After update why does my database not appear?

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Dirk Schwenke
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:31 pm
Location: Hamburg

After update why does my database not appear?

Post by Dirk Schwenke »

In this task I will discuss all database related problems, like:
- Where is my database?
- I have updated, but why does my database not appear in the new Notesbrowser?
- My database is gone, where could it be?

How to start
- first, be cool! Notesbrowser does not delete data - unless you explicitly want Notesbrowser to delete it! (This can only be done with Notesbrowser if you delete for example a category inside Notesbrowser by choosing "Delete" from the category menu or by using the recover utility in the "wrong" direction)
- there is a simple tool to locate you database (see below)
- also notice that the Notesbrowser Setup will never "overwrite" files of your database. So it is save to install a new version over an older one. The database will never be overwritten!
- after the 60 days trial period, you can always access your data and it will never be deleted
- Before you read further we highly recommend to make backups of all folders in which a Notesbrowser database is - just in case you are copying in the wrong direction.- so, make a backup first! Do not make the backup with Notesbrowser, better make it with the Windows explorer on file basis (copy the whole Notesbrowser folder!)
- if you do not truly understand basic file and folder handling in Windows, Stop here! You need help from someone who understands these basic concepts, or you may overwrite/destroy your database accidentally

History of Database problems
- the reason why you can have multiple databases is, that Notesbrowser intentionallydoes not save the information where the database is in the Windows Registry
- the advantage is you can install many Notesbrowser Installations on a single PC and they will not bother each other. Or on a flash drive. You can even move the Notesbrowser folders around on your hard disk drive without destroying anything. Only shortcuts to launch Notesbrowser may be broken, which you can easily fix
- the disadvantage is, you need to install Notesbrowser Updates in the folder where you have installed Notesbrowser before, or you will have two parallel installations! There is an explicit warning about this in the setup, but we know no one reads this (sic). There is also an explicit warning at the first start of the new Notesbrowser installation, stating that there is a database in a different folder, but we know nobody reads this either..

Background Information
- Standard path for the Notesbrowser installation is C:\Program Files\Notesbrowser\
- This is also where the database is!
- If Notesbrowser is running, you can find out the database path in: Configuration (key F10) ->Info
See picture here:
- in Configuration->Info is also the Notesbrowser version information!
- if you hold your mouse above a Notesbrowser category button (the buttons on the right side), you get a tooltip hint with the path of the exact file where the category is saved in
See picture here:

The Notesbrowser database is file-based and all the files are always in the installation path and have the ending .nbw (or .xml for configuration files)
- the .xml files contain the configuration data and the reminder dates
- the .nbw files contain the notes, each category has its own .nbw file
See picture with explanation what files and folders you can expect, important are red:

Possible problems with your database
- you can have multiple Notesbrowser installations in different folders on your PC, you can have multiple databases!
- for example if you have manually installed Notesbrowser 1.6 in C:\Notesbrowser and 1.7 in C:\Program Files\Notesbrowser, in both folders is a independent, working Notesbrowser with full database
- a common problem is that you have installed one Notesbrowser in C:\Program Files\Notesbrowser and another in C:\Program Files (x86)\Notesbrowser which are different folders!
- there are some rare problems with Vista VirtualStore paths too:
- Notesbrowser is usually started minimized at PC startup with a shortcut in your autostart folder
- so some users have problems to find out that they have multiple installations of Notesbrowser and which is running
- if you have multiple Notesbrowser versions installed, they will prevent each other from starting! This is designed so and can be turned off in the configurations. But in the default configuration only one Notesbrowser shall run at the same time and so you need to understand that if you start a second instance, the first instance(!) will be brought to front and the second instance will not start at all!
- if this "start Notesbrowser one instance" feature is confusing you, you should turn it off in Configuration(key F10)->Controls (you may turn it off in multiple Notesbrowser versions if you have multiple)
See picture here:
- if you install a new Notesbrowser version in an empty folder, a fresh database will be generated. In this database a Tutorial will be loaded. This happens really only if you install in a empty folder and is for new users. If you want to import your database this is a bit confusing, but keep in mind that the content is auto generated for new users and can be deleted.

How to solve the problems
- first thing to do is, find out if you have one or more Notesbrowser installations on your PC
- you can do this with a simple tool, see below
- you can do this manually if you search on all your hard disk drives for files with the ending "*.nbw" (or "*.ic3" for very old versions)
- if the files are in two different folders, for example C:\Program Files\IC3\ and C:\Program Files\Notesbrowser\ you may have two parallel installations or you found a backup you made
- we have created a simple tool which does the database search for you! Please download it here:

- if there are more folders found, make sure that are not your Backups. Notesbrowser's Backup usually is located in the Notesbrowser subfolder ...\Backup
- keep in mind, Notesbrowser prevents in the default configuration to open two instances! This means you need to "Exit" Notesbrowser to start a different instance (do not minimize it to tray, instead click Exit in the menu!)

What to do if you have multiple databases?
- you need to inspect the databases to find out what they contain, the mentioned tool above does this for you!

To find out the database contest manually:
- 1. be sure there is no Notesbrowser running 2. click on the nb.exe in the database folder
- if there is no nb.exe in the folder, it may be a backup folder. To check this, you can do a trick: copy the file nb.exe from a different folder to the database folder and also (!) copy the Notesbrowser subfolder /System which contains the file nb.dll to the folder
- then 1. be sure there is no Notesbrowser running 2. click on the nb.exe in the database folder
- if you need data from both databases, turn of the "start one instance" feature in Configuration->Controls and copy the data from one Notesbrowser to the other
- if you want to recover a whole database, first you need to be exactly sure which database you want to copy/keep and read the next two paragraphs:

Import one database in Notesbrowser with the built in Recover feature

Attention! The database you target with the backup will be overwritten!

Before you start -> make backups of all folders in which a Notesbrowser database is - just in case you are copying in the wrong direction!

I repeat: Do a backup now!

Now that you have found the folders where your two databases are, do:
1) Exit all Notesbrowser version that are running (with menu "Exit"!) - there shall not be a Notesbrowser icon next to the clock or a Notesbrowser task running
2) Start the Notesbrowser where the database is missing or can be deleted -> the Notesbrowser you want to keep, but does not has the correct database!
3) Go to "Configurations" -> Backup
4) Change the Backup/Restore path to the path of the Notesbrowser database which shall be imported
5) Import the database with "Recover" (not with Backup!)
See picture here:

6) Finished! Notesbrowser will restart now and load your database

You should change the Backup/Restore path now to some other location where the backup makes sense (I recommend a different hard disk).
Also you should rename the files nb.exe in all the installation folder which you don't want to use anymore, in for example rename_nb.exe

Alternative: Copy database in Notesbrowser

Before you start, make backups of all folders involved!

You must have found out where your source and where your target database is:
1) Delete all files with ending .ic3 and ending .nbw and ending .xml from the target database folder -> this cleans up the database and is optional
2) Copy all files with ending .ic3 and ending .nbw and ending .xml from the source database folder to the target database folder, overwriting existing files
3) Finished! The Notesbrowser shall have all the wanted data.

For comments to this tutorial, please answer to this thread!

Best Regards,

Dirk Schwenke,
Notesbrowser Team

Organize your Notes:!
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