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"The referenced image’s master has not been found." masters FOUND! #1
Gordon Shephard's picture
by Gordon Shephard
December 20, 2011 - 5:52pm

I've reconnected several thousand masters this evening after changing a directory name. Worked flawlessly except for 195 images that got the infamous “”The referenced image’s master has not been found.” badge (Yellow Triangle, Exclamation mark in center, Up and rightward point to the arrow on top of it)

The good (Great!) news is that I've found all of the missing images using Terminal and find.

They all have the following format:

Gordon-Shephards-MacBook-Air:~ shephard$ find . -name \*1044.[jJ]\*
./Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary/Masters/2011/03/09/20110309-173913/.importing.IMG_1044.JPG
./Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary/Previews/2011/03/09/20110309-173913/zImR0a+aS7axNMlScBkXAg/IMG_1044.jpg
./Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary/Previews/2011/03/09/20110309-173913/zImR0a+aS7axNMlScBkXAg/thumb_IMG_1044.jpg
Gordon-Shephards-MacBook-Air:~ shephard$ find . -name \*1044.[jJ]\* -exec ls -l {} \;
-rw------- 1 shephard staff 2404562 Feb 21 2011 ./Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary/Masters/2011/03/09/20110309-173913/.importing.IMG_1044.JPG
-rw-r--r-- 1 shephard staff 437612 Mar 9 2011 ./Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary/Previews/2011/03/09/20110309-173913/zImR0a+aS7axNMlScBkXAg/IMG_1044.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 shephard staff 38920 Mar 9 2011 ./Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary/Previews/2011/03/09/20110309-173913/zImR0a+aS7axNMlScBkXAg/thumb_IMG_1044.jpg
Gordon-Shephards-MacBook-Air:~ shephard$

So - other than manually copying these files out, and re-importing them, is there any “well known” approach to rescuing files that are stuck in “.importing” format?

The only files in my directory that have “.importing” are the ones that also have the “”“The referenced image’s master has not been found.”” badge (We should come up with an acronym for that - TRIMHNBF badge? - so clearly this is indicative of something that is “stuck”.

Thanks for any advice!

Gordon Shephard's picture
by Gordon Shephard
December 27, 2011 - 12:16pm

Joseph - Thanks - that did it. All files recovered and now sitting in the “Recovered Project.” Just to be safe, I copied the files out with the following command (from the /Users/shephard/Pictures/Aperture Library.aplibrary/Masters/2011/03 directory)

find . | egrep -i importing | xargs -n 1 cp {} /tmp/apimport/

I then relaunched Aperture with the command+option key held down, and chose “repair” (not rebuild) - and that was sufficient to move all of the files out of “importing” into the the Aperture Library proper.

Thanks again for a fantastic resource here at Aperture Expert!

Mark Kelly's picture
by Mark Kelly
January 1, 2012 - 5:36am


Am looking for how to reconnect moved referenced masters…is there a script or process to do this easily?

Had to move my masters folder to NAS after running out of space on local drive, and don’t fancy manually locating all 16000+ images :-(

Thanks for any help

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
January 1, 2012 - 8:38am


Go to the Photos view [screenshot], and select all pictures, then choose the Locate Referenced Files command in the File menu. Once you’ve selected one, click the Reconnect All button and any in the same file path will be reconnected.

If you changed file structure, well, you’re gonna have to point to each one individually I’m afraid. But hopefully you didn’t do that (at least not too much).

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PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
December 23, 2011 - 9:27am


kudos to you for finding them… that’s the first I’ve heard of this.

I’d hazard a guess that if you repaired or rebuilt the Aperture database (hold command-option on launch), you might find those images in a new “Rescued Items” project. However if you can access them, I’d copy (not move, but copy) them out, then try a repair. At least that way if it doesn’t show up as I’ve suggested, you’ll still be able to reimport them later.

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