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backup all the data 100% including internal links?


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After so many years, is there any solution to backup all the data 100% including all the internal links?

With backup based on ENEX, if the Evernote service is discontinued one day, all the internal links would be lost and mean a big disaster.

In fact, if the service is discontinued, it's immpossible to login an account, and then the new installed Evernote desktop client would not work to import an existing ENEX file.

Thanks for your comments!

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Hi.  I can't offhand think of any software company with a substantial customer base that went offline totally and overnight. Worrying about losing access to your data with it locked into a remote database is so unlikely as to be not worth considering.  If the service is discontinued,  it's much more likely to be on the basis that a date is announced some time well into the future when the servers will no longer be available.  You'll be able to look at what's available then,  take some value judgements as to who you want to continue with,  and move your account across in an orderly fashion.

A number of Evernote's competitors already offer import processes from Evernote's servers,  or from your own exported ENEX files - and the bonanza barn sale if Evernote were no longer in the market means that every competitor would have their import routines available to make conversion easy.

You're presumably aware that the installed desktop Legacy client maintains a copy of the 'parent' database,  and an ENEX export from there should be relatively quick and easy to arrange.

What won't be so easy is the maintenance of 'internal' links - these are based on individual note IDs - which by definition will change in a new setup.  There are strategies whereby you can secure your links with keywords so they will be easy to recreate if broken;  but AFAIK there is no way to wave a magic wand and say that the links are protected.  Its very much an individual task to track down both sides of a link and to be able to recreate it.

Your biggest protection at the moment is the 'parent' copy database that Evernote keeps on their server.  All your devices run on copies of those originals.  As long as that remains available,  you can download your notes as files or printed pages wherever and whenever you need them.

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If the links are my concern, I would try to export to HTML instead of ENEX. Have not tried, but probably they will work. Just do it and find out !

The fear of EN falling off the edge of our earth is pretty stupid. Companies of that size and customer base don’t disappear over night. Maybe they go into chapter 11, maybe they are restructured or sold. In all cases the customer base is the single most valuable asset - maintaining it will be the top priority.

All hypothetical, and the last issue to worry about. There are no signs of economical trouble at EN, just the opposite.

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@gazumped  @PinkElephant  Thank you both for your comments and solutions!

7 hours ago, gazumped said:

There are strategies whereby you can secure your links with keywords so they will be easy to recreate if broken

I would be appreciative If you can share more details on the strategies.

7 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

f the links are my concern, I would try to export to HTML instead of ENEX.

I just tried it. It did work. Thank you for sharing!

 

7 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

There are no signs of economical trouble at EN, just the opposite.

I do hope the company makes more and more money and continues to be prosperous.

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Since long I have been wondering whether it's possible to backup the whole Evernote status (including all the databases and the account login state) and migrate it to another computer even when no web access available. There might be such a trick?

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5 minutes ago, actant said:

Since long I have been wondering whether it's possible to backup the whole Evernote status (including all the databases and the account login state) and migrate it to another computer even when no web access available. There might be such a trick?

Could use EN offline mode, but that is designed for a computer that is on-line at least initially, to set up the application and load the snapshot (backup) of the database(s).

If the computer can *never* be online, not even once, you could probably do it, but you've have to hack at it a bit, and be self-supporting. EN support would not support that configuration. Any bugs that crop up, and there will be some, their first and only solution would be to connect the computer online, download the latest patches, etc.

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@John in Michigan USA   Thank you for sharing!

2 hours ago, John in Michigan USA said:

If the computer can *never* be online, not even once, you could probably do it, but you've have to hack at it a bit, and be self-supporting.

Yes, this is what I want. If possible it can be used to "backup" 100%  the EN database in a tricky way.

 

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  • Evernote Expert

I think you will find that you have to have a live Internet connection the first time you open the Evernote account on the disconnected machine. Try it and see.

