Constant Sync problems (using Box)

I’m having constant sync problems using the built-in sync webdav to connect to Box.

I keep getting the following message:

I was able to get one laptop to sync, but when I turned to my office desktop to re-create the database, I get this kind of error. What’s going on?

I think I understand how to set up sync webdav in Box, syncing across three computers, but this isn’t working.

Do a Clean Location on it and reattempt the Sync.

I did that many times.

Was the Clean successful or did it error? Check Window > Log.

Error on the desktop, but no error on the laptop.

I should clarify that by desktop, I mean desktop computer.


Error on the desktop computer when doing the “clean”, but not error on the laptop computer when doing the “clean”.

Any tips? I’m planning to start all of this from scratch. This sync is so unreliable!

I can’t replicate the issue. Please start a Support Ticket.

I used Box for syncing my databases for a little while and experienced a whole host of issues.

Unless they have changed the way that they sync their files at Box then it was the case that they do not accept packages - of which, of course, is what a DT database is.

In the end I lost too much data using Box to back up my databases which really is a backup service that only accepts files in a derivitive format jpg. doc. pdf etc.

I ended up using Amazon S3 as a great, low-cost alternative.

You should never put your DEVONthink database in an automatically syncing cloud service location, Box or otherwise. To do so could lead to irreparable damage to your database.

I tried using Box to sync and it was a complete disaster. I soon realized that creating a local sync store might be the best option.

The first thing I did was create a local sync store on Machine X using the most up-to-date (verified,repaired,and rebuilt) database. On the other machines where Devonthink resides, I blew away all the databases that I wanted synchronized. After I successfully created the initial local sync on Machine X, I went to the other machines where I blew away the databases and imported all the synced databases from the local store.

I’m getting suggestions from DEVONthink developer, Nathan, that they have been receiving reports from Box users that could indicate there could be corruption issues going on even when using DEVONthink’s built-in sync method with Box WebDAV.

I use a single sign-on (SSO) enterprise account on Box (courtesy of Duke University) and have been having tremendous problems syncing across three computers.

I have temporarily used a free Dropbox account to allow my DT databases to sync across three computers and hopefully in a few weeks (sooner?) this issue with Box sync can be solved. So far, my database is only a couple hundred megabytes which the free Dropbox account can safely manage.

FWIW, I’ve seen issues with Box and data from other programs that use “package” formats. (Scrivener, for example.) Apparently Box does not synchronize complete folder trees by default, and so it will, for instance, lose subfolders within a main folder.

I don’t use Box myself, and so I don’t know if these issues are solvable through configuration options, or if Box should just be avoided.


According to this Box release note, Box Sync supports OS X packages, but only for new uploads of the package. The notes at the link contain important additional details. Though DEVONthink databases are packages, it should be noted that neither developer has published anything implying that DEVONthink databases can safely sync via Box 4.0.5024 or later releases. In other words, as always, you’re on your own and your data loss is yours alone. It’s always a good idea with any developer that offers synchronization of any kind to use either that developer’s product and method – or nothing.

Katherine, just to be sure: I wasn’t talking about syncing to Box using Box Sync. I was talking about using DT’s built-in WebDAV sync in which the WebDAV is Box WebDAV.