Database inconsistencies


I never know what I will find when I open my database.

I imported (drag and drop) a variety of PDFs. They were in the appropriate folders for a while then disappeared. They showed up as files in the appropriate folder, but nothing in the file. I’ve “restored” them twice. Once by dragging them into the dbase again and once by restoring to a backup.

I also imported a mailbox with about 100 e-mails. That info “hung around” in the database for a few days then disappeared. The next day, it showed up again. I imported the mailbox using the DEVONthink script from Apple Mail. It went into an “Inbox” folder. From there, I edit the import and move to an appropriate spot in the dbase. Files disappear from both places.

I put some files in more than one place in the dbase. I get the info from the file in the original location, but in the secondary (the one with the “blue” label), a placeholder is there, but no information.

My dbase is not very large (less than 150 files), but I am concerned with the reliability of a dbase so small and reluctant to populate it further until files stop disappearing.

I don’t have a need to do complex things with the dbase, just drag and drop files, sort and search. I do not feel I have been moving files around to the degree that paths are broken (and I import almost everything, so there are not many external links).

In an effort of fix and increase the stability, I have reloaded my Mac OS, verified the disk and permissions and upgraded and reloaded DTPro to 1.2.1. I’m at a loss as to what I’m doing wrong or what I can do to fix this problem. I have moved copies of most files to Notebook, but keep coming back to DTPro as the interface/AI capability is much more suited to my dissertation research.

Is there hope?

Thanks. r/FireAnt

I don’t have any such problems with my database, which contains about 20,000 documents, with elements of the database more than four years old.

Do you have ample free space on your hard drive (at least 15% of the capacity free for OS swap files and other cache and temporary files)?

When you think a document has disappeared, open Tools > Search. Run a search that should pull up the document. In the search results, select it and press Command-R to reveal the location of the document. Is it where you thought you had placed it? I ask the question, because with drag & drop, sometimes the drop accidentally goes into an unintended location.

If you duplicate a file into more than one location, all instances of that file show the name in blue. I would recommend that you replicate files that are to go into multiple locations, unless you plan to edit one but not all instances of the file – in which case duplication is the way to go.

If you would like us to take a look at your database, you can make a zipped archive of it and send it as an attachment to Support, with a description of any files you think are problematic. (Yours is a very small database.)

I zipped the file but it only shrunk it to 33 MB. In the Finder, it says the file is 44 MB and as I zipped it, the dialog box said it was archiving and zipping an 88 MB file. When I use DT, go to restore, the file size there of my latest backup is 2.9MB. Any way I can get at that file?? And what accounts for the difference in size?

I have 30% of my hard drive empty, so I don’t think that’s a problem.

Also, I was a bit vague about files disappearing. They (at least the names of those files) are generally where I put them, there is just no content to the document. I seem to have the most problems with pdfs I have downloaded off CRS (Congressional Record Serv) and the LexisNexis e-mails that I imported from my Apple Mail mailbox using a DT script. The LexisNexis e-mails stayed in the “Research” folder for several days. Then a day later, file names were there, but no content and finally all 100+ e-mails in the folder disappeared completely–filenames and content.

Would like to send the file to you, but having trouble with it’s size . . . Thoughts?

Thanks. r/FireAnt

FireAnt, as I understand it most of the content of your database consists of PDF files.

If you have Imported them (as opposed to Indexing) the PDF files are copied into the Files folder inside your database package file.

Therefore, only information about the text content and metadata would be stored in your most recent Backup folder in the database.

Frankly, that very flaky behavior makes me suspicious of your computer – the operating system and/or disk directory may be in bad shape. Alternatively, some of the files you’ve imported may be corrupt. Or, if you have Indexed files and have deleted or moved them, data is lost to your database.

Try this. In DT Pro, select DT Pro’s Scripts (stylized scroll symbol) >Export > Backup Archive. That will produce the smallest possible compressed and dated archive of your database. If the size is small enough to send as an email attachment (no harm in trying), send it to use at Support, with a brief explanation.

If that database is still too large to be accepted as an attachment by your ISP, create a new DT Pro database and put in a few files. Experiment to see if you still have problems. If so, use the Backup Archive script and above and email it to us at Support and we’ll take a look at the database.