My iPhoto library became corrupted and no longer opened in iPhoto. (No, unfortunately I don't have a backup on Time Machine or other.) I thought the 26,000 photos were lost (since the iPhoto Library Package "shrunk" from 85 GB to 1 GB) but they have been found in a separate "lost+found" folder (it was found in the root directory next to "Applications" and "Library"). My question is about how to start over with iPhoto.

Here is what I've done so far: I've started copying folder by folder from Finder to an external hard drive, and deleting the "corrupted" images as they are identified. All the photos are scattered in a complicated hierarchy of folders with the parent folder names being successive years, like this:

2001 - then under that - 01 (there are 10-15 of these types of folders) - then under that - 01 (also 10-15 of these) - then under that - 20130101-132905 (there are 50-60 of these types of folders)

This goes on and on through 2014.

Do I need to keep these folders intact?

What I want to do is save all my photos to my hard drive, then wipe my laptop clean and install OSX Mavericks, then re-install iPhoto, re-import all the images, and start over with making events, albums and face recognition.

Back to the folder structure, within the "lost+found" folder there is a duplicate set of folders with the same names, but along with the image files, there are more files with the same name but with "faces01" and such tacked on the end. What I understand this to be has to do with the facial recognition in iPhoto. Do I need to keep all of those image files too if I'm willing to just start over?? My reasoning is that since these appear to be just a bunch of files and no longer an iPhoto Library Package, then iPhoto would simply recognize those "face" images as new photos and I don't want that.

In addition, there are some files like iMovie Data, AlbumData, Photo Database, and a folder called Segments. Do I need to keep those if I'm happy with just starting over?

I would just as soon keep ONLY the images and simply re-import them into iPhoto once I get my laptop running good again, but I thought I'd post on here and get any suggestions or advice before doing so.

1 Answer 1


If you are fine with starting over with albums and face recognition, don't worry about the folder structure. The metadata on the photos (assuming they are JPEGs) will even give you back a lot of events. (iPhoto makes events automatically using the timestamps).

I think face-recognition and keywords and ratings and all of that is going to be gone, but just save the image files you want to keep and forget about the rest.

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