-1407 error on trying to restore from Time Machine

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-1407 error on trying to restore from Time Machine

Post by alanterra »


I get a -1407 error when I try to to restore my Bookends database from Time Machine. I thought I should just document the problem here, and give two solutions if anyone else runs into this problem. I doubt that any of these issues are Bookends bugs, and perhaps the issue is unique to my machine (why, I don't know, perhaps because I pissed off Steve Jobs the one time I met him).

Note, if you are trying to restore a bookends database, first see my previous post for how to keep cloud synching from undoing your restore.

To set context: If you use Time Machine, you will find approximately hourly backups for the current day, so if you make a grievous error, you might be able to go back in time just one hour and pick up where you were. Bookends also (by default) makes a daily backup of your database in ~/Library/Application Support/Bookends/Backups, so you can restore from that copy, even if you don't use Time Machine.

If you do decide to restore from Time Machine, you will find two files there, your Bookends file and a "journal" file. If you restore both, then Bookends can use the two files to reconstruct your database to exactly the state it was in when the backup was made. Just restore both files to the same folder, open the Bookends file, and you are up and running from before you made your mistake.

My problem (and, as I said, it might be unique to me) is that I cannot restore most Bookends databases from Time Machine using the normal methods. If I try to restore my backups, either the active databases, or the copy in ~/Library/Application Support/Bookends/Backups, I get a -1407 system error. Apple helpfully explains that error as

Code: Select all

errFSNotAFolder = -1407, /* Expected a folder, got a file */
If you get this error, I found two work-arounds, both of which work for me:
  • Restore by copying the file from the Time Machine backup using "cp" in Terminal
  • Restore the entire directory containing your Bookends database, and not just the database itself
I talked to Apple and tried to understand where this seeming bug in my Time Machine backup was coming from, but, when the support agent found out how big my Time Machine backups are, and how much work it was going to take to try to figure this out, he, literally, just hung up on me. (Or, perhaps, Steve Jobs reached down from the computing platform in the sky and cut the line.)

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