My bother in law had a large iPhoto library (28k/200Gb) which was a converted long standing iPhoto Library. It contained a large number of ‘year’ folders containing Albums, which I assume had come across from iPhoto during the conversion to Photos. He had not turned on iCloud Photos.
I went over for a week from UK to New York to commission a new computer (iMac5K running 10.11.6) and to organise all his data and migrate it over, including his Photos library. All was well. Photos Library had all his photos and albums in tact.
Then on Oct 2nd we turned on iCloud Photos. I came back to UK, he went on holiday. Two weeks later all his albums had disappeared. Photos are all present but all “My Albums” had gone from his computer and iCloud.com.
Using Teamviewer, I restored the Photos library from a Time Machine backup made just before turning on iCloud Photos on Oct 2nd, and all was well again. All albums back. Before turning on iCloud again I cleared all the old Photos library out of iCloud. (This was a slow iterative process of deleting from the library and from ‘recently deleted’. After doing this storage usage in iCloud showed zero for photos and there no photos.
Then we turned on iCloud Photos again. Took a few days to upload the 27k/200Gb successfully. All Albums present on iMac and iCloud.com. Hurrah!
Now two weeks later, the albums have all disappeared again on his computer and iCloud.com.
What is happening!?
Concerns I have:
1. I am not personally familiar with iPhoto and wasn’t involved in his conversion of iPhoto to Photos over a year ago, but I am familiar with Aperture and when I converted my own large Aperture Lib to Photos all my Aperture projects appeared in their year folders in Photos. Question: is there something different about an iPhoto event when it becomes a Photos album, compared to an album created directly in Photos. After the first album disappearance I created a test album on iCloud.com. This has survived the latest disappearance of all albums.
2. If I do right click -> show package contents on his Photos Library there are some 27 folders and files in the package folder, with many mentions of iPhoto. If I do the same on my own Photos Library there are just 7 folders. My library was created from new, not an iPhoto conversion. His library has been repaired by alt+ctrl -> Repair without solving the album problem or changing the 27 items.
Current plan is to restore from backup again, but not turn on iCloud, which is not essential for him (he doesn’t make much use of its sync capabilities)
Any help much appreciated.