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Aperture can't rebuild thumbnails #1
mrkgoo's picture
by mrkgoo
January 17, 2014 - 9:07pm

This is really bad. I restored my Mac from Time Machine, after which everything seems fine. 


However, Time Machine doesn’t keep copies of the thumbnails. This is fine, normally after opening Aperture after a restore, it will sit there and rebuild all the thumbnails (I have 50,000 images). But now, on MAvericks running Aperture 3.5.1, it will rebuild the thumbnails, but after about 1,000 images or ~10 minutes, the activity monitor will show all processor usage become RED (showing system processor use), and the thumbnail building hangs.

At that point I cannot even quit Aperture, and am forced to Force Quit Aperture. REstarting Aperture this point is futile, and it will bounce in the dock - I need to restart my mac. 


After that Aperture runs fine again, but will continue its rebuild of thumbnails, only to freeze after the same amount/time.


I’ve tried repairing permissions on the Aperture Library, and repairing the library (not a rebuild - last I attempted this with Aperture 3.4+, it deleted all faces database and crashes out).



mrkgoo's picture
by mrkgoo
January 18, 2014 - 2:55am

For the record I’ve been trying increasingly crazy things.


This time, after a Time Machine restore, I additionally reinstalled OS X Mavericks on top AND reinstalled Aperture AND trashed the preference file for Aperture. It lasted much longer, but eventually hung again with the above symptoms. 

Walter Rowe's picture
by Walter Rowe
January 18, 2014 - 5:52am

What are the specs of your machine? It could be running out of physical resources. Aperture is a very memory hungry application. I had to upgrade all my machines to 16GB of RAM to avoid significant performance issues. If your system is older, Aperture may be overpowering it from a CPU perspective too. If your system and Library are portable, maybe make an appointment at your nearest Apple Genius Bar and let them poke around a bit.

mrkgoo's picture
by mrkgoo
January 18, 2014 - 8:53am

My system is a 2012 iMac, 8GB RAM, quad core i5.

The hang is very strange. The system takes up 25% of CPU usage, but no process is taken up. When I force quit aperture, aperture remains on the process list, but at zero usage (don’t know if this is normal), and the processor at 25% remains. This, and Aperture cannot be reopened until I restart.

Makes me wonder if aperture is chewing up a particular core, and not releasing it since it’s exactly 25%? I’ve had aperture rebuild thumbnails on this library before during restores in the past but it never did this. Could be my library, but at a weird thing to see. I haven’t done such a restore on mavericks though, or aperture 3.5, so could be an error here too.

Walter Rowe's picture
by Walter Rowe
January 19, 2014 - 7:54am

What happens if you simply let it run overnight, for example?

David Edge's picture
by David Edge
January 19, 2014 - 10:14am

I have this with a brand-new maxed-out 27” iMac. The solution was to only leave it running processing thumbnails when I was doing something else at the same time and then Close and reopen it every couple of thousand. If not it would just sit at 100% utilisation after a couple of hours and just sit there. None of the repairs helped.

I also turned off preview generation and rebuilt them and thumbnails in bite-sized chanks - a year or a decade at a time.



mrkgoo's picture
by mrkgoo
January 20, 2014 - 3:58pm


Maybe it’s a bug in mavericks or latest Aperture then (maybe related to how t processes and the hardware setup).

I can’t actually close the application as it tries to cancel the thumbnail generation and just sits there. A force quit kills it but some ghost process remains on 25 % CPU activity until I reboot.

After reinstallation of OS and Aperture it was better and would only hang after every 8-10,000 so it was doable in chunks.

SteadyRed's picture
by SteadyRed
January 22, 2014 - 12:51pm

I have been trying to rebuild thumbs on a library of 100,000+ images.

It has been grinding along for days, about an hour ago I switched to list view & it is now whizzing through images.

Not saying it will continues until all the thumbs are built but it does look promising.


Walter Rowe's picture
by Walter Rowe
January 23, 2014 - 10:36am

Fascinating discovery.

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