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Aperture 2 Crashing when Importing from Compact Flash Cards

September 25, 2008 by debbie T | Aperture 2Art and GraphicsDigital PhotographyMac Software

I have been having a problem w/ Aperture 2 crashing when trying to import photos from my compact flash cards. So, after Aperture 2 crashes, I have to “force quit” and unless I restart or log out/log in, Aperture will not relaunch without crashing again. Very aggravating. It has happened with two different cards, using two different card readers.

Importing works fine if I save all photo files to my hard drive first from the compact flash card.

(Note: it seemed to have started after my last Mac OS X update (10.5.5) but that could be just a coincidence.)

The good news is, I think I found a solution, possibly (hopefully). I erased and reformatted (FAT) each card in Disk Utility, and this morning I was able to import some test shots into Aperture 2 without any issues.

I always format the card in my camera before every new shoot, but I know that doesn’t actually erase everything since photos can still be retrieved after a reformat, so there may be extra gunk lurking. After time, the gunk piles up, and it might just need a thorough cleanup. At least that is my train of thought!! LOL.

I know there are some photographers that say formatting is not necessary, but I have always believed otherwise.

I guess time will tell if my Aperture 2 problem is really fixed.

UPDATE 2008-10-1: I had another problem w/ a card today. I reused a card that had shots already downloaded on it, and I should have formatted it (following my own advice!) I only had a few photos on it; so, after I downloaded them, I stuck the card back in the camera.

UPDATE 2008-10-2: Sigh, I don’t know what is up w/ Aperture now. I can’t import from a card/card reader. It either crashes while trying to read the card, or crashes when I am trying to import from the card. Today, I trashed my preference file (com.apple.Aperture.plist) and allowed Aperture to create a new one. I reset all my preferences and I thought I might have got it working, but it got stuck when trying to read half the photos on the card. Some previews were visible, and the photos toward the end only displayed little square placeholders.

I launched Aperture in my other user account, and the same thing. Only some were displaying previews. I found an article by Tracy Ambrose stating that Aperture chokes on a lot of “different” formats that it doesn’t recognize, and I am wondering if somehow that is what is happening to me. I don’t understand why though, since all I have on the cards are RAW files. It imports them just fine when I import from my hard drive (downloaded from card)

I also found an article on Inside Aperture which recommends to delete any color pickers from your ~/Library/Color Pickers/ directory. I don’t think that would have any affect on me, since my other user account is having the same problem, and there are no color pickers in my Library there.

I will keep looking, but I guess until I find an answer, I will have to import from my hard drive. What a pain!!

UPDATE 2008-11-9: After Apple released the RAW bundle update 2.3, Aperture 2 seems to be working better. Installed the other day, and no problems so far with importing.

There are 9 comments

  1. Interesting. I think you could be right based on the horrified look of the camera guy when I told him I hadn’t re-formatted my memory card EVER. Good reminder. I think I will reformat my card today! 😀

    Comment by Rosy on September 26th, 2008
  2. Thanks for commenting Rosy!

    If you could see me, you would see my expression is horror too! LOL.

    I am always paranoid about not formatting my cards….and since I erased and formatted in Disk Utility, I haven’t had any more issues in Aperture (yet)

    I think I should write a new tutorial on how to format in your computer too. Just to erase everything and start from scratch!

    Comment by debbie T on September 26th, 2008
  3. We’re having the same problems here, tried trashing the .plist files but to no avail… here’s hoping for an apple fix.. 🙁

    Comment by Chris Wallace on October 30th, 2008
  4. Hi
    this is a very annoying problem, it is not the card, as I have zeroed all my cards,and reformatted them. I can import from my hard disk after copying across, but try the cards, and Crash.

    Comment by Stuart on November 4th, 2008
  5. Thanks everyone for posting.

    I haven’t been taking a lot of photos lately (dry spell) but the last two times I imported, there wasn’t a crash.

    It’s too early to tell, but I think it could possibly be that I stopped deleting my files while chimping in camera.

    I recently read that it isn’t good for media card longevity to delete files from the camera.

    So anyway, it could just be a coincidence, so time will tell.

    Comment by debbie T on November 5th, 2008
  6. Hi Everyone

    My problem was solved by removing camera raw bundle 2.2 from my system and reinstalling camera raw 2.1. I think apple are bringing out a 2.3 to solve the problem which was part pf the 10.5.5 update.

    Comment by Stuart on November 6th, 2008
  7. Thanks for posting, Stuart!

    For those interested, the location of the camera raw bundle is:


    I was going to post a link to download 2.1, but it looks like 2.3 has been issued. Check software update!

    I think I will wait a day or so; make sure my backups are up to date, then I will download the updates.

    hopefully this will fix our issues!!!

    Comment by debbie T on November 6th, 2008
  8. I installed the 2.3 update yesterday, and all seems to be well so far!

    Comment by debbie T on November 8th, 2008
  9. I imported some shots today and yesterday, and everything seems to be working fine w/ the 2.3 update.

    I even tested my theory and deleted a couple of shots in camera. Didn’t seem to affect anything.

    Comment by debbie T on November 10th, 2008