Recover file data from Metadata

I’m a new user, MacMini Big Sur 11.1, DT3 3.6.1

Can I restore a DT3 file directly using previous Library Metadata? I’m thinking perhaps to use TimeMachine to restore my database from previous Library Metadata files.

I’ve lost my data from yesterday PM. I’ve already checked my Database folder with TimeMachine and the file I’m looking for showed at 7:30 AM, but was not there at 9:30 AM. Looks like I somehow created an Archive yesterday AM and then deleted the database by mistake. and didn’t discover until this AM. Also note there was only a .zip file in my Database folder, no .dtBAse2 file. But I was putting data into DT throughout yesterday.

I noticed the missing data this AM. That’s when I discovered the database file was not in my Database folder (only the .zip file). Using Spotlight, I found the database in my Trash - along with several other files - just alpha-numeric folders all trashed the same time at about 9AM.

And then I found one of the file’s modified documents from yesterday PM, buried deep in the Library Metadata (see attached).

However, now that I’ve opened the archived database as well as the one from trash, the document version shows current in Finder, but does not have yesterday PM’s data. So, I’m thinking if I restore yesterday PM’s Library Metadata files, then DT might be able to use them to rebuild the database.

No you can’t restore a file from that metadata. Those files are only Spotlight metadata.

Is the Zip file the exported archive? Did you try to unzip it?

Yes, I did unzip it the database was fine, but since the .zip was created about 8:30 AM my later modifications were not present. But I did find the database this AM - feeling foolish. I’ll put info in a Reply to my initial post.

Thanks. Pretty much what I figured. But I did find the file this morning. Feeling foolish. I’ll post reply to my initial topic. Sorry to take up your time, but I’m learning.

No worries and no wasted time :slight_smile:

Feeling foolish, but as a new user, maybe I’m not alone. I found the database file this AM. Fortunately, DevonThink 3 has a much better memory than I.

Thanks to BLUEFROG and cgrunenberg for your input. Sorry to have wasted your time on this issue.

I’d been working on a backup strategy that fit with my current flow. I have a folder for the files I want to backup off-site (fairly easy to create sparse image periodically). So, I thought I’d just to move my .dtBase2 file into that folder, that way the sparse image would contain the backups as well as the current file.

As best I can figure, I archived my file, copied my database into the new location then deleted the original file with DT’s delete. I suppose I then opened the file from the new location, using it off and on throughout the hectic day and closed the database in the evening.

Next morning, forgetting my grand plan from the previous morning, I opened DT, then File>Open Database (which takes me to my default Database folder). I then discover the .dtBase2 file is gone, panic, unzip the archive and double-click it which opens DT. Of course my prior day’s work is gone. Then I spent the better part of the day trying to find a way to get my lost data back.

If only I had checked out DT’s File>Open Recent. I would have seen the file in the new location.

So, at this point, I’ve put my database file back in the Database folder. And will probably be using Archive to periodically create my offsite backup.

An expensive lesson for me, but thankfully DevonThink is pretty bullet proof. The more I work with it, the more impressed I am with its capabilities and robustness.