On Windows you would need to copy the %AppData%\Evernote directory on your live active Evernote account to the same place on the disconnected PC.

If you try, please let us know how you get on.

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Hi @agsteele  Thank you for sharing!

8 minutes ago, agsteele said:

I think you will find that you have to have a live Internet connection the first time you open the Evernote account on the disconnected machine.

I use an old version of Evernote. My worry is that it would be refused to login my account one morning when I wake up.

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OK The principle is the same with the Legacy version of Evernote although the backup content is different.

You should still experiment and see what happens. 

However what you describe is a slightly different scenario. Try using your account and then unplug from the Internet. Can you still access the data? Can you still export it as an ENEX file? If you can then you are good to go without any of the copying of data that I inferred from your initial question.

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36 minutes ago, agsteele said:

Try using your account and then unplug from the Internet. Can you still access the data?

Of course, the downloaded copy fo the database is accessible without web connection. Everything is the same except that the links of new notes can't be generated.

This way I can "backup" 100% the database in the current state.

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I think we've drifted from your question earlier.

4 hours ago, actant said:

Since long I have been wondering whether it's possible to backup the whole Evernote status (including all the databases and the account login state) and migrate it to another computer even when no web access available. There might be such a trick?

My answer to that was copy the data folder to that offline machine and try what you have described.

In Legacy the directory to retain is C:\Users\YourWindowsUserName\Evernote\

 

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@agsteele  Thank you!

In fact many years ago I spent quite a lot time experimenting with the solution of backup the EN data folder to see whether an unofficial backup strategy better than exporting ENEX can be developed. I can't remember much of the details, but the answer was "no". Of course, I kept watching whether other smarter guys might have a solution.

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10 hours ago, actant said:

I would be appreciative If you can share more details on the strategies.

The easy option is to use a password manager like Bitwarden to generate a unique random password each time you link two notes.  Add the password to each note in the title or as a tag - or even as part of the link - and you'll have an unbreakable (but very searchable) connection.

As to your recent thoughts on running a version of Evernote offline - I wouldn't think that was any kind of fail safe.  Evernote inherently wants to be an online service and while you may be able to transfer the database from an online device to an offline one,  you couldn't necessarily guarantee access on the offline machine.  You'd have to be online once for it to 'log in' initially,  and then could continue access by just closing the app down rather than signing out.  But if you accidentally sign out,  your access is gone.

I'd say that your notes are as disaster proof as possible if you continue exporting content to HTML so that you always have your 'linked' access.  There's a miniscule risk that Evernote will have some sort of internal catastrophe,  which is covered by your backup notes.  More action than that is just wasted effort against a 1 in 10M chance...  

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@gazumped   Thank you for sharing more comments!

18 minutes ago, gazumped said:

if you continue exporting content to HTML so that you always have your 'linked' access

In exporting html, links are kept, but tags are lost. In exporting ENEX, tags are kept but links are lost. Life is really tough. ☹️

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I wonder if this world work: Start with the offline computer with a working EN application and database:

  1. Download the relevant EN client to a memory stick or similar
  2. Install EN client on 2nd offline computer.
  3. Copy the database, files, settings etc. under C:\Users\YourWindowsUserName\Evernote\ and the relevant registry hives (or Mac equivalent) from the 1st computer to the second
  4. Launch EN on the 2nd computer, still offline, and see if you can access your page and notebooks. On the 2nd computer:
  5. May have to removed and re-create sharing.
  6. Pay special attention to special pages, attachments, internal and external links to make sure they all came over (or not, as the case may be. The 2nd computer will have new shard ID (? I think that's what it's called) for each EN note that will be different from the shard ID of the original note on the first computer. You'd have to do some fancy text munging to implement a hash table that would let you link existing notes to their "twin" on the 2nd computer.
  7. Come back here and post your solution!
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8 hours ago, Dave Green said:

Pretty techie but this site offers something to routinely sync evernote to local database and from there to export ENEX files if/as needed.

