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mac Evernote Backup to include Notebooks

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Help needed with Notebook backups.

 

As I rely more & more on Evernote I become more & more concerned over Backups.

I know I can backup to an enex file but this is not a mirror image of my notes. It does not separate Notebooks. The notes are just in one big mass!

 

Whilst searching the forums for an answer I found that on Windows all you have to back up is the enx file.  However on a Mac I can't find any reference to an enx file. I presume this is windows only.

 

I would be very grateful if someone out there can help me with a way of backing up my data to preserve Notebooks/Stacks/Tags etc.

 

As an added complication Evernote downloaded from their site & Evernote from the App store store their files in different locations in the Library.  Does anybody know why this is?

 

I would also suggest that Evernote think about giving us a better backup procedure to retain Notebooks within Evernote.....Please.

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As an added complication Evernote downloaded from their site & Evernote from the App store store their files in different locations in the Library.  Does anybody know why this is?

 

I would also suggest that Evernote think about giving us a better backup procedure to retain Notebooks within Evernote.....Please.

I'll let others tackle the other questions. 

The reason for the different file location is that apple requires applications in the Mac App Store to be "sandboxed", that is, their supporting files have to b e tucked away in a very specific, private location. The application can only easily access or change files in this specific sandbox, and other applications have limited or no access to the sandbox of another application. The idea is to ensure the security and safety of an applications data, while also preventing an application gone awry (on purpose such as with malware, or by accident such as by an error) from doing too much damage outside of its own sandbox. 

 

The version downloaded directly from Evernote (any software distributed outside of the Mac App Store, for that matter) is not subject to this requirement, so as a result Evernote puts its data in the more "conventional" Application Support folder.

 

Evernote does about all you could expect a company to do to facilitate backing up. For example, the data are stored on at least two locations, your desktop and their servers. After this, it is the user's responsibility to implement a backup scheme of their choice that suits their needs. Any given application has limited ability to implement it's own backup scheme out of the box.

 

For example, 1Password, a password management application, makes frequent, automatic backups to its own Application Support folder. It keeps a daily history of about 30 backups. This is fine for a database of passwords that doesn't get much larger than a few megabytes, having 30 backups of this database is not to terrible in terms of hard drive space and is a reasonable default safeguard (though a proper backup scheme implimented by the user is still essential). This is also about the only thing I can imagine an application doing on it's own without any user intervention, and it is really not even a satisfactory system on its own. It would also be TERRIBLE for Evernote. Evernote databases can get VERY large. Mine is over a GB, and other people on this forum will tell you, their databases get even bigger yet. To have Evernote simply duplicate this multi-gigabyte database over and over on the local hard disk would be ineffective and terribly inefficient. 

 

Evernote does offer a Note History feature for premium users which can allow for a limited form of restoring erroneously modified or deleted notes, but this is not a perfect solution and certainly not satisfactory on its own. 

 

Evernote users on the Mac can do any number of combinations of additional things that an application could not match on its own: 

1) Periodic exports of their database using the built-in export function. 

2) Automatic Time Machine Backups 

3) Automated backups through a scheme like Crashplan. 

4) Any other backup scheme you can dream up. 

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Help needed with Notebook backups.

 

As I rely more & more on Evernote I become more & more concerned over Backups.

I know I can backup to an enex file but this is not a mirror image of my notes. It does not separate Notebooks. The notes are just in one big mass!

 

Whilst searching the forums for an answer I found that on Windows all you have to back up is the enx file.  However on a Mac I can't find any reference to an enx file. I presume this is windows only.

 

I would be very grateful if someone out there can help me with a way of backing up my data to preserve Notebooks/Stacks/Tags etc.

 

.

 

Keith, your concerns with Evernote backup are well-founded.  Unfortunately, Evernote does NOT provide an adequate method for the backup and restore of your Evernote database/account.

 

I know of no method to specifically backup/restore your list of Notebooks, Stacks, and Tags.

