restore process

Getting ready to upgrade hard drive/OS and unsure of the estore process/order. Also would like to know best way to test backups prior.

My Setup-Global DB which contains email messages ad 4 sub databases:

a) I backup the global using Backup & Optimize
b) I back up each sub-DB using Backup Archive (Scripts > Export > Backup Archive)
-Carbonite backs up ((a+b)after each has run.

to restore would i:

  1. Install DT
  2. Open DT and run Tools > Restore Backup
  3. Open each DB from within devonthink ?

Also what would be a non destructive way to test my backups?


This is for restoring a metadata backup inside the database structure, not the database itself.
You would restore the database, .dtBase2 file, per your backup app/service’s restoration process then merely open it in DEVONthink. At that point you could do a Tools > Verify & Repair if you’d like.

Not sure what “4 sub databases” are. Do you mean a total of five databases – a “global” default and four others?

Do any of those have indexed items that reference files outside a database? If not, each .dtBase2 database package is self-contained. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to restore any external files (outside databases) to their original locations so DEVONthink’s indexed items can find them.

Which edition of DEVONthink are you running (Personal, Pro, Pro Office)? Pro Office (and maybe Pro) stores some of its support files, including the Global Inbox, under ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2 (~ is your home folder), so you probably want to save/restore that in addition to your other databases.

If you’ve got extra or modified scripts (locations vary) those might be worth saving/restoring.

If you’ve changed any Preferences you may want to either save/restore at least ~/Library/Preferences/com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2.plist or make note of the changes (e.g. save screenshots of Preferences tabs) so you can redo them.

It’s been awhile but I think that’s everything I’ve cared about when previously doing DEVONthink (Pro Office) reinstalls (e.g. after clean system updates). None of my databases have indexed items and I’ve copied their .dtBase2 packages between different systems many times without any data loss.

I have several dtbase2 zips ; there is one however that is called Inbox. which i did not create. I was under the impression that this was the default (global) that is created when you install DT; and what is backed up when you run “backup and optimize” If so would this need to be the first opened or does DT just create another?

If it does create another, should i create a DB to house the email that currently is stored there?

Including inbox, 5


Pro Office 2.5.1

Yes i do have a Inbox.dtbase2 located in Library\application support.…( not zipped). I also have another with the same name, zipped and located with the otherDB zips in a folder called backup.

Do both need to be backed up/restored
If just 1 Inbox,which one?
What order would all be DBs and p.list be restored/opened?


I’ll abbreviate it as DtPO below.

That’s the Global Inbox database.

Presumably those were all created from DtPO using Scripts > Exports > Daily Backup Archive, with filenames like Inbox And the Backup folder would be directly under your home folder.

Daily Backup Archive database backups under ~/Backup aren’t actively used or required by DtPO. Do whatever you want with them; DtPO won’t care if they’re missing.

I’d backup/restore the entire ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2 folder hierarchy. Choose whatever method you prefer for reliably copying it, and your databases, from the old to new disk.

If ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2 isn’t copied (restored) to your new disk it’ll be recreated, with an empty Global Inbox, the first time DtPO is run. And you’d (optionally) reinstall ABBYY FineReader OCR software and other things from the Install Add-Ons window.

Whatever order you prefer, but ideally before running DtPO for the first time after installing the new disk.