Please Help - Corrupted Unrecoverable Database

I came in to work this morning to find that my database was corrupted. It is located on a network server RAID, and therefore is infrequently backed up due to the internal redundancy. I have a copy from a month ago that is OK, but I have done a significant amount of work in the DB since then. It was fine last night, and I closed it down before I went to bed.

I have tried calling the company but no answer - I presume they are in Europe.

I switched to this application recently because of data corruption in my last application - I was hoping DT was going to be better.

Please help me understand how to extract the data from the database - I really need the notes I took in the last month.

Thanks for any help.

John :exclamation:

If the database was fine last night, and DT was shut down in the interim, it seems to me like you need to be talking to your server people rather than DT. That is, corruption that occurs while DT is not running is probably not DT’s fault.

You should see a response from the company soon. They watch this forum pretty consistently.


What I meant was that it apparently became corrupted as I shut it down, not while it was shut down.

If you know of any way to recover text/files from the database files themselves (database.0, etc.) that would be really helpful.

Everything else on the RAID checks out - that is probably not the cause. There may have been some imported data from a while ago that is causing it, and that fact that I was unaware that periodic maintenance of the DB would have been a good idea.

I usually don’t recommend starting with a rebuild, but with Tools > Restore Backup in cases of database corruption.

If you have already tried Restore Backup on the most recent internal Backup folder without success, try this:

Make a copy of the database and let’s work with that copy.

With the database open (I assume you can open it), choose Tools Restore Backup and select the next most recent internal backup folder, Backup0. This is a reversible operation. The current contents of the database are swapped with the contents of Backup0. If the database had not been corrupted at that time, you should recover a working database, although you will have lost more recently entered material.

If you cannot open the database at all, it’s still possible to recover from an internal backup folder plus the internal files folder.

Create a new folder in the Finder – call it Harry for the time being. In the Finder, choose your database file, click on the Actions button and choose the option to show package contents.

Open the folder named Backup, select all of its contents and copy (Option-drag) the files into the folder named Harry. Also copy the folder named Files into Harry. Note: If the contents of Backup were corrupt, repeat this part of the procedure using the contents of Backup0 (and if still a problem, use the contents of Backup1).

Harry now holds the contents of one of your internal backup folders, plus a folder named Files. To turn it onto a DT Pro database, select (don’t open) Harry and press Command-I to open the Info panel. Change the name of this folder as appropriate, adding the suffix “.dtBase” (without the quotes, but case is important). Press Return and close the Info panel. Now you have a DT Pro database package file.

Double click on the database file to open it under DT Pro. Fingers crossed, you have recovered the material you were seeking.

Recommendation: I like and use DT Pro’s Scripts > Export > Backup Archive. After making significant changes to a database, when ready to take a break it only takes seconds to invoke the Backup Archive routine. On return from break the database has been verified, optimized and has current internal and external backups. For added safety (a hard drive could fail, my laptop could the stolen or whatever) that compressed and dated archive file can be copied to an external device – a CD, DVD, portable drive or another computer.

Although I think backing up is prudent and I do it, I haven’t had to resort to a backup in more than two years. My databases are very stable. My operating system is pretty much as Apple designed it. I rarely install applications (such as haxies) or plugins that deliberately modify the operating system, as we often see problems resulting from installation of poorly written code, especially after OS or Security updates from Apple (run the Disk Utility permissions repair routine before and after such updates). And I do routine preventive maintenance on the operating system and disk directory. Utilities such as OnyX or Cocktail, and a directory ‘fixer’ like DiskWarrior 4 can keep your computer running cleanly and efficiently and will nip small problems in the bud before they cause big problems.

Try to think about what could have caused your database problem, such as a system crash, a power outage, recent installation of new applications or utilities, etc. And backup.

Hi Bill,

Rebuild is the only option I was presented with when the dialog came up - ignore led to an empty database. Restoration from internal BackUps does not seem to be working, including your suggested steps of rebuilding the .pkg. I think I need help from the people who know how to extract the data from the corrupted database, but they have not responded to my emails or phone calls at this point.

I am a bit confused - isn’t technical support part of what I paid for when I purchased the software?

Thanks for taking the time to write out the solutions, and I will be much more careful about making duplicates and storing them elsewhere from now on. First I need to get my data back though!

As to the question of how this happened, it must have been a network issue. I have none of the things you described installed on my Mac, and it runs perfectly (as it should!).

Take care,


Ignoring the Rebuild option doesn’t do anything to the database that hasn’t already happened.

Can you remember anything ‘exceptional’ that happened when you last used the database? For example, if the network shut down before the database was closed, damage could result. But it would be likely that all the internal backups would still be recoverable using Restore Backup. I would experiment with backup recoveries starting with the most recent internal Backup folder, and recommend working with a copy of the database in case you forget what you’ve already done in a series of experiments.

I recommend running Scripts > Export > Backup Archive after making significant changes to a database. Redundancy is good. And the backup archive file can be stored on another device in case your hard drive fails or other unlikely (but possible) events were to happen.

Do you have a direct FireWire or USB connection to the Raid server? Or is it WiFi (in which case access would be slower than a direct connection or your internal HD). If it’s an Internet connection to the server, access would be more error-prone (and with slow responsiveness), depending on the mode of access and the network. Just remember that every step you make away from running the database on your computer or an external drive directly connected to it introduces variables that you may or may not be able to control.

I don’t think anything exceptional happened, and other files that are on there accessed that evening are fine. I agree it is strange that the backups are corrupted, but I expect this is something that has been a problem for a while and just finally manifested itself since I wasn’t doing any maintenance.

The basic reason that this is an issue is that there is no good way to sync these databases that I know of. Most of us have a work machine and a home machine, and the only way I know of to use this application that will allow me to access the data from both is to keep the data on an accessible network device (which I am lucky to have - most people don’t have access to one).

I have no idea how others manage this (copying the database manually every day seems ridiculous to me.) Using ChronoSync or some other syncing program does not work. I understand there is a utility that can do this, but it is not made by Devon, and I have no idea how well it works, or what it does to the data. Also, how should it access my home machine to sync when I am at work?

If there is a better solution to this main issue than keeping the file on a network accessible location (which should act like a local machine for all intensive purposes) please let me know, as I have read every document on this discussion forum about it and no one seems to have a better solution.

Take care,