At the bottom of the page there are also other projects.

Thanks - I hadn't seen this before.  Do you have any experience of using this backup process?  Looks like it has potential,  but I don't have time to play with it at present...

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On 8/21/2022 at 11:24 AM, actant said:

After so many years, is there any solution to backup all the data 100% including all the internal links?

My experience is with Evernote Legacy on a Mac; the export function includes all the internal links   
Of course the links point to records in the Evernote database    
When I imported the data to a different product, I used a script (Applescript) to convert the links to the new database

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28 minutes ago, gazumped said:

Thanks - I hadn't seen this before.  Do you have any experience of using this backup process?  Looks like it has potential,  but I don't have time to play with it at present...

I have not done too much with it but I am running it periodically from the command line

evernote-backup sync

and it is getting the right number of changed notes and my several (but not exhaustive) exports to .enex then with YARLE to .md have worked just as manually doing the process starting at Evernote to ENEX and then to YARLE.  I have not done any imports back into Evernote yet.  I am on a Mac so I used the Homebrew version of the code.

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Thank you all for your comments!

4 hours ago, DTLow said:

the export function includes all the internal links   
Of course the links point to records in the Evernote database

When I export a ENEX file, generally I would create a single note and copy/paste the links of all the notes to it. If I want in the future, the note with all the links would make it possible to rebuild all the internal links in the ENEX file. This process seems to be automated by Evernote Legacy according to you descrption.

4 hours ago, DTLow said:

When I imported the data to a different product, I used a script (Applescript) to convert the links to the new database

@DTLow  Could you share which "different product" you use? Thank you!

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On 8/24/2022 at 8:54 PM, actant said:

Could you share which "different product" you use? Thank you!

I switched from Evernote legacy to Devonthink (Apple only)   
 

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Thanks @Dave Green. I can see that this service will have real potential for those who are anxious to have a backup. My main concern would be the security of my Evernote credentials with a GitHub project. But really grateful for you highlighting this.

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I found myself with a little time on my hands so I gave Evernote-Backup a spin and have been pleasantly surprised. For Windows I downloaded the portable exe file (There are similar options for Mac). It has to be run at the command line so my ill spent youth pounding the keys with CP\M and later DOS stood me in good stead.  I think I could probably create a couple of shortcuts to get some GUI experience if I wished. The sync update can be run on a schedule using the Windows Task Scheduler and, presumably, so can the export to ENEX. SO this would provide a automatic backup process for notes.

For my modest database it took around 15 minutes to sync the data from Evernote.The final command which actually creates the ENEX files was quick and I have all the notebooks represented by and ENEX. I'll import a couple and see what happens. By default it creates an ENEX for each notebook although there is a setting to create a single ENEX file. Subsequent syncs should, I believe take less time since only changes and new notes will be processed.

I really not sure I'll be doing this often if at all. I'm quite content with the security of the data already. But for someone wanting the ability to create an ENEX export of all their notes this seems like a straightforward task for someone willing to put their command line hat on.

Thanks @Dave Green

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1 hour ago, agsteele said:

Subsequent syncs should, I believe take less time since only changes and new notes will be processed.

Something in my hind-brain is wondering...  suppose you have a series of backups with changes and new notes recorded...  how do you restore a random original complete note?  Do I have to check which backup has that note included?  I think I'd want to keep a series of full backups rather than a full followed by partials...

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I'm not sure that this was an answer to your original question. Sorry 😞 

I was simply picking up on the Evernote-backup software option.

However, this morning I find my anti-virus has identified evernote-backup.exe as being a carrier of Beareuws.A!ml and has dutifully sent it to virus nirvana. I suspect that this may be a false positive but it is enough to reject this unless I was able to build from the source code and test again.

Edited by agsteele
added anti-virus warning
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Unfortunate that the AV Alert was tripped.  That does not occur on my Homebrew-derived copy on the Mac (I just did another deep scan).  @agsteele thanks for reporting this to the author.  I see you and he have had a conversation on GitHub's issue page for the application.

