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Old 11-24-2022, 05:17 AM   #1
abrogard
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How Does It Work? Copies Books or Not?

Not sure where to put this. General question really. No 'general' area.

I thought Calibre copied into itself every book in its library. So once a book was in a Calibre library we had a safe copy of it. I've been acting on that basis.

Now I open a library on an external drive that I've brought with me to a new locations and I keep trying to read books that it tells me 'have no available formats' !

So that looks like it simply copies a link to the book.
Except that many books in that library ARE there!
So what's the story?

What does it do? And how come it has done this?
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:21 AM   #2
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No, it does import a copy of the book into the "Calibre Library" directory/folder. You should never access those.
You should also export a backup from Calibre using the Library menu.

Maybe your library is not in the location you thought, or the drive is faulty.
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:28 AM   #3
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well the library is there alright. As I say many of the books are listed as, for instance, 'pdf' and they open okay. But many others are not listed as anything and when I try to open them I get that message.

Making it look like a library of links. Some okay and some broken. Which is why I asked.

So that's good if it is true Calibre libraries should be filled with copies. Okay.

So I will have to start again if I can and rebuild a library and this time avoid this happening again.

How? What happened to make this poor library, this 'broken' library?

And can I somehow cull out of it all the 'fake' books, the books with no 'available format' ?
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abrogard View Post
And can I somehow cull out of it all the 'fake' books, the books with no 'available format' ?
for that matter you could do this search:
Code:
formats:false
can't figure what could have happened, though
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Old 11-24-2022, 07:41 AM   #5
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2-Way Sync programs can mess the Library up bad. It may be trying to put something old back while Calibre is in the process of moving files (a author/title rename) Or it changes the filename as part of its versioning service

2-users accessing the same Library is almost worse. The DB is in RAM and gets written as needed. What does not happen is get refreshed in RAM because it assumes sole use (multi-user DB's are way more tricky.)

(auto) File Cleaning tools
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Old 11-24-2022, 09:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comfy.n View Post
for that matter you could do this search:
Code:
formats:false
This won't find format-less books Calibre doesn't know about. Library maintenance - Check library will find those.
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Old 11-24-2022, 01:22 PM   #7
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Sirtel is correct. Run the Library Maintainence and fix the issues found.
THEN FIND WHY the problem was created in the first place. It ain't normal.

formats: false finds '(deliberate) 'Empty Books' (Metadata only entries by design)
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Old 11-24-2022, 01:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abrogard View Post
Now I open a library on an external drive that I've brought with me to a new locations and I keep trying to read books that it tells me 'have no available formats' !
I'm supposing what the OP means it's happening is this:

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and I *think* that could be caused by things other than deliberate empty book entries
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Old 11-24-2022, 03:47 PM   #9
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Yes, this is what I'm talking about..

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Switched to attachment (paperclip on Advanced view)
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Last edited by theducks; 11-24-2022 at 04:03 PM. Reason: added as atachment
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Old 11-24-2022, 04:06 PM   #10
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Calibre thinks there is a PDF (on right)

Tap the O key (that opens the last known location). is there a PDF there?
(Make no changes while there)
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Old 11-24-2022, 04:15 PM   #11
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The O key did nothing for me.
I find I can go one after the other and get the error message followed by the appearance of the 'PDF' letters. But still nothing will open - returning to a book that has had 'pdf' pop up brings that same error message again.
Could it have happened if Calibre was importing many pdf's and was interrupted before it could finish? Does Calibre import first the names of them and later the content? Would Calibre accept an unfinished import like that?
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Old 11-24-2022, 04:29 PM   #12
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If O did not open a folder in explorer, your DB does not (no longer) matches the file system.

This kind of corruption can be caused by a NAS/network drive (cache write delay) or a failing hard/flash drive
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Old 11-24-2022, 05:56 PM   #13
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It is working now. I can't explain. Maybe I hit zero instead.
Yes, it opens explorer to empty folders. Mostly. But not every time.

I mean they're not always empty. Some books are there. Pdf's. They open.

Last edited by abrogard; 11-24-2022 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 11-24-2022, 06:14 PM   #14
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How did you create that library? Was it copied to the external drive from another location?

The usual suspects in such a case are, as mentioned, a NAS/network drive, a syncing program/cloud drive (was OneDrive running in the background, for example?) or a failing hard drive. Something must have been messing with the files, they didn't vanish just automagically.
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Old 11-24-2022, 06:26 PM   #15
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I don't remember. It could have been across the network. Much more likely that it was across drives on the one computer.
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