DT shows empty database...Except it isn't. Total ghost in the machine deal

Opened up a DB the other day that I have not used since October 6. Nothing there at all except the standard “All images,” “All PDF documents” and “Duplicates” as if it were brand new and empty. Located in Finder (first using the “Show in Finder” function in DT) and it takes me to something that was "created 1/28/21 modified 12/14/21, and sized at 313.5 mb. When I “Get info” it says it was created 10/12/20, modified 12/14/21. Same size.

Then I check with Finder NOT using the DT function. Created 10/12/20, modified 10/6/21, sized at 460.7 mb. Scanning back through Time Machine and these data are consistent all the way back to 10/6/21. I suspect this is the correct info.

Have optimized, rebuilt, repaired the db when accessed in DT. No love.

So I copied it from Finder to an external SSD and it opens in DT with all data intact. I tried copying it to my Desktop, but because iMacs now think their Desktops are iCloud folders, DT won’t let me open it from there. It WILL, however, let me open any DT db that I place in my “Documents” folder…Even though Documents is ALSO an iCloud folder.

So I normally keep all my DT db’s in that Documents folder, which has worked without incident up to now for the last 2 years when I finally capitulated and moved everything out of Dropbox. (Even though I have never had a problem with DT databases that resided in Dropbox. I just read Bluefrog’s exhortations and warnings so many times that I decided I was whistling past the graveyard if I kept things in Dropbox. So I reformed…or so I thought.)

I do NOT access DT from any other computer, so there is zero chance of data corruption from having databases accessed from different machines, being left open one, etc.

I’m pretty sure this has something to do with the location of the db. That seems obvious. If BOTH Documents and Desktop are iCloud based folders, why can I access db’s from Documents but not Desktop? And if Documents is an okay location, what has happened to the rogue db that now appears empty when I access it from Documents, but not when I copy it over to an external drive?

t because iMacs now think their Desktops are iCloud folders

This is still optional, though it’s an opt-out (grrrrr…) when you set up a machine.

What is shown in File > Database Properties when the database is open?

Didn’t know that was an opt out. I don’t recall being offered that option.

Re your question: Nothing. (It’s only called “old” to distinguish it from the one I copied onto the external drive.)

So should I write this issue off as some sort of “ghost in the machine” event?

I can do that, but if there’s a logical explanation that might help I’d be grateful.

Hold the Option key and choose File > Restore Backup.
Choose the date with the most reasonable size and roll back the metadata to it.
Does that help?

I deleted the old version, and moved the one I created on the external drive back into my master DT database folder. It works now, but that’s only a band-aid. I figure it’s just a matter of time before it happens again.

It would be good if I understood what the problem is.

It would also be good if I could create a folder on my root user drive that didn’t trigger a “folder action alert” and then immediately put that folder into the DT global inbox. Related problem and subject of another post.

I’m trying to get all of my DT db’s into a folder on HDD>User>[me]. iCloud and something inside DT that I have zero recollection of having set up or intentionally activated has taken over my machine and I can’t get free of its clutches.

But every time I create a folder in THAT folder it opens DT, MOVES the new folder into the global inbox, and triggers a “folder action alert.” I have NO clue what is doing that, and have tried the two approaches other folks suggested in that other post to no avail.

I even tried renaming another empty folder that wasn’t being used (a legacy from an old installation of Parallels that was empty and unused) and as soon as I renamed it, the “folder action alert” triggered, and DT consumed the folder into the global inbox.

Should I open a ticket and take this conversation offline?

Did you check the Folder Actions Setup for the Finder folder?

That part of the problem was double posted and has been resolved in the meantime.