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Lost All My Data??!!!!! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I just purchased OF yesterday, and today I had a chance to do a brain dump and configure my tasks.

I added a large number of folders and projects, along with plenty of tasks. While deleting parts of a note that I put inside a task, I pressed "undo" and "redo" to get to the right amount of data that I wanted to keep.

Then it crashed. The message box came up, asking me to send the report. So I did.

Then I went back into Omnifocus and IT WAS GONE!!!

All of the folders and projects, along with many of the tasks, were all gone.

This is a HUGE problem. What can I do to make sure this never happens again?
 
Your data might still be recoverable! Please contact our support ninjas if you haven't already. (You can reach them at omnifocus@omnigroup.com.)

OmniFocus automatically saves a new transaction with all of your edits after every change you make, so it's possible that your data is still present in that transaction log (and that might also give us some clue from it as to what happened).

As soon as possible (if it's not too late), I recommend you use the Finder to duplicate your database in your Library/Application Support/OmniFocus folder so that we can inspect its condition as it is right nowóbefore you restore from a backup or rebuild the database or making too many further edits.

Also, please check your Console application (in /Applications/Utilities) for any diagnostic information that might have been logged by OmniFocus. It would be ideal to send our support ninjas a log of anything related to OmniFocus from the time you launched OmniFocus to the time it crashed.

And, of course, if you can think of any way to reproduce the problem, that would be immensely helpful: it's always our highest priority to fix any issues which cause data loss of any sort. The crash report you sent in says that your undo stack was in an invalid state, which is caused by a bug in OS X which can happen when (sorry, getting technical here) code raises an exception through the Undo Manager. We saw some of this during the beta period, and we thought we'd caught every instance of it by carefully preventing all such exceptions, but perhaps there's some potential exception that we didn't know about and thus didn't manage to prevent. The Console log might have more information about that, which is why that would be helpful to send.

I'm terribly sorry this happened to you. Again, it might not be too late to recover your data, so please contact us as soon as possible!
 
And OmniFocus does back up it's library to Documents:Omnifocus Backups automatically, which you can set it to do once or twice a day and every time you quit the application, so when you start really using it, your data should be very safe.

Still I'm of course very sorry that happened. I hope you report back here and tell us if you got your information back.
 
MJK,

Luckily, I had it set to backup twice each day and each time I exit beforehand, so I didn't lose too much data. I lost a lot of work I spent organizing my inbox, though, but it gave me an opportunity to reevaluate my planning and context structure.

Ken responded very quickly, and would have completely restored the database a few hours after the error happened if I wanted him to.

Now I know to be careful when undoing and redoing, and to always exit and reopen OF after doing a big brain dump. I still think this will be the most trustworthy GTD system I've ever had, and I've had way too many.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dconjar View Post
MJK,

Luckily, I had it set to backup twice each day and each time I exit beforehand, so I didn't lose too much data. I lost a lot of work I spent organizing my inbox, though, but it gave me an opportunity to reevaluate my planning and context structure.

Ken responded very quickly, and would have completely restored the database a few hours after the error happened if I wanted him to.

Now I know to be careful when undoing and redoing, and to always exit and reopen OF after doing a big brain dump. I still think this will be the most trustworthy GTD system I've ever had, and I've had way too many.
Good to hear, I've had OmniFocus crash a few times, but in about 6 months, it literally has crashed like 4 times total. And I haven't lost anything yet.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJK View Post
I've had OmniFocus crash a few times, but in about 6 months, it literally has crashed like 4 times total. And I haven't lost anything yet.
I've had a few crashes too (strangely seems to be connected to the Help menu and sometimes the sorting feature in the Edit menu) and I hope they get sorted soon. I always send Omni crash reports with as much detail as I can.

But I've never lost any data. In that respect, OmniFocus has been extremely reliable, and I use the app a lot. Still, frequent backups make me feel a little more at ease, especially since I like to ride the cutting edge with the sneaky peaks. :)

-Dennis
 
This post makes me curious. A transactional database engine, with a write-ahead log, can prevent data loss from software failure. Believe it or not, Quicken appears to have this sort of database because in 15 years of love-hate it hasn't yet lost my data. I'm a database developer (on Windows) and I'm just wondering... what's under the hood?
 
Under the hood we cache data in a SQL database for efficiency, but we record changes to that database in XML transaction files. The XML transaction files are considered the authoritative source; we rebuild the SQL database from those transactions whenever the schema changes or the software or operating system is updated.

In this particular case, all of the data was present in the transactions, and then right before the crash we saw a final transaction which issued deletes for 15 folders, 35 contexts, and 49 tasks. This faulty transaction was apparently caused by a bug in the Undo system which made it try to undo the creation of all those items. (This seems to be a rare framework bug that we still haven't figured out how to reproduce, though we're pretty sure it has to do with NSUndoManager corrupting its undo stack when an exception is raised.)

I was able to restore all the lost data by removing that delete transaction.
 
Thanks for the reply! Very clever system, nice how it makes schema changes relatively simple as well.
 
 


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