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Backing Up External Hard Drive

Backing Up External Hard Drive

g_mateus
Explorer | Level 3

I use my laptop to DJ.  I have an 256GB internal drive, however my library of audio files is over 1TB.  I currently have my audio library stored on an external hard drive and have a 2nd one as a backup.  I would like to copy my entire library to a folder on Dropbox and use Smart Sync to store them online only - copying files to my local drive when I want to "spin" them.  I constantly add more files to the library, but would only back up to Drop Box monthly.

 

I have read some other articles and I understand that DropBox is not intended to be a backup solution.  In my daily working on my radio show and live sets, I find it cumbersome to constantly be hooking up my hard drive to run through songs and think accessing it through DropBox would be a good solution (In the past, I could fit my entire library on a second internal hard drive - but as my library has grown, and my new computer's internal storage has shrunk, I am unable to work like this now)

 

Thanks in advance

G

25 Replies 25

Re: Backing Up External Hard Drive

Hannah
Dropboxer
Hi @g_mateus, thanks for posting!

To store your files in Dropbox and use them the way you described, I'd suggest you manually add them to your Dropbox folder, perhaps in batches, allow each batch to sync and then use Smart sync to make the files online-only. 

Let me know if you have any questions about the process!
 

Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Backing Up External Hard Drive

bsoki
Helpful | Level 5

@Hannah, is there an automated way to do it, like many other cloud storage providers have?

 

Re: Backing Up External Hard Drive

Hannah
Dropboxer
Hey @bsoki, thanks for your comment here!

Are you talking about an automated way to add files to Dropbox? 

If so, you can only do it manually. We do have an automatic computer backup feature as well, though, if you want to check that out.

If you need anything else, let me know!

Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Backing Up External Hard Drive

bsoki
Helpful | Level 5

@Hannah, I'm talking about an automated way of doing the "batch adding and waiting til sync" technique. I've checked the computer backup feature, but it works only for predefined folders, not for any folders, which makes it useless for the purpose of backing up external hard drives.

Re: Backing Up External Hard Drive

Mark
Super User II

@bsoki I'm afraid there is no automated way of doing this, no. 


 


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Re: Backing Up External Hard Drive

bsoki
Helpful | Level 5

@Mark, that's unfortunate. Especially considering statements such as:

- "Easily access and share your work from any computer, mobile device, or web browser"

- "Back up any file or folder: No matter the file or folder you’re trying to back up — from photos and videos to large CAD files... "

- "Back up any file—anywhere, anytime"

- "Secure and simple cloud file backup"

and others right on the Dropbox front page or one click away from it. I think that's false advertising as so far I have spent in total 4-5 hours trying to back up my files.

 

Solutions I have explored:

- Symbolic links: would be the easiest, but don't work since Dropbox disabled them recently.

- API: limited to 25000 calls a month (I have more files than that) and is cumbersome and slow.

- Website: Takes hours just to get the list of all the files, then takes 10+ seconds to upload each file, regardless of its size. Browser is unusable during that time.

- Moving the Dropbox folder onto the external drive and moving all the files I need into the Dropbox folder: Sort-of works, but leaves the original folder and the rest of Dropbox features unusable since I don't want to have the drive connected all the time.

 

The last one seems promising, but I'll have to see how I can make the rest of Dropbox useful again, which means more of my time spent on this "simple cloud file backup" task.

 

I really don't believe that Dropbox software engineers cannot find a way to add an "upload files/folders" feature. If it's really so, then just give us optional SFTP access for uploading files.

Re: Backing Up External Hard Drive

Mark
Super User II

In terms of moving Dropbox to an external drive I cannot recommend you dont do this enough... there is a huge risk of data loss. If the drive disconnects or doesnt connect quick enough Dropbox can delete data - once the drive does connect it doesnt 'readd the files' it does delete them. There are safeguards in place but these are not infallible as posts here show. 


 


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Re: Backing Up External Hard Drive

bsoki
Helpful | Level 5

@Mark, thank you for the warning. By delete the data, you mean delete it both from cloud and from the drive itself?

Re: Backing Up External Hard Drive

bsoki
Helpful | Level 5

So I think I've managed to do it by installing dropbox on a virtual machine, attaching the external drive to it and putting the Dropbox folder on the external drive. Create a new folder on the dropbox.com website, in the main tree. The folder will appears in your Dropbox folder and you move everything from your drive in that folder.

Then you wait until Dropbox uploads all your files to the server. After that, quit Dropbox app, move everything out of the Dropbox folder on the external drive and uninstall Dropbox and delete the Dropbox folder.

This way you can use Selective sync on your regular workstations to hide the backed up folder or set Smart sync to have it online only.

 

I guess this is what constitutes "Easily backing up any file or folder" in 2021 for Dropbox.

 

For comparison, in any other paid cloud storage service I have used, you just select the folders on the drive in the app and click Upload. 🤡

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