Dropbox Backup - restore advice for a tired gentleman

This thread is about storing Devonthink database files in Dropbox (as backups), and restoring databases from these cloud versions in 2024 onto current MacOs and current versions of Dropbox

Having read the threads here I understand this is not recommended. Please also note I am not talking about ‘running’ Devonthink from these databases in dropbox when the devonthink app is open - just storing the data there and restoring it

I had to set-up a new macbook and did not read these forums first so I ended up installing fresh devonthink app, and restoring all my databases from dropbox backups

now i am worried that there is some hidden corruption in my databases that escaped my notice when I did this!

everything seems to verify ok?
What sort of potential corruption could have been present
How would end users become aware of it?
anything I can do to reassure myself that things are ok?

As long as both File > Verify & Repair Database… and File > Check File Integrity are successful for all databases there’s IMHO no reason to worry. But I still wonder what exactly is/was stored in Dropbox. Databases (extension .dtBase2 or .dtSparse) that are opened & used by DEVONthink? Or just backups/archives of databases?

thanks for your quick reply - yes I did store and RE-store the .dtbase2 files there as a backup - for both my normal databases and also the special "inbox’ database which is stored by default in the Devonthink application support folder.

I guess my fear is that files in my database have just ‘vanished’ without a trace into the ether without my noticing from this process… I use my database for medical literature and tax files and lots of things so I have been worried

edit: I should also state as feedback that this issue arose due to following the instructions here:
DEVONtechnologies | How to Migrate to a New Mac.

In hindsight maybe they could be revised to explicitly state "don’t use dropbox as the mechanism to transfer files to the new machine’ which is basically what I did! - (I know the instructions refer to external drive but I didn’t have one handy… so I thought - well I can use a cloud… drive… )

anyway I am a goose

Unfortunately I no longer have access to the pre-migration database files

In that case the verification would be report missing files.

Do we know by what mechanisms then dropbox could theoretically a problem for a database that is not open in Devonthink? its just a file transfer of an inert file that is not being accessed or written to in real time

I ask because dropbox has documentation stating that since MacOS 12.5 dropbox has better handling of package files for MacOS users

I am really just trying to understand in simple terms what the risk is - for what its worth dropbox does seem to store extended attributes (macos tags for example) which other services like back blaze does not

thanks again everyone. this is a good community

The admonition still stands: Do not put your DEVONthink databases in any cloud-synced location or you could irreparably damage them. One instruction to follow and there’s no need to wonder or worry. Simple :slight_smile:

PS: We are not the only software developer stating you should not use Dropbox in this manner.

And we have stated numerous times you can use File > Database Archive to create a safe ZIP file for secondary backups.

Also, this should not be your primary backup. Get an external hard drive and Time Machine at a minimum for local backups.

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