DTTG 3 is corrupting files

DT 3 on the Mac, DTTG 2 on iPad: latest OS on both devices, everything fine.
Clean install of DTTG 3 on iPad, complete new sync via Bonjour. Result: Tons of PDFs are corrupted. DTTG 3 is unable to display the docs, the info says 0 Bytes.
Bug or feature?

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DEVONthink, thank you so much! I have cared for my database for years now. A simple upgrade destroys my important documents. Your reputation as a provider for document management software is gone. Full stop!

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I understand your upset. The point in time of the damage is, however, easy to pinpoint - so simply playing back a recent backup will resolve the problem. Obviously you would need to put the documents you had added since the backup back; and then refrain from using DTTG3 until the problem has been solved.


@eboehnisch @BLUEFROG @cgrunenberg

I’ve just created a smart group that searches all databases for records with a file size of 0.

That resulted in many groups and about 150 files I’ve moved those files yesterday unknowing of this situation. I’m not sure whether those files were already 0 bytes before that date, but they were very important documents. I’m quite hesitant to click them, as that might propagate the problem even further if I understand correctly.

Can you urgently respond to this situation? I just happened to stumble upon this threat and it sound very serious. Yet, it seems users can proceed to download DTTG 3, which would result in more users potentially loosing data if above holds true and you are aware of that. I’m having difficulty to grasp what is said in the tweet mentioned in the other thread. Do I understand correctly you assume this only seems to affect a few users? How do you know? And while you’re working on a fix, shouldn’t you actively warn users to immediately take precautions?

I’ve removed DTTG 3 from all if my devices and shut down DT. I.e.: I’ve personally stopped using DT until more details are known.

Might I suggest you pin this thread or some warning on this discussion board and pull DTTG 3 from the App Store ASAP?


You can avoid that by selecting “Kind is Any Document” as a condition for your smart group (that is an aside of course, and has nothing to do with the problem itself). On topic: I do agree that if there is a destructive bug, the onus is on DT to let users know. Thanks for being civil in your feedback and suggestions.

For the sake of @eboehnisch I’m going to post a link to something @Solar-Glare posted. I don’t know how far DT are in investigating the problem, but I note that @Solar-Glare had some trouble setting up sync and am wondering whether the two problems are related (no feedback on that required, and please excuse if this post isn’t actually helpful).

We have immediately posted a notice on Twitter and are investigating this issue with several affected customers since Friday night.

Everyone’s human and bugs occur. That’s something I accept and take precautions for.

That said, it is my opinion that potential irreverisable problems (for those without backups for example) should be actively pursued as a high priority undertaking. That might be the case, but I don’t understand how the DT staff knows only a limited amount of users are affected. I certainly hope they don’t rely solely on users actively reporting this, as it’s something that might go unrecognized if a 0-byte file is tucked away somewhere in a database.

I’m currently preparing a separate burner machine to install DT and test previous backups, as those files of course might be 0 bytes for a completely different reason. Good idea regarding the groups, as those were of course expected to be 0.

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I happened to notice the tweet in the other thread today, but I personally don’t follow your account on Twitter. The choice is yours of course, but please consider placing a pinned warning on this board and pull DTTG 3 from the app store.

If it turns out to be a true bug and I could have been warned before I started using DTTG3, or even better unable to use DTTG 3 as a precautionary action I would be very happy with that. The difficulty of course might be you’re hunting ghosts so to speak and the whole thing turns out to be irrelevant (fingers crossed), but the worst case alternative might be an unknown part of your user base end up with corrupted files.

Thanks for that - it certainly helped me help others here. I don’t use Twitter, and don’t recognise it as a medium for transporting important information (I accept that is my problem, rather than yours, of course). From what I know, I agree with the suggestion that a pinned notice here in the forum would be a useful adjunct, maybe warning a few more ppl who might otherwise be affected.

I’m sorry you’ve run into this bug - I’m convinced it will not be something you take lightly. Like @Solar-Glare, I accept that things are complex and don’t always go to plan, and prepare appropriately. I encourage anybody who has important documents on their IT device to do the same.

can you release a DT(TG) version that checks the Integrity of all databases automatically? i might have the same bug but don’t even know it

sorry but they should really stop distributing the app at this point. pinning messages and threads and posting on twitter is not the right course of action. if you rely on that while distributing an app that destroys data…


Are you serious? You have to pull this app from the store!


I don’t presume to have enough information to make that claim. I actually do trust DT and will reserve judgement for a later point. I have an appropriate backup strategy and always assume my data will be lost. I accept that to my knowledge I am not affected by this bug, and might feel differently if I were.

Based on the information available at the moment, I have set up a smart group with conditions to determine whether I have been affected by the bug:

All of

  • Kind is Any Document
  • Size is 0
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do you mind sharing your (entire?) backup strategy, pretty please? without time machine, how do you get versioned backups? trying to set one up for a few weeks now but especially the cloud backups turn out to be quite tricky (for me)

edit: discussion here: Backup Strategies

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@eboehnisch @Blanc

I’ve made a quick pairwise comparison on file level between a database containing records with ‘0-bytes’ and a previous backup, although those records were in the global inbox and moved towards another databse in the meantime.

This is certainly preliminary, but it appears the ‘0-bytes’ files are duplicates of the original and if that is correct it would be fairly good news as the originals with content (>0 bytes) seem to be available in the package.

For those who are unfamiliar with examing the database file in finder, please be aware you might damage the contents if performed incorrectly. So if you do check, you obviously do so on your own risk.

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@Solar-Glare is right, and I’ve moved my response to a separate thread. Let’s discuss backups there :slight_smile:

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If I may barge in: I used a slightly altered version of the script that comes with DEVONthink to save the current database as a zip file. I attached it to a remainder to automatically do so every week and I launch it manually before every major re-organization or update.

The zip files are saved both in a cloud and on an external HD. These are just snapshots and their usefulness depends of the intervals between the backups of course.