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Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

kvizen
Explorer | Level 3

I decided to use Dropbox Backup service to backup my Documents, Downloads, Desktop folders on MacOS. I have important software projects in Documents that contain various file types that are essential for the software to build successfully. I've noticed many of the files have since disappeared after the backup completed across many of my software project folders. Notably, various .cpp, .c, .git files and xcode files have all vanished. There may be many more that I have not discovered yet!

This has been a huge inconvenience for me, I cannot seem to be able to recover any of the files either. They do not show up on 'deleted files' on Dropbox and I have also tried using a third-party file recovery software 'Disk Drill' to try and recover them but they are not showing up after a deep hard drive scan.
This has put me off using the Dropbox Backup service as ironically the backup has been the only thing in years that has resulted in me losing my data!

 

If anyone can advise on how I can get my lost project files back it would be much appreciated!

14 Replies 14

Re: Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

Jay
Dropboxer

Hi @kvizen, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

 

The Backup feature wouldn't delete files from the local machine, since all it can do is upload the files to the site after they've been moved into the Dropbox folder during the first migration. 

 

If the missing files weren’t syncing to your account, then it wouldn’t be possible to recover them from the site, as you've discovered. 

 

Were the files deleted immediately when activating the Backup feature, or was it later when the files had synced?

 

Any other info or screenshots would be helpful.


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

kvizen
Explorer | Level 3

Hi Jay,

Thank you for your reply. I noticed the files were missing after the syncing had completed. It took a long time to sync, several hours and I had to start it and stop it at times but it finally had completed.

Regarding screenshots or images, what would you like me to take a screenshot of as I cannot show you the before state only the after state? I can track the files that have went missing in some of my repositories by calling 'git status' however I'm not able to reset my local github repositories as they've been corrupted. They are missing some files in the .git folder it seems which happened after the syncing issue. The only way I can reset them is to reclone them however not all my projects have been backed up using Git so I currently have a bunch of files that I am not able to recover.

Re: Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

Jay
Dropboxer

Are you certain that the files had fully synced to the site according the Dropbox desktop application?

 

Do you see any events showing that the missing files were added to the site?


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

kvizen
Explorer | Level 3

Hi Jay,

 

I'm having trouble sifting through the events as there were a lot of files uploaded to dropbox across a handful of days. Do you know a way to easily search for specific events as I can't seem to be able to find a search utility? There only seems to be a sort utility based on the date.

I'm trying to think what else may have caused the loss of files. The backup got stuck at one point because of permissions issues for a couple files. I then deleted the backup from the desktop app and started again but it then got stuck again at the same files so I resorted to deleting the files as they weren't important anyway. Could deleting the backup have caused me to lose other files somehow?

Re: Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

Jay
Dropboxer

Currently, there isn't a method to search the events page.

 

When you disabled the computer backup, which option did you choose, 'Keep content in folders on this PC/Mac' or 'Leave content in Dropbox'?


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

kvizen
Explorer | Level 3

I think I selected 'Keep content in folders on this PC/Mac' . I have this folder in Documents.Screenshot 2022-10-03 at 10.27.29.png

 

Re: Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

kvizen
Explorer | Level 3

I should also say that I have rewound the whole of the Documents directory to several earlier dates now and the files are still not there. However when I go through all my software projects and use 'git status' the git shows that the missing files did exist but have been deleted. I have tried various git commands to try and recover the files but because the .git has also missing files the repo is corrupted and cannot restore them.

At some point Dropbox has removed certain files from my Documents and it should have kept track of it so that I can restore them. Is there anyone at dropbox that can potentially go through my backup and file history with my permission so that they can investigate quickly as it takes hours for me to go between different rewind dates and to sift through events and deleted files?

Re: Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

Nancy
Dropboxer

Hey @kvizen, and apologies for jumping in. 

 

You mentioned above that there was an issue with your backup at some point, and you had to delete and initiate it once more on your computer. 

 

Can you specify which steps did you follow exactly to do that? Did you delete the entire backup while the app was still trying to sync your computer files?


Nancy
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox Backup process deletes important files. Cannot recover!

kvizen
Explorer | Level 3

Hi Nancy!

 

Yes it got stuck on a couple of files that had permission issues but instead of just removing those specific files (which I did the second time) I stopped and deleted the backup. So the backup never finished completing the first time round.

 

I paused the sync first from the the desktop app and then went to 'manage backups' in preferences and deleted it from there.

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    Jay Dropboxer
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    kvizen Explorer | Level 3
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