Database in Use Warning

I have upgraded from DevonThink to DevonThink Pro Office.

I have a significant number of items in my database, and don’t want to lose anything. Some of the items are no longer available outside of DevonThink Pro Office.

When I restart my computer, or quit DevonThink Pro Office and restart it, I get the message that the DataBase is in use or was not properly closed down. No other instance of DevonThink Pro Office has access to the external drive on which the database is stored.

I am quite anxious about this message, and always enter “quit” as opposed to “continue”, and DevonThink Pro Office then opens the database seemingly without difficulty. At least I can view all the items in the database and add additional items directly in to DevonThink Pro Office, although the sorter does not seem to be linked to DevonThink Pro Office, as evidenced by the fact that nothing which I place in the Sorter InBox appears in DevonThink Pro Office’s Inbox.

But I do not know the origin of this message, nor what I should do. Nor do I know why the sorter appears to not function. The last thing I want to do is somehow corrupt the database.

Would greatly appreciate any advice on how to proceed.

My setup: DevonThink Pro Office 2.7.2, MacBook Pro Retina 15" 750Gb SSD, 16Gb RAM, OSX 10.9.1


The problem with Sorter might be related to the “database in use” problem, so it probably useful to get to the root cause and resolve the latter problem first. In that vein, please explain more about how you are connecting to that external drive? Is it a drive that is directly connect to your computer? If not, are you connecting wirelessly? If so, is the drive on on your local network, or is it on some other network? Why is the database on a remote drive instead of on your computer?

If you are certain that no other instance of DEVONthink is accessing your database(s) when you start DEVONthink, then when that warning appears you should select “Continue”. After DEVONthink opens and the database(s) open, then use Tools > Verify & Repair on each database, including the Global Inbox. V&R will advise you if there are problems detected. Repair any problems reported. (See Help.)

Do you not backup your computer and your databases?

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I am using an external drive out of concern for SSD capacity on my notebook, and a desire to control the access to my database more rigorously.

The external drive is a Lacie 4Tb Thunderbolt drive, connected via the MacBook Pro’s thunderbolt port. I store quite a few files on it, and it is regularly backed up.

I have continued to expe3rience the same error, and believe that the problem may reside in the “Sorter” applet which was originally installed from Devonthink Personal, and which had very little functionality.

When I updated to DevonThink Pro Office, I simply erased the older version of DevonThink Personal from the Mac Applications folder and installed the downloaded version of Devonthink Pro Office.

My suspicion is that the Sorter applet did not uninstall, and that the prior version of Sorter is trying to install. This would explain the warning on installation, followed by normal functionality of all but the Sorter applet.

I do not know how to rid the machine of the older Sorter app, assuming that really is the problem. I have removed sorter from the logon application installation screen in OSX account preferences, but it still appears to interfere. I cannot find the applet on the applications folder, nor does Spotlight seem to find it.

I may be barking up the wrong tree, but that seems to be the problem when I try to boot up the new version of DevonThink Pro Office and get the message.

Thanks again, and any help will be appreciated.

Sorter doesn’t access databases unless the database is open – if DEVONthink is not running the items placed into Sorter are just retained there until DEVONthink starts again.

No harm, though, in starting with a clean install. You might want to remove all remnants and versions of DEVONthink, empty the trash, reboot and then download and reinstall DEVONthink from scratch. Here is some relevant information on uninstalling DEVONthink:

(Be sure to quit Sorter first.)