Why can't I view my photos in Windows?

Episode 999

Art from West L.A., CA

Art is unable to view his photos, and he keeps getting image database errors. Leo says that it appears to be a Microsoft generated error and what they do is look at a folder with photos and show thumbnails. So the thumbnail database may be corrupted. It could be that the data is there, or there could be a more serious hard drive issue. Art's wondering if trying a system rollback would help, and Leo says it couldn't hurt.

How can I convert old photos and slides to digital?

Episode 978

Frank from Huntington Beach, CA

Frank came across his parents old photo albums and slides and wants to know if he really saves money by doing scanning them on his own or using a service. Leo says that using a good digital camera and shooting the pictures on an easel is the cheapest way to go.

However, using a service can be beneficial because they'll use the negatives and clean them up too. Scan Cafe is great because they'll send him a box that he can fill and send back. They'll also do Super 8, 8mm, and home videos too.

How can I get iTunes to sync my photos to folders?

Episode 930

Gary from Claremont, CA

Leo says that ever since the iPad got wireless sync, he stopped using iTunes for it. Frankly, iTunes for Windows is a "bag of hurt," and just doesn't work right. He could try and reinstall iTunes, as some in the chatroom think that'll restore the capability to save to folders.

Using DropBox is an easier idea, and it's free. iCloud is still the easiest, however. The chatroom has found an Apple technote that will help Gary sync specified folders. Check it out here.

How can I back up the facial recognition data in Picasa? (Part 2)

Episode 914

Bill from Puerto Rico

That data for facial recognition and other photo metadata is stored in his user folder, in App Data >> local >> google. Inside there he'll see folders "Picasa" and "Picasa Albums". If he backs those up, all of the photos and other data will be saved. He might have to uncheck the "hide folders" setting in Windows to see these folders, though.

ScotlandCalling in the chatroom says that an easy way to find the App Data folder is to click start >> run >> type "%APPDATA%" which will open that folder.

How can I manage the large quantity of photos I have on my computer?

Episode 913

Marena from Los Angeles, CA

Marena was wondering about Snapfish for her photos. Leo says that's more geared toward people that want to pay for prints, and he likes Google's Picasa Web. It's free, and will automatically upload all of her photos to Google. She can also buy more storage if she needs more than the 7GB Google offers free. If she wants a more professional service, Leo uses and likes SmugMug as well.

What's the best way to digitize old family photos? (Part 2)

Episode 898

Steve from Miami, FL

Leo recommends as opposed to doing this all manually himself. It's about 22 cents an image, but will be much better than investing the time and equipment into scanning in the images and cleaning them up himself. ScanCafe also has a shoebox where he could fill up a shoebox for a flat fee.

Costco and Walmart also offer similar services.

Can I get the old Windows XP Picture Viewer on Windows 7?

Episode 882

Gordon from Palmdale, CA

No, Microsoft has decided to deal with photos differently in the Windows 7 version of Picture Viewer. Gordon will have to look to third party software. Leo recommends a free program called Irfanview. This is very similar to the Windows XP version of Picture Viewer which would let him organize his photos in folders instead of the new "library" that the Windows 7 program has. He won't have to uninstall the viewer that's already in Windows 7, he'll just have to set Irfanview as his default photo viewer instead.