How to access database backups?

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    Bruce Tracy

    As far as I can tell, you can't restore from a backup created by Luminar even though there is an option for it in the File->Catalog menu. It won't allow you to select a file to restore. Holding the option key down will not work.

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    David Tillett

    I have just successfully restored from a full catalogue backup that I had made manually earlier on. The process allowed me to select the backup file and the name/location that it was to be restored to. Once the restoration was completed Luminar switched to the restored catalogue.

    The question I was raising was to do with the new automatic database backup introduced in 3.0.2. I can't find any reference to this in the on-line user guide, perhaps not yet updated to 3.0.2, but I am sure that during the soft launch there were comments from Skylum about loading holding the Option key down to allow you to roll back the database to an earlier version using one of these backups, and that I at least tried this and got the selection screen. Now it crashes.

    So before I bug report this I was seeking confirmation that my memory of accessing these new database backups was correct.

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    Bruce Tracy

    Yes David, my response was addressing the new automatic database backup within 3.0.2. The new version creates these backups, but won't let you access them.

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    David Tillett

    It is holding the option key when starting Luminar that gives a list of the available database backups. This has just worked for me again! Now need to bug report the crashes.

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi Dave,

    I'm sorry to hear that the restore process is not working correctly for you. Please email us at support@skylum.com with the following:

    Please send us your catalog:

    1. Locate your Luminar Catalog folder. The default location is %username%\Pictures\. If you specified a custom location for your catalog, search your custom location.
    2. Right-click the Luminar Catalog folder > click Compress and wait for the process to finish.
    3. Send us the .zip file you created in Step 2. We recommend a free service WeTransfer for that.

    If you can recall, it would help us a lot if you could tell us which folders were added to your Luminar Catalog and where they were located: on an internal or external drive. You can make a screenshot of the filesystem, for example.

     

    If your copy of Luminar is crashing, send us crash reports:

    1. Open Finder.
    2. Click Go in the top menu > click Go to Folder.
    3. Paste the following path: ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports and click Go.
    4. In the folder that opens find the most recent files with Luminar 3 in their names and attach them to your email.

    In order for us to directly track this issue, please also send us your Hardware UUID:

    1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen.
    2. Click About This Mac.
    3. In the window that opens, click System Report.
    4. In the window that opens, make sure Hardware is selected in the column on the left.
    5. Locate the Hardware UUID string, copy it, and paste it into your email.
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    David Tillett

    Hi Angela,

    It has now started working again, so I am not sure if current catalogue would be of any use.

    To clarify the issue was that Luminar would crash when I tried to load it with Option key depressed before it offered the list of available backups, so I doubt if actual folders etc are an issue but more likely linked to the actual database backups themselves and/or access to them.

    I did bug report the crashes and submitted the crash report. 

    The response indicated that the automatic backups are now what are being recommended. This seems wrong to me and I have just sent this reply to support, can you give any more clarification?

    "I am now confused about the backup mechanisms in Luminar and the suggestions as to how to use them.

     
    As far as I can see the automatic backups are recording changes since the last backup in a folder within the catalogue folder, but first backup is only since the upgrade to 3.0.2, so edits made before then are not included in Automatic Backup, so a full backup is still needed to recover from a full catalogue loss.
     
    Also what is the point of keeping the automatic backup folder in the actual catalogue folder? If disk is lost then so is the backup.
     
    I spent 40 years of my working life supporting computer services from large mainframes to PC clusters. The normal approach to backups was to take regular full backups with incremental backups to account for changes between these full backups. And then to separate backups from the information being backed up so that less likely to lose both at the same time, 
     
    It seems to be that your suggestions are going against years of best practices in maintaining backups.
     
    While the new mechanism seems to be a good step in guarding against database corruption I don’t believe that the current implementation negates the need for other forms of backup, either by manual creation of full catalogue backups within Luminar or by external system backups such as Time Machine.
     
    Please can you clarify the various backup mechanisms and how they can be used to recover from a full disk failure on the disk holding the catalogue. "
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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi David,

    Thanks for sending that info to support. One of our techs will be in touch as soon as possible.

    My understanding (and I'll clarify this with our engineers) is that the built in, automatic backups are a safeguard against database corruption.

    The best protection against a total loss of data (and this applies to all of your data, not just photos and Luminar catalog) is to have 3 copies of everything, and at least one of those copies offsite.

    My personal workflow is using Time Machine to back up my internal hard drive and external drives where my photos and other data are stored. I also use Backblaze to automatically backup everything to the could as my offsite option. Thus I have my primary copy, my Time Machine copy, and by Backblaze copy.

    I'll get back to you the I get more clarification from our team. In the meantime, I hope that helps.

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    David Tillett

    Hi Angela,

    Your approach makes sense but seems to be at odds with the first response I got from Support.

    This said

    "Currently, we do suggest using the automatic back-up function with the help of Option Key rather than creating them manually and opening them. 

    You can make some preferences regarding how ofter they are created in Luminar 3 > Preferences."

    Looking at what has been recorded in Backup folder in the Luminar catalogue it only contains information since the upgrade, so is not backing up all the previous edits. Also there is a maximum size preference which suggests that old entries may get deleted when this limit is reached.

    So I think that the appropriate approach is to continue to take manual backups from time to time, and to a different disk from the catalogue, and then use the automatic backup to bring things back up to date. Of course restoring from Time Machine is another option but might be more of a fiddle working out which version of the catalogue to restore.

    I look forward to further clarification from Support.

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