Backup files now 100x larger, categories have new root category

jp's Avatar


23 Apr, 2023 01:24 AM

I was syncing MD on a mac and pc. Recently I had some trouble syncing. I noticed this first when the pc copy created a new root category and move all other categories to a sub of that new root. The mac MD had all the categories set up properly.

I tried going through the back ups to find when the problem started and I noticed that the back up files from the mac changed from about 80 MB to over 6 GB in size - a serious issue for dropbox!

I've uninstalled the mac copy and am trying to reinstall from a back up, but I'm wondering if anyone has any idea what I may have done to cause this. Thanks in advance!

  1. 1 Posted by dwg on 23 Apr, 2023 02:06 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    I do not think anyone will be able to be too specific, that would likely require looking at the problem when it is occurring, examining error logs and the like.

    In general syncing problems can cause strange transaction problems to occur.

    There could be some corruption happening too. A new category can be a symptom of an internal inconsistency in the data set, especially if the name is an interesting alphanumeric, which can indicate use of an internal identifier.

    Really rapidly expanding backups I've seen when the backup location is specified to be inside the data set, either locally or on Dropbox, it creates a recursion.

    All in all I'm just speculating on what could cause such problems, what has actually happened could well be another story.

  2. 2 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 23 Apr, 2023 09:58 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    on a 6GB dataset, run toolbox, click analyse dataset and objects. Upload details here...

  3. 3 Posted by jp on 24 Apr, 2023 12:20 PM

    jp's Avatar

    @ Stuart Beesley, I'm not sure how to "run toolbox" Is that an extension?
    I looked through the MD menu and did not see this option.

  4. 4 Posted by dwg on 24 Apr, 2023 12:40 PM

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    Yes it is an extension,

    It is installed using the menu option Extensions --> Manage Extensions.

  5. 5 Posted by jp on 25 Apr, 2023 02:11 AM

    jp's Avatar

    I cannot get the restored backup to sync at all. While I'm working through this, I did disable backup. I have the following errors from the toolbox on my pc (which should by the synced copy - not original), but I'm not exactly sure how to fix them.

    Toolbox has detected that you have at least one saved
    Moneydance window location that is invalid / 'off-screen'.
    >> To zap these invalid settings, use UPDATE Mode...

    This Dataset is running as a 'Secondary Node'
    - either you are Synchronising to it,
    - or you have restored it from a backup/sync copy.
    If these statements are true / OK, then ignore this message...
    >>Otherwise, to convert to Primary, select Update Mode.

    >> Run 'FIX: Non-Hierarchical Security Acct Txns (& detect Orphans)'...

    Below are my results from the analysis. I'm not sure how to fix this, so I could really use any help and advice. Thanks in advance!


    Dataset path: C:\Users\joephillips\.moneydance\Documents\jtp md.moneydance

    Dataset size: 131.2MB
    - settings file size: 17.9KB
    - key file size: 0.1KB
    - tiksync folder size: 131.2MB (with 14 files)
      (note trunk file size: 40.9MB)
    - attachments size: 0.0MB (in 0 attachments)
    - archive size: 0.0MB (in 0 files)
    Valid files size: 131.2MB (in 16 files)

    Non-core file(s) size: 0.0MB (in 0 files)

    LARGE (core) file(s) > 0.5MB....:
       - 40.9MB Mod: 2023-04-24 C:\Users\joephillips\.moneydance\Documents\jtp md.moneydance\safe\tiksync\trunk
       - 45.1MB Mod: 2023-04-24 C:\Users\joephillips\.moneydance\Documents\jtp md.moneydance\safe\tiksync\in\29089c1f-0c6f-49b8-bfad-e70843157b6d.mdtxn
       - 4.1MB Mod: 2023-04-24 C:\Users\joephillips\.moneydance\Documents\jtp md.moneydance\safe\tiksync\in\4c057e2d-aaf8-4652-a359-733ca130c964.mdtxn
       - 40.9MB Mod: 2023-04-24 C:\Users\joephillips\.moneydance\Documents\jtp md.moneydance\safe\tiksync\in\trunk-202304222142.mdtxn

    DATABASE OBJECT COUNT (count) (est.size KBs):
    Object: mem_rpt 27 18.8
    Object: bdgt 7 0.8
    Object: csnap 62116 14320.9
    Object: reminder 35 31.8
    Object: secsubtypes 1 0.3
    Object: txn 26811 24764.0
    Object: olsvc 10 30.5
    Object: csplit 2 0.3
    Object: oltxns 163 17.4
    Object: olpayees 1 0.8
    Object: bdgtitem 1707 403.9
    Object: curr 111 33.0
    Object: acct 470 201.9
    Object: misc 3 8.7
     TOTAL: 91464 39832.9

    Dataset: Mod: 2023-04-24 C:\Users\joephillips\.moneydance\Documents\jtp md pc.moneydance


