Wednesday, 3 April 2013

How to fix catalog conversion failure issues?

How to fix catalog conversion failure issues?

The troubleshooting steps mentioned in this blog will work fine for:
- Catalogs created in Adobe Photoshop Elements v5 or older.
- Catalogs created in any version of Adobe Photoshop Album.
- Converting catalogs in Photoshop Elements 7 or newer versions.

- Catalog conversion is done on Windows (this workaround is not valid for Mac).

Let us assume that we have a catalog named ‘My catalog.psa’ created in Adobe Photoshop Album starter edition. Now we want to convert this catalog to (say) Photoshop Elements 11. But while conversion, Organizer (sometimes) throw this error message saying:

Why this issue?
There can be multiple reason behind this issue. The most common of them is the presence of some corrupt files in original catalog. So in this blog what we are going to do is to find the corrupt files and delete them from cataolg.

How to resolve?
In case of catalog conversion failure, dismiss the error shown in Elements Organizer and follow steps-
1. Before starting create a copy of your catalog so that if something goes wrong, you have your original catalog with your. To do this, navigate to the catalog folder location. The location can be determined from Help->System Info' as shown in following figure:
Copy paste the catalog folder at same location.

2. Navigate to temp folder of your system. On Windows OS, type %temp% in address bar and temp folder will be opened.

3. Locate a text file named as pse-conversion-log_My catalog-1.txt as shown below:

4. Open this file in any text editor (I am using Notepad++). Scroll down this file to the end of document. The document will look like-
Notice the last line of document. It tells the filename (IMAG0275.cr2) along with its complete path. This is the culprit file which is causing catalog conversion failure.

5. Now launch the application which created the catalog (in our case it is Adobe Photoshop Album starter edition). Search for the file with name IMAG0275.cr2 (filename shown in last line of pse-conversion-log_My catalog-1.txt). Delete this file from the catalog.

6. Now try catalog conversion again. If it throws the same error again, it means there are some more culprit files in catalog. Isolate the culprit file and delete it from catalog using steps mentioned above.

Please leave your comments if you have any queries. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Any feedback on improving the quality/content of the blog is highly appreciated.

Cheers !!


  1. I think the above advice is incorrect, or if not incorrect then misleading. I had thousands of files with lines as indicated in the above yxy file, and that was not the problem. The problem was that I had some file names in the catalog for pictures that no longer existed on my hard drive. The pictures weren't corrupted, they were just missing. And there were not thousands of them. To fix the problem, list the files in Photoshop Album under File>Reconnect Missing Files. A window opens that lists all missing files. If pictures were moved to another directory, you can identify that directory for a whole group of pictures. Or, if you deleted pictures from your hard drive but not the Photoshop Album catalog, then you can delete them from the catalog (find them using the search by filename feature). Once I reconnected all missing files or deleted them from the catalog, then the conversion went smoothly.

  2. First of all a great thanks for commenting.

    Some clarifications:
    1. As stated in this post, this method is valid only if conditions mentioned in 'The troubleshooting steps mentioned in this blog will work fine for:'.
    2. You are correct that in the log file there will be thousands of filenames mentioned but the end of log file will appear as shown in figure. Essentially the last filename mentioned in the long list of filenames is culprit.
    3. Another thing here is - there can a number of factors due to which catalog conversing might file. It can be due to corrupted file, missing file, corrupted rendition, corrupted tag/album. Above blog mentions the 'most common cause and how to fix it' thing.
    4. You can't generalise your case. For example, just import five images in your PSA catalog. Delete one of them from hard drive. Now try to convert this catalog in PSE11. Generally it won't show catalog conversion failure and you will file your missing file to be present in your converted catalog as well.

    Please share your thoughts.


  3. Thank you for the response, Surendra.
    Turns out the conversion did not go smoothly. I thought that it had, but it had not. I had not been patient enough to wait for completion. All conditions you mention above are met. I have tried multiple times to convert, remove the last file in the converstion txt log file, and convert again. Each time a new file is listed at the end. Reading elsewhere on the web, it seems that another possibility is that any jpg files that were edited from their original files will have a problem converting. Since I do not have the original files (I removed them when I liked my edits), I cannot restore those edited files to their original state. There appears to be no way to identify all of the edited files, and I have probably hundreds of them in my album of more than 18,000 photos. Alas at this point it seems my only way of getting all of those photos into Elements 10 (or 11) is to import them from the files, and reattach all tags. For pictures where there is only one tag, this is relatively easy. But I have tons of pictures with multiple tags (the whole idea of tags, of course) so will have to painstakingly restore all of those tags. This has been an extremely frustrating exercise trying so many things to get this work, so if you have any other suggestions I would much appreciate them.

  4. As mentioned in #3, "there can a number of factors due to which catalog conversing might file. It can be due to corrupted file, missing file, corrupted rendition, corrupted tag/album. Above blog mentions the 'most common cause and how to fix it' thing.". This blog holds good if this issue is due to corrupted files.

    I may help you in resolving this issue but for that I need your catalog db file (path can be determined from 'Help->system Info->Catalog details') to investigate the issue. Could you please share this file (either mail it or share it via drop box)? Please let me know if you are unable to locate or share the db file.


  5. Mine email id is:

  6. Great help. Thanks a lot. Could fix my Album Starter catalog by just deleting 5 crappy out of some 2000 pictures!
    All categories, tags and captions got converted.


  7. All seemed to go well based on this post: I found and fixed many dozens of files in my 16,000+ database. Then the conversion process seemed to walk smoothly beyond 80% or so -- until it stalled again. The log file now says:

    --- tag processing - collection and version set ordering ---
    setting collection a:648 order = a:10952 a:10960 a:10968 a:10976
    runtime_error, unable to set order on collectionsetting collection a:1531 order = a:112381 a:59467 [and then a LOT of a:numbers] runtime_error, unable to set order on collection

    Any ideas on how to fix that?

    1. Can you please share your catalog with me? I can give it a try at my end. You can share your catalog a pse11test [at] gmail [dot] com

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you! When I got the conversion error I discovered the offending file had the word "edited" in the file name. I removed it from the catalog and ran the conversion again. Again the offending file had "edited" in the file name, so I did a search for all files with "edited" in the file name. There were 17 files that I deleted from the catalog and all 11,000 pictures converted perfectly!