Most of you know I killed my laptop a few weeks ago with the shower nozzle(this should serve as a cautionary tale to all - do not watch netflix while scrubbing your shower even if your laptop is "far enough" away from the water). I was able to get it repaired after a bit. When I received the computer back, Dave and I made sure to back up the files. The biggest issue was the photos. Some had been sporadically backed up, but we wanted everything covered. So Dave copied everything to an external drive.
The computer seemed to be working well. I upgraded to Mac OS Lion and played with the new changes. I noticed that my computer now had a few quirks which had nothing to do with Lion. First the optical disk drive would not work. Secondly the fan never shut off, and when running sounded like my laptop could take off at any moment. It was loud. So back to the Apple store I went. The tech, or should I say Genius, took a look at my laptop and advised me that it needed to be sent for service again. The drive would be replaced and the fan issue addressed. It would be covered by the previous repair. I handed over the laptop and waited. Soon I received an email asking that I contact Apple Depot about my repair. I knew this could not be good. I was informed that engineering wanted to examine my computer. Could they send me a new one? After a bit of discussion I consented. All my data would be lost, but the machine would work. I felt comfortable since my photos were saved and that was my biggest concern.
When my new machine arrived, I feet to work reloading my photos. I imported the iPhoto library and waited. The process took forever. When it was done, I had almost 60,000 photos. I noticed I had many duplicates and some were just faces from the bigger pictures. All of my folders were gone. UGH! It was a mess. I couldn't even open iPhoto without my system becoming unresponsive. I imported my newest photos and tried updating my blog with photos from Benton's birthday and a quilt I have been making. It was so slow. I knew something was wrong.
Enter the interwebs. After a quick search, I realized I moved the library in the wrong manner. I now had a photo for every thumbnail, face, modification, etc.
So, I deleted the file from my Pictures folder. I moved the entire Library to the trash. Whoosh. gone.
I then connected our external drive to my laptop. I opened the picture folder on the drive and found my photo library backup. I dragged that iPhoto library into the pictures folder on my laptop to make a copy. Voila. My old iPhoto library was restored. I now had my photos, folders and groupings.
Except those few I had imported to the old library. The 20 or so photos from the week. The photos of the quilts I am finishing for my brothers. The photos of the kiddos at swimming lessons. The photos of Benton's 4th birthday. Huge, heavy sigh. I never delete the photos off my memory card. Just ask my husband. It drives him crazy. I have 1585 photos on the card, but not these photos. For some reason I selected "delete photos from camera" when I imported them. They are gone. I tried retrieving them with exif untrasher. No luck.
So in the future do not import the library when you change machines. Copy it into the pictures folder. Do not delete photos from your camera's memory card unless you are certain they are saved. And finally make good memories and live in the moment. The photos may not remain to remind you.