Chronosync backup using "Dissect packages"

Hi all, i’m reworking my backup strategies since one of my databases is getting really large, 40+ gig’s. On the forum i have read some good and some negative things about the Dissect Packages option in chronosync; what are your experiences now? If a database got corrupted by this did you loose data?

Thanks for sharing your thought!

Instead of starting a new thread I’d suggest to reply to the existing threads you’ve read. That way an answer to your question is much more likely.

I’m new to Devonthink and am experimenting with it quite a bit. I’m a long term user of SOHO Notes though and can tell you I have never lost data. I however, do not know what Dissect Packages are.

40 gigs is an awful lot if that has to be fully backed up on a regular basis. A question to you - is Devonthink’s databases one solid file. As an example, mail would just back up added or changed mail items so its not a lot that needs backing up.

I don’t know how SOHO Notes backs up its database - if its one whole DB or if it just backs up changed items within the DB. Regardless, my incremental backups of my system never take a great deal of space as I exclude things like VMWare or Entourage when I used it.

No, it’s a package. For example select a database in the Finder, choose “Show Package Contents” in the contextual menu and have a look at the folder Files.noindex and its subfolders. These folders contain all documents/files (except the indexed ones).


I have tried using ChronoSync to keep the DT databases on two different computers in sync. The key ChronoSync settings I used are:

  • Synchronize (as opposed to making one database the master and the other the slave)
  • Dissect packages
  • Automatically resolve conflicts by using the latest timestamp

Net result: Complete disaster! The databases on both machines became corrupted beyond what “verify & repair” within DEVONthink could correct. Also, the most trivial changes were not synchronized properly. For example: Adding a note to a group in one database, and adding a different note to the same group on the other database. That resulted in only one of the notes being preserved in both databases.

Based on my experience, I cannot recommend using ChronoSync for keeping two databases in sync.

I’ve been using Chronosync for some years now and keep a number of DEVONthink Pro Office databases in sync across three machines. My largest database is just shy of 2 GB.

I have never tried using the “Dissect packages” option. I make sure that DEVONthink is not running prior to synchronisation—the only problems I’ve encountered relate to forgetting to do this. Admittedly I’m not a heavy user of Dt but I find Chronosync indispensable to keep it working across all my machines.

Chronosync works just fine provided you use it to copy entire DT databases and avoid the “dissect packages” feature. Chronosync does not handle DT packages, particularly if you change anything within the same folder on two different machines. “Dissect packages” might work fine if you make sure that you only modify a given DT database on a single computer at a time, but I have not verified this.