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Old 07-04-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Calibre 7.7 cant open database

I am not sure how to explain my problem, but I will just give my frustration some vent! I use Sony 300 Vista SP2. I have used calibre very happily for many months up to this.
I transferred my database to make space on my hard drive, and forgot that calibre would expect it to be there. Its been a few weeks since I used calibre, and today my calibre 7.2 opened with a long and slow search and hung until I closed it with Ctrl/Alt/Del. I uninstalled 7.2 and installed 7.7.
I expected it to open empty and it did.
I pointed the Add Folder to the (copied) calibre folder with all the carefully managed data amounting to 906MB. It started adding the books, then fouled up with permission problems (or so I believe) as it kept telling me that these books are encrypted, when I know they are not. I changed the folder options to uncheck read only, to ensure they would be shared and accessible by calibre.
I checked the folder permissions - read only is unchecked.
I then copied over the books into the destination folder for calibre.
I used the Advanced - check database integrity - it didnt try very hard and no books were recognised.
What should I try next?
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:13 PM   #2
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I would suggest the following steps:
- Copy your old Calibre library folder to a new folder. This should include both your ebook files and the metadata.db file
- Start Calibre, and under Preferences give it the new location for the Calibre library.

That should be it - you should be up and running with the Calibre library in the new location. When you are happy you can delete the old Calibre library folder to release the space.

The option for Checking Database integrity will not help you in this case. It's prime use is to check for files defined in the Calibre database that are no longer on disk, and then updating the database to say the files no longer exist. It does NOT handle the case where there are files on disk not defined in the database.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:57 PM   #3
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hi itimpi

I went through the process substituting a June db file for the (empty) one created today. It did eventually register the books with all metadata. No covers, but I can live without that. All the covers are located in a file, originally organised by calibre but it doesnt (yet) see them. It took 30 minutes to register any books, and I believed it wasnt going to work at all!
Thanks for the help.

I spoke too soon the "books" were just empty entries probably created from the db metadata file. I tried to remove these entres and the program hung, and didnt respond. I am beginning to think its a vista bug as well as my mistake with the folder.

Last edited by Patricia1066; 07-04-2010 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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Changes I notice about this version
- I no longer see the jobs "circling" - it stays at 0 even when its working in the background. This means I may be trying to force it closed because I dont know its working on the database.
- Crashing every time I try to remove 400 files. It can cope with 23 at most.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Patricia1066 View Post
I went through the process substituting a June db file for the (empty) one created today.
You needed all of the original folders/files including the metadata.db not just the metadata.db file.

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I spoke too soon the "books" were just empty entries probably created from the db metadata file.
You're correct. The fake/empty library was created from the metadata.db file. If you had copied the entire structure it would have worked without delay.

If you still have your backup (as I believe you indicated you did), then exit calibre completely, delete all of the folders in the library and simply copy your backup to the library folder.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:00 AM   #6
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Hi dwanthny, thanks for reading this.
I copied the whole folder "My Ebooks" across the network on 3 occasions now, thinking that the first time that either changing folder permissions mucked it up, or just on the chance that the transfer itself wasnt accurate.
My original must be corrupt, or else there is a bug, as following the instructions has not been successful.
Calibre has the right folder (Pref/General/Folder) yet does not see any books, I left the June db file in Calibre folder, and it created a large 4th July db file in My Ebooks folder.
I manually moved the June db file from Calibre to My Ebooks folder.
I reopened the empty Calibre program today and it registered the books, but as empty entries.
Removal is again causing Calibre to hang and fail to show any jobs. It eventually does remove them if I restrict it to 10 files to remove it will do this in a minute.
I have a dual core vista 1.6gHZ pc so I am surprised to see it coping so badly.
I checked processes. There are 4 calibre-parellel processes and one calibre exe instance running.
Shall I report it as a bug?
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:10 AM   #7
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I need to rebuild the db.
I need to specify that the file names should provide data for metadata and I know where to change that variable; how do I control where calibre looks for book covers?
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:15 AM   #8
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I am still a bit confused - if you have the metadata.db file and all the folders containing eBook files at the same location then simply pointing Calibre at that location is normally all that need doing to see the books. You imply that there are empty book folders at that location - but I thought you had just copies folders containing books to that location?

The other possibility is that the metadata.db file at that location is damaged. If that happens then you may not be able to see you books in Calibre. The normal answer to this is to restore the last known good metadata.db file to this location (the eBook files should still be there) and restart Calibre. In that case you would lose any changes made since that backup was made.

I do not see mich point in reporting this as a bug as I do not think there is a Calibre bug. It is just that you have got something corrupted on your system that is causing all your problems.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:17 AM   #9
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I copied the whole folder "My Ebooks" across the network on 3 occasions now
Was My Ebooks your calibre library? What do you see in this folder? Are there any actual ebook files in this directory structure?

