Database failure

Hi all, I’ve been importing all of my email into DEVONthink and the import stopped and would not restart. I quit out of the app and now when I open it I receive the following error:
“Initial verification: AllEmail.dtBase2
Found 6 major file errors. Please restore the last backup or rebuild the database and verify the contents afterwards!.”
I’ve selected the Rebuild option and the database opens read only. Of course there isn’t a backup - I’ve only had DT for a few days.
The database is 3.3GB, has 160,000 unique words, 15.5 million in total, and 27,705 emails.
Not sure if the feedback is useful or if you’d like anything more from me?
Also is it possible to migrate the emails to a new database since this one appears to be busted?
Damian Halloran

Killing the app probably damaged the database. Are you able to successfully verify the database after rebuilding it?

Just to clarify I didn’t force quit the application.
No a rebuild from the menus did not fix the issue.

Where’s the database located and was there enough disk space available? Finally, what kind of error does File > Verify & Repair Database… report?

This is one of those situations where a person responds to a genuine problem with a level of indignation and arrogance that I cannot stand.

I am starting to regret my purchase.

It is unfortunate that you view the responses above, in that light. I (for one) don’t see any indignation or arrogance? The replies from Support might occasionally be a bit ‘short’, but think that’s purely dependent on the numbers of queries being received at any given time – and how they are pressed to work through many at any given time on the forum.

I would urge you to reach out to them via a Bug report inside DT3 – maybe the direct one-to-one via email will have you view things a bit differently!

Best of luck in getting things sorted!


And it is worth bearing in mind that a lot of people on the Internet are operating in a language that is not their own, hence their English may be somewhat more “stripped down” than a native speaker would use. Having taught English for many years, I usually try to make allowances for that fact when dealing with people who may not be native speakers. If I had to answer technical questions in Italian (my second language) I would have a pretty hard time. Let us be a little kind to others …



And as a developer and seller of a BETA product who need feedback to sort out bugs, etc the tech support staff should perhaps read the original request (Yes I did try a rebuild already) and not make rash assumptions (“Killing the app probably damaged the database” - at no point did I say I killed the app).

Notice the helpful tone I’m using in my original request? The offers of assistance I make?

Then read the response…

Hi Damian. I’m sorry you’re feeling slighted! I’ve re-read both your post and Criss’ responses to you, and I’m not sure what has gone wrong for you. Obviously Criss misinterpreted your initial post (re. force-quitting the app), which I have to admit I did too - i.e. I inferred something which you admittedly did not write. You corrected that misinterpretation, and Criss followed up with additional questions, which I don’t feel were answered by any of your posts. Again, this could be a misinterpretation, but then obviously further clarification is needed.

I come to this forum for a couple of major reasons; your post struck me immediately, because it is a rare report of database corruption. As a user that is one of the things I am on the lookout for, and I’d be grateful if you could render assistance in getting to the bottom of what happened - that is important, if there is even a minor risk that the same could happen to anybody else. As such, I’d be happy if you could answer Criss’ questions, supporting DT in supporting the community.

As far as your own immediate problem is concerned: in my experience DT is perfectly happy with large databases - that was actually one of the reasons I made the swap to DT a while back. Personally, I would probably choose to reimport the e-mails, creating a new database; I would be loathe to operate a database which had shown corruption during its creation. If the same thing happens, I wonder whether your e-mail database (I don’t know which program you are using, so can’t speculate further) may be corrupted - could that have lead to DT stopping during import? Is your (original) e-mail database local? (Again, I have no expertise, so I’m guessing at potential problems here).

Please do follow up on Criss’ questions (specifically: where is the database located, is there enough disk space, and what error is reported on File -> Verify & Repair Database [I realise you quote error text in your OP, but my understanding is that this appears on opening the database rather than running a Verify & Repair]); he is the expert here, and will likely provide rather more insight than I can. He’s also rather more succinct than I am.


Thanks for the great reply, couldn’t say it better. We’re all very busy these days, therefore if an answer is quite short and not as polite as a native speaker would expect it’s definitely not intended. But without answers it’s hard to tell what went wrong, how healthy the database currently is and whether something has to be fixed in the next betas.