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Old 01-17-2019, 11:02 AM   #1
kosmonaut_75
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Help! Library Disaster Management

Hi,
by playing with a remote webdav access to my calibre library I damaged my main calibre database file. The library ist empty now, I get an empty screen everytime I open calibre. However, all my ebooks files are in place including the Calibre metadata. How can I integrate the existing books including the metadata files in my existing (but now empty) library? Using the import ebooks bunktion results in duplicates and new metadata file for each ebook... Thanks for any help!

Last edited by kosmonaut_75; 01-18-2019 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:37 AM   #2
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The correct way to handle this is to:
- Check that Calibre has the correct library folder for where all your books are located.
- Use the Library Maintenance option in Calibre and select Restore database. This will then use the .opf files stored with each book to restore your database to the correct state.
- Use the library Maintenance option and select the option to check the database and library. This will highlight any files that were not handled correctly by the restore.

If you have already created duplicate entries for your books within the Calibre library folder then the process above may not work perfectly. I would also suggest that before using it you make a backup of the current library folder somewhere else on your system just in case it is needed.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:34 PM   #3
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I haven't had to do a recovery for Calibre, but it looks like itimpi has given you some stellar advice/procedures.

I would comment on your need for backups though. Many people don't do backups, until they run into a disaster situation like you just did. Then they begin doing backups. Hopefully you will become one who now does backups.

For my Calibre library, I have it set up this way: The main installation is on my desktop computer. Every night, that gets backed up to a different computer at a remote site (my entire desktop computer contents, not just Calibre). Additionally, the desktop Calibre installation gets copied over to a third computer (on the same premises as my desktop computer). This third computer is my server, which runs Docker, NGINX and Calibre-Web to make my book collection available on the web for myself and family. So at any moment in time, I have three copies of my Calibre stuff on three different computers - one of them off site. And if somehow my server gets compromised or corrupted, I can easily restore everything from the other copies. Additionally, the server's copy of Calibre is maintained read-only.

I run this same backup and separate server strategy for most all of my media - photographs, music, videos, etc. Initially, I could only access this server remotely by first VPN-ing into my home network. This got a little unwieldy as time went on and I added more family clients on mobile devices. Now I use HTTPS with client-cert authentication for remote access. I haven't switched everything over to that method yet, but I'm working on it. This is why I use NGINX as a frontend for Calibre-Web ... so I can implement HTTP client-cert authentication, which is much more secure than login/password authentication.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:37 PM   #4
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I keep the back-up copies of my Calibre library and settings on two different computers, on three different external drives and in Dropbox. Fortunately I've not needed them yet, but one never knows when a disaster might strike.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:38 AM   #5
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Thank you @haertig, that was helpful and worked well.

However, I still have a major problem: I inserted an additional column called "genre" in my original Calibre library and attrituted my ebooks correspondingly. (I did this to match genres with collections on my tolino). The genre metadata is still saved in the ebook metadata files, I checked that.

After restoring the library the column "genre" does not show up anymore. After creating the column "genre" again in Calibre Settings, the ebooks are not attributed to the genres, I would have to it manually (which would be a pain with 700 ebooks). The strange thing is: The attribution to "genre" is saved in the ebook metadata files but it doesn't show up in the library.

Any ideas how I can fix this?
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmonaut_75 View Post
Thank you @haertig, that was helpful and worked well.

However, I still have a major problem: I inserted an additional column called "genre" in my original Calibre library and attrituted my ebooks correspondingly. (I did this to match genres with collections on my tolino). The genre metadata is still saved in the ebook metadata files, I checked that.

After restoring the library the column "genre" does not show up anymore. After creating the column "genre" again in Calibre Settings, the ebooks are not attributed to the genres, I would have to it manually (which would be a pain with 700 ebooks). The strange thing is: The attribution to "genre" is saved in the ebook metadata files but it doesn't show up in the library.

Any ideas how I can fix this?
Does anyone just read the FAQ's without a disaster already present?
Unless you still HAVE the original backup, you will have probably destroyed the genere metadata.

assuming a drive failure recovery:
A full backup would have had the column. All you would have had to do, was pointed Calibre (Switch/Create: use existing) to where you 'restored' the backup to.

If you had damaged metadata.db, so Calibre would not run, you would run Library Maintenance: Restore database (every title has a backup of it's Calibre entry:metadata.opf), in addition, there is a backup of the STRUCTURE of the DB ( metadata_db_prefs_backup.json), so all your configurations for THAT library that will be used to recreate those that were in effect at the time of the crash)

Once you do something else, those files get overwritten (updated at ~3@ per second) with the newer version (now missing the custom column) of the metadata

If you have most of the books on your device (with the correct metadata), you might be able to recover using those.
1) Create ANOTHER, empty Library: with the Copy existing Structure box ticked.
2) In device view: select all books:right click on one: Add Books to Library: wait until done.
3)Switch back to Library view. REVIEW what you got. Is it Good? This is your new STARTING POINT Library (if the device did not have all the books, or if you made some changes to those entries AFTER they were sent to the device).

Check back here for help (before)merging additional books from the other library. There are some stuff (besides MAKE A BACKUP), to do to keep from stomping on the good stuff

Last edited by BetterRed; 01-21-2019 at 04:03 PM. Reason: fix icon
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:08 PM   #7
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Does anyone just read the FAQ's without a disaster already present?
Since the advent of SocMed and SelfPub turned everyone into an Author they'd rather write than read

BR
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:51 PM   #8
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Since the advent of SocMed and SelfPub turned everyone into an Author they'd rather write than read

BR
Now we just need those to use the correct words.
I am a homophonephobe. The issue is rampant.
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:07 AM   #9
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Hi,

I had most of the books on my device and recovered my library structure including additional columnns by importing them into Calibre - plus 2,5 hrs of handwork and finetuning...

My new library disaster prevention strategy is the following:
  1. Synchronizing ebooks and library between my local drive and my NAS
  2. Backup of the NAS every two weeks on an external harddrive
  3. NAS is stored externally in my office safe

Thanks for your help, great forum!
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