Harlan
I have talked about this in the past, but I think it bears repeating...

Dropbox *will* corrupt your Brain's database (and so will any other file-sync service). If you want to use your Brain from multiple devices, use the built-in syncing via TheBrain Cloud Services.

TheBrain relies upon the file system to not change TheBrain's data when its "not looking". When you use a service like Dropbox on your Brain data, it is like shifting the ground beneath your house. Sometimes it's fine and you don't even notice, but sometimes the foundation cracks and crumbles.

I just helped someone whose brain database was corrupted by a file-syncing service. Looking at the logs, I think what happened was that the service changed the Brain.db file while TheBrain was still open, corrupting it. Don't let this happen to you.

We added code to TheBrain 9 that detects when it looks like a file-sync or folder sharing service is being used on brain data to help you avoid this problem. Please don't ignore the warnings. Syncing via Dropbox will probably not cause an issue for you immediately. It may take days, weeks, or months, but eventually your database will be corrupted.

TheBrain cloud services will sync your Brain automatically between as many devices as you want, including iOS and Android devices. Plus, it gives you the ability to access your brain from virtually any browser without the need to install any software and it can serve as a backup in case you lose your laptop.

If you don't want to put your data on the cloud or don't want to pay the services fee, share your Brain between computers by exporting it to a BRZ file. We worked hard to make this work much better in version 9 - creating and importing BRZs is many times faster than BrainZips were in version 8. (You can even use Dropbox or whatever to sync your BRZ files between machines. Just make sure to always import the latest BRZ from your other machine before you make changes and re-export a new BRZ.)

For those of you who are interested, here is the technical info on why corruption happens when using a file-sync service (adapted from a previous post on this topic)...

Brain data is spread across many files and the changes are often interdependent. Often large files are modified in a small ways. Thus, a file-based sync is not only very inefficient, but also prone to corrupting the database. 
Additionally, there are factors beyond just the visible data that need to be kept in sync, such as index information, internal IDs, counters and so on.

This is why Dropbox (and other file-based sync services) will appear to work, but cannot be relied on since they eventually lead to corruption. Corruption will occur as soon as any of the following happens:
  1. Changes are made to the data from machine A then from machine B but before the changes from machine A are received by machine B. This is called a conflict and leads to one of these changes being ignored (deleted).
  2. Changes are only partially received before TheBrain is opened.
  3. Changes are made to a file while TheBrain is still using it.
  4. All of the relevant changes are not sent at once - this can happen easily as they are not all co-located.
In a worst-case scenario, a database may only become partially corrupted and you may not find out about the problem until weeks or months later when you cannot easily revert to a backup.
Regards,
-Harlan
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mdlynam
I'm curious to know if using Goodsync would also lead to corruption if The Brain's location is synced to a OneDrive or S3 folder manually (not set to autorun).
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Harlan
If you were to run the sync manually and never make a mistake, it is possible to sync in this manner without corrupting your brain. However, if you were to a mistake such as forgetting to sync and making changes to the unsynced version or running the sync before closing your brain, the result will be the same types of corruptions as described above. Also the incomplete sync possibility still exists.

If you want to sync manually, use a BRZ file - it's much safer.
Regards,
-Harlan
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ErichA
Harlan, I have my Brain DB in the OneDrive Folder on my Surface Pro, so it syncs to OneDrive. However, I only access this Brain from this one PC. If I use another PC, I use WebBrain or Android. Is my Brain still at risk of getting corrupted? Please advise.

Also, I make daily BrainZip backups, but if a potential corruption occurs over time, are the BrainZip backups sufficient?

Thanks in advance,

Erich
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Harlan
Hi Erich,

As long as you are really only accessing from one machine, the problems described above should not happen.

Yes, if corruption were to occur, you could recover your data from a Brain archive. (BrainZips are now called Brain archives in version 9.)
Regards,
-Harlan
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ErichA
Thanks for the reply Harlan.


One more question (unrelated to the above):

When I use, add or edit in TB9, I notice that my Bluetooth mouse behaves oddly. It lags to the degree that I can't use it anymore. OS and drivers are up-to-date. I have plenty of RAM. If I close TB9, the problem goes away immediately.
The issue never occurs with any other piece of software. Any idea what the reason for this could be and what I can do about it? Is it maybe a known problem?
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Harlan
There's nothing special about the way TB9 interacts with the mouse. It's not impossible that it is related to TB9, but I can't imagine how - I would have to guess that what you are seeing is a coincidence. Bluetooth mice are notoriously unreliable, even those from top brands (I've personally experienced many issues with Logitech, Apple, Microsoft mice). Some bluetooth devices experience interference from wireless network activity. Perhaps that could be the issue.
Regards,
-Harlan
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metta
Harlan, is it possible for backup services like CrashPlan to corrupt a brain database if it is only backing up one-way and NOT syncing?

The reason I ask is that when I initially set-up my CrashPlan back-up well over a year ago, I made sure it was NOT backing up ANY of the TB8 or TB9 program files.

However, with all the problems I've been having with TB9, I began to wonder if there were OTHER hidden brain files located ELSEWHERE that might be being backed up, unbeknownst to me.

Sure enough, with a deeper search, I found another whole set of hidden brain files in my AppData folder that were being backed up by CrashPlan -- and I have since turned OFF the CrashPlan back-up on these files.

In the meantime, I am now wondering: Are one-way backups of AppData on Windows a problem? If so:
  • Can someone from TheBrain provide a comprehensive list (with location details) of ALL the files on Windows 7 that should NOT be backed up by a 3rd party service?
  • In addition, can this brain file location information be provided to ALL new users (both Mac and Windows) when they initially download their software so they will know how to avoid inadvertent back-up of their brain data/program files?

Since I am regularly using the web brain for TB8 and the web client for TB9, and since I make almost daily backups of all the brains I'm actively using, I do not feel the need for any additional 3rd party backup support, and I certainly don't want to be doing anything in terms of my other remote backups that would compromise the functionality of either V8 or V9.
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Harlan
Backup of TheBrain's files by 3rd party applications should never lead to corruption. The reason sync software can lead to corruption is because the sync software may change data it should not change when data is "incoming". With backup software on the other hand the data is always "outgoing".

The only issue we have seen with backup software is that sometimes backup software may "lock" a file (prevent it from being accessed by other applications) which can cause temporary failures to read data. If this were to happen, you might see error message and TheBrain may fail to respond when it has been locked out, but everything would go back to normal once the backup software was finished with that file.
Regards,
-Harlan
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metta
Great! Thanks so much for confirming, Harlan.

Very much appreciate your prompt and helpful feedback.
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khalilgdoura
Hello. The following question was asked in this thread but the case is different: I use TheBrain on two different computers running Windows, and as you know, the default location of TheBrain data is within OneDrive. 

I suppose that since the software is designed to select OneDrive, so this location can be safe, yes ? or not ? 
Trying to moving the folder outside, I have that warning "changing the location .. is not recommended. Do not proceed unless you are an advanced user..."  


Sorry for my confusion, do you consider OneDrive - default location - safer than Dropbox ? Thanks for your guidance.
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