I'm getting 'file missing' error on databases I restored from Arq back up cloud


Some days before my earlier Mac machine crashed. I’ve a new mac-machine now.

I have downloaded my databases from Arq back up in ‘document’ folder of new-mac. In my earlier Mac I stored databases in external SSD.

I can open up DEVONthink databases. But I can’t view files. I’m getting ‘File missing’ error.

Please advise what should I do?

Thank you.

I’m guessing here as there is little info here to go on, but probably the files are indeed “missing”. That error pops up on index files (you located them outside DEVONthink and then indexed them) that aren’t where DEVONthink thinks they are. Probably need to do more file recovery from your backup. Look at the full-path name of the file (I think shown in the Log) or in the index.

Take a look at page 178 in the DEVONthink Manual the section “Missing Files”.

Did you change your user name?

Yes, I have a new user name in new Mac.

Then you have two options:

  • change your user name back to the one you used when you created your backup


  • modify all paths that use your old user name

The second option is doable with a script that @cgrunenberg provided, however if I would have to decide I would definitely change my user name back to the old one.

Thank you. Is there a way to find my last username? And how can I change it? Thanks again.

  • Select any record that shows “File missing”.
  • Menu Tools > Inspectors > Info > General
  • In the Info Inspector under “Path” you’ll find the old path and user name

Sorry, forgot to mention:

  • Right click on “Path”
  • Choose “Copy”
  • Paste the copied path somewhere

Path shows my new username. /Users/kunjabeharidasa/Databases/Bhulok/DEVonThinkDatabases/USATaxLaws.dtBase2/Files.noindex/pdf/c/Entity Classification Regulations.pdf

For a record that says “File missing”?

I never had to do something like this but I doubt that DEVONthink changes the path of a record to match your new user name. Doesn’t make sense.

I’m restoring from Arq cloud backup. Is Arq changing the path?

No idea.

Damn, I mixed things up! :disappointed:

The script I mentioned was used to change the paths of indexed records after they were moved in the Finder. But you are using imported records which means the paths are always relative to the database’s path. So this can’t produce your issue. No idea what to do, sorry.

@Kanishka How about as a first step finding the files (on backup or elsewhere), copy them to their new home on the computer with the new ID. That nothing to do with DEVONthink. I have no idea about Arq, but my guess is that the files reside there on that server under the login ID used at Arq and can be retrieved. But I don’t know.

Then, in DEVONthink, delete the indexes in DEVONthink, rebuild the DEVONthink database(s) to start again, re-index the files in the new locations.

Addendum: And, most importantly, read and understand DEVONthink Manual about “Missing Files”, page number given above (Page 178).

@pete31 This approach sound reasonable?

@Kanishka In addition to Arq, consider using Apple’s TimeMachine for backup as that would have helped you with setting up the new machine and recovering these files pretty much auto-magicly.

I’ve no idea. Probably best to wait for @BLUEFROG.

From the path shown, this is an imported file and was likely missing when it was backed up.

I would do a File > Verify & Repair on the database to check it’s integrity and see what else may be missing.

If you have earlier backups, you could try restoring the database to another location to see if the file is present.

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above should be directed to @Kanishka

Good catch the file is “imported” thus inside the database (or not as the case may be). Could have been a lurking problem before the last backup.

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@BLUEFROG thanks for answering.

I tried File> Verify and Repair on the database. It shows “0 inconsistencies, 0 invalid file names, 110 missing and 0 orphaned files”.

I was backing up on arq cloud. I can see all my databases in arq back up. Databases in Arq back up are showing .dtmeta files. I can’t see any .noindex file there.

In addition to backing up on Arq, I backed up on iCloud and also have my iPad DTPO synced with my last Mac.

Please advise.

You’re welcome.

There’s no Files.noindex folder. That would only be the case if you’re indexing files?!?

I backed up on iCloud

Do you mean synced?

Is the database intact, i.e., no missing files in DEVONthink To Go or your "last Mac?

I wasn’t indexing the files on Arq. Arq backed up my hard disk everyday.

Yes, I synced them on iCloud.

Yes. There shouldn’t be any missing files in Devonthink To Go, as I was downloading database there. I can access them from there.
Regarding last MAC, I was accessing databases in external SSD. The external SSD is intact. I didn’t try using SSD with new MAC as it uses M1 chip.

You said…

Bearing in mind that sync is not intended as a backup, if DEVONthink To Go has the database intact and is syncing to iCloud, you should be able to delete the broken database on the Mac and import it again from the sync location in DEVONthink’s Preferences > Sync. It would be available in the Remote section when the sync location is selected. Double-click it to importit, ideally saving it in the Databases folder in your Home directory.