Hello !
This is the scenario:
  • I had The Brain on a windows 7 PC that suddenly crashed. 
  • I can access the backup (file by file) of the folder that contains my brain.
  • I do not have sync because of 60 gigabytes of my brain (I know it's huge!)
So I reinstalled windows on a new disk, reinstalled The Brain, set the brain folder, then basically copied all the files in the new folder, but no luck.

How can I import a brain version 9  in The Brain version 9 ?

Thank you.

Good luck, I would actually email and talk to them directly.

Having said that, I used to transfer TB9 via HDD between computers because of proxy problems with sync (not advised - but possible), however I always kept the same path (and never I mean never have both open - not a problem for you).

If you can find all the files, and then recreate the
xxxx_brain\brain_cddb (and all the files here)
xxxx_brain\brain_db (and files in here)
xxxx_brain\files (this is where all the thoughts are in 12ABCDED-ABCD-ABCD-ABCD-A12345678 lots and lots of sub folders)
xxxx_brain\index (I think you can recreate this once up and running)
xxxx_brain\txt (text notes files?)

Then in TB9 use open the xxxx.brain file and you might stand a chance, but as above I would email support first.

Hope this helps?
Thank you @shinyplastic for your reply. I'm lucky. I had another installation of my dear brain on an old notebook. Of course wasn't up to date, but I just copied all the files above and made a .brz backup, then imported the .brz on my new TheBrain and voilà everything just worked fine.

But my solution can't be general of course, so I would like to share a couple of consideration with everyone here, just to be of some help for other vagrants.

I cannot believe that The Brain version 9 doesn't have the option to import a 9 version of a brain, instead it could import a version 8, but this is the pity truth.

I think I could have installed the The Brain version 10 and then import the version 9 of my brain. I think it would have worth a try, but can't be sure if it worked or not.

However, the real problem it is that the brain doesn't have a real local backup system. I mean I can of course made the brainzip and the copy it in a safety place, but my brain as said is 60 gigabytes. That means a lot of time for doing backup, a lot of time to copy offline or in a network folder, and a huge amount of space wasted, because doesn't depends of the modified files but of every file in the brain.

Basically I can't do an incremental or differential backup.

That's not good. I'm a licensed buyer, using The Brain I think 10 years now and in my brains there's more than my life.

I'm not happy with the cloud solution, both for privacy and for safety. What if hackers hacks the brains servers ?. That not gonna happens ? Ask Cryptopia CEO.

So we need an incremental/differential local backup system. Fast easy and confident.

Another consideration: Because my 60 gigabytes is mostly pdfs, now I'm writing a python program to move the pdf files in another different folder and leave a shortcut to the files in the original folder.

This will fit the actual brain to the size that I can sync it in the cloud. Dislike it but this what I can do to avoid another chernobyl on my data.

Thank you everyone also just for reading until here.


Great to hear you got it back!

I may have given you the directories for TB8, I didn't spend much time on TB9 went directly to TB10.

As I said, if you make a full mirror of the files you can effectively incrementally backup (and move the brain between computers), or create a brainzip as below.  TB10 doesn't have an import, because you can open the correct file structure.  FIle > New Tab > = > Open Brain

i.e. use FreeFileSync to mirror your brain directory, just make sure you have both closed when you copy, and it will only copy / delete the files that have changed.

The brainzip file is just a zip of the key files, if you rename it to .zip you can open and view it (again true on TB8/TB10 and pretty sure TB9 .brz is just a renamed .zip).

But always worth a good backup strategy!!

Great to hear that you are up and running again and thank you for sharing the experience and process. As shinyplastic mentioned, a quick web meeting with the support team would be the best option to recover your original Brain/data. A Brain database is more complex than a typical file/folder/linear data set.. so extra steps in a recovery operation such as this are sometimes necessary.

