Something bizarre just happened with DEVONthink and I apologize for the length, but it’s going to take some writing to explain.
I just recently purchased it and started using it and began creating some groups and dragging files (pdf’s, rtf’s, URL’s) and capturing text into them. Everything worked great. I then discovered that DEVONthink can index files. So, knowing I had a folder called PDF Files in my Documents folder (containing about 300 pdf files), I decided to try it out last night. It looked like it worked, except for reporting an error on about 5 of those 300 files. From looking at the titles of the files, and knowing their contents, I was not concerned. I then looked at what DEVONthink had created. I saw a “group” called “PDF Files” in the left-hand list of groups, and I checked out the contents. Looked excellent! All my PDF files were there (except for those noted in the log), and they previewed (full resolution), and searched correctly. Awesome.
So, today, I launched DEVONthink and decided to take a closer look at all those PDF files and perhaps do some purging of unwanted documents. After looking through the list in DEVONthink, I saw a few files I no longer needed. I went to the Finder to the original PDF Files directory, and dragged those files to the trash. Nothing unusual happened. Everything looked normal. Except when I went back to DEVONthink, I noticed that the folder icon for the group “PDF Files” had turned into a gray square with a dash in it. Strange… I also noticed that it still acted like a folder… i.e., I could select it and view the contents as before, and I could see the thumbnails of all the pdf files as before. OK, I thought, no obvious problems. I then went back to the Finder and to my shock and surprise, noticed that there no longer was a “PDF Files” directory! Completely gone… I did some Spotlight searches and came up empty. Yes, they were really gone. No where to be found. I checked the “PDF Files” group again, and this time looked at the pdf files more closely. Turns out they were all just the thumbnails. No actual documents existed anymore.
And that’s my story… I indexed a directory in the Finder, trashed a few files, and everything disappeared. I tried to use the options under the “Tools” menu (Verify and Repair, Backup and Optimize) to no avail. I really didn’t think they would be much help at this point. I don’t consider this a life or death situation, since I can regenerate or reacquire most of those pdf files, but I think you can see that this is extremely disappointing. The results were completely unexpected. So although I would appreciate being able to resurrect these deleted pdf files, I would also appreciate knowing just how a situation like this can be avoided in the future, or if there is a deeper problem in the software itself. Besides this one unfortunate event occuring so early in my use of the software for the first time, I think it’s a great product and, for my purposes, extremely useful. But at this point there is a cloud hanging over my head (and the software) causing me to hesitate using it for indexing of folders on my hard disk.
Solutions? Opinions? Ideas? Something I did wrong? Anything? Any help with this issue would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime I’m going to try running some data recovery software to see if I have any success recovering those lost pdf files…
Thanks for your help.