 

You might find the following thread helpful, where we discussed at length the backup/restore process for EN Mac:

http://discussion.evernote.com/topic/50589-restoring-evernote-after-clean-installation-of-os/?p=251345

 

In my mind there are two major issues:

  1. Evernote does NOT include the Notebook of the Note in the Note export/backup.
  2. Evernote does NOT provide a good method of restore.
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Keith, your concerns with Evernote backup are well-founded.  Unfortunately, Evernote does NOT provide an adequate method for the backup and restore of your Evernote database/account.

Evernote does provide a good (and adequate) method for backing up. Regarding restoring, as has been mentioned before a time or three, restoring data (not just Evernote but any app) is not a one size fits all situation. So what works for someone who only wants to restore one note from a local notebook will not work for someone who made a lot of changes to tags & wants to revert back to what they had last week.  If one is not familiar with the inner workings of Evernote, then it's in their best interest to submit a support ticket & explain what has happened since the last backup so someone who does understand can guide them. That's why there is the Evernote support desk.

 

 

I know of no method to specifically backup/restore your list of Notebooks, Stacks, and Tags.

Once again...

People want to restore for a variety of reasons, so each case needs to be treated individually based upon how old the backup is & what has been done since the backup. There is no "one size fits all" for restoring. This is the case with not only Evernote (both Mac AND Windows) but every single computer app on every single computer. One case where a straight restore is sufficient is if you're simply moving your database from one computer to another. In this case, a simple restore (copying the library/folder) is sufficient. The individual issues that arise are if someone has deleted tags and/or notebooks & sync'd. Or they are wanting to recover a note from their backup. It simply depends upon (again) how old the backup is, what has been done since the backup & what they are trying to restore.

Additionally, if one needs to restore notebooks (from an enex file), it can be done in one of two ways. Either export each notebook individually so that each enex file contains only notes that belong in say "Notebook A", so when you import, you know which notebook to add them to. Or, apply a tag to the notes that indicates which notebook the notes belong to. And when exporting, be sure to tick 'tags' in the export options - at least that's how it works on Windows.

And to reiterate, ENEX files are not intended to be the main method of backup. ENEX files are for transferring notes from one account to another or restoring selected notes. So, when doing a full restore from Time Machine (as opposed to exporting/importing an enex file), notebook & tag information is retained.

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Thank you for your prompt responses to my request for advice.

 

As usual like so many others on these Forums I have angered BurgersNFries. For the record we are not all as skilled as you in searching the Forums and rely on the kind help of others  :angry:

 

To ScottLougheed and JMichael thank you so much for your constructive and helpful answers.

The advice on http://discussion.ev...of-os/?p=251345 was particularly helpful.

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As usual like so many others on these Forums I have angered BurgersNFries. For the record we are not all as skilled as you in searching the Forums and rely on the kind help of others :angry:

.

For the record, you did not make me angry. Please point out why you think that. My one & only post in this thread (prior to this one) has comments clearly addressing incorrect things said by JMichael. This was actually *helpful* to you, so you have the *correct* information.

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I have read a great many of your posts.

 

You appear to have a very abrupt manner, or maybe I should say little patience in the way that you reply to many of us.

 

I love Evernote but at times need someone's help if I can not find what I am looking for and find it offensive to be "talked down" to.

 

Your input to the Forums is very much appreciated. It is just the way that you reply to many of us that is the issue.

 

Nothing personal is intended & I look forward to reading many more of your helpful posts.

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I have read a great many of your posts.

You appear to have a very abrupt manner, or maybe I should say little patience in the way that you reply to many of us.

I love Evernote but at times need someone's help if I can not find what I am looking for and find it offensive to be "talked down" to.

Your input to the Forums is very much appreciated. It is just the way that you reply to many of us that is the issue.

Nothing personal is intended & I look forward to reading many more of your helpful posts.

If someone comes to the board ranting, there's a good chance that if I reply, it may be curt.

