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Cure for a DevonThink database that won't open

I'm a big fan of DevonThink Pro and its role in my home office. But recently a change in working style necessitated that I needed access to my DevonThink databases from two different computers. While the app does have a built-in web-based sharing mode, I needed full access, complete with the ability to import and OCR documents, so using that wasn't an option.

I installed DevonThink on both of my computers (a desktop and a notebook) and moved my databases to a USB drive shared using a Time Capsule. At first, this seemed to work great. The databases were only open by one computer or the other (never both, simultaneously) and I was back in business.

But after the first day, I suddenly started getting errors when opening any of my DevonThink databases. The app would show an error message stating it believed the database was already in use on another computer. It would happen on the desktop, but not the notebook. Then, later, it would happen on the notebook, but the desktop was fine. Then, disaster struck, and both computers reported the same problem. I could no longer access my DevonThink files!

Now, once again, I was absolutely certain that I had never tried to simultaneously access these databases from both computers. The DevonThink app was never open on both systems at the same time, either. I quickly turned to the forums and tech support at Devon Technologies. And, of course, Google. I found lots of information about how to rebuild a database that opened and reported as being corrupt, but that is a whole different problem. I couldn't get DevonThink to open my files at all.

In a panic, I filled out the tech support form at Devon Technologies. It said to expect a response within 2 days. Yikes! Well, I guess with the time zone difference (they're in Germany) that might be reasonable. After 3 days of waiting, I had an idea. I unplugged the USB drive from my Time Capsule and connected it directly to my notebook. Success! The DevonThink databases opened just fine. Then, I moved the drive to my desktop. Again, no problem at all.

So, dear reader, if you have a DevonThink database that is "in use" even when it's not, be aware that DevonThink apparently has problems with databases that are stored on the network.

As for Devon Technologies tech support, they never responded.

Comments

Paul.

Wow -- never responded. I have a trial running so I think I may not keep it. Shame, as it is really useful.

I had the same problem. I cured it, by "Opening package contents" and removing the lock file manually (once I knew that there was no real lock issue).

I think this product needs proper syncing / cloud service to be truly useful and not a pain when using different machines (a common scenario). This Dropbox solution is a little bit flaky (and what happens if you forget to close devonthink???).

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