Blank records, then loss of data... not happy

It all started when I noticed that some of my records on the database were blank. I came to the forums for some knowledge and the last thing I did was a rebuild of my database. The log showed that some records failed to export, all of these records over 400 of them disappeared from my database after it finished rebuilding.

Can’t say that I’m very happy (obviously), but I’m curious to know if this can happen again in the future, and what caused this.

I’m on DT Pro 1.0.1, and unfortunately, as I just noticed the export to Files and Folders did not backup those files (records) that are now missing from the database.

The main question for me is whether I will be able to use DT Pro for all my research and document archiving??

Please don’t flame me, I’m just not having a good day…

Hi BIGalindo,

not that I could help you, just to cheer you up!

Of course you can use DT Pro for archiving and research. I do so with great success, although I had loss of data in my early DT days. This happens when one forgets to backup, but if you do so, there are no problems. I did not encounter any problem since months now, never needed my backups since May or so – and DT Pro is always open.

As Bill always recommends: Do the regular chron tabs, use the disk repair tool and backup your data. I use Onyx for regular cleaning, so it is all done with one command.

Tomorrow is another day!


Thank for your kind words Maria. I’ll try to use a backup method other than internal one next time, I just noticed that all the lost records were on the database, not linked as files, oh… well one can always start again another day.


did you look inside the package of your data base (ctrl-click open package)? There should be backups which still contain your data. Just pick up one and rename it “blabla.dtbase”. Then it should look like the DT icon, and you can open it. Maybe your files are still in there…

Hope this helps, there are some very good explanations about that from Bill (for me as well) on this forum. I have to leave, it is late here in Japan.


Well, it sure is a new day…

Following your suggestion Maria I went looking for any copies of my old database. Early yesterday morning I had duplicated the whole file, but thinking this was not the best way to backup I put it in the bin. Well, it was still there, and one of the backups inside had most of my original files that I had written or added initially. So I made this “old database” the main database and added the new stuff that I had previously exported as Files and Folders.

Recovered almost everything, one file I couldn’t find!

The moral of the story as usual is make backups! And duplicate the database is a good backup. Also, rebuild database is NOT safe. I tested again this time on a copy of my database and there were items (pdf files, linked pictures, etc) that failed to export and then were NOT on the rebuilt database. There is no apparent consistency for this, except that all my external linked images failed, some pdfs inside the Files folder of the database package failed too.

Lastly I’m not sure that I like DT Pro converts your Word documents without a link, maybe it should do like it does with pdfs PDF+text. I deleted some Word documents initially, and now I only have the RTF version from the database, no loss here, but maybe it should keep a copy of the Word document??

Anyway, thank you for your help Maria.


I just notice that rebuild did not import back any of the excel .xls files back, I wonder what else it didn’t rebuild??

Getting them back from the backup is a pain because the files are inside the Files folder, and when I add them again I get two files like this: file_name.ext file_name-1.ext.

Anyone with a quick solution for this one?

Rebuild doesn’t import any unknown files (powerpoint, keynote, excel, etc). The files are inside the database package in the Files folder, but they are not seen by DT Pro. Nasty… :frowning:


The online Help provides a list of supported file types. Prior to DT Pro version 1.0.2, DT Pro “saw” unknown package file types as folders. This is documented, and also discussed many times in the user forum. There is a workaround to create a DT Pro document that links to an unsupported file type (all of the file types mentioned in your post above are unsupported), and also brings in the text content for searches and analysis by DT Pro:

[1] Create a new rich text document in DT Pro.

[2] From the Finder, drag an unsupported file type file onto the DT Pro rich text document’s text window and drop it. This creates a double-clickable link to the external file.

[3] In DT Pro, double-click the link icon. This will open the external document under it’s parent application. Press Command-A to select All, then Command-C to capture the selection to the clipboard.

[4] In DT Pro, place the cursor in the document text window and press Command-V to paste the clipboard contents into the document. Result: The captured text is now available in DT Pro for searching and analysis.

Documents created by PowerPoint, KeyNote and Pages, for example, are all package file types.

Special note: DT Pro 1.0.2 no longer provides ‘folder’ icons for package files. A linked package file will display its correct icon, and the Open or Launch Path commands will open the linked document under its parent application. This will happen for unsupported package files that are imported using File > Import > Files & Folders. The option to import unknown file types to the database Files folder remains. Note that DT Pro will not capture the text of the linked file. To do that, use the 4-step procedure noted above.

Keep an eye on the Scripting topic in the user forum. Scripts and/or Automator procedures are discussed for importing text from some unsupported file types, e.g., AppleWorks.

If you suspect there’s a problem with a current DT Pro database, and you have made a recent internal backup using Tools > Verify & Repair followed by Tools > Backup & Optimize (which should be done whenever time and effort has been invested in adding, editing or organizing a database), try Tools > Restore Backup. (I recommend against opening the database package and pulling out a Backup folder.)

The Restore Backup operation is reversible. That is, there’s a swap of the current database with the previous one when this is done. Repeating the process will bring the database back to its previous state. This means you can review the results of a Restore Backup operation, and can reverse it if the database still has a problem. Perhaps the next step would be to use Restore Backup with an older Backup folder.

Restore Backup lets one choose a Backup folder. Backup is the most recent one, Backup0 next most recent, and Backup1 is still older.

DT Pro does retain a link to the original Word document, of the same kind established for PDF files. Open one of your converted Word documents and Show Info. You will see the Path to the original document. If you want to be able to open the original Word document for editing, printing, etc. don’t throw it away. DT Pro does Index imports of .doc file types.

And yes, you’ve made some good suggestions. Keep external backups of your databases. You may never need them (I haven’t needed one for a very long time), but you will be very frustrated with yourself if you do need a backup and it’s not available. :slight_smile:

The DT Pro script found in the DT Pro Scripts menu (stylized S) at Scripts > Export > Backup Archive is convenient, as it automatically runs Verify & Repair, then Backup & Optimize, then makes the smallest possible archive of your database with the date appended to the filename.

Ok, I’ve some tests with Word documents now. DT Pro’s behaviour with Word documents seems to be somewhat different to other documents. This is what I have found: When I import a Word document DT creates a RTF document which does have a link to the original Word document as long as I DON’T move the word document from its original location everything is fine, but I move the original document then the link is broken. Unlike the PDFs which have the option to be copied to the database package folder “Files”, Word documents stay in the original location (unless like me, you decide to move them and wreck everything).

I’m now going to d/l version 1.0.2 and see how this version runs.

I’m still thinking about whether Rebuild is buggy and why didn’t it import any Unknown Format files into the database, but did copy them (or just didn’t move them, I don’t know) from “Files”… Hmmm…