Strategy required for external file structure

Hi there and Merry Christmas, everybody.
I have a grown structure of files and folders which actually does make sense, which I keep on an external HDU. I am not moving my entire data to DevonThink as I like it the way it is.
Now with such a structure in normal file operations, files are being added and deleted via various programs. That leaves missing files (biggest problem) and of course new files to be added.
While I assume (please correct me if I’m wrong), that new files will be added by “file - update index” (no idea what the English label is) - and hopefully those will be also updated when it comes to content - the problem with deleted files is bigger.
Those are marked as missing, which is of course correct. But how do I remove them?

What I’d like - but it doesn’t seem to exist - is basically a rescan of the structure which removes deleted files (or puts them in a special folder) and at the same time updates updated and newly created files. I am just unsure how to make that work esp. with which commands.

Thanks for your help.
Best, Alex.

Is that a fact, or an assumption?

They are listed as missing in the protocol. That is a fact. I do not live in an echo bubble where I perceive things as real which are not.

Why would that be an assumption and how does your question help in finding a solution to my question that physically deleted files are not available in an index of a database that references to it?

The tone of my question has irked you - I apologise. I was not inferring you were imagining things - I wondered whether you had already set up what you described, and experienced the problem described; or whether you were intending to set it up, and assuming the problems described would materialise. The basis for that question is that I have not observed the behaviour you describe - but index a very small subset of files, so my experience might not be relevant.

Obviously understanding whether you have actually already run into a problem or are assuming (eg after reading something somewhere) that you will is relevant to finding answers. Again, I apologise for posting such a brief, unexplained response (on the way to work with other things on my mind).

If you are still happy to work with me: are your files stored on your device, or in cloud storage? Am I understanding you correctly that you are not deleting them from the Finder, but that third party software is doing that? Are the files being deleted, or moved?

As an aside, are you aware that you can remove missing files directly from the log? (see DEVONthink 3.6.1 Documentation, page 178)

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Hi there,
don’t worry, it’s a weird Christmas and having converted 25,000 files in the past few days has maybe left me a bit irk-able. :slight_smile:
I guess my problem is that I am expecting somebody to tell me that “this is not the way you should work with DevonThink” while it is the way that I work and want to work.

The files are stored externally on a harddisk, I am not even attempting to use cloud services, with terrabytes of data that would just be too much. :slight_smile: I work with them not through DevonThink but through Finder, Word, XMind, Dramatica etc.

So there are essentially two things happening to them outside of DevonThink:

  • I edit them / and create new items (which requires an update of the DevonThink database)

And then there are the things that I have done in the past days, I have converted 25,000 doc files into docx files so they survive and I can still read them while Word has already decided that it cannot read its own format anymore. In doing so, I created new files and

  • deleted the other files from the hard disk and from trash.

All of this sometimes has to be done outside of DevonThink because the workflow demands it or sometimes I just do it for no apparent reason at all. :slight_smile:

Both cases leave me with a database that has missing files:

  • the new files and the edited files aren’t updated (as DevonThink is not constantly running in the background checking on changed files, I assume.)
  • the deleted files are shown as missing and also listed on updating the index that they are missing, which is correct.

Now I want to stop short of creating databases every week, as I have just done. With 25,000 file changes I didn’t mind to let the computer run over night to let DevonThink create and thus update its database. However, this is a time consuming process and I am looking for a way to make that easier.

How can I ask DevonThink to update the edited and new files that have been created after the initial database was created.

And How can I ask DevonThink to update and remove the entries of the files that have been removed physically as well.

I do presume these are two tasks and I have found a rather volatile forum entry about that which has left me curious about the question if there is something that I am missing without somebody telling me that I’m doing it wrong. :slight_smile:


For me this just works when I select Update Indexed Items (⌥⌘S) in DT.

Again, this just happens for me when I select the action above.

If I understand your first post correctly, though, this isn’t working for you?

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Sometimes when I see large number of deleted files “missing” from the index (normal if the files no longer there) I just “rebuild” the database. Simple.

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Is the database’s Trash empty?

Also, I’m doubting you’ll be converting 25,000 files often.

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Hi there, thanks for replying. I am glad that I seem to have chosen the right points, for odd reasons it doesn‘t seem to have worked. I will watch this more closely, as I have recreated all the databases by now. Thank you for replying. Alex.

the database‘s trash was empty, that is correct.

As for how often I change files, that remains to be seen. I have a very high file output which may not be everybody‘s usecase, but it is mine.

On an average week I create over 250 files as a journalist, writer, editor and lecturer. While that may not amount to 25,000 it does add up and that is why I need DevonThink, to reliable search and index for files and content, about topics that I have written. And for that I do need a reliable database as anyone would, who works with DevonThink.

So the question is not if I change 25,000 files a week, but how I can keep DevonThink‘s database on top of things, so it serves my needs to index and search my files, including the new and edited ones, while not displaying files that are no longer in existence.

I will closely watch what @Blanc has written, which was my initial guess, but it didn‘t work out, as the removed files were still in the database (and also duplicated, which may have been an indication of database corruption.) So rebuilding the database was helpful, albeit, time consuming.

Thanks for your reply. Alex. :slight_smile:

Thanks for replying, it hasn‘t worked with the old database maybe it does work now with the newly created one. Sometimes it isn‘t as simple as it appears, though it should be. Thanks!

what was the symptom that made you conclude a rebuild did not work?