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jamesctaylor

Rebuilding Evernote database

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Over the last few months I have had sync issues with the note counts on many of my notebooks not matching up between my OSX Evernote app and Evernote online. I have 67 notebooks about just over 5,000 notes.

 

I have had lots of discussion with technical support about this, who suggested trying various things, but none of which worked. After checking, I was satisfied that my local, OSX, database was the 'correct' one and Support suggested that I:

 

1) Export my Mac database

2) Wipe my entire account online

3) Sync all of my devices so all have zero notes

4) Import the exported data back into Evernote on my Mac

5) Sync, so that the online database is rebuilt.

 

I followed these steps yesterday (took a long time!) but the outcome of step 4 is that all of my notes are in a single offline notebook - which won't sync because "there is not enough space remaining in your monthly upload allowance.”

 

So, it's as if my digital filing cabinet has simply been tipped out on the floor and is now in a big mess!

 

I need all of my notes:

1) Back in their original notebooks

2) My notebooks back in their original stacks

3) My shared notebooks correctly shared (many were shared with different people)

4) My tags - which have been reimported, but like notebooks are in a mess - back in their hierarchy

 

Obviously I have contacted tech support again and am expecting a reply soon, but wondered in the meantime if anyone could help here as I'm beginning to tear my hair out!

 

Many thanks.

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Support suggested that I:

 

1) Export my Mac database

2) Wipe my entire account online

3) Sync all of my devices so all have zero notes

4) Import the exported data back into Evernote on my Mac

5) Sync, so that the online database is rebuilt.

 

I followed these steps yesterday (took a long time!) but the outcome of step 4 is that all of my notes are in a single offline notebook - which won't sync because "there is not enough space remaining in your monthly upload allowance.”

 

Since Evernote Support made this suggestion, they knew, or should have known, that this would cause a problem with upload allowance, and should have granted a temporary increase in allowance to cover the initial import/upload.

 

I suggest you request a temporary increase immediately to Evernote Support.  Please post your Ticket# here and we will try to get you help.

Meanwhile, stay on top of Support.

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Please post your Ticket# here and we will try to get you help.

Meanwhile, stay on top of Support.

 

Thanks v much. My ticket # is 588926. Support are due to get back to me within a couple of hours (given the 1 business day premium user support promise!)

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Over the last few months I have had sync issues with the note counts on many of my notebooks not matching up between my OSX Evernote app and Evernote online. I have 67 notebooks about just over 5,000 notes.

I have had lots of discussion with technical support about this, who suggested trying various things, but none of which worked. After checking, I was satisfied that my local, OSX, database was the 'correct' one and Support suggested that I:

1) Export my Mac database

2) Wipe my entire account online

3) Sync all of my devices so all have zero notes

4) Import the exported data back into Evernote on my Mac

5) Sync, so that the online database is rebuilt.

I followed these steps yesterday (took a long time!) but the outcome of step 4 is that all of my notes are in a single offline notebook - which won't sync because "there is not enough space remaining in your monthly upload allowance.”

So, it's as if my digital filing cabinet has simply been tipped out on the floor and is now in a big mess!

I need all of my notes:

1) Back in their original notebooks

2) My notebooks back in their original stacks

3) My shared notebooks correctly shared (many were shared with different people)

4) My tags - which have been reimported, but like notebooks are in a mess - back in their hierarchy

Obviously I have contacted tech support again and am expecting a reply soon, but wondered in the meantime if anyone could help here as I'm beginning to tear my hair out!

Many thanks.

Is that a direct quote from what support told you to do? If so, that is absolutely wrong, wrong, wrongl

Rebuilding your local database is done by backing up the current one, exporting local/unsync'd notes to enex, renaming/move the current one (just in case), re invoking EN and your local database is then rebuilt from the Evernote servers. Once that is done, you import the unsynced notes from the enex file. IOW, steps 2 & 3 are not right. Step two is partially wrong, you want to wipe your local database, not the one online. And step 3 is completely wrong. It would be helpful to see the exact instructions from support because I'm really surprised if that's what they said to do.

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James,

 

Ok, I've requested help for you.  Please keep us posted here on the responses from Evernote Support.

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Is that a direct quote from what support told you to do? If so, that is absolutely wrong, wrong, wrongl

Rebuilding your local database is done by backing up the current one, exporting local/unsync'd notes to enex, renaming/move the current one (just in case), re invoking EN and your local database is then rebuilt from the Evernote servers. Once that is done, you import the unsynced notes from the enex file. IOW, steps 2 & 3 are not right. Step two is partially wrong, you want to wipe your local database, not the one online. And step 3 is completely wrong. It would be helpful to see the exact instructions from support because I'm really surprised if that's what they said to do.

 

 

The above is my own summary of what support told me. Here is the exact email I received. I think that my summary is an accurate one of what I was told:

 

James,

I sincerely apologize for the time it took to get back to you.

You say your Mac database is the one the is correct. Below are instructions on how to replace what is on evernote.com with what is on your mac.

 

We are going to have you export your database on your Mac, because this is the database you want rather than what is on Evernote.com.

Then we are going to completely wipe everything out of your Evernote account.

Then we are going to reimport your exported database and sync it back up to evernote.com.

Step 1:

At your login Screen, before you type your password and user name in, type <control><option><command><e>

You will see a window pop up with your username and any other Evernote accounts that may have been accessed from your Mac.

Choose your username to export. Save it to the desktop.

 

Step 2:

Once this has been completed, go to Evernote.com and delete everything.

Now sync all of your devices to ensure that there is nothing remaining and your Evernote account is empty.

 

Step 3:

Once this has been done, On your Mac, open Evernote and import the exported file you saved to your desktop. Once this is complete (this may take some time) make sure to sync.

Then check your account of Evernote.com to verify that it matches what is on your Mac.

Once you have confirmed this, you may sync all remaining devices.

 

please let me know if you have any questions.

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Is that a direct quote from what support told you to do? If so, that is absolutely wrong, wrong, wrongl

Rebuilding your local database is done by backing up the current one, exporting local/unsync'd notes to enex, renaming/move the current one (just in case), re invoking EN and your local database is then rebuilt from the Evernote servers. Once that is done, you import the unsynced notes from the enex file. IOW, steps 2 & 3 are not right. Step two is partially wrong, you want to wipe your local database, not the one online. And step 3 is completely wrong. It would be helpful to see the exact instructions from support because I'm really surprised if that's what they said to do.

 

The above is my own summary of what support told me. Here is the exact email I received. I think that my summary is an accurate one of what I was told:

 

James,

I sincerely apologize for the time it took to get back to you.

You say your Mac database is the one the is correct. Below are instructions on how to replace what is on evernote.com with what is on your mac.

 

We are going to have you export your database on your Mac, because this is the database you want rather than what is on Evernote.com.

Then we are going to completely wipe everything out of your Evernote account.

Then we are going to reimport your exported database and sync it back up to evernote.com.

Step 1:

At your login Screen, before you type your password and user name in, type <control><option><command><e>

You will see a window pop up with your username and any other Evernote accounts that may have been accessed from your Mac.

Choose your username to export. Save it to the desktop.

 

Step 2:

Once this has been completed, go to Evernote.com and delete everything.

Now sync all of your devices to ensure that there is nothing remaining and your Evernote account is empty.

 

Step 3:

Once this has been done, On your Mac, open Evernote and import the exported file you saved to your desktop. Once this is complete (this may take some time) make sure to sync.

Then check your account of Evernote.com to verify that it matches what is on your Mac.

Once you have confirmed this, you may sync all remaining devices.

 

please let me know if you have any questions.

Yes, step two is completely wrong.

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Yes, step two is completely wrong.

 

 

Hmmm Oh dear. Well what's done is done. I simply did what Support told me.

 

My issue now is getting my database back into order - the 4 things I mentioned in my OP. Until those are all sorted my workflow is screwed up.

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Wait, I re-read the message. Instead of rebuilding your local database from the EN servers, support is saying you want the version on your Mac to replace what's on the EN servers. So yes, this is right. And yes, it will use upload amounts because new GUIDS need to be assigned to all notes.

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Wait, I re-read the message. Instead of rebuilding your local database from the EN servers, support is saying you want the version on your Mac to replace what's on the EN servers. So yes, this is right. And yes, it will use upload amounts because new GUIDS need to be assigned to all notes.

 

Yes, exactly - I needed to replace the server database with my local one. 

 

I should have seen the upload issue coming. But what I didn't see coming is the mess my notes are now in, as described above. I presumed that exporting my entire database locally would preserve notebooks, notebook stacks, notebook sharing, and tag hierarchy. If any one of these things are not preserved and not recoverable, then the instructions given to me form Support are flawed and I'll be hugely frustrated...!

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I need all of my notes:

1) Back in their original notebooks

2) My notebooks back in their original stacks

3) My shared notebooks correctly shared (many were shared with different people)

4) My tags - which have been reimported, but like notebooks are in a mess - back in their hierarchy

 

Obviously I have contacted tech support again and am expecting a reply soon, but wondered in the meantime if anyone could help here as I'm beginning to tear my hair out!

 

Many thanks.

Notebook/stack information is not retained in an enex file. There are two ways around this when exporting.  Either tag all notes with their notebook name before exporting or make a separate enex file for each notebook.  

 

This process treats the imported notes as new notes.  Wiping out your account means you will need to recreate the notebooks & stacks & move the notes to their appropriate notebook & stack.  You will also need to re-share any shared notes/notebooks.

 

Also note any note links will now be broken, since all notes now have a new GUID. 

 

The web client is the source of all truths.  Assigning a new GUID to all notes is really the only way to get the web client to match what's on your desktop client. The summation I posted in post 4 will make what's on your desktop client match what's on the web client.

 

Good luck.

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At this point, it may be worth unplugging from the internet (so your Evernote client will not sync) and restore from your most recent EN backup (you have one, right?) 

 

Then start over with step one (the export) but redo the export by using one of the two methods I described above.  Once you get things back in order, you can reconnect to the internet & sync (if you get more/enough upload allowance).

 

Of course, any changes made after the backup will not be included.  That's why it's good to do a backup before doing anything major to your account. 

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At this point, it may be worth unplugging from the internet (so your Evernote client will not sync) and restore from your most recent EN backup (you have one, right?) 

 

Then start over with step one (the export) but redo the export by using one of the two methods I described above.  Once you get things back in order, you can reconnect to the internet & sync (if you get more/enough upload allowance).

 

Of course, any changes made after the backup will not be included.  That's why it's good to do a backup before doing anything major to your account. 

 

Sounds like I've been mistaken to simply follow Evernote support's instructions to resolve my initial problem, if I've now lost notebooks, notebook stacks and shared notebook details.

 

The export I made yesterday does have a separate enex file for each notebook, but when I imported these files Evernote placed all of the notes in a new single local notebook.

 

Perhaps if I import one enex file at a time it will create it as its own notebook? That'll take some time with 60+ notebooks, but might be necessary.

 

Beyond using the exported enex files I created yesterday as my backup, the other option is my Time Machine backup. Though from searching through a few other threads here it sounds like that's not the easiest place to restore from...

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At this point, it may be worth unplugging from the internet (so your Evernote client will not sync) and restore from your most recent EN backup (you have one, right?) 

 

Then start over with step one (the export) but redo the export by using one of the two methods I described above.  Once you get things back in order, you can reconnect to the internet & sync (if you get more/enough upload allowance).

 

Of course, any changes made after the backup will not be included.  That's why it's good to do a backup before doing anything major to your account. 

 

Sounds like I've been mistaken to simply follow Evernote support's instructions to resolve my initial problem, if I've now lost notebooks, notebook stacks and shared notebook details.

 

The export I made yesterday does have a separate enex file for each notebook, but when I imported these files Evernote placed all of the notes in a new single local notebook.

 

Perhaps if I import one enex file at a time it will create it as its own notebook? That'll take some time with 60+ notebooks, but might be necessary.

 

Beyond using the exported enex files I created yesterday as my backup, the other option is my Time Machine backup. Though from searching through a few other threads here it sounds like that's not the easiest place to restore from...

 

 

The instructions given are accurate, since you told them you wanted what's on your Mac client to be what's on the EN servers.  But the instructions should have included the caveats associated with it. Depending on how critical your problem is/was, you may have still elected to do this.  I don't know. 

