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  1. #1
    Cannot open older iPhoto content
    I wanted to manually retrieve a photo from my external HD. HD>backups>my MacBook>date of backup>Mac HD>users>iPhoto Library. A window opens to indicate "the items cannot be added to your iPhoto library because the file format is not supported by Photos". I then opened Photos Library, which went through a repair procedure. I could then scroll through the old photos, but while scrolling through the library, I found some photos are missing... randomly: one here, one there. I am certain of this. Any explanation for the disappearance??

  2. #2
    Cannot open older iPhoto content
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I really need to read the post before I leap to reply. Let me try again.
    Jake

  3. #3
    Cannot open older iPhoto content
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    OK, I'm slightly confused. You seem to be trying to use Finder to go to a drive somewhere that has backups from some application and you want to use either iPhoto or Photos. But you've mixed the terms up so much that it doesn't really make sense to me. For example:
    the items cannot be added to your iPhoto library because the file format is not supported by Photos
    iPhoto and Photos are two different applications, so there is no way for the system to give that response. It uses both iPhoto and Photos, which is illogical.

    Then you say you opened Photos, ran a repair (on what?) and could see the old photos (In the iPhotos database? WHere? What photos?)

    So, what application made the backups, what version of the OS are you running, what is the "HD" in the path name you gave, which are you using iPhoto or Photos and can you explain a bit more carefully what is happening? BTW, if the backup was from TM, you should never, never, never use Finder to get into the backup. If you ran a repair on a file inside a TM backup, you may have damaged the integrity of the backup completely. Files inside TM backups are NOT normal files, but customized links that are chained to create the backup and messing with them can have catastrophic consequences.
    Jake

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    OK, I'm slightly confused. You seem to be trying to use Finder to go to a drive somewhere that has backups from some application and you want to use either iPhoto or Photos. .
    Thank you for your reply, and I apologize for the confusion.

    Running High Sierra 10.13.2. I will start by revealing that my new macBook cannot access the TM backups from my 2009 MacBook. That was a subject of another post, and has been scrutinized and confirmed by Mac Support technicians.

    But to return to the photos: As I have determined that there is no choice but to try to retrieve my various TimeMachine-saved files manually, I proceeded as indicated in my initial post: connecting the external HD (the TM from my old laptop) to my laptop, click on the external HD icon on the desktop> Backups folder >etc., etc.>Pictures>iPhoto Library. At this point, a window opens saying "Cannot import items. These items cannot be added to your library because file format is not supported by Photos".

    So next, I go back< to Pictures, then choose>the "Photos Library" folder. Having clicked on this folder, the iPhoto application opens and says a repair is being performed (I assume the repair is being done to the photos on the external HD, to make them compatible with the new version of iPhoto??).
    The old photos are then accessible in iPhoto. But with a few photos missing... which is the part which most mystifies me!

    Hope. this is a bit more clear!
    Last edited by galvinize; 01-16-2018 at 12:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Cannot open older iPhoto content
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I'm still slightly confused because you again mixed up iPhoto and Photos when you said:
    At this point, a window opens saying "Cannot import items. These items cannot be added to your library because file format is not supported by Photos".
    and then
    So next, I go back< to Pictures, then choose>the "Photos Library" folder. Having clicked on this folder, the iPhoto application opens and says a repair is being performed (I assume the repair is being done to the photos on the external HD, to make them compatible with the new version of iPhoto??).
    The old photos are then accessible in iPhoto. But with a few photos missing... which is the part which most mystifies me!
    What's confusing is are you running Photos or iPhoto? You still mention both.

    For education, when you look at the TM backup in Finder, as you said you did, the "files" you see there are NOT files, but symbolic links to the files. That's how TM works. When you first backup your system everything is literally copied over to the backup drive. At the next backup, TM looks for those files which have changed, and copies ONLY those over, but then creates symbolic links in the new backup the the files in the original backup. At the third backup, it repeats that process. At that point the backup has some original files with two symbolic links to them chained together, some files that changed in the first backup with symbolic links in the third backup and some files that are in the original backup with symbolic links in the second, but a new version in the third. And each backup has other NEW files that were first created in either the second or third backup. Confused? Look at these three lines:

    A B C <-- original backup with files A, B and C
    A' B' C+ <-- first backup (the letters with the "'" are not files, but links to the original A files, C+ is a new version of C)
    A+ B' C+' <-- Now we have a new A version, but a link to the not-so-new C+ file. The B file is unchanged from the first backup.

    This use of links continues through all of the TM backups. What that means is that although Finder shows a file, what is really there may be the head of a very long chain of symbolic links all the way back to the original backup. And when Photos tries to import what you point to, if it's a link, it may not work because it's not a real file, but a symbolic link. I don't know that for certain, but given the messages you see, that makes some sense.

    Let me ask, have you tried Migration Assistant to migrate from the TM Backup to the new laptop? Not TM, but Migration Assistant? I wonder if MA could get the old iPhotos library imported for you from the TM backup, and from there import to Photos. MA can read TM backups (assuming your poking around hasn't destroyed the integrity of the backup linkages).
    Jake

  6. #6
    backups 2.jpeg

    Thank you for the explanation about how TM works. I gather that if I want to find a photo (or any other saved file), it is best to go to the backup which was done right after its creation?

    As for iPhotos and Photos, I have attached a screenshot which shows "iPhoto Library" and "Photos Library": both within the Pictures folder.

    I will see how Migration Assistant works.

  7. #7
    Cannot open older iPhoto content
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    No, I don't think you should be meddling in the TM backups at all with Finder. Either use TM from the old laptop, or MA from the new.

    As for having two libraries, Photos can normally import an iPhoto database into Photos library. Without information on the files, all I can see are icons, so I cannot tell if there is any content to those libraries. Is that iPhotos library the one you have tried to import into Photos? Are you finding images in the Photos database? Given everything you have done, it's still hard to figure out what's what. Just out of curiosity, can you open Photos, then Preferences and on the General tab see the location of the library it is using? Is it the library in the image you posted or something else?
    Jake

  8. #8
    Both Photos Library and iPhotos Library contain images ( though they are not identical as they are 12.95 GB and 14.82 GB respectively). Using Get Info, iPhoto is described as a "Migrated Photo Library" while Photos Library is "Photos Library". Preferences indicates the library is located in the External HD.

    This incident (and your explanation) have been useful in understanding Time Machine, though I am still puzzled by the disappearing photos (not to be found in any of my backups).

  9. #9
    Cannot open older iPhoto content
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    The missing I cannot explain. Perhaps they were damaged in the iPhoto library and simply not imported into Photos. The difference in size may or may not be the images, as the two apps store the data differently.
    Jake

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