If someone posts a question that has already been asked & answered many times on the board, I will often reply with only a link to another thread or let them know it's been discussed & ask them to please use the search function, which works well. And it's netiquette to search on a problem before posting, since it may have already been asked & answered (often by the mods here who *volunteer* their time here to help others. I'm sorry if that offends you. Also, you are free to use the report button (which appears on the bottom of each & every post) if you think a post is offensive. But also note that just because a particular user is offended by a post does not mean Evernote will agree.

Good luck.

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I have read a great many of your posts.

 

You appear to have a very abrupt manner, or maybe I should say little patience in the way that you reply to many of us.

 

I love Evernote but at times need someone's help if I can not find what I am looking for and find it offensive to be "talked down" to.

 

Your input to the Forums is very much appreciated. It is just the way that you reply to many of us that is the issue.

 

Nothing personal is intended & I look forward to reading many more of your helpful posts.

Well I suppose here is where one must make the challenging distinction between someone being angry and someone simply and innocently being brusque. Not always easy online.

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Well, it's very possible, naw, it's probable that I don't understand Evernote backup & restore fully or correctly since the Evernote documentation is so poor.

 

Many of us have been complaining and requesting for years now for Evernote to improve their documentation.

I started this thread in Apr 2012:  HELP: Evernote Documentation Needs Urgent Attention

 

Having said all that, I still believe there is no automated backup/restore for just the Notebook, Stacks, & Tags.  I probably wasn't clear enough previously.  I'm talking about just the list/names of these objects, NOT the Notes associated with them.

 

For example, if I delete 90 out of my 100 tags, and sync with the EN Cloud, is there a way to restore these 90 tags that were deleted?

 

Or, let's take another common example.  Let's say I have built a nice set of Tags complete with tag hierarchy.  I have 100 total tags that collapse down to 5 parent tags.  I'd like to share this tag list with others.  How can I export my complete tag list (complete with hierarchy) to a file that can be imported by another user or another account?

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Well, it's very possible, naw, it's probable that I don't understand Evernote backup & restore fully or correctly since the Evernote documentation is so poor.

Many of us have been complaining and requesting for years now for Evernote to improve their documentation.

I started this thread in Apr 2012: HELP: Evernote Documentation Needs Urgent Attention

Having said all that, I still believe there is no automated backup/restore for just the Notebook, Stacks, & Tags. I probably wasn't clear enough previously. I'm talking about just the list/names of these objects, NOT the Notes associated with them.

For example, if I delete 90 out of my 100 tags, and sync with the EN Cloud, is there a way to restore these 90 tags that were deleted?

Or, let's take another common example. Let's say I have built a nice set of Tags complete with tag hierarchy. I have 100 total tags that collapse down to 5 parent tags. I'd like to share this tag list with others. How can I export my complete tag list (complete with hierarchy) to a file that can be imported by another user or another account?

As usual, you're changing the arguments. Of course there is no "automated" Evernote backup (well, unless you include the EN cloud for sync'd notes) just like there is no automated backup for Word documents, Excel, etc. However, the user can absolutely institute automated backups by using say Time Machine (for Mac) or scheduled backups (Windows) for the files/libraries that are crucial.

And yes, there is a way to restore your 90 tags if you delete them & have a good/recent backup.  In fact, it's outlined by Heather in this post where someone muffed up their tags & wanted to restore from their backup. Since you subsequently posted in that thread, specifically asking Heather questions, I'd guess you read it.

WRT to creating notebook list (with no notes) and sharing your tag list...I don't know. And that certainly has nothing to do with backup which is the topic of this thread.  Maybe you should start a new thread on that.

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Greetings,

 

On the chance my perspective on this topic could be helpful to some, here is how I have sized up the Evernote Backup challenge and my present solutions to this challenge.

 

My Perspective:

My wife and I get it, after several years of trial and error, we have chosen to entrust all the key information in our lives, and our children's to Evernote. This decision required we develop an "Evernote Insurance Policy"

 

Key Pieces of the Puzzle:

Synchronization - The Evernote service at present delivers state of the art Data Synchronization across all authorized user devices. Great stuff, but definitely not backup,

Root Causes of Data Loss - Analysis shows that 90% of Cloud data loss is user error, not service failure. The Evernote "Note History" feature is terrific as long as the note itself was not inadvertently deleted by the user which is by far the most common reason for Notes or Notebooks to be deleted. The same state of the art Evernote technology that updates all the changes we make on any device to all of our other devices is just as powerful at deleting our data across all of our devices.

Bulk Backup - On my primary personal Windows 7 computer, I store the Evernote Application Data on my SSD Boot Drive for optimal performance. I configured all of my Notebooks to be synchronized. I have setup nightly backups using a tool called SyncBack Pro, that includes performing a full backup of Evernote to a local NAS, which SyncBack Pro is able to perform while the Evernote application is open. I configured SyncBack Pro to keep the 3 most recent versions of this data. This bulk or "Full Backup" is great for disaster recovery of all of Evernote as of the date of the backup, but it is not capable of selective restoring of data.

Refined Backup - Realizing the need for Evernote backups that can deliver very selective restores of just a notebook, or a few notes and retain all of the tags I have arrived at a solution that works for me. I believe in lots of tags, and very few notebooks which is very helpful in performing refined backups. Once a week I manually go to the Evernote Windows App and select each of my 8 notebooks one by one and then select "Export Notes in ENEX Format" making sure the "Tags" option is selected. I use the name of the Notebook as the File Name of the export, I save to the same folder on my boot drive each week, overwriting the existing file with the same name.

Archival - The full "Evernote Insurance Policy" is achieved by the use of a Windows applicaiton called "Fast Glacier" which I configured to automatically backup the local folder containing the Evernote Notebook export files once a week to the Amazon Glacier service. To ensure what will hopefully be a lifetime of archival, I configured this backup not to overwrite the existing backed up files on Amazon Glacier, but rather to retain all versions of all files. As Amazon Glacier presently costs 1 penny per Gigabyte of backed up data per month. At present all of my notebooks use about 4 gigabytes of storage, so 4 cents per month. The 4 cents per month base cost is incrementally costlier as the four versions of files uploaded weekly for each month get added. So roughly 16 cents per month for Evernote backups, plus 16 cents for each previous month of backups. After almost a year I am now paying $1.92 a month.

Restore - My first option is the local Evernote notebook exported files from the previous weeks as a selective restore source, a full notebook can be restored into the Desktop app without overwriting existing data and searched thru to find the missing note(s) restoring just those and deleting the rest of the restore. The longer term option is the Amazon Glacier restore service, they charge about $10 to restore sets of archived notebook files from any time period that can then be searched thru using the desktop app.

 

Evernote is an amazing solution, and I hope this is of some assistance to interested fellow customers.

 

Regards,

Tom

 

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Most helpful thank you erospoli.

Now we just hope that those nice people at Evernote build what you have suggested into a future version.

As a minimum maybe an automated means of backing up all the notebooks as enex backups.

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Most helpful thank you erospoli.

Now we just hope that those nice people at Evernote build what you have suggested into a future version.

As a minimum maybe an automated means of backing up all the notebooks as enex backups.

 

As I have posted countless times on the board (including this thread), exporting to enex file is NOT intended as a backup method.  Instead, it is a way to either get your info out of Evernote (should you decide to leave) or move notes from one account to another.  This is NOT the same thing as backing up your Evernote database so you have something to restore from should your hard drive crash or you get a new computer.  It's certainly your choice to elect to make exporting to enex as your "backup" method of choice.  But anyone who relies upon an enex file as a backup method will most likely be very disappointed, should they ever need to use it.  It's much better to use a true backup so you don't have to worry about notebooks (since enex files don't retain this info) & don't have to use up your upload limits.  (Because when you import from enex & then sync, the newly imported notes (that are in sync'd notebooks) are considered "new" notes & will go against your monthly upload limit.  When you restore from a true backup, then you don't have this issue.)  For these reasons,  I'm pretty sure EN will not ever include it (export as enex) as a backup method or expand on what already exists.

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Good point BurgersNFries I hadn't considered the monthly upload limit for reinstating the Enex files.

 

I know you are a Windows person but can I assume you use a backup system like Mac Time Machine to back up everything in the Application Data Folder.

If so how can you reinstate just a few notes that for example get accidently deleted by the user &  are consequently deleted from the Evernote Server? This being the most common scenario of lost Evernote Data as said by erospoli.

 

Again I apologise for going over old ground but lost Evernote Data is quite a worrying thought.

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Most helpful thank you erospoli.

Now we just hope that those nice people at Evernote build what you have suggested into a future version.

As a minimum maybe an automated means of backing up all the notebooks as enex backups.

 

As I have posted countless times on the board (including this thread), exporting to enex file is NOT intended as a backup method.  Instead, it is a way to either get your info out of Evernote (should you decide to leave) or move notes from one account to another.  This is NOT the same thing as backing up your Evernote database so you have something to restore from should your hard drive crash or you get a new computer.  It's certainly your choice to elect to make exporting to enex as your "backup" method of choice.  But anyone who relies upon an enex file as a backup method will most likely be very disappointed, should they ever need to use it.  It's much better to use a true backup so you don't have to worry about notebooks (since enex files don't retain this info) & don't have to use up your upload limits.  (Because when you import from enex & then sync, the newly imported notes (that are in sync'd notebooks) are considered "new" notes & will go against your monthly upload limit.  When you restore from a true backup, then you don't have this issue.)  For these reasons,  I'm pretty sure EN will not ever include it (export as enex) as a backup method or expand on what already exists.

 

I completely disagree with what Burgers just said.

 

I've had so called "TRUE" Evernote database backups fail to load from backup in later versions of the software.  I put them in the directory, the program crashed rather than opening the database.  

 

For that matter I've had ENEX backups fail to import back into the software.  (In fairness I reported that bug and it was fixed)

 

I would backup with both methods- the ENEX export and the physical backup of the database.  Evernote isn't really all that reliable that you can just copy the database and trust it'll open 3 years later in Evernote version 8 or whatever.  (For that matter I'd make a backup of the current executable just in case)  

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With the Windows client or ENScript, it's not hard to back up a notebook into .ENEX file format. In fact, I just posted a way to use Windows PowerShell to automate that (actually, I think that you could write a .bat file to do it, too): http://discussion.evernote.com/topic/53536-how-to-backing-up-evernote-using-powershell/, backing up each notebook to its own .ENEX file. I think that that should be faithful enough; I did check to make sure that tags were exported as well. I suppose like a good little backer-upper, I should attempt a full restore (also automatable). Perhaps a weekend project.

 

I'm not on Mac, so I can't tell if it's automatable there; some things are.

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I completely disagree with what Burgers just said.

I've had so called "TRUE" Evernote database backups fail to load from backup in later versions of the software. I put them in the directory, the program crashed rather than opening the database.

For that matter I've had ENEX backups fail to import back into the software. (In fairness I reported that bug and it was fixed)

I would backup with both methods- the ENEX export and the physical backup of the database. Evernote isn't really all that reliable that you can just copy the database and trust it'll open 3 years later in Evernote version 8 or whatever. (For that matter I'd make a backup of the current executable just in case)

This is true with many software apps. IE, if I have a NeatReceipts backup from Version 3, that doesn't mean I'll be able to open it in Version 5. Backups do need to be compatible with the app version you're using. But that doesn't diminish the importance of having a true backup.

I find it odd you "completely disagree" with me about true backups & yet you've not only had problems with "true backups" but even importing enex files as well. Although I'm PC, I've migrated my Evernote database from one computer to another countless times by simply using a true backup (copying the exb file, which is strictly PC, not Mac) with no problems whatsoever. The fact that you've had problems with not only "true" backups but enex files as well would tend to indicate a different, underlying issue.

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Good point BurgersNFries I hadn't considered the monthly upload limit for reinstating the Enex files.

 

I know you are a Windows person but can I assume you use a backup system like Mac Time Machine to back up everything in the Application Data Folder.

If so how can you reinstate just a few notes that for example get accidently deleted by the user &  are consequently deleted from the Evernote Server? This being the most common scenario of lost Evernote Data as said by erospoli.

 

Again I apologise for going over old ground but lost Evernote Data is quite a worrying thought.

Yes, I can reinstate an accidentally deleted/synced note. I'm PC but the theory in the same for Mac. I simply fully exit Evernote & backup my live database. Then overwrite the live db with a copy of the backup. Invoke EN. Select the note, export to enex (THIS is a case for which enex was created). Fully exit EN. Restore my live db, invoke EN & import the enex file.

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If there is anyone else that needs a solution, you can completely skip the above discussion as no one seems to be answering the OP's question.

 

This article will explain everything : http://www.howtogeek.com/163349/how-to-backup-your-evernote-notebooks-just-in-case/

 

Summary  go here and copy all files to your bakup location :

 

Windows: C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Local\Evernote\Evernote\Databases

 

- or -

 

OS X: /Users/[Your Username]/Library/Application Support/Evernote

 

done.

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The really big issue here is "restore".

 

In spite of what has been said in this thread, and many other threads, the LAST step in the "restore" process, for both Win and Mac, described by Evernote and others is always to IMPORT the previously exported .enex file(s).

 

AFAIK, there is NO way to simply restore the EN folder/database on the local drive from a backup system like Time Machine, and tell Evernote to use this as the master database for your account.  

 

"Restoring" from ENEX files is NOT a restore, it is an import which creates a NEW Note(s) with a NEW GUID.

 

What this means:

  • Links are broken -- all links you have previously created to the original note are broken.  They point to the old GUID.
  • The ENEX files does NOT contain the EN Notebook it was exported from.
  • The ENEX file has NO information about Notebooks, Stacks, or Tag Hierarchies
  • When you IMPORT the ENEX file(s), and move them to a Sync'd Notebook, it will go against your monthly upload allowance.

Below are two references to EN KB articles on Backup.  Note that the web page for Ref #2 has been removed.  

Furthermore, when I search the EN KB for "backup", it does NOT return any articles for EN Mac.

 

REF:

  1. EN KB Article, Backing up and Restoring Evernote Data under Windows
  2. EN KB Article, Backing up and Restoring Evernote Data under OS X (article has been removed from EN web site)
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I agree with JMichael. There is NO way to restore data from backup if one defines restore as  "returning the data to an earlier, saved condition" (without a lot of manual work).

I recently made a (stupid) mistake which resulted in all my notes ending up in one notebook. I thought no problem, I just restore a backup from my time machine, which worked very nicely in the MAC  desktop version.

Problem: My changes had already sync'd with my account, and there was no way to overwrite the information on Evernote's servers. I contacted support for help, but there was no other way than re-generating my notebook structure manually, i.e. several hours of work to re-file more than 800 notes manually in the appropriate Notebooks again. This is  not an acceptable solution and needs a fix asap, especially considering that Evernote wants to be a business solution.

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I agree ... I'm a premium user and THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to not have a perfect working restore function!! :angry:

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In a test this seems to work:

 

1. fetch your backup database and copy it to the Evernote path

2. start Evernote - initially you see your old structure but this would vanish after the next sync

3. so: don't sync(!) - start the Debugmode (Windows: Ctrl+Help) and select the option "Alle Notizen reparieren" (engl. = "Repair all notes"?) and wait a moment.

4. Now make the sync - Evernote servers accepted in my test the new-old-structure.

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