Disappearing iPhoto Library

Today, I noticed a strange thing while doing a bit of filesystem cleanup:  My entire iPhoto library, containing 8000+ images, had somehow turned into a 300k alias file pointing to nothing.  Concerned, I looked elsewhere to make sure I hadn’t just stored it in a different location for organization purposes and the alias had broken.  I hadn’t.  Then I remembered earlier today noticing that my hard drive seemed significantly roomier than normal.  I had just emptied the trash a couple days ago (usually don’t empty often, just in case), but there shouldn’t have been anything nearly that big in there.

Luckily, I use Apple’s Time Machine for backup, plus my own other methods.  In Time Machine, I went back about two weeks before the actual library was there.  Restored it of course.

I have no idea what happened there.  I hadn’t used iPhoto or been reorganizing anything around that area for a full month.  If I had somehow accidentally created an alias in the folder, there would be no reason it wouldn’t perform he normal action of appending alias to the name.

I’ve had weird issues with files for a while now, mainly with iTunes (disappearing songs).  Not nice having things just disappear.  If I hadn’t noticed, my Time Machine backup might have gotten overwritten (my disk for it isn’t that big).  I would have had to revert back to my other backups then, which may not have been up to date.

I do have weird issues because of scope problems with the Finder.  Expose to show the desktop doesn’t bring the desktop into focus, just shows it.  I frequently hit command keys to act upon the highlighted file on the desktop, only to find I’m focused elsewhere, and have performed some action on something else.  Also, I forget how it happens, but I frequently think I am in a browser window when focus is on the desktop.  I hit command-T, only to hear a weird noise but no new tab.  I later find an alias to something new on the side of my Finder window.  Still none of this should have caused my problem.

I worry about individual files disappearing.  Those I will most likely not notice, maybe just not for a while or maybe not ever.  I also don’t have as thorough of a secondary backup system as I do with the iPhoto library and some other things, so they might get overwritten in Time Machine before I notice.  If I don’t ever notice, that wouldn’t matter anyway though, as they’d just sit on my Time Machine drive, without me even knowing it.

I may have to figure out a better way to do secondary backups, and I may have to figure out a better way to organize my files so that I can notice more easily (I’ve been working on organization for a long time).  Backup to my server may be a good idea.  I have my home server as well as 50GB of backup space on my Dreamhost account.