Synchronizing basics

Dear community,

I have a question so basic it doesn’t appear to be covered anywhere. Using DEVONthink Pro 2.11.3 (dated I know but so is the mac I’m using it on and see no need to update) I need to synchronize .dtBase2 files between the mac and an external volume directly connected to that mac. I see no way to achieve that, but I’m certain there is one. The chapter on Synchronizing in Help says something brief about Local sync store, but presupposes knowledge I lack. I would skip the whole complicated thing and simply copy the files by hand but that doesn’t work either, so I’d really very much appreciate a step by step description on: I have a file on Volume A. How do I get a copy onto Volume B.

I really have tons of work to do, thanks for understanding that I simply don’t have the time to study this in depth on my own.

It has been a long time since I used DEVONthink 2.x, so I cannot experiment for you. I’m guessing that you can mount the external volume, which I assume to be a USB device. Then index those files into your DEVONthink database, which while I cannot confirm it, I’m guessing was a feature of that version of DEVONthink.

Do you really need the files to reside on the external volume? If not, why not consider importing them into DEVONthink onto the local hard disk. Then you can occasionally export them out to the external disk for use as you see fit (on other devices or something?).

Dig out the “DEVONthink Manual” for that version and read about importing and indexing. Probably in the chapter “In & Out” (I’m guessing chapter titles the same). In particular, learn about and understand indexing.

Me … I’d import, work inside DEVONthink, then export updated copies when needed. External attached volumes never are as reliable as the local hard disk.

Building on what @rmschne mentioned, the 2.x line of DEVONthink has been out of development for a few years now. We strongly encourage you to upgrade to DEVONthink 3 sooner rather than later. Select ​DEVONthink Pro Office > Purchase ​to open our online store with upgrade options specific to your license.​ The Pro edition would be the natural successor to Pro Office.

I would skip the whole complicated thing and simply copy the files by hand but that doesn’t work either, so I’d really very much appreciate a step by step description on: I have a file on Volume A. How do I get a copy onto Volume B.

This is not what sync does. Sync is not a file copying mechanism. If you just want a copy of your files on the external drive, you can use File > Export > Files and Folders to export to the drive.

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Dear rmschne and Bluefrog,

thanks for your replies, and my apologies, I really should have done some proper reading of my own prior to asking. In doing so, I would have understood that there are two ways described as “full backup” that do what I generically referred to as getting a file from A to B, namely File > Export >Database Archive and Scripts > Export > Daily Backup Archive.

And yes, I will upgrade to 3, I needed to be certain there is some backup and copying mechanism available since I realized that Apple Finder copies of Devon databases tend to be faulty, as do CCC copies … But since I now did due reading, I think I figured it out, and after a moment to see if I got it right, I will upgrade.

Thanks again for your patience!

Glad you are making progress. But “faulty” copies sounds like something else going on. should not happen have I seen that ever with those two apps. How did you decide there was faults.

You’re very welcome :slight_smile:

Yes, in what way are the files faulty?

Hello again.

Mind that I write of copies done in Apple Finder, not copies done by the means described in your documentation.

Some of the .dtBase2 files were smaller in size, and upon opening them, many files inside proved missing. Viewing the contents of those .dtBase2 file as a package in Finder (View Package Contents from context menu) showed that they were in fact missing (other than in previous experiences where I used an inappropriate file syncing app resulting in files inside those packages displaced but not missing altogether—a mistake I won’t repeat).

I think the best advice is to not mess with or explore the DEVONthink Packages, for any reason, frankly. No telling what you will find and if changes made, will corrupt the database. Use DEVONthink to work with the database "package’.

How are you copying the databases?

When I tried copying them in Finder, I simply took them from the folder they sat in and dragged them to the destination folder, holding down the option key. (That’s what I did then, I assume that is your question. Now of course I use the method described in your manual ( File > Export >Database Archive) with no problems so far.)

I would recommend confirming that the problem files were present before the copy. A simple file system copy like you describe is too dumb to make that kind of mistake.

I did. I compared the original and the copied file. I will try and reproduce the problem in Finder (if I don’t succeed, much better).
— Edit — Tried, no more errors. No idea what caused the previous impression or the fact of the error. It may very well have been my mistake, but I will keep an eye on the matter.

  • Did you do a File > Verify & Repair in DEVONthink before the copying?
    • If not, we advocate people run this command at least weekly or bi-weekly. More often, if desired.

Yes that may very well have been the cause. I will in the future. Thanks.

You’re welcome :slight_smile: