Databases are gone

thanks @MsLogica. As it ends up I did not lose anything…but I’m still not sure what happened. I immediately bought an external SSD. Now I just have to figure out Time Machine and how to manually back up! Thanks for the encouraging note. I know I’m not using DT to the full. Still learning!

We all are to some degree or another :slight_smile:

Manual backup is satisfying and easy to do. When you have the database selected in DT, go to File>Export>Database Archive. It will create a zipped folder of the database that you can store on your backup system of choice (I have an external drive for this purpose, and date the zips).

Time Machine is more annoying and I will leave you to figure that one out! But I will let you know that there is a good little app called TimeMachineEditor which lets you run Time Machine manually if you don’t want it running all the time (e.g. if you’re on a laptop and would prefer not to have your external drive plugged in continually).

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Thx @MsLogica I have watched some videos on Time Machine and will start using it tonight probably. I will have to get another drive of some kind for manual backup. I’m wondering how big it needs to be. The 1TB SSD I got for Time Machine is, it seems, the bare minimum!

I would suggest you should start with a drive that’s at least twice the internal drive size, so a 1TB drive for a 500GB internal. The first backup will be a full backup, so you’d need at least 500GB. Incremental backup follow, backing up changes. Those take considerably less space.

Periodic full backups are a good idea as well. Many companies will do full backups at the end of the work week. Personal backups could do the same, bi-weekly, or monthly. In that case, you’d obviously need a larger drive. As these full backups often rotate, you could go with a drive four times larger.

And disk space is cheap nowadays, so having the biggest drive you can afford isn’t a bad idea.

There are also online backups, with Arq being known to work safely with DEVONthink data. However, there are limitations to online backups such as the inability to restore if the network is down or slow enough to make retrieval inefficient. So yes, useful but I would still suggest your primary backups should be on local hardware.

Lastly, if your data is critical to you, off-site backups stored in a safety deposit box or a fire safe at a relative’s house is not uncommon.

PS: As these full backups often rotate… In corporate settings, full backups often do not rotate or on a very infrequent basis. But their legal (or financial) requirements are quite different from personal use. :slight_smile:

Apple recommends a disk for Time Machine to be 2x of the disk being backed up. If your disk smaller than that, try it anyway, I’d say.

It will probably, based on my experience, work best for you if you keep the backup disk hooked up as much as possible, e.g. at least as you are working on the machine. I have TimeMachine set for hourly backups which makes each incremental backup small and quick. You won’t notice any hit on CPU.

I recommend that once it’s finished a backup or two, then experiment how to recover file/files/folder/folders from the backup. In Finder, point at a file, then pick the TImeMachine icon at the top of the screen (I can’t remember the name of that row of icons), and pick “Browse Time Machine Backups.” You’ll enter a view showing all the backups of that selected fie and can recover from there, if you wish, a version from the past–hence the name Time Machine.


I don’t use Arq, but I know some of the online backup companies will send you an external drive with your data. The cost of the service is I think either very low or included in your subscription, the cost of the drive is refunded if you send it back when done.

For backups, I use a cheaper 4TB HDD;
partitioned for TimeMachine, Arq copy, and a manual weekly export.
Arq Premium for cloud storage
Thinking about moving my DT databases to an external SSD

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So, have you ever used Time Machine on this Mac prior? There should be a snapshot of the database files likely sitting in the Time Machine local snapshots …. You’d just have to open Time Machine and inspect the finder locations where the databases had been and restore the latest.

Nope, new to Time Machine. I just had my first backup yesterday–so that feels good.