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I starred some pictures on an external drive. Then I reformatted my hard drive and installed a new OS.

I installed Picasa and it started searching all my drives. I was surprised when it remembered which photos on my external drive I starred.

How did it do that?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Each folder with photos have a hidden file .picasa.ini. Enable hidden files in Explorer to be able to see them. They can be opened in the Notepad or other text editor.

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And if you have to rebuild your database, or lose those .picasa.ini's, guess what, everything you ever starred is gone!

How to prevent this: unfortunately, I've found no automatic way, but here's a quick manual fix:

Select all of your starred photos (easy to do by selecting the starred album in Picasa) and then add to all of those photos a tag called "starred". (Tags are stored in the metadata in the picture file itself.)

After doing so, you can easily find starred photos, no matter what may happen. But unfortunately, everytime you star or unstar something, you'll also have to add/remove the "starred" tag.

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