in the version of the database that I restored from Time Machine which would cause the edits to vanish again, but so far it is still working normally.

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  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    [W]hy are sidecar files not being used to restore edits lost by the database corruption?

    That is the $64K question. What the hell happens that causes this? I wish I knew.

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  • Tom Ellis

    OK, Brian, I'm going to go ahead and try deleting the settings.  Once I do this, do I then reset the settings to where I had them previously?  Or leave them in default?

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  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    You can reset them. In some cases, you may need to reset them. For instance, I have my Pictures folder on an external drive. Deleting the settings will revert the program's default location to the Pictures folder in my Home directory. I have to change that back. Same for the Scratch space and the PerfectBrowseCache locations since I have those on their own external drive.

    Other things are whether or not to show the tool labels, the outline color, all those things that don't really affect the program's operation, just how you like the interface to look.

    Honestly, I don't expect it to change things. I mentioned it to be thorough in our troubleshooting. When preferences files become corrupt, and it can happen to any program, it can cause the program to misbehave or even crash. By deleting them we can eliminate that as a possibility.

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  • Tom Ellis

    Deleted settings but no change.  Of course it can't be that easy!  But as you said it does eliminate one possibility.

     

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  • Tom Ellis

    Update time!  I decided to make copies of the RAW files from one of the weddings and see what happened if I then loaded it.  Surprise!  It loaded with the changes that I had made to the original set of files.

    Why this would happen I have no idea, and it really does not make any sense to me. As David noted, I found that when I opened the sidecar files in Textedit they were full of information, even though it looked like gibberish.  But it still makes no sense that one set of RAW files will not open correctly, while a duplicate of the same set seem to work perfectly.

    I am now quickly making my JPGs of the files that I have finished editing and then backing up everything to another drive.  Brian and David, thanks so much for your assistance.  If you had not been there giving advice and encouragement I would have ripped out even more hair as I agonized over the possibility of 6-8 hours of re-editing all those RAW files.

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  • David Tillett
    Great answers

    Tom, what I believe happens is that for some reason the database entries have edits cleared from them and for some reason do not then read the sidecar files, which seems to happen when the database is working normally.

    If you copy files and all their sidecar files to a new location or name then there is no database entry for them so On1 then reads the sidecar files which still contain the edits.

    It comes down to issues with the database misbehaving for some reason, and so far no one has come up with the trigger that causes the corruption. In my case I hadn't changed the setup for ages and wasn't doing anything that I had not done before, or that I could think of.

    Once you have made your edits secure I would still advise following my process for creating a new database. Your current one must still have some corruption in it, and it is possible this will rear its ugly head again in due course.

    As you have posted this in the Mac part of the forum I assume that you are running a Mac. I suggest that if you haven't done so that you look into using Time Machine backup to automatically back your disks up on a frequent basis. Even if the current problem is down to On1 misbehaving there is still the possibility of disks failing or getting corrupt themselves. Things are more reliable these days but it can still happen.

    Happy to help as not that much for me to do on a wet Sunday in locked down Sydney.

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  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    I concur. I would also recommend nightly backups of your full system even though you may not yet be finished editing and exporting.

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  • Tom Ellis

    Brian and David, thanks again for all your help.  I am on a Mac, and I am going to set up Time Machine as a backup for my photo hard drive.  Currently I keep all of my professional photo work on an external drive, which I back up manually whenever I add a new job.  The backup drive is only hooked up to the computer when a backup is being run to help prevent any nasties from sneaking in.  So far that has worked well for me, but perhaps I am not being neurotic/paranoid enough and having an auto backup is necessary.  Just need to work out exactly how I will do that.

    I do have some other questions related to Photo RAW that either/both of you could likely answer for me.  I have years of experience with Lightroom and have used On1 for a long time as well as a secondary tool, but have only recently made the shift to using Photo RAW as my primary editing tool, and there are some issues that have me confused.  But I don't want to screw up protocol!  Should I start a new thread, or is there a way that we can communicate outside the forum?

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  • Brian Lawson Community moderator

    The backup drive is only hooked up to the computer when a backup is being run to help prevent any nasties from sneaking in. That is my method as well. My nightly backup drive which covers both the internal SSD and the external drive where my photos and docs are stored remains disconnected until I go to bed at night. Only the Time Machine drive stays connected continuously.

    Should I start a new thread? Yes please.

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