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Re: "Lost" Folder. How does this happen?

"Lost" files and folders

ruffabit2
Explorer | Level 3

In the last few days, all files and folders in one of my synched folders have disappeared.      This folder is shared by about 200 users so I am used to the odd "disaster" with this folder but Version History and Restore always gets us back on track.

 

But this one is different.    The files and folders are completely gone and there is no history, thus that cannot be restored.

 

I have checked events and "deleted files" etc but cannot see anything out of the ordinary.

 

Can someone please advise what I could do next?    Seems I need to retrieve some sort of cloud backup.   Is this even possible?

9 Replies 9

Mark
Super User II

Hi @ruffabit2 

 

If the version history and restore options are missing it means that EITHER the folder has been unshared or you have been removed from it. 

 

Can you rejoin at www.dropbox.com/share or get somebody to reinvite you back?


 


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ruffabit2
Explorer | Level 3

Thanks Mark.   I and still sharing the folder, in fact, I am the owner of the folder.    The folder is being synced at the moment by other users and I can see their changes.

 

The problem is that this folder now contains only files that have been added AFTER the originals were lost.

 

Further info...

Another user (very wrongly) did delete the folder last Friday.     Through Events etc, I could recover most of the folder contents, but not all.    There are a bunch of files and sub-folders that are nowhere to be seen.   This is the problem.

 

 

ruffabit2
Explorer | Level 3

This is the scenario.   

  1. We have a shared folder TopFolder which has several subfolders eg SubFolder1,  SubFolder2, SubFolder3 etc
  2. A user (wrongly!) deleted TopFolder.
  3. As TopFolder is a large folder, the Event log indicates that it took approximately 5 minutes to complete the deletions.
  4. During these 5 minutes, there is an Event log item  [user_x] removed their access to the shared folder SubFolder2.

 

  1. Later, I could easily Restore TopFolder
  2. This was largely successful.  TopFolder and all subfolders were restored, except for SubFolder2
  3. I could find no reference to SubFolder2, so this folder could not be restored.

My questions are

  1. What action by a user causes this Event log entry [user_x] removed their access to the shared folder SubFolder2.  My understanding was that subfolders cannot be individually manipulated in this way.
  2. Could this sequence of events be considered a Dropbox bug?      At the very least, allowing a folder to be deleted without any way to restore it, seems to be very undesirable behavior. 

Walter
Dropbox Staff

Hey @ruffabit2 - sorry to jump in here, but could you take a look at your sharing tab and let us know if you can find the missing folder there to add it back to your account? 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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ruffabit2
Explorer | Level 3

Thanks @Walter    Actually, it was easy to get the folder back - just recreate it.      The real problem is that there was no history of the files that were in that folder, hence they could not be restored.

 

Also note, the files were missing for all 200 users that share the folder.

Mark
Super User II

@ruffabit2 wrote:

Thanks @Walter    Actually, it was easy to get the folder back - just recreate it.      The real problem is that there was no history of the files that were in that folder, hence they could not be restored.

 

Also note, the files were missing for all 200 users that share the folder.


Once a share is unshared it looses all history etc. 

As it says 'person left share' they need to go to www.dropbox.com/share and rejoin it 🙂 That should give them all history etc. back 


 


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ruffabit2
Explorer | Level 3

Thanks @Mark      SubFolder2  is a subfolder of  TopFolder and the user who "removed their access to the shared folder SubFolder2"  is not the owner of TopFolder.       

 

How can a nonowner unshare a subfolder?     This seems like a huge security issue.

 

 

Mark
Super User II

@ruffabit2 wrote:

Thanks @Mark      SubFolder2  is a subfolder of  TopFolder and the user who "removed their access to the shared folder SubFolder2"  is not the owner of TopFolder.       

 

How can a nonowner unshare a subfolder?     This seems like a huge security issue.

 


Unshares happen if the file is deleted, so if the file was deleted from the devices (which sounds like the case here) the unshares follow it because the hidden .dropbox file which flags it as shared is removed.

 

Out of interest. Is this person storing Dropbox on an external drive?


 


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ruffabit2
Explorer | Level 3

@Mark That user is not storing Dropbox on an external drive.

 

Note that it was the parent folder was deleted by this user.    That was "OK" (wrong but OK according to the Dropbox rules) as this folder could be easily restored.

 

If it seems that this action by the user created the problem "xxx removed their access to the shared folder SubFolder2"    This action "hid" this subfolder from me, thus the files saved there could not be restored.

 

 

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