Also, as mentioned, if you are not syncing to TheBrain Cloud, you can always make your own periodic Brain backup in the form of a Brain Archive file. Just click on File > Backup to Brain Archive.  This will compress your Brain data into a single .brz file. The .brz file you create is local and is not shared with our server. You can even protect your .brz file with your account password (this is the default setting) so that no one else can extract it back into a Brain.

I do understand your concerns about cloud security.  That being said, we're very proud and confident with our security surrounding customer data.  Here's a brief outline:
  • TheBrain 9 and 10 use a completely different architecture from TheBrain 8 including improved security.
  • TheBrain 10 servers are hosted via Microsoft Azure and not AWS.
  • At present, there is no facility for accessing information even by administrators without the login information. Additionally, our services agreement does not permit us to access user data for any purpose beyond providing services to the user.
  • Passwords are salted and hashed and cannot be viewed by anyone.
  • File attachments and notes are encrypted using a 256-bit AES cipher (one of the strongest block ciphers available).
  • There are no third party vendors that would have access to data hosted on TheBrain Cloud

Finally, if it will be helpful, there are several report filters that can help you locate all Thoughts with internal file attachments, attachments that are PDFs, attachments over X MBs, etc.

Thank you,
An additional follow up to anyone who is interested.  Below are the steps to recover your Brain databases when just the Brains directory has been moved/copied/salvaged to a new machine from it's previous location. This process could be considered a bit more 'advanced' so if you would like assistance, the support team is happy to schedule a web meeting with you to work through these steps:
  • Quit/Close TheBrain application
  • Open a file explorer window
If you moved your Brains folder manually (The folder containing your U00, U01 directories, etc.) it is best to put the Brains folder back in its original default location.

Windows: C:\Users\[User Name]\Documents\Brains
macOS: Users/[username]/Brains

(Tip: make sure these directories are not also being synced by Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.)
Then reset the MetaDB file:

  • Go to C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\TheBrain\MetaDB
    (Tip: The AppData is protected folder and sometimes hidden in file explorer - you will need to turn on 'view hidden files' to access this folder)
  • Open Finder
  • Click on Go > Go to folder
  • Type ~/.TheBrain/v9/MetaDB
  • Rename the file there to TheBrainMeta.db.old
  • Restart TheBrain
  • Login again
This will force TheBrain to rebuild the Brains listing. You will need to log in again and reset your preferences. If you would like to then move your data to another location, this should be done within the app by going into Preferences > Storage and selecting a new, empty directory for your Brains folder. Please feel free to contact support if you need any help with this process.

Thank you,

Thank you both @shinyplastic  and @mcaton , I think everything here would be useful for every customer in full panic for loosing important data.

I want to say I love The Brain. Really. The Brain, Directory Opus and Visual Code Studio are my best friends (ok it sounds a little nerd, but you know what I mean) for decades now.

So my lesson learned the hard way: don't get in panic mode. Make zip copies of your files before try everything, just in case. Take your time, drink a sip of coffee then come here or ask for support and everything will get just fine. There are friends here.

But, just because it's Xmas (and at Xmas you must tell the truth) I really think we need an external backup tool. Something that could start togheter with the PC and silently make a consistent local backup every morning : I thought that a robocopy with /PURGE option would make the trick, but it's an handycraft solution, instead we need an industrial and confident tool.

Or someone think that The Brain is just a toy ? Or someone think that doesn't matter if every data will be loose just because a ramsonware decided to come here for a visit ? I (and I'm not alone) don't think so. There's really everything about my life here, and the cloud to me is not an option because of 60 gigabytes of space.

So, please, listen to your devoted customers and make an external incremental or differential local backup tool. Please.

Take my post as a pain in the back please :-)

And thank you for your help, support, and everyday job. Without you there wouldn't be The Brain

Gianfranco from Brescia, Italy

Thank you GT1967.  I've confirmed that we have a feature request under review for an automated, local backup process.

I love this open minded approach guys !
Just take care to be functioning also with TheBrain 9 and maybe 8.
Thank you !
Any news about this topic, mate ?
Sorry, no update yet.  The feature request is still documented.


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