Can't open an encrypted database anymore

This morning while I was doing a daily backup archive of all my databases, I got a message like “Optimization of Vault1 failed” (I don’t remember the text exactly).

Vault1 is an encrypted database that I’ve been using for several months without any problem.

After several new attempts and always getting the same error message, I closed the database. Since then nothing happens when I try to open this database. No error message. After entering the password, I simply return to the main DTP screen without Vault1 appearing in the Open Databases’ list.

I quit DTP, restarted my Macbook Pro. Nothing. No message in the Log window either.

What should I do?

Please try this:

  1. Change the extension of the database from .dtSparse to .sparseimage
  2. Mount the sparse image by double-clicking on it in the Finder
  3. The mounted volume should contain a .dtBase2 file
  4. Copy the .dtBase2 file to the desktop, unmount the volume again and change the extension back to .dtSparse
  5. Show the package contents of the .dtBase2 file via the contextual menu in the Finder
  6. If there’s a DEVONthink.lock file inside the package, please trash it
  7. Finally try to open the .dtBase2 file by double-clicking on it
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I’m getting this error message when I try to mount the sparse image:

Does it work after rebooting the computer? Did you check the Finder’s permissions of the sparse image?

After a restart I was able to mount the sparse image.

There was no DEVONthink.lock file inside the package, therefore I didn’t do any change.

The .dtBase2 file is fine and I can open it without any error message. However it’s not an encrypted database anymore. What’s the best way to have it encrypted again without losing all the tags and other metadata I saved in DTP?

Is a verification of the copied .dtBase2 database successful (see File > Verify & Repair Database…)? Then it should be also possible to open the encrypted .dtSparse database. But please try to open only one or the other and not to open both concurrently.

In addition, how much disk space is still available on the sparse image?

Wow, I guess that could be the root cause… there are only a few Mb available on the sparse image!

I’ll create a bigger one to avoid problems later.

In any case, after a good adrenaline shot, my database is working again.

Thanks a lot for your help Christian.

You’re welcome. And to avoid too much adrenaline I would definitely recommend a good backup strategy as hardware, firmware, drives, filesystems and software can and quite often do fail.

I have already followed your recommendations and those of the DTP community… in the worst case, I would have had reliable backups available (Arq + CCC + Time Machine + external disks) :wink:



There’s one missing :wink:

Daily backup archives on a NAS + external disks stored at the bank in a safe deposit box.? Not missing!

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Don’t go so fast, :crazy_face:, I have a copy at home of all company How-Know including full source code. One USB disk that receives twice-a-day source security, plus github local repository, of course, plus server copy of my entire dev machine, and at end of week (Thursday actually), I drive from home with a hardware encrypted disk, update it and then at home, copied over two mechanical hard disks with differential from previous week, all of that, of course, BitLocker or equivalent.

Worst scenario is lose data at home, data at work but not extra encrypted disk.

I don’t do this for my personal stuff, but I have my Synology NAS replicated across clouds (encrypted), and my aThings are TimeMachined over NAS.

Next step could be go to a bank safe with my NAS. :joy: