Repair Aperture 3's Library and Database

Aperture 3 Troubleshooting - Using Aperture 3 Library First Aid
Aperture 3 Library First Aid.

Aperture 3 provides a Library First Aid utility for troubleshooting and repairing common issues with image libraries and Aperture's database. Because library and database corruption can prevent Aperture 3 from launching, you will need to invoke a sequence of startup keys to access the Aperture 3 Library First Aid utility

Of course, we should all be using a backup process to ensure our image library and database are protected and can be recovered at any time.

After all, your image library probably represents years of accumulated pictures that would be difficult to replace if they ever became corrupt. Apple's Time Machine is a great choice for backups, but any of the leading backup applications will work equally well.

Before you try restoring from a backup to fix issues with Aperture 3, give Aperture's Library First Aid tool a chance to repair any inconsistencies.

Using Aperture Library First Aid Utilities

Aperture 3 includes a new tool called Aperture Library First Aid that can correct the most common library and database issues Aperture 3 users are likely to encounter. To access the tool, do the following:

  1. Quit Aperture 3 if it is currently open.
  2. Press and hold the option and command keys while you launch Aperture 3.

The Aperture Library First Aid utility will launch, and provide three different repair processes you can perform.

Repair Permissions: Examines your library for permissions problems and repairs them. This requires Administrator access.

Repair Database: Checks for inconsistencies in your library and repairs them.

Rebuild Database: Examines and rebuilds your database. This option should be used only when repairs to the database or permissions do not address library problems.

You should consider using both Repair Permissions and Repair Database whenever you need to run the Aperture Library First Aid utility. The third option, Rebuild Database, should only be used as a last resort. You should have a current backup of your Aperture 3 library and database before you use the Rebuild Database option.

Repairing Aperture 3 Permissions and Repairing the Aperture 3 Database

  1. Quit Aperture 3 if it is currently open.
  2. Press and hold the option and command keys while you launch Aperture 3.
  3. Select Repair Permissions.
  4. Click the 'Repair' button.
  5. Provide your Administrator credentials, if needed.

Aperture Library First Aid will run the Repair Permissions command, and then launch Aperture 3.

Repairing the Aperture 3 Database

  1. Quit Aperture 3 if it is currently open.
  2. Press and hold the option and command keys while you launch Aperture 3.
  3. Select Repair Database.
  4. Click the 'Repair' button.

Aperture Library First Aid will run the Repair Database command, and then launch Aperture 3. If Aperture 3 and your libraries seem to be working correctly, you're done, and can continue using Aperture 3.

Rebuild Aperture Database

If you're still having a problem with Aperture 3, you may want to run the Rebuild Database option. Before you do, make sure you have a current backup, in the form of a Time Machine or third-party application backup. At a bare minimum, you should have a current Vault, Aperture's built-in backup of image masters. Remember: Vaults do not include Reference Masters you may have stored outside of Aperture's library system.

  1. Quit Aperture 3 if it is currently open.
  2. Press and hold the option and command keys while you launch Aperture 3.
  3. Select Rebuild Database.
  4. Click the 'Repair' button.

Aperture Library First Aid will run the Rebuild Database command. This can take a little while, depending on the size of the library and its database. When finished, Aperture 3 will launch. If Aperture 3 and your libraries seem to be working correctly, you're done, and can continue using Aperture 3.

If you're still having problems, see the additional Aperture 3 troubleshooting guides below.

Published: 3/13/2010

Updated: 2/11/2015

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