    Sync Folder: 2021-06-08 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\053059d6-fd83-44d1-89df-da2be053b5ce
    Sync Folder: 2021-06-08 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\104d26fc-b564-4ad2-b1d8-6295a38f5ea7
    Sync Folder: 2021-06-30 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\16c680e4-5ba5-4841-82d0-e4f8c21a9418
    Sync Folder: 2023-04-22 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\3cd0ae8b-c726-4bfb-84c1-183ed141a8ed
    Sync Folder: 2023-02-20 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\661502a6-c364-4da4-96b0-134e7caa68e9
    Sync Folder: 2023-02-18 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\66e0e434-18ec-4cfc-9a0d-223f77b81d6d
    Sync Folder: 2021-06-08 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\7c05ca3d-7860-40e6-af97-c3e4a8724eb6
    Sync Folder: 2023-02-20 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\83862eb4-8a69-45c0-826a-ae169a5995d4
    Sync Folder: 2021-11-01 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\91426602-53a9-4512-9a54-5a14665afd9d
    Sync Folder: 2020-04-09 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\9832b6c3-358d-475e-b79e-901bd52ca7e8
    Sync Folder: 2023-02-20 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\aabf8f92-cc18-4d1a-a12a-96ecd328b948
    Sync Folder: 2023-02-20 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\d184f02b-7d59-4906-a349-1fc2a4c15067
    Sync Folder: 2020-04-09 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\e7e315de-83a7-4513-bf79-e4c24f9466b0
    Sync Folder: 2023-04-24 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\eb75dcb4-ed9e-4df1-8318-8ec3251e1a49
    Sync Folder: 2020-04-09 C:\Users\joephillips\Dropbox\.moneydancesync\fc8dd8c1-c2e9-4c67-bb8c-e9cde82921ad

  6. 6 Posted by dtd on 25 Apr, 2023 02:40 AM

    dtd's Avatar

    just a user - this looks like you have a few issues, but at least it isn't 6gb.

    The reason you can't sync is because the file is "secondary", it needs to be "primary" to sync with whatever other system you want to sync to.

    The other stuff - I'll leave to Stuart or others. It's very early in the U.K. at the moment, but Stuart tends to show up most days in his morning to midday.

  7. 7 Posted by dwg on 25 Apr, 2023 04:54 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'll give you my take on the analysis, I'm sure Stuart will have more to say.

    1. Windows rendered off screen. This is pretty common, often a result of having an external monitor and then disconnecting. The fix just resets the window locations to be on the visible display.

    2. Data sets can either be primary or secondary. The machine that initiates syncing will normally be the primary and all other machines will be secondary. The report is saying this is the data set on a secondary machine i.e. not the primary.

    3. Non-Hierarchical Security Acct Txns (& detect Orphans) This indicates some cross linked securities, something has gone wrong. it will likely manifest itself in investment reporting where you could see some phantom entries in some reports. This is a problem to be fixed but I do not see it causing an expansion of the backup size though.

    You will need to decide which copy of the data set you are going to use moving forward i.e, which is going to be the new primary. Then fix any issues on that copy and if is from a secondary machine prompt it to be a primary data set. Other copies will not be used as when setting up this new primary for syncing a complete new syncing relationship will be created, and the old data sets will not connect to it so they will no longer be used.

    You have two data sets according to the report.

    You have created 15 syncing relationships over the last 3 years. I expect some cleanup is warranted there.

    I'm not seeing anything that would cause excessive backup sizes.

  8. 8 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 25 Apr, 2023 05:22 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar
    • Your dataset is 140MB and I would expect your backups to be of a similar size. You mention you noticed they were 6GB. So, please send a screenshot of the Finder window that shows your backup locations, the backup files, and the size.

    • please go to help/console, save the output and upload here.

    • use toolbox, update mode, advanced menu, shrink dataset, set to zero days, to reduce your dataset to about 40MB

    • use toolbox, update mode, click the new zap invalid locations button.

    Let’s deal with the above first and get these things sorted before anything else.

  9. 9 Posted by jp on 27 Apr, 2023 01:49 AM

    jp's Avatar

    dwg & Stuart-

    Thanks for your help. I'm working my way through your advice. I appreciate your help and patience. Should I make this post private? I don't think I'm sharing any sensitive information, but I'm also still learning how the toolbox works.

    It looks like my data sets keep growing as I back up. I'm trying to start fresh with my Mac as the primary source using a back up from earlier this month that was <75 MB - one of my smallest files. The requested screenshot of other back up sizes is attached.

    The output from help/console is attached. (before and after)

    The shrink dataset took the file size from 68 MB to 41 MB- wow!

    In toolbox, update mode, I could not find "zap invalid locations" button. Can you please provide more information about the location of that tool?

    I also used the toolbox to remove a duplicate OFX/MD+ error and remove non-hierarchial security acct txns (& detect orphans). Very helpful.

    What might the next step(s) be?

  10. 10 Posted by dwg on 27 Apr, 2023 02:56 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    Stuart has thrown me with the "zap invalid locations" button, I've got some ideas, but it would not be the first time he has added something while I have not been looking. So I think we need to wait and see what he was thinking of here.

    You screen shot is a little pale on my machine but most of those backups look to be a reasonable size. Your listing suggest you have at least 6 data sets, I imagine you have been making copies.

    As you do updates in Moneydance your data set size will increase and hence your backups will increase in size. Moneydance does store what can be considered redundant data in the data set (based on the current capabilities of the software) so you could consider using Toolbox's shrink function from time to time as a maintenance task.

  11. 11 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 27 Apr, 2023 07:02 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    The zap invalid locations button will appear after you click update mode and only if you have invalid window locations.

    I have no idea why one of your backups is 6GB. The 6GB file ‘jtp md.2023-04-17.moneydancearchive’ is a zip file. If you put this into a tmp folder, change the extn to .zip and then unzip it. You can then search within to see what’s inside? OR file/restore that dataset, UNTICK retain sync settings, and then run toolbox/ analyse dataset and objects on that restored dataset and upload the output here so we can take a look.

    It won’t hurt to make this thread private.

  12. 12 Posted by dwg on 27 Apr, 2023 07:28 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    Stuart so the Zap invalid locations button is in addition to the RESET Window Display Settings option on the General menu.

  13. 13 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 27 Apr, 2023 09:21 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    It does the same thing, specifically for window locations and sizes. But yes, it’s a new button that appears when the condition is detected.

  14. System closed this discussion on 27 Jul, 2023 09:30 AM.

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