To the link question, I have not done exhaustive experimentation but I believe the links are preserved in the local database.  It appears to me that Evernote assigns each note a number (or numbers) that is independent of the title and note contents and this is how they link and find things.  I think the number is preserved both in links and in number notes in the database and in the ENEX file.    Now, once one tries to take the ENEX file and move that to another approach using YARLE or whatever then it is up to that additional process to keep the links working after this major transformation into another system.  As an example, I exported my 2+GB Evernote space (slowly built since 2008) into an a collection of Markdown files which were given to Obsidian.  The links worked, tags worked although Evernote's rules for tags are less restrictive than Obisidian, tasks did NOT work but show up as a blob. Also the home page "view" is presentation not data so it is not exported.  Yarle may have been modified to do more here since my experiment.

Long term, for folks to be able to do off-Evernote copy of their data in a way they can later extract it, I think these tools are valuable to encourage.  Evernote-backup provides a way to do this in bulk where, at least presently, Evernote's ENEX creation process is limited to doing a Notebook at a time.  The fact that 3rd party sync is working is also valuable.  Of course, the downside is that the 3rd party tool has to be maintained as changes in Evernote are made.

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13 hours ago, Dave Green said:

Evernote assigns each note a number

Confirmed;  each note is assigned an id #, which matches the link url    
Unfortunately the id # is not included when a note is exported   
My solution was to append the id# to the note contents; this allowed me connect link urls with the correct note and make the required edits

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Hmmm, are you sure they are not in the Export?  Pushing things through Yarle will end with a linked collection that is linked through title/filename (since it is markdown).

As I noted I had not tried to do recovery back into Evernote as my use was going out to a Markdown (Obsidian) test.

I just did an experiment where I created a new notebook with 4 notes interlinked with each other.  I then synced these to my local Evernote "backup" and then did an export.  I then deleted the files in Evernote and the Notebook.  Then I imported the .enex file corresponding to the test notebook.  As others are noting, the links fail.

I then did an experiment where I outputted a rebuilt set of interlinked files to an .ENEX, then deleted the files in Evernote, deleted the Notebook, and then imported the .ENEX from Evernote - links broke here too.

My theory is that Evernote creates new ids for the notes as they come back in and the links inside the notes don't get changed so they are broke.  To test this, I added another link in the files to notes not belonging to one of the exported and deleted notes.  Redoing everything once with the evernote-backup approach and once with the Evernote export a Notebook approach, in both cases the links between them were broke but the link to a note that was not part of the export and deletion worked from the imported note.

It appears that the evernote-backup tool works as well as an Evernote Export (relative to the links) but does deal with the whole data store at once and can keep it in sync.  It is not a backup for restoring to Evernote given the import issue.  Maybe I am missing something but it appears it is an Evernote import of ENEX issue.

EDIT (ADDITION):

I have now read the .enex files and have to agree that the note's ID is NOT in the file.  Makes me wonder how everyone deals with bringing things in (for Markdown purposes).

EDIT2 (ADDITION)

The Markdown folks must be doing it by matching up the text names (of the note and the text on top of link) which would mean that you can break pretty easily if you edit the text after Evernote creates the link.

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@Dave Green  @DTLow  Thank you both for your reply!

1 hour ago, DTLow said:

scripting is supported via Applescript

I just recall that in Evernote for Mac the notes can be manipulated with Appliscript. Many years ago I called for the team to add scripting functionality to Evernote for Win. 

 

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1 hour ago, actant said:

I just recall that in Evernote for Mac the notes can be manipulated with Appliscript. Many years ago I called for the team to add scripting functionality to Evernote for Win.

Sadly, you were unsuccesful. Scripting isn't supported on either Mac or Windows for v10.

So Legacy on Mac only would still work while Legacy still works ;)

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