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Important: Read Before Installing iPhoto ‘11

On 20 October 2010, Apple released iLife ’11, which includes a major update to iPhoto. You can read about iPhoto’s new features in iLife ’11 Updates Three of Its Apps, but, before you install, you need to know that many users have had serious problems with the upgrade that have resulted in some users losing their entire photo collections.

The problem seems related to the length of time needed to update larger iPhoto libraries. In some cases, this update process can take hours or even days, and it is the act of force-quitting iPhoto in the middle of the update that triggers the data loss. Liz Castro describes her encounter with the problem in WARNING!!! iPhoto 11 Erases ENTIRE iPhoto Libraries.

If you have purchased iLife ’11 but have not yet installed iPhoto, you should either avoid the upgrade or make a complete backup of your current iPhoto library before you install iPhoto ’11. The internal version number of the problematic iPhoto application is 9.0; you can see the version number by selecting the application in the Finder and choosing File > Get Info.

Apple has released an update to iPhoto ’11 (9.0) to eliminate this dangerous bug and to restore calendar support, which was missing in the initial release. The 177.33 MB iPhoto 9.1 updater is available here. It updates iPhoto ‘11 to version 9.1. For more, see iPhoto ’11 9.1 Brings Calendars Back.

Apple also has issued a support document that both describes the problem fixed by the 9.0.1 and 9.1 updaters and provides advice for how to avoid the problem.

As with previous iLife applications, updates to iPhoto ’11 are also made available via Software Update. To receive the update, you will need to install the iPhoto ’11 (version 9.0) application on your Mac, but not run it, in order for Software Update to detect it.

Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)