guenno PRO 7:09pm, 20 December 2007
Have you lost your original frames? I was recently able to recover some of my fotos from the lightroom catalogue.

1. Use Lightroom to export your photos into a new catalogue
2. Make a search on all files with the endig .NOINDEX in the catalogue folder
3. Copy these files in a separate folder, e.g. c:/restore
4. Download the software BitmapRip (link)
5. Place the executable into the folder with the previews (c:/restore)
6. Open a command prom and navigate to the folder
7. Type " for %1 in (*.noindex) do bitmaprip %1 " and hit return

Each .NOINDEX File contains several previews.

Enjoy your photos.

Good luck,
Alexander Kiel PRO 10 years ago
Thanks for the tip Guenther.

I'm sorry that you lost some of your original photos. Perhaps you could start an thread on how you lost your originals, so that the others could learn by your experience.
यश 10 years ago
wow! but the photos you get back might depend on the kind of previews you rendered in lightroom... if you rendered minimal previews... you'd only get very small or bad photos back... right?
guenno PRO 10 years ago
Alexander, the way I lost some photos, was that I simply forgot to download them from my notebook, but I had to clean the computer. After a couple of weeks, I noticed that some photos are missing. Recovery software only brought back to life about 10 percent.

yashrg, you are right. However, LR renders previews dynamically. If you have zoomed into your image, for example during an edit session, a better, usually 1:1 preview is rendered by LR.

Another problem is that the metadata is not embedded, so you have to manually locate and join the recovered photos to the catalog entry.
Tim Johnson [deleted] 10 years ago
Hi guenno - I'm in the unfortunate position of trying to put your programe into action !

I have followed the process described however once I get the programme file in with the extracted preview I'm stuck - as I can't implement your stages 6 & 7. Either my computer knowledge is lacking or I'm doing something wrong - where do I type the final instruction ?

I can drag the separate files onto the programme Icon and it delivers six jpegs - excellent - but I have several thousand to do and don't want to drag them individually.

thanks tim
guenno PRO 10 years ago
Hello Tim,

How do you open a command prompt in Windows XP? (step 6)

Click Start
All programs
Comand promt

Then "navigate" to the directory you created, with the previes and the excecutable. Use "cd", which stands for "change directory" and the directory name to change to a directory below the current one: For example "cd Photos". To go up in the hierarchy type "cd.." = cd plus two dots.

Continue with step 7.
And if you haven't read the other thread here on the same subject, look into Tim Arme's (author of Image Ingester) LRViewer.
Tim Johnson [deleted] 10 years ago
thanks folks
Exotibus 10 years ago
Hi guenno,
Thanks a lot for this mini tutorial. I could recover some thumbnails with your help (I flushed the CRW files too soon... my bad)
Silver Paul 8 years ago
LR3 beta update.

win 7, command prompt, open Run, enter 'CMD' (works in XP too)

Thanks for this, just recovered some lost files with your help.

Worthy of note, .noindex files are renamed .lrprev in Lr 3 beta.

Not an easy recover but got them. thanks again :) (didn't think i was ever going to need my 20 year old DOS skills again, funny, but we were discussing this lately)
Jannemans_ 8 years ago
I've been trying this on both windows 7 and windows XP, both systems give me 'BitmapRip stopped working'....
MishaMsk 8 years ago
try this plugin
I`ve used it recently with one of my students on WinXp and everything worked well.
BussyboyPerth 8 years ago
Just used this today on a Lr3 beta 2, noting the change of file names mentioned by Silver Paul, all worked well.

Another tip is to rename all the files after you copy them to make management a lilttle easier - select all the .lrprev files, press F2, type in a new name [e.g. "image"] and all the files will rename and index [e.g. "image (1).lrprev", "image (2).lrprev"...]
joleih 8 years ago
Help, please. I can't get steps 6 & 7 to work either. I have NO DOS skills....sorry. My drive that the folder is on is "G". When I open command prompt, it is set for C:\Documents and Settings\Jolei>
When I hit enter to get to a new line, it just repeats that line. Please tell me exactly what to type/hit...everything please. My lightroom previews (15,000) have been renamed as stated above and are in G:\ExtractedLightroomJPGfiles along with the Bitmap Rip executable file. Thanks so much!
try this, at the C:\ prompt type:


which should then produce a G:\ prompt, at which type:

cd \ExtractedLightroomJPGfiles\

which should produce G:\ExtractedLightroomJPGfiles\, at which:

then type the macro in step 7, note leave out the " signs.

If that doesn't do it, let us know what you see when you type those commands
joleih 8 years ago
That did it! Thanks a million!
Credit goes to Guenno and Marco, but I'm glad you're squared away. Hope you were able to recover something useful.
Pozland PRO 6 years ago
I don't suppose there is any updated software to go along with this? Would certainly be helpful...
MarcoPon Posted 6 years ago. Edited by MarcoPon (member) 6 years ago
Seen some traffic on my site coming from here! :)

I'm delighted to see that my humble utility is proving useful!
areohbeecee 5 years ago
Plugins which automate this:

rc's Preview Exporter
jf's Preview Extractor

Please report to author any discrepancies in maximum size preview recovered if you try either of these alternatives.

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