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Dropbox chewed up a Terabyte of data in 4 days.

Level 4

Just a note in case anyone is having this problem.  I have been a Dropbox user for many years without a problem.  Then, four days ago, Dropbox released a new Windows Client to support the new syncing upgrades.   I have a total of about 100GB in my Dropbox account, and I instructed Dropbox to download about 5 GB of this to my hard drive. 

Since that time, Dropbox has been syncing like crazy, and I got a note from Comcast today that I am using about 500 GB per day of data traffic.  I immediately brought up Windows Task manager, and I noticed that Dropbox was using about 200MB/s of bandwidth. 

I have uninstalled Dropbox, and the situation seems to have resolved itself.

5 Replies

Re: Dropbox chewed up a Terabyte of data in 4 days.

Dropboxer
Hey there @Harold_A, I’m sorry to hear you were having these issues!
 
I’d be more than happy to go through some troubleshooting with you if you'd like since this isn’t expected behaviour for the desktop app, especially since you mentioned you only have around 100 GB of data in your account.
 
Should you want to troubleshoot this issue, can you let me know if you were running the current stable version of the desktop app or perhaps a beta version? Do you possibly have symlinks within your Dropbox folder? Was the desktop app showing any error messages within the sync status?
 
Hope you have a great day ahead - Thanks!



Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox chewed up a Terabyte of data in 4 days.

Level 4

Thank you for your offer of help.

The version of Dropbox is 75.3.115.

The symlinks command in the article you referenced returned that every file in c:\Dropbox is a symlink.  This is probably because I uninstalled Dropbox.

So I reinstalled Dropbox and tried to sync everything again.  It just spins forever and says it is trying to sync one file.  Clearly the new version of the Dropbox client didn't go through very much testing, because it just doesn't work at all. 

I really can't risk file loss, so I'll have to look for another solution.

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Re: Dropbox chewed up a Terabyte of data in 4 days.

Dropboxer
Hey again @Harold_A,
 
I appreciate you getting back to me on this! So first thing I noticed is that the desktop app version you currently have installed is a beta version, denoted by XXX.3.XXX. If you would like to try installing the stable version, you will need to toggle off the “Early releases” option from your Account Settings here. Just to ensure you have the correct version, you can download the app and install from here.
 
Also, symlinks are not supported for use with the desktop app since they can cause issues with syncing and high CPU usage (as mentioned in the article linked previously). The actual files would need to be located within the Dropbox folder and you can use a symlink elsewhere to point to the file in the Dropbox folder (rather than the opposite which it seems you currently have set up). This is most likely what was causing issues with syncing on your device, the symlinks wouldn’t be caused by uninstalling Dropbox.
 
I hope this at least helps to clear up the matter and explain the high bandwidth use and syncing issues - Thanks!



Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox chewed up a Terabyte of data in 4 days.

Level 4

Just to be clear, I never had any symlinks.  That was entirely something you imagined.  I have always stored all of my files in the Dropbox folder.

I uninstalled the Dropbox app and renamed the Dropbox folder to Dropbox.old.  Then I turned off Early Releases and downloaded the Dropbox app again.  Now the version is 74.4.115, which I hope is a stable version.

Taking care to accept only the defaults, and not to change any folders to not be synced at all in Preferences, Dropbox has now recreated the Dropbox folder and synced all the files online-only.  The status is now up-to-date, with the usual green check-mark.

Just as a caution to others, there is clearly something seriously wrong with the new Windows sync client.  For my part, I am going to keep a very close eye on the bandwidth and investigate other solutions.

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Re: Dropbox chewed up a Terabyte of data in 4 days.

Dropboxer
 

@Harold_A wrote:

The symlinks command in the article you referenced returned that every file in c:\Dropbox is a symlink.  This is probably because I uninstalled Dropbox

You mentioned that every file within the folder was a symlink file. It’s not possible for the desktop app to create symlinks itself, as the desktop app doesn’t have the functionality to create (or work with) symlinks. When you uninstall the desktop app from your device, the Dropbox folder isn't changed in any way and remains on your computer as any other folder.
 
Since you reinstalled the desktop app and let it sync your content to your computer from your account online, there will be no symlinks within your Dropbox folder any longer. Just to confirm too, you do now have the latest stable version (74.4.115) installed. If the symlinks were the cause of the issue, then you shouldn't see any further problems with syncing.
 
If you do have any further issues with this then I’d be more than happy to look into this with you, just let me know here.
 
Have a great day ahead - Cheers! 



Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Dropbox chewed up a Terabyte of data in 4 days.
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