Recovering Devonthink Docs from Time Capsule

I Can’t find the answer I’m looking for after a general Google search, or after searching this forum, so sorry if this is a repeat of something that has been discussed.

I deleted a doc from Devonthink awhile ago because I didn’t think I’d need it.

Now, I want it.

All of the storage locations that Devonthink uses are backed up on the Time Capsule. But, I don’t fully understand the Devonthink hierarchy of OSX folders it uses. So, it will be very time consuming to hunt through all of those folders to find what I’m looking for.

I can of course see where in OSX other documents in that Devonthink group are by using “show in finder”, but the document I’m looking for isn’t in the same place, probably because the other docs currently in the group are .pdf files, and the one I’m looking for wasn’t.

Devonthink is so well designed that what I’m trying to do must be both possible and straightforward, but I can’t figure it out.

Can anyone here help me?

Thanks a lot.

I gather that you know where your database is stored, both on your boot drive and in the Time Capsule backup, that you have been able to Enter the Time Capsule backups and can select a backup of your database that is old enough to hold the document that you had deleted.

If your database is large, it would probably require a lot of poking about to find the specific file you want inside a database backup.

Here’s what I would do:

  1. Quit the DEVONthink application.

  2. In the Finder, select the DEVONthink database and Control-click on it, then choose the option to compress it.

  3. Enter Time Capsule, go back in time and select the DEVONthink database. Click Restore to restore the backup in place of the current database.

  4. Launch DEVONthink. Search for the file you had deleted.

4a) If found, select it and choose File > Export > Files & Folders to a new folder in the Finder. Go to step 5).

4b) Else, if the file isn’t found, Quit DEVONthink, then go to step 3) and go further back in time within Time Capsule and select and Restore the database, then go to step 4).

  1. Quit DEVONthink. In the Finder, select the database that had been restored from Time Capsule, Control-click on it and choose the option to move it to the Trash.

  2. Still in the Finder, double-click on the zipped file that contains your current database to unzip it. Launch DEVONthink and open the database. Import the file that you had found and exported from the older backup database. Now you’ve recovered the file that had been deleted.

  3. If all is well, delete the zipped copy of the database, as it is no longer useful.

Thanks, Bill, makes sense.

Quick question about where the database is stored.

In the finder I can’t see anything below the .dtBase2 file in the hierarchy. All the docs are of course stored under the Files.noindex node in the hierarchy.

I’ve tried to get access on the Get Info screens, but can’t figure out how todo it. Is it through a Terminal command?

I realize that Devonthink doesn’t want me messing around in there, and that this is an OSX question rather than a Devonthink issue per se, but what so you recommend?