With any application, files can become damaged and exhibit strange behaviors or stop functioning altogether.  Expression Media catalogs are no exception.  Although there is no replacement for a backup catalog, there are a few things you can try if your catalog becomes damaged and a backup is unavailable.

How can I tell if my catalog is damaged?

Some of the most common symptoms of a damaged catalog are problems opening, saving, or closing the catalog.  These issues can come in the form of an error message or an unexpected behavior during open, save, or close.  Another symptom is that whatever the issue is, it only occurs with one catalog.

What can I do?

Depending on whether you can open the catalog or not, there are several options.

If you can open the damaged catalog:

Method 1:  Drag Items into a New Catalog

  1. Open the damaged catalog in Expression Media
  2. Click File > New Catalog
  3. Select all media items in the damaged catalog and drag and drop them into the new catalog window.
  4. Save the new catalog with a new name

Method 2:  Export to XML (Note:  Using this method requires that the original media items are available.)

  1. Open the damaged catalog in Expression Media
  2. Click File > Export to XML
  3. Click Export and save the file somewhere where it can be easily located
  4. Click File > New Catalog
  5. Click File > Import from XML
  6. Select the XML file created in step 3, and click Open

If you cannot open the damaged catalog or if the above methods were unsuccessful:

Method 3:  Import Items into a New Catalog

  1. Launch Expression Media
  2. Click File > Import Items > From Catalog File
  3. Locate the existing catalog file and click Open
  4. Save the new catalog with a different name

You can also try moving the catalog to another disk on your machine or to another computer that has Expression Media installed. 

This list is not exhaustive, but these are the methods that are generally most successful.  If you do find yourself in a situation where your catalog has become damaged and these methods are unsuccessful, the best thing to do is to contact support.  However, there is a possibility that catalog recovery will not be possible.  The best way to avoid this headache is to make regular backups of your catalogs.