Reader Celia Drummond had a Mac crash so severe, she had to upgrade her system from Mavericks to El Capitan—I didn’t ask about Sierra—although she was able to recover her data from Time Machine.

However, after using the iPhoto Library Upgrader, Apple’s recommended path for converting iPhoto 7 and earlier libraries to a newer format that iPhoto 8 and 9 can use, “The result is photos a fraction of their original size—most were between 1MB and 7MB each—and all are pixelated.”

I never used the utility, so I don’t know what went wrong, but something did if that’s the outcome, or something is missing in the Time Machine backup. Because she can’t run the older version of iPhoto, she can’t simply rebuild the library, which is the usual suggestion. (I’d make sure you had version 1.1 via the link above, as older versions are out there, too.)

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