Where is my backup?

I’ve been playing around putting together a QuicKeys script to automatically run Verify/Optimize and Backup every night at 2am. It’s working fine, but when I go to “restore backup” to see my available backups, it only shows 3 previous ones from earlier in the day when i was testing. So I ran a backup right then and there and rechecked the window and it still only shows the 3 previous ones. If I change the number of displayed backups in the Preferences window then i see the new backups until that number is displayed, then subsequent ones don’t show. I would think it would take the oldest backup and replace it with the newest one.

So, what’s going on here?

I’m not sure. I assume you’ve got the process automated so that when Verify & Repair is run, QuickKeys issues a Return and then runs Backup & Optimize.

There are some downsides to a simple automation. What if there’s an error report from the Verify & Repair run? In that case, one or more repeats of the Verify & Repair tool should be run. And what if Verify & Repair were to report that if can’t fix the database, in which case either a rebuild or restore from Backup should be run? I don’t think QuickKeys can handle the range of possibilities.

Anyway, in the Finder, use Info to check the dates and times of your Backup folders after running QuicKeys. The most recent folder should display the date and time of run completion. If the 2 AM run is working properly (and Verify & Repair didn’t report errors, fingers crossed), a Backup folder should show an early morning time, some minutes after 2 AM of that date.

yeah, i thought about that, but if there were an error I think i’d get an error message that the macro couldn’t respond to so it would just sit there and i’d find the screen that way come morning.

where are the backups for DT kept, which folder?

I don’t remember whether or not an error message is dismissed by Return, but it is, QuickKeys wouldn’t hang up but would proceed to Backup & Optimize.

The Backup folders are inside `/YourHome/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink.

the latest backup exists in the folder but is NOT displayed in the DT window that is presented when i select Tools/Restore Backup.

Looks like it is displaying the x oldest backups available in the folder where x is the number of backups to be displayed from preferences. I would assert that if this is the case, this is a bug in that the logic should be reversed. It should be displaying the x most RECENT backups for selection in the restore window. Presumably, a new backup is more valuable than an older one or else why would it have been made in the first place?

seems like something that should be corrected.

I checked this immediately calling for a backup restore from within DT. The most recent backup is shown on top of the list called “backup”, the next one is “backup.0”, counting goes on the older the backups are.

I do not see any reason to change this sensible behaviour.


Please note that the next version of DEVONthink will execute backups also scheduled, i.e. not connected to opening or quitting the application.



maria…nor do I.

There is a bug here, but on closer examination I think I see what it is. I don’t know what DT is presenting on Maria’s or anyone else’s system, but on mine it has lost the sync between the backup dates/times and the backup names. If I look in my FOLDER, here’s what I see:

backup 2:00am
backup.0 10:00pm
backup.1 1:30pm
backup.2 7:08am

Here’s what DT presents in the restore window:

backup 10:00pm
backup.0 1:30pm
backup.1 7:08am

So, one of two things appears to be happening here:

  1. DT is showing the right backups with the wrong date/time stamps
  2. DT is showing the older backups with the most recent time/date stamps

Either way, this isn’t ‘sensible behavior’. If I choose to restore a backup, i don’t know what i’m restoring. Is the name right or the date/time stamp right?

It’s not a bug.

I had previously noted differences between times reported in the Finder and in the Backup selection window, and asked Christian about that. Here’s his response:

Now that I think about it, that makes perfect sense. Stick with the order of backup folders presented by DEVONthink.

Ah, now I see. It’s showing the dates of the last modifications rather than the date the backup was performed. I can make an argument for that.

but it is confusing and if that’s what they’re going to do, they should spell it out in the user doc so people like us don’t spin our wheels trying to figure out why a backup isn’t being displayed.

thanks for the clarification, Bill.

To be honest, we generally don’t expect people to manually shift around files in the database folder. That’s what we’ve created the user interface for.



i understand. but from my perspective it’s confusing to bring up the ‘restore backup’ window and see that the latest backup being displayed does not appear to be what i know to be the latest backup i made. That disparity is confusing. that’s why Bill and I both initially thought this was a bug, what is displayed is not what we as users expected to see.

i think just a simple blurb in the user doc saying that it will show the date of the last backup where any of the files were changed would eliminate that confusion.

just a thought.

Understood. I’ll add that.