 

My suggestion to restore from a backup was only to get the separate enex files (to facilitate rebuilding notebooks), since I was thinking you only created one enex file. 

 

Yes, using your Mac client, delete all the notes.  Then import the enex files individually & move to the appropriate notebook before importing the next one. 

 

IIRC, the Windows client creates a new notebook each time you import an enex file.  I don't know if the Mac client functions similarly.

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The instructions given are accurate, since you told them you wanted what's on your Mac client to be what's on the EN servers.  But the instructions should have included the caveats associated with it. Depending on how critical your problem is/was, you may have still elected to do this.  I don't know. 

 

My suggestion to restore from a backup was only to get the separate enex files (to facilitate rebuilding notebooks), since I was thinking you only created one enex file. 

 

Yes, using your Mac client, delete all the notes.  Then import the enex files individually & move to the appropriate notebook before importing the next one. 

 

IIRC, the Windows client creates a new notebook each time you import an enex file.  I don't know if the Mac client functions similarly.

 

 

Thank you. Yes, if the caveats had been made clear then I wouldn't have gone down this route! The mac client does indeed create a new notebook for each enex file imported, with the notebook name "import <<original name>>". So, I can do this and then organise the notebooks back into stacks and can re-share as appropriate.

 

What I can't do of course is actually re-sync my notebooks until Evernote increase my upload allowance!

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James, before you take any further steps, I think it's best to stop and clearly think through the process, as well as hear from Evernote Support.


 


As BNF mentioned, you lose a lot of metadata (Notebooks, stacks, tag hierarchy) information when you export your notes.


If you have a lot of stacks and tags, this could require considerable effort to re-create.


Also, all of your note links will now be broken.  I don't know about you, but that would be a severe loss for me.


 


I guess what I'm leading up to is reconsidering your basic approach.  Maybe it is worthwhile to re-evaluate how to resolve the sync issue, and start with restoring your EN account prior to the export and deletion of all data.  This could be done either by requesting Evernote to restore your account, or by a Time Machine restore.  I think your case needs to be escalated to a senior Evernote support tech, and re-evaluated.


 


If you have an urgent need for your notes, one approach would be to create a new Evernote account, and restore your exported Note to the new account.  This would allow you more time to properly restore your original account.


 


I hope this helps.


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James, before you take any further steps, I think it's best to stop and clearly think through the process, as well as hear from Evernote Support.

 

As BNF mentioned, you lose a lot of metadata (Notebooks, stacks, tag hierarchy) information when you export your notes.

If you have a lot of stacks and tags, this could require considerable effort to re-create.

Also, all of your note links will now be broken.  I don't know about you, but that would be a severe loss for me.

 

I guess what I'm leading up to is reconsidering your basic approach.  Maybe it is worthwhile to re-evaluate how to resolve the sync issue, and start with restoring your EN account prior to the export and deletion of all data.  This could be done either by requesting Evernote to restore your account, or by a Time Machine restore.  I think your case needs to be escalated to a senior Evernote support tech, and re-evaluated.

 

If you have an urgent need for your notes, one approach would be to create a new Evernote account, and restore your exported Note to the new account.  This would allow you more time to properly restore your original account.

 

I hope this helps.

 

 

Thanks for this. I guess note links are the thing I can't very easily restore manually - at least without a lot of work as I have a lot of links within a lot of notes.

 

Perhaps restoring my entire account would be best at this point. Do you know how I can request this be done? I must admit I currently feel a bit helpless as I sit and wait for Support to get back to me by email...

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Yes, if the caveats had been made clear then I wouldn't have gone down this route! 

 

 

If that's the case, then do you want to reconsider the process?  Maybe restore your account (either via Evernote support, or Time Machine), and restart the resolution of the sync issue from there?

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If that's the case, then do you want to reconsider the process?  Maybe restore your account (either via Evernote support, or Time Machine), and restart the resolution of the sync issue from there?

 

Yes indeed! See post 17 above (posted a minute before yours!) Connecting with more senior Evernote Support who might be able to action a restore would be good. Any ideas on how to do this, other than simply requesting it via ticketed email support?

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Perhaps restoring my entire account would be best at this point. Do you know how I can request this be done? I must admit I currently feel a bit helpless as I sit and wait for Support to get back to me by email...

 

 

You might start by replying to the last email from Support and ask them if then can restore your account as of a given date/time.

 

If they agree to do this, then you will need to fully uninstall EN Mac prior to this.

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You might start by replying to the last email from Support and ask them if then can restore your account as of a given date/time.

 

Thank you. Duly requested. Will let you know here how it all pans out!

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Yes, if the caveats had been made clear then I wouldn't have gone down this route! 

 

If that's the case, then do you want to reconsider the process?  Maybe restore your account (either via Evernote support, or Time Machine), and restart the resolution of the sync issue from there?

 

 

 

Restoring from a Time Machine backup is not helpful if he wants to get to where he was before he started this process. Restoring from a TM backup & syncing will make his database on the Mac match what's on the web client...IOW, it will delete all of them, except for any that he may have been able to upload after wiping his account & before maxxing out his upload limit.

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Restoring from a Time Machine backup is not helpful if he wants to get to where he was before he started this process. Restoring from a TM backup & syncing will make his database on the Mac match what's on the web client...IOW, it will delete all of them, except for any that he may have been able to upload after wiping his account & before maxxing out his upload limit.

 

 

Good point.  This is what I meant about thinking things through.

 

But it would be nice if there was a "restore" mode with evernote where it would restore the account from the local machine.

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Good point.  This is what I meant about thinking things through.

 

But it would be nice if there was a "restore" mode with evernote where it would restore the account from the local machine.

I suspect they don't want people doing this often b/c it's one of those things that's easier said than done.   (Speaking of thinking things through.)  This must be done carefully and the user would need to have their account locked during the process, which could take many hours or even days, depending upon the size of their account.  IE, if you have a note with the title "my day so far" with GUID of 1000, if you're going to take that from the desktop client & make that note have a GUID of 1000 on the EN servers, you need to make sure no other person (including the account owner) or process (IE IFTTT) or event (no emailing notes into the account) can create notes that may use GUID 1000, during the time the process is dealing with the previous (up to) 999 guids.  IOW, the account would be 100% useless (except read only) during the time of this type of restore.

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You might start by replying to the last email from Support and ask them if then can restore your account as of a given date/time.

 

Thank you. Duly requested. Will let you know here how it all pans out!

 

 

James, I've given a little thought to a restore plan for you.

Here is my DRAFT.  Please review carefully and modify as needed:

  1. Request EN Support to restore account at a given date/time (DONE)
  2. Uninstall EN Mac (make sure all EN folders/files are deleted)
  3. Reinstall EN Mac (make sure it is empty, set to MANUAL SYNC)
  4. When account is restored, sync EN Mac
  5. Resolve Prior Sync Issues
    1. If restored account doesn’t have the proper Note count, then follow these steps
    2. Review notes exported from EN Mac earlier to identify missing Notes
    3. You could create a new temp (1-2 month) Premium account and import the exported note into for review
      1. It is easy to switch accounts in EN Mac
      2. Import into a Local NB for review so there's not issue with upload allowance
      3. Then create a sync'd, shared NB to put missing notes into
    4. On main account, join shared NB, and move Notes to proper NB

I really like using a new, but temp, Evernote account to help in resolving your sync  issues.

This would only cost you $5-10.  I suggest Premium so you will have max features and max support.

And, if you wish, you can start now with Step #5, getting the account and starting your review.

 

Please review very carefully before you accept it.

 

BNF (and anyone else lurking), do you see any issues with this plan?

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The key factor is if EN can restore the account to the way it was right before he started the process.  That's a really big IF. Ideally, EN could revert the web client to the way it was before OP deleted the notes.  And ideally, OP would have a backup of his Mac client's database right before he started deleting notes.  You get those two back & you're in the position you were in before the bad thing happened. 

 

Everything else is speculation until OP knows if EN will restore his database & if OP has a Time Machine backup of his database right before he started deleting things.  Also a lot of questions that can impact the process such as have any notes been modified or created in the account AFTER OP deleted the notes.  This includes any IFTTT triggers or emails sent directly to the EN account.  It's also unclear if OP has all the imported notes in one notebook or not.  First he said EN put them in a single notebook & later he said his enex files were by notebook & that EN did create a new notebook for each enex file. 

 

Restoring data is not a one size fits all.  If you did a backup last night right before turning off your computer & then the computer crashes when you turn it on this morning, it's very easy to restore (on another computer/hard drive) to the way the file was last night, when you did your backup.  But when there have been changes made to the file since the last backup, that's when you need to need to evaluate what was changed & to what extent you are willing to recreate the data and/or accept what you are able to get & figure anything that is missing is just gone. 

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I guess I don't see it as being that complicated.

 

Of course it all depends on EN restoring the account, but they claim to have backups, so I don't see why they couldn't restore.

And, since it was per the instructions of Evernote Support that the notes were deleted, it seems to me that Evernote is obligated to do so.

 

Once restored, it's a simple process, just like setting up EN Mac on a new machine.  I don't see how Time Machine comes into play.

 

James exported all Notes prior to the deletion.  So if it happens that the last Evernote Service backup was prior to that, he can simply import the notes after that point.

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I guess I don't see it as being that complicated.

 

Of course it all depends on EN restoring the account, but they claim to have backups, so I don't see why they couldn't restore.

And, since it was per the instructions of Evernote Support that the notes were deleted, it seems to me that Evernote is obligated to do so.

 

Once restored, it's a simple process, just like setting up EN Mac on a new machine.  I don't see how Time Machine comes into play.

 

James exported all Notes prior to the deletion.  So if it happens that the last Evernote Service backup was prior to that, he can simply import the notes after that point.

I'm not saying EN won't or can't restore.  I'm sure they could, it's just a matter of how complicated it is for them to do for a single client and of course, if they will do it.  Only Evernote can make that decision.

 

And it's not just like setting up EN on a new machine.  If EN reverts the web client to the way it was before this started, what about new notes that may have been emailed in?  In my example of the hard drive crashing over night, when the new computer is set up, those new notes are sync'd down b/c they went to the web client, the source of all truths.  But when you're changing the source of all truths, then anything that may have affected that since the time of the backup you're restoring from is GONE, unless you preserve it. 

Time Machine comes into play b/c it seems his Mac client was not in sync with the Evernote client b/c he told support the Mac version was correct and that's what he wanted the web client to look like.  So there may be notes/modified notes or stack arrangements or tag hierarchies he would like to be able to retain or duplicate, now that he knows a bit more about how the process works. 

 

Questions like these are why restoring after data has been dinked with is not always a clean & simple process.  Again, thinking the process through.

 

You say your Mac database is the one the is correct. Below are instructions on how to replace what is on evernote.com with what is on your mac.

I really have nothing more to contribute to this since at this point, it's all speculation, until he hears back from EN and how OP wants to proceed after he hears from them.

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Thanks JMichael and BurgersNFries for your posts above. I've still not heard back from EN Support, so it's still a question of IF they can restore my database from an earlier point as I have asked. 

 

But, if they can, then I see it as fairly straightforward, because:

 

- I have made no changes to my Evernote data since the events of exporting my data and deleting the synced data. Additionally, I made no significant changes in the 24 hours prior to that point, so I would be happy to restore to that point in time.

- After deleting my Online data (and then syncing that back to my Mac) I imported the enex files I had saved locally; but as I explained above importing them all at once resulted in all notes in a single local notebook. That was useless to me, so I deleted that local notebook. Later I realised, as mentioned above, that I could recreate individual notebooks by reimporting individual enex files, one at a time. But again, I just did that locally and since have deleted that notebook. So my Mac and online accounts are currently synced with zero notes.

- So, I'd be quite happy if EN support were able to restore my online database to the earlier point in time and then if that data could be synced back down to recreate a local database.

 

But, of course, all this hinges on what they can do. And I'm still waiting to hear...

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James, you could try an online Chat with Evernote Support.

 

Thanks for the tip - I might try that as I've still not heard back from EN Support - 45 hours after my email. I thought Premium users' support was supposed to be within 1 day?

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Support guy on chat was understanding and helpful, but wants to review the case thoroughly before deciding what to do; so I'm waiting to hear back in a couple of hours.

 

He did suggest that his intuition would be to lead me through restoring my database from my own Time Machine. I'm still concerned that if I do that at this end and even if they increase my data allowance so I can sync it all up, won't the Evernote servers re-index my notes such that I'll lose my note links?

 

Any advice appreciated!

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I am strongly in favor of an account restore by Evernote Service.

 

If you "restore" from your exported ENEX files, you will lose:

  • When you import the ENEX back into EN Mac, they will have new GUIDs
  • So it is NOT really a restore of your Notes
  • It is creating NEW Notes with the same Note content
  • All Note links will be broken
  • You  will have to manually recreate Notebooks, Stacks, and Tag Hierarchies

If you exported ALL your Notes to ENEX files prior to deletion in EN Mac, then I don't see any value in using TM backup.

Did you export each Notebook separately into it's own ENEX file?

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I am strongly in favor of an account restore by Evernote Service.

 

If you "restore" from your exported ENEX files, you will lose:

  • When you import the ENEX back into EN Mac, they will have new GUIDs
  • So it is NOT really a restore of your Notes
  • It is creating NEW Notes with the same Note content
  • All Note links will be broken
  • You  will have to manually recreate Notebooks, Stacks, and Tag Hierarchies

If you exported ALL your Notes to ENEX files prior to deletion in EN Mac, then I don't see any value in using TM backup.

Did you export each Notebook separately into it's own ENEX file?

 

Yes, my local export has separate enex files for each Notebook. The key thing I want to preserve is note links - I understand that that is the only thing I'll be unable to put right myself if I use my local enex files (or TM backup) to restore my account.

 

So it does seem that what I ideally need is for EN to restore my account at their end.

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I am strongly in favor of an account restore by Evernote Service.

 

If you "restore" from your exported ENEX files, you will lose:

  • When you import the ENEX back into EN Mac, they will have new GUIDs
  • So it is NOT really a restore of your Notes
  • It is creating NEW Notes with the same Note content
  • All Note links will be broken
  • You  will have to manually recreate Notebooks, Stacks, and Tag Hierarchies
If you exported ALL your Notes to ENEX files prior to deletion in EN Mac, then I don't see any value in using TM backup.

Did you export each Notebook separately into it's own ENEX file?

 

I'm not surprised that EN is indicating they will most likely help him restore from TM. Although I'm sure it's possible, it's probably a complex process to restore a single user's account. Even before all the chaos started at EN, I think I might have heard of them restoring an account only once or twice. And I'm not absolutely certain of that. So given the new atmosphere at EN, I would be really surprised if they did this. They might. But I kind of doubt it.  I'm not saying it's right or wrong...just what I think it will be.  Trying to push the issue may prolong OP's current "in limbo" status without a different result.  I suspect he may prefer to just get up & running again in the most expeditious way.  Sometimes you have to cut your losses & move on.

WRT the value of restoring from TM backup, as I said above:

 

So there may be notes/modified notes or stack arrangements or tag hierarchies he would like to be able to retain

If EN isn't going to restore his account, there may great value in using his TM backup.

 

 

Support guy on chat was understanding and helpful, but wants to review the case thoroughly before deciding what to do; so I'm waiting to hear back in a couple of hours.

 

He did suggest that his intuition would be to lead me through restoring my database from my own Time Machine. I'm still concerned that if I do that at this end and even if they increase my data allowance so I can sync it all up, won't the Evernote servers re-index my notes such that I'll lose my note links?

 

Any advice appreciated!

 

 

Yes, my local export has separate enex files for each Notebook. The key thing I want to preserve is note links - I understand that that is the only thing I'll be unable to put right myself if I use my local enex files (or TM backup) to restore my account.

So it does seem that what I ideally need is for EN to restore my account at their end.

 

James, unfortunately, your note links are broken for good.  They were gone the minute you deleted the notes. You are right in thinking the only way the note links could be restored is if EN were to restore your account from their backup.  But since note links use the title of the note, you should be able to quickly find the note by doing an intitle search.  IE, if a broken link is entitled "my day so far", then do an intitle search for "my day so far".  That should identify the note you are looking for & you can link to the "new" note.  I know that's not particularly helpful when you have a lot of note links.  But at least it's a bit of a help.  (This is exactly the reason I avoid using not links & use this method instead:

 

 

Keep in mind the GUID (globally unique identifier) may change in certain circumstances. IE, if the note you are linking to, gets moved from a sync'd notebook to a local notebook (even by accident), the GUID is changed & the link is now broken. Even if you move it back to a sync'd notebook, the GUID is still different & the link is broken. Or let's say you muffed up a note & want to pull it from a backup you have on your hard drive...importing that note will now give it a new GUID.

So although they are nice, it may be good to not rely on them if it's very important.

What I do is use the random password generator in Roboform & paste that into the notes. IE, if I have note 1 & note 2 that I want "linked", I will add "Reference # abcdefghijk" in both notes. Then I simply have to search on abcdefghijk to find all the related notes.

 

SO...assuming your online account is totally empty and assuming you restore from a TM backup, like I said, the key to keeping the notes from being deleted again, is to assign new GUIDs.  This is what I would do, if I were in your situation.

 

I am PC & don't know anything about TM.  But on Windows, I would disconnect from the internet while restoring from my backup.  It's critical that you do not invoke Evernote (with a newly restored-from-TM-backup database) and let it sync.  Otherwise, the sync will see the notes were deleted from the server & start deleting notes

 

Once restored from TM backup, still, DO NOT SYNC!!! 

 

Start by documenting your stacks, if you need to,  If it were me, I'd expand the stacks & take a screen cap of what notebooks are in what stacks. 

 

Next, create a local notebook for each of your existing notebooks.  IE, if you have sync'd notebooks "work" and "personal", create LOCAL (non-sync'd) notebooks "work - local" and "personal - local".  Move all the notes in the "work" notebook to "work - local".  Move all the notes in the "personal" notebook to "personal - local".  Do this for every single notebook before you ever sync.  IOW, absolutely all your notes on the Mac client should now reside in local notebooks.  I would not delete the (now empty) sync'd notebooks b/c when you next sync, I think that will delete them, so save yourself the work.  If it doesn't delete them, then it will save you from having to make new ones.  At this point, I would make another TM backup, just because I'm OC (overly careful!) that way. 

 

Now you can sync.  Since all the notes on your Mac are now in local notebooks, they will not be deleted when you sync.  But now (I think) all the sync'd notebooks will be removed, since they had been previously deleted from the web client.  That's expected behaviour.

 

This next step is something I would do gradually.  Make a new, sync'd notebook named "work".  Move about 10 notes from "work - local" to "work".  Sync.  Now check the web client.  Those 10 notes should reside in the web client.  You can further confirm by syncing another computer or device & confirming those 10 notes get sync'd to it.  Once this is confirmed, proceed to move batches of notes from their local notebook to their associated sync'd notebook & sync.  I prefer to avoid syncing a lot of changes in one pass b/c I've had issues with that in the past.  IOW, I would not move thousands of notes from a local notebook to a sync'd notebook & then sync.  I prefer to do maybe up to 100 at a time & sync.  Then another 100, sync, etc.  IOW, I try not to "shock" Evernote by overwhelming it with a lot of changes b/c that has resulted in problems (for me), in the past. 

 

Once you get all your notes back into sync'd notebooks, your tag hierarchy should remain in tact b/c it was preserved by moving the notes to local notebooks.  But as I said, note links will be broken.  I think you should be able to find the note by doing an intitle search for the text for the link.  You will also need to reshare notes/notebooks.  And you will need to recreate stacks from the note(s) you may have taken.

 

Good luck.

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I'm not surprised that EN is indicating they will most likely help him restore from TM. Although I'm sure it's possible, it's probably a complex process to restore a single user's account. Even before all the chaos started at EN, I think I might have heard of them restoring an account only once or twice. And I'm not absolutely certain of that. So given the new atmosphere at EN, I would be really surprised if they did this. They might. But I kind of doubt it.  I'm not saying it's right or wrong...just what I think it will be.  Trying to push the issue may prolong OP's current "in limbo" status without a different result.  I suspect he may prefer to just get up & running again in the most expeditious way.  Sometimes you have to cut your losses & move on.

 

 

James is mostly likely dealing with 1st level (i.e. lowest level) support tech.  The tech is most lkely just following a script.  His case needs to get escalated to higher levels.  James, don't be afraid to ask for higher level tech via chat, if you want to.  I have found this to be very effective with other companies.  The lowest level techs have almost no authority.

 

Since it was an Evernote Tech that caused this problem, deletion of all notes, then IMO Evernote is obligated to provide the account restore, if it is technically possible.

 

I am not "trying to push the issue".  If you have read the exchanges between me and James you will see that I asked him what he would prefer to do.  I am simply providing him with my suggestions, which he asked for.

 

IMO, it's too early to "cut your losses & move on".

 

James, if you need access to your EN Notes now, you can always do one of the following:

  • Import into LOCAL NBs in your current account.
  • Create a new account, and import into that.

That will get you up-and-running now while you wait for Evernote to do the account restore (if that is what you want).

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Thanks guys. Nothing to add at this point - I'm still waiting on EN Support. Having been told I would hear back from them yesterday, I went onto support chat last night to ask again; I was told that my case is with the representative I previously chatted with as well as a Technical Support Team Member and I should wait to hear back from them.

 

So, I'm waiting. In the mean time I have followed JMichael's helpful advice to gain temporary access to notes that I need, by importing the relevant notebook enex as a local notebook for temporary viewing.

 

I'm being taught something about patience - as I guess I'll now have to wait until Monday.

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Thanks guys. Nothing to add at this point - I'm still waiting on EN Support. Having been told I would hear back from them yesterday, I went onto support chat last night to ask again; I was told that my case is with the representative I previously chatted with as well as a Technical Support Team Member and I should wait to hear back from them.

 

So, I'm waiting. In the mean time I have followed JMichael's helpful advice to gain temporary access to notes that I need, by importing the relevant notebook enex as a local notebook for temporary viewing.

 

I'm being taught something about patience - as I guess I'll now have to wait until Monday.

 

If it were me, I would have cut my losses & restored from TM & moved forward. There are instructions on the board on how to restore from TM & it's really pretty easy. In fact this thread is someone with a similar issue & Heather (former EN support maven) replied on how to restore from TM backup.

 

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/21651-i-need-to-totally-restore-from-time-machine-how/?fromsearch=1

 

The one kink in the Mac client is that I guess the location of your live database differs based upon how you downloaded the Mac client.  And really, what do you have to lose, at this point?  WRT the maxxed out space, I would have either paid for extra or started a new premium account, since the new amount allotted is 4 (FOUR!) gigs.  Then I would have proceeded with the process I outlined above & submitted a support ticket for a refund for the additional upload I purchased, b/c I'm honestly not surprised that the response is so slow.  And as I said, waiting may not change the outcome.  IOW, you may continue to wait & they come back & say they will/are not able to restore your account, so you will need to restore from TM.. 

 

So I've got nothing further to add on this.  Good luck.

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And really, what do you have to lose, at this point? 

 

 

Actually, he has a lot to lose, as I stated previously (see below).  Even if he restores the Evernote folder from TM, he will STILL have to export all Notes to ENEX files.  The biggest issue I see is that ALL Note links are broken.  If you have  a lot of these, both internal and external (as I do), it would be very hard and time consuming to recreate the links.

 

If you "restore" from your exported ENEX files, you will lose:

  • When you import the ENEX back into EN Mac, they will have new GUIDs
  • So it is NOT really a restore of your Notes
  • It is creating NEW Notes with the same Note content
  • All Note links will be broken
  • You  will have to manually recreate Notebooks, Stacks, and Tag Hierarchies

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Even if he restores the Evernote folder from TM, he will STILL have to export all Notes to ENEX files.

Wrong. I was very clear in my post above on how this is done. I'm not going to continue to go around & around with you again on this topic. I suggest you get a better understanding of the restore process & how Evernote works before you start tutoring others.

It's also clear you don't understand what is said in that thread.

I'm done here.

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Even if he restores the Evernote folder from TM, he will STILL have to export all Notes to ENEX files.

Wrong.

 

 

According to the quote by Heather that you provide, you do.  Even if you don't, When you move the Notes from Sync'd NB to Local and back, the original GUID is lost, so all Note links are broken either way.

 

 

Unfortunately, as you've synced to our server, we can only restore the version that is currently on our server, but if you perform the following steps exactly, you can manually restore your organizational structure without excessive difficulty.

To restore from a Time Machine Backup:

  • Close Evernote
  • Replace the Library/Application Support/Evernote/data directory with the Time Machine's cache
  • Take the Mac off the network (Turn off Wireless/Airport)
  • Start Evernote
  • If your notebooks are the problem, create a new tag for each notebook with the Notebook's name, and "Tag" every note in that notebook with that Tag. If the tag already exists, create a *New*, *unique* tag.
  • If your tags are the problem, following the previous step will preserve the original (correct) tag data.
  • Right-click on the All Notebooks notebook to use the Export function to export the notes to an enex file (export tags as well).
  • After doing that, make a Local notebook on the Mac client
  • Move all of your notes into that Local notebook
  • Connect to the network
  • Click the "Sync" button.
  • Evernote should sync down to the server with your notes to rebuild your database.
Once you are in sync, you can then move the notes back from the Local notebook to their synchronized notebook based on the tags you created.

 

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Even if you don't, When you move the Notes from Sync'd NB to Local and back, the original GUID is lost, so all Note links are broken either way.

As I said in post 35 of this thread, note links are already broken. They were broken the minute he deleted the notes. Nothing he can do at this point can save them.  If he restores from TM (and has working note links on his Mac client), the minute he syncs, all those notes are going to be deleted, unless they are moved to local notebooks.  So it doesn't matter.  The links are broken either way.  At least with the notes in the local notebook, the notes, notebooks, stack & tag hierarchies can be preserved. 

 

According to the quote by Heather that you provide, you do.

As usual, you are quoting out of context.  I don't know why you continue to make "noise" (your favorite term) on a topic you clearly do not understand and why you continue to try to make it sound like it's as complex as heart surgery.  It's not. IF, you took the time to read the thread, it's clear that the actual restoring from TM is step 2.

 

"Replace the Library/Application Support/Evernote/data directory with the Time Machine's cache"

Perhaps you should refresh your memory by reading this specific post from two years ago. It's lengthy, so I'm not quoting it here.

https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/29162-backing-up-to-carbonite/?p=158059

The takeaway is this:

 

...which means restoring from a Timemachine backup is essentially as easy as restoring from a Windows backup. The main difference being that on Windows, you only have to restore one file. While on Mac, you restore the entire folder/directory/whatever.

It's as simple as that, with the exception I mentioned above about knowing where your live database is.

I have nothing more to add to OP's situation - it appears he is wanting to wait to hear back from EN.  And I'm not going to have yet another go around with you on the finer points of a restore - it's already been covered quite thoroughly & it's only adding more "noise" to OP's thread).  So in closing...

 

Proposed Change to Forum Rules

I just read this in another thread, and I propose that something like this be incorporated into the Forum Rules:

 

When we categorically say something does or doesn't work a certain way, it behooves us to "measure twice and cut once". In this case, double checking, and perhaps attempting to duplicate the users workflow and experience, would prevent us stating that things don't exist when they do.

It's a fair point for posters new and seasoned alike... If you don't know, don't say. Keeps the signal to noise ratio down.

 

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Thanks all. At the risk of adding more noise - as you guys clearly know much about these things than me - I am indeed holding out to hear back from Support (to be honest, I'd hoped they might be a little more responsive in this situation. Obviously I brought it on myself, but only because I followed their instructions).

 

Based on intuition rather than knowledge (dangerous!) my hope is that restoring my account to a past point from their end - if possible - and then having that data sync down to my Mac, would keep note links exactly as they were.

 

I'll let you know when I hear back...

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Hang in there James.  Maybe Evernote won't restore your account for you, but they have not said that yet.  Seems obvious to me that they are considering it, else the Support rep would have just flatly told you they will not do that.  If Evernote will not restore your account, they should at least provide you with a temporary increase in upload allowance so you can restore from your Mac.

 

The real problem here is that there is no formally documented process for a EN Mac restore.  A search of the EN KB provides a EN Win restore, but not a EN Mac.  The process provided by Heather is old, done in 2011.  Lots of things have changed since then.  I guess the closest thing we have to an "official" process is the one provided to you by EN Support, which did not use a TM restore, but a restore from the ENEX files.  And that process seems questionable.

 

I think, and hope, that you at least understand your options at this point, even if this thread has become a bit cluttered.  I suppose that is the nature of having a discussion when there is no authoritative source.

 

Perhaps the best thing at this point is for you to work as closely and directly as you can with EN Support, both via chat and email, in the final resolution of your problem.  I do encourage you think things through, ask questions of Support if they are not clear, and take things as slow as your needs will allow.  As you have already found out, some steps may be irrevocable.    Of course, if you have any questions for me, I will try to help.

 

Best of luck to you, and please let us know the final outcome.

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So, my account is pretty much back in order. I wanted to update those who've been so helpful in this thread, as well as record for the future benefit of other users, how things panned out.

 

After some frustration in chasing Support for responses I was finally in touch with a senior support rep who was good at replying promptly and even logging in to help me after his own shift had finished. Thanks, Karl G.

 

In the end Evernote could not restore my data from their end and so worked with me to restore my data from my own Time Machine backup (not yet got it set up? It's well worth having TM up and running, folks!)

 

These are pretty much the steps I followed to restore my account:

 

1) Move the old database from its location on your Mac. To do this:

 
Close Evernote
Your database is in a hidden directory. You can access it by opening the Finder, then selecting "Go" from the top menu and hitting the "Option" key. Once you have done that, you'll see the "Library" folder pop up. Select it. Next, I'm going to have you move the "your username" directory to another place. (Note: You may not have a directory in both places. Please remove whichever ones you do have, and make sure that you no longer have either before moving forward. If you are directed to "merge/replace/keep", choose to "Keep a Copy".):
First go to:
~/Library/Containers/com.evernote.Evernote/Data/Library/Application Support/Evernote/accounts/Evernote/<yourusername> and move the "your username" directory to another place (like the desktop). If you are directed to "merge/replace/keep", choose to "Keep a Copy".
 
Then go to:
~Library/Application Support/Evernote/accounts/Evernote/<your username> and move the "your username" directory to another place (like the desktop). If you are directed to "merge/replace/keep", choose to "Keep a Copy".
 
2) Once you've moved the database, you will want to access Time Machine's backup and place it where your database was previously stored: go to the location where your Evernote database was stored, open Time Machine and locate your username folder in the same location from Time Machine's cache and restore it from the backup.
 
You can now insert the directory you restored into the location where your database from Step 1 was found (Note: the folder will need to be named with your username or Evernote will not recognize it):
 
IMPORTANT: Take the Mac off the network (Turn off Wireless/Airport)
Open Evernote (if it is not currently open)
Sign out of all of your Evernote accounts (if you only have one account, just sign out of that account)
You should now be on the Sign-in page
Use the hotkey combination: CTRL + ALT + CMD + E (this will export your entire account to a folder which will preserve your individual notebook structure as individual .enex files, however, it will not preserve notebook stacks)
After doing that, connect to the network (Turn on Wireless/Airport)
Click the "Sync" button (your old notes will be over-written by the server notes)
Once all your notes have been pulled down from the server, import each of the .enex file(s) INDIVIDUALLY back into the Mac client (File > Import)
Sync your account once notebooks have been reimported
 
Two comments and one remaining issue:
  1. In the final step I synced my account after importing each notebook, just to ensure that sync happened properly and to avoid Evernote having to cope with a single mega-sync after importing all of my notebooks. This meant that this stage was quite time intensive as I had to individually import and sync each of 65 notebooks. As noted above, notebook stacks (as well as tag hierarchies) are not preserved by this process and so had to rebuilt; that didn't take too long though.
  2. In order to get all of my data synced back up I had to have my account allowance boosted by an extra 5GB. Karl did this in advance and so all was fine. But it was something that the very first support guy failed to consider.

A remaining issue: Karl had thought that whilst this process would likely break note links between different notebooks, it would preserve those between notes in the same notebook. This issue was discussed above in this thread, but I was happy to go with Karl's view. Sadly, as predicted in this thread, all note links were broken by this process. Karl later realised this and apologised:

 

"Unfortunately, there is no way around the lost note links issue since syncing up to the server is creating new note ID numbers (GUID's) and thereby breaks the note links. Apologies for the misinformation. I remember testing this now and not getting the note links back so I'm really not sure why I wrote that the note links would work."

 
So, I'll need to rebuild note links as and when I come across them. This whole situation and resolution has highlighted for me:
  1. I should be less liberal with note links and less reliant upon them if they are so easily lost.
  2. I should be slow to act on (major) instructions from support and should take time to think through (or ask on here about) the implications. (for those who've not read this whole thread, I got myself into this whole mess by following what seemed like straightforward instructions from Support, for fixing a syncing problem, but instructions which omitted to mention some serious side-effects and failed to consider that I would need an increased data allowance in order to follow them through.

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I'm glad you got things back in order.

I don't know why Karl had you import from an enex, since the process I suggested in post 35 (moving all the notes to a local notebook after restoring from TM) would have accomplished the same thing except would have preserved tag hierarchies. Maybe b/c he (erroneously) thought he could preserve note links. I don't know. This is a very unfortunate example of poor customer service on several fronts.  Any time a user is told to "wipe everything out of their account", a senior tech should be overseeing this & know (not guess), understand and communicate any issues that may be associated with such action.  Same attributes should belong to the tech person helping a user recover from such a situation. IMO, if Heather were still at Evernote & overseeing CS, this issue would probably have never happened and if it did happen, it would have been resolved much more quickly & with the least amount of disruption to the user.  Heather knows all note links would be broken & knows that moving to local notebooks would have preserved the tag hierarchy.  (As evidenced by the thread I linked to in post 38 of this thread.)

 

But no matter. Glad you got it all sorted out.

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So, my account is pretty much back in order. I wanted to update those who've been so helpful in this thread, as well as record for the future benefit of other users, how things panned out.

 

After some frustration in chasing Support for responses I was finally in touch with a senior support rep who was good at replying promptly and even logging in to help me after his own shift had finished. Thanks, Karl G.

 

In the end Evernote could not restore my data from their end and so worked with me to restore my data from my own Time Machine backup (not yet got it set up? It's well worth having TM up and running, folks!)

 

. . .

 
A remaining issue: Karl had thought that whilst this process would likely break note links between different notebooks, it would preserve those between notes in the same notebook. This issue was discussed above in this thread, but I was happy to go with Karl's view. Sadly, as predicted in this thread, all note links were broken by this process. Karl later realised this and apologised:

 

"Unfortunately, there is no way around the lost note links issue since syncing up to the server is creating new note ID numbers (GUID's) and thereby breaks the note links. Apologies for the misinformation. I remember testing this now and not getting the note links back so I'm really not sure why I wrote that the note links would work."

 
So, I'll need to rebuild note links as and when I come across them. This whole situation and resolution has highlighted for me:
  1. I should be less liberal with note links and less reliant upon them if they are so easily lost.
  2. I should be slow to act on (major) instructions from support and should take time to think through (or ask on here about) the implications. (for those who've not read this whole thread, I got myself into this whole mess by following what seemed like straightforward instructions from Support, for fixing a syncing problem, but instructions which omitted to mention some serious side-effects and failed to consider that I would need an increased data allowance in order to follow them through.

 

 

Well, James, I'm very glad that you are finally back up-and-running.

 

But I have to say that I am very disappointed in Evernote Support:

  1. Evernote created the problem with the initial instructions to delete all Notes in your account
  2. EN did so without advising you of the consequences, not the least of which is the additional monthly allowance you would need to rebuild your account from TM and/or ENEX files
  3. As a result, you have been off-line for over a week -- totally unacceptable
  4. EN Support made several major errors in their instructions to you, one of which was by a "senior" tech.
  5. The overall slowness in EN Support response was both unnecessary and unacceptable.
  6. This whole experience now makes me question everything I get from EN Support.

I guess I should add that I generally question everything I get from all Support organizations.  Most of them are acting from scripts, and they certainly don't have your best interest in mind nearly as much as you do.  It's like when your doctor gives you a new prescription -- make sure you fully understand all the side effects (which the doctor may not mention) before you take the medicine.

 

Good luck James.  I hope you don't encounter any further problems with Evernote.  But if you do, post in these forums and hopefully there will still be some experienced users to help you.

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