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I manually moved the June db file from Calibre to My Ebooks folder.
Unless you do something special your metadata.db file is the root of your calibre library folder. What folder did you acquire the June DB file from?

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I reopened the empty Calibre program today and it registered the books, but as empty entries.
This is expected of a metadata.db file that does not find the folders/files it expects in the folder it is in.

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Shall I report it as a bug?
At this point I see no bug.

Without looking over your shoulder it is hard to tell for sure. But whatever folder you found the June metadata.db file is the folder that was most likely holding your calibre library and should be the folder you point to in preferences/general.

I think you have been pointing to the wrong folder and dragging the metadata.db file to the wrong folder will do what you have described. Put the metadata.db file back where it was and point to that folder.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 07-05-2010 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:18 AM   #10
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I need to rebuild the db.
I need to specify that the file names should provide data for metadata and I know where to change that variable; how do I control where calibre looks for book covers?
Of you are doing this then you cannot tell Calibre to look on your hard disk for book covers. It will either take them from the books themselves - or they have to be refetched from the internet. Having said that it is possible to use the Edit metadata dialog at the individual book level to get a cover from your hard disk - but it sounds as if you want a mass fetch?
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:45 AM   #11
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@itimpi
yes I am hoping for a "mass refetch" - learning new vocabulary!

@dwanthny
When I copied the My eBooks folder across originally it had the June db in the Calibre folder, and calibre failed to register any books. When I put the db file in the root (that is the My Ebooks folder) it created the empty folders utilising the metadata, however not the actual book files which are in their own folder bu author, series and book title.

Something I dont understand - doesnt calibre create the My eBooks folder containing Calibre, Covers, Feeds, HTML, database folders? If this is a normal action for calibre then you would have asked me to copy over the My eBooks folder rather than the calibre folder. Anyway I did pick up on my original error and copied across the whole folder structure, yet calibre did not handle the db as you expected it to.

The Calibre folder contains the actual book files, along with any cover jpg. The Covers folder has a few jpg files also but I am unsure why there is duplication.

The bug is how slow Calibre is and the numerous times it has hung and crashed. If this behaviour continues now I have rebuilt the database I will let you know via the forum.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:23 AM   #12
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I added my book files to the empty Calibre program.
I avoided the prc and mobi files as they cannot be read by Calibre due to encryption issues (see above for my problem).
The program was very quick to integrate the metadata from the title, though of course series data was lost as thats not in the title.
The folders were created in a folder I created called July Books (as though I could forget!) Only author/book title folders were created by Calibre.
The HTML, Feeds and Covers folders were not created this time. Do you know why?
The Covers folder - I unchecked the box for separate cover file, so perhaps that is the change.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:33 AM   #13
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@dwanthny
When I copied the My eBooks folder across originally it had the June db in the Calibre folder
You say in the calibre folder then the calibre folder is where you should have been pointing to in the preferences/general.

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Originally Posted by Patricia1066 View Post
Something I dont understand - doesnt calibre create the My eBooks folder containing Calibre, Covers, Feeds, HTML, database folders?
No calibre does not create the My eBooks folder.

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Originally Posted by Patricia1066 View Post
Anyway I did pick up on my original error and copied across the whole folder structure, yet calibre did not handle the db as you expected it to.

The Calibre folder contains the actual book files, along with any cover jpg. The Covers folder has a few jpg files also but I am unsure why there is duplication.
It sounds like the calibre folder is where you originally pointed to for your calibre library to be created. If I understand correctly the metadata.db was in the calibre folder. If you pointed to this folder from preferences - general then it should have worked.

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The bug is how slow Calibre is and the numerous times it has hung and crashed. If this behavior continues now I have rebuilt the database I will let you know via the forum.
It seems that it hung and crashed because you might have been doing things it never anticipated. Pointing to a metadata.db file without any accompanying folders certainly threw it for a loop.

I wish you luck!

Updated thought: At this point you have lost me. I would start over with a new clean directory for my calibre library, maybe called calibre_library so it will be easy to remember. Once I had this new directory in place and showing 0 books, tags, author etc... then and only then would I start importing/adding books back in.

Last edited by DoctorOhh; 07-05-2010 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:48 AM   #14
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I avoided the prc and mobi files as they cannot be read by Calibre due to encryption issues (see above for my problem).
I was seeing the Mobidederm alert for most of my prc files; I disabled Mobidedrm plugin and all were successfully added without any alert.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:47 AM   #15
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I am still a bit confused - if you have the metadata.db file and all the folders containing eBook files at the same location then simply pointing Calibre at that location is normally all that need doing to see the books. You imply that there are empty book folders at that location - but I thought you had just copies folders containing books to that location
I pointed Calibre to the location My eBooks, which contained the folders calibre had created before I moved it from the full drive.
Calibre acted to create empty folders when the June db file was in the My eBooks folder, not in the subdirectory Calibre folder as when it was there Calibre (the program) failed to react at all.
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