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Dropbox Log Files

Dropbox Log Files

td47
Helpful | Level 6
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While looking for something else on my 2 Windows 10 PC's, I noticed that there are several hundred log files located at the path:

C:\ProgramData\Dropbox\Update\Log

 

These range from 2018 dates to current, and sizes from 800K to 2K. As these are NOT normal text files, and I cannot see any options within the Dropbox program itself to read these, please explain what their function is. As  see NO sync issues, I assume that I can get rid of them, as it seems pointless keeping them, unless of course there is some sort of "telemetry" that Dropbox is doing, that we, as users do NOT KNOW ABOUT?

 

It would be really useful if your product had an option to delete this "log history", say over 1, 3, 6 or 12 months old files, in a user setting, to stop this unnecessary clutter.

34 Replies 34

td47
Helpful | Level 6
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@sodaspopI think you are misunderstanding what is going on here. Notepad or Wordpad, when used to try to display compressed or encoded log files (or even binary files), will do its best to "interpret" what it detects/thinks are extended character sets that might be in the file. These extended character sets will most times come out as Asian character sets, it is NOT Dropbox trying to use Chinese or whatever, it is just their own proprietary format. I agree, they are of no use to users though, which is one of the main points of my initial post on this.

sodaspop
Explorer | Level 4
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Then riddle me this.  When your DB does an update, do you get these files in the AppData Local folders, and if you use Notepad to view then, do you also see these Asian language characters?  If the files are actually binary, I could see Notepad interpreting then the best it can,but it would seem it would be a mix of binary characters, not 100% these Asian characters.  Am I the only one getting these? So far, no one has responded saying , "Yes, we all get these strange files."  Doesn't anyone else empty the 01 and 01 folders out?  Over time, they would contain hundreds of files. 

Rich
Super User II
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@sodaspop wrote:

If the files are actually binary, I could see Notepad interpreting then the best it can,but it would seem it would be a mix of binary characters, not 100% these Asian characters.


It's just binary data that Notepad doesn't understand so it uses whatever character sets it has available in the current encoding. If you look at the file in a real text editor and not Notepad, you'll see that there are no Chinese characters.

 

3487a664e23f26960508d2ca9945b021.png

 

 

It's also not 100% Chinese characters. It's a mix of several different character sets all mixed in, including characters that Notepad can't understand (those are the ? characters. The Chinese (and other) characters have nothing to do with the file's content.

 

128f82e34edc18ae5204b942885a3ae4.png

 

 

sodaspop
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

thanks for the clarification. I do have Notepad++ and will compare the contents with that and Notepad.

Glad to see the characters are not unique to my computer!

Nerd3D
Explorer | Level 4
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This isn't a solution to the relevant problem. The files can NOT be deleted by normal means. The Dropbox Updater is creating the log files with no owner data. I'm not sure why that's even possible, but windows. Before you can actually delete the files you have to go through a long Admin-only process to reset the security for each file. I was hoping takeown.exe would allow for resetting the owner but it can't fix missing security descriptors. I wouldn't care except the messed up security is causing issues with my backup software. It keeps getting stuck on the broken dropbox logs. Causing a backup to fail makes this a data loss issue for Dropbox developers. You'd think they might care about that.

 

For those of you who stumble across this in the future here's the super long winded only way I've found to fix it ... have fun.

You need a "pro" version of windows and Admin permissions.

 

1. Right click a log file > Properties

2. Security Tab

3. [Advanced] Button

4. On the Owner line click "Change"

5. Type in your user name in the owners box

6. [OK] On user selection

7. [OK] On Advanced Properties

8. Back on the Properties > Settings tab click [Advanced] again

9. [Change Permission] at the bottom of advance setting dialog

10. [Add] Button

11. On the Principal line click "Select a principal" (BTW this is the missing data. There is no principal and that's simply not allowed. Back to school Dropbox Devs)

12. Type in your user name

13. [OK] On User dialog

14. Check full control for you (the admin of course)

15. [OK]On premissions

16. [OK] on Advanced Security

17. [OK] on Properties

 

... and now you can finally delete the first log file. Rinse and repeat 600 times for the rest of the log files. Or I dunno switch to a competing product and curse your self for ever installing dropbox in the first place.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/svo1vh1vtnii5gk/Fix%20the%20Permissions.png?dl=0

 

 

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    Nerd3D Explorer | Level 4
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    sodaspop Explorer | Level 4
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    Rich Super User II
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    td47 Helpful | Level 6
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