During the last few weeks, I’ve seen the following error in Adobe Lightroom 3.
There I am, editing photos, minding my own business, and when I try to view a photo for editing, I get the error message you see above: “The file appears to be unsupported or damaged.”
When I try to view the file in the finder, I get the same error message, this time directly from the OS: “The file […] could not be opened. It may be damaged…”
Here’s my workflow:
- Shoot RAW
- Import RAW files as DNG into Lightroom (LR converts them on the fly)
- Process in LR
- Export as JPG or as needed
- Back up the catalog and check its integrity weekly
It’s pretty straightforward, and that’s the way I like it. I currently have about 85,000 photos in my LR library, whose catalog is stored locally on my MBP, with the files (DNG, RAW, JPG and TIF) residing on a Firewire Drobo.
Fortunately, the file corruption is only temporary, meaning there’s an error somewhere along the way:
- It could be Lightroom
- It could be the DNG file format (because I haven’t gotten the error with RAW or JPG files)
- It could be OS X: I wonder how much testing Apple did for 10.6.5 with volumes greater than 4TB
- It could be the Drobo: it’s a big volume (4.4TB) with lots of data that’s constantly being updated, lots of I/O traffic
I don’t know, and I hope someone reading this has an answer.
What fixes the error every time is quitting LR, ejecting the Drobo, cycling its power, mounting it, and starting LR. I’ve also tried just restarting LR, or just ejecting the Drobo, but those methods didn’t work.