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Loss of Notes after Merging of Notebooks


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Recently I experienced a pretty significant loss of notes on two occasions. Fortunately I was able to recover all of them because one of my devices was offline and I was able to export those notes before the sync would obliterate all of them.

 

What I did before the notes got lost was this. I decided to merge the notes of two notebooks. So I selected all the notes of notebook A and moved them to notebook B. When I saw that the copy process was finished I then went ahead and deleted the now empty notebook A. And after that I was able to see how the newly moved notes in notebook B simply disappeared one by one. 

 

I have a theory why this could have happened. When the sync started the web server first noticed the deleted notebook. Because it didn't have a chance to sync the individual notes yet it just deleted all those notes along with the notebook. Does that make sense? If this is the case I definitely don't think this is an ideal situation. At least the user should be warned.

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If you have your device set to sync automatically at standard intervals,  your move operation would not have been committed to the server unless you manually synced the change after it was completed.  This would apply to any changes you make if you edit a note (or notes) and then delete them after.  Safest thing to do in that sort of situation is:

 

Make your changes/ edits

Manually Sync

Check with EN web to make sure the changes have been received

 

I'm being wise after the event,  because I'm sure I would have done the same as you and then backtracked desperately afterward - but I don't see how Evernote can recognise that you finished making a significant change and sync or warn you that you should sync before accepting any further changes.  As a matter of interest,  did your notes wind up in the Trash Folder?

 

The only protection I can suggest is to set your sync interval to as short a time as you can stand - bearing in mind that this also might have drawbacks if you make an unintended change that is synced to the server immediately...

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Recently I experienced a pretty significant loss of notes on two occasions. Fortunately I was able to recover all of them because one of my devices was offline and I was able to export those notes before the sync would obliterate all of them.

 

What I did before the notes got lost was this. I decided to merge the notes of two notebooks. So I selected all the notes of notebook A and moved them to notebook B. When I saw that the copy process was finished I then went ahead and deleted the now empty notebook A. And after that I was able to see how the newly moved notes in notebook B simply disappeared one by one. 

 

This is clearly a bug, a very serious bug.  Please submit a bug report.

 

I just ran a test in EN Mac 6.0.11 running Mavericks (10.9.5), and the exact same thing happened.

 

I recommend that everyone who experiences a bug to submit a bug report.  This will make sure that Evernote is aware of the issue, provide your environment data to help identify/fix the issue, and put more pressure on Evernote to fix.

 

Submit a BUG report via an EN Support Ticket. In the Support Form, select "Report a bug", and start the Ticket Title with "BUG:  " to make it clear.  Reporting a bug should be available to all users, including Free Account owners.  Other Ticket types available to Free users are "Data Loss", "Crash", & "Sync Issue".

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Recently I experienced a pretty significant loss of notes on two occasions. Fortunately I was able to recover all of them because one of my devices was offline and I was able to export those notes before the sync would obliterate all of them.

 

What I did before the notes got lost was this. I decided to merge the notes of two notebooks. So I selected all the notes of notebook A and moved them to notebook B. When I saw that the copy process was finished I then went ahead and deleted the now empty notebook A. And after that I was able to see how the newly moved notes in notebook B simply disappeared one by one. 

 

I have a theory why this could have happened. When the sync started the web server first noticed the deleted notebook. Because it didn't have a chance to sync the individual notes yet it just deleted all those notes along with the notebook. Does that make sense? If this is the case I definitely don't think this is an ideal situation. At least the user should be warned.

Could indeed be a valid theory.  Potential confusion for EN servers, which to do first; move the notes or delete the notebook?  Hopefully JMs trouble ticket will get to the bottom of it.

 

In the meantime, I have found it is best to do the note moves, sync, then do the notebook delete.  In fact, in any major reorg process, do it in chunks syncing betwixt the chunks.  FWIW.

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What makes this a very serious bug is that it causes loss of data.

I checked my EN Trash in both EN Mac and EN Web, and the Notes deleted by Evernote in error are NOT in the Trash.

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Could indeed be a valid theory.  Potential confusion for EN servers, which to do first; move the notes or delete the notebook?  Hopefully JMs trouble ticket will get to the bottom of it.

 

In the meantime, I have found it is best to do the note moves, sync, then do the notebook delete.  In fact, in any major reorg process, do it in chunks syncing betwixt the chunks.  FWIW.

 

Yeah, I would normally do things in steps, manually syncing after each step.

But this was a test, so I followed the OP's process to reproduce.

 

IAC, Evernote should NEVER take any action that causes loss of data without the user's explicit instructions to do so.

To avoid issues like this, database servers use a transaction log to process changes.

 

But this is all very technical stuff that the user should not have to worry about.  The process used by the OP was logical and even included verifying that the Notes had been moved before deleting the old Notebook.  Evernote should have handled this properly.

 

I do this all the time on my Mac.  Move all files from one folder to another, then delete the empty folder after making sure my files have been moved.  It's never been a problem.   :)

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Stating the obvious, but the implication would be the server doesn't process the client changes in the same order as they were made on the client.  :rolleyes:

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UPDATE on Notes Lost Due to Merge

 

Well, it's not good, but it's not nearly as bad at it first appeared.

EN Mac 6.0.11 running Mavericks (10.9.5)

 

After the empty NB A is deleted and a sync is done, the Notes that had been moved to NB B were NOT deleted, but were reassigned to my default NB, "Inbox".   I have done two tests which confirm this.

 

So I didn't lose any Notes, they were just put in a different NB.

 

Obviously, this is still a BUG, but not nearly as severe as it first appeared.

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  • 2 years later...

This bug still exists as of 11/8/17.  I just spent quite a bit of time creating notes with PDF scanned documents.  I wanted to merge notes together.  The first thing I saw was that if I merged ALL notes, they exceeded a 200 MB limit.  So, I merged a subset of the notes which fell below 200MB.   Poof.  All the notes I merged were gone and there was no merged note.

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6 minutes ago, evernote_healthcare said:

This bug still exists as of 11/8/17.  I just spent quite a bit of time creating notes with PDF scanned documents.  I wanted to merge notes together.  The first thing I saw was that if I merged ALL notes, they exceeded a 200 MB limit.  So, I merged a subset of the notes which fell below 200MB.   Poof.  All the notes I merged were gone and there was no merged note.

Are you saying that you merged separate notes into a single note?The original notes should be in the Trash. Are they? Or are you saying that you moved a bunch of notes into a different notebook, and you deleted the original notebook, which is the original problem reported here.

Are you using the Mac Evernote client?

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Thank you for your reply jefito.  You clarified the situation but I would like Evernote to handle this situation more gracefully.  

1. I merged several notes into a single note; each note had a scanned PDF which was created with the Evernote Edition ScanSnap scanner (love it).

2. I am running the Evernote Mac desktop client, though I also run Evernote Android and iOS Apps on two mobile phones.

I did not move notes to a different notebook.

I do see the notes in the trash now, which is helpful to know now, but, having entered the problem this morning and not being able to intuitively find the notes I spend about 2 hours redoing the work today and just checked back on this support thread in the evening.  Moving original notes to the trash, when no merged note appears is not the behavior I would hope for, but thanks for clarifying.

 

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10 hours ago, evernote_healthcare said:

Moving original notes to the trash, when no merged note appears is not the behavior I would hope for, but thanks for clarifying.

If you're saying that you did a merge operation, but no merge note was created, then that's a bug, and you should report that in a new topic in the Mac Product Feedback forum here: https://discussion.evernote.com/forum/218-mac-product-feedback/, as this is a different issue than what the original post here discusses.

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