Files don't write when backingup

I have recently started using DTP2.0 heavily, and have a few questions. The first has to do with backups. I have about 15 databases with several GB total of information in them. The databases are stored as “.dtBase2” files on my computer. When I try to copy these files to an external hard drive for an additional backup, most of them copy but two stop and give me a message that says “can’t write some data.” These two databases stop copying right there. Questions:

i) How can I identify which files can’t be written within these databases? I would like to fix/delete these files so that I can back up everything to an external HD.

ii) What kind of file is a “.dtBase2” file? If I move this file onto a different mac what will happen? Should I try to load the databases onto more than one mac at once, or just keep it on one?

iii) Is moving the “.dtBase2” file to an external HD the best way to back up DTP2.0, or should I be exporting as files and folders (which shows be the files again as pages, word, PDF, jpgs, etc.) and then saving those? This takes too much time, but I want to be sure the “.dtBase2” files are secure backups if saved externally.

iv) What is a database in DTP2.0 exactly, and how does it differ from a group other than the fact that you can build groups inside of databases? And what does it mean to close a database?

Apologies if some of these questions are rather elementary.


Hi Devon users,
One more question from me:

If I select the content files in a database and export them as a zip file, what is the status of that zip? E.g. if I shared it with someone who used a computer without DT, would they be able to open and use the zip files? Also, if I backed-up the zips to an external HD, would that be any different from backing up using the “.dtBase.2” files I mentioned in the post above?

Thank you,

That’s probably an error message of the Finder. Please check (and repair if necessary) your filesystem and ensure that the databases are closed (not used by DEVONthink). If that shouldn’t fix the problem, restarting the computer and/or checking the file permissions might do the trick.

It’s a DEVONthink Pro (Office) 2 database.

Copying it to another drive is sufficient but you could also use File > Export > Database Archive…

Re copying databases: always Quit DEVONthink before making a Finder copy. Otherwise, the copy may be incomplete or damaged.