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DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Helpful | Level 6

Hi,

for a while now I have been having problems with my DB-stored files on my Macbook. I use DB on a Windows (PC) and Macbook Air. Everything's fine on Windows, but the files do not open when I try on Mac. I have MacOS 10.15 (Catalina), running on Macbook Air. DB version is 84.4.170.

The files stored outside DB work fine, so it's DB, not the computer.

The message I'm getting is something along the lines of (I'm translating from Polish): Excel could not open the file ....xlsx due to an incorrect format or file extension. Check if the file has been damaged or if the extension does not match the format.

It used to work fine when I downloaded the file directly from the website and saved it again on my DB (replacing the corrupt version there). I figured if that's what it takes, I can wait for an update and work with this for now.

But yesterday I've spent some time editing a file on my Macbook, and today when I launched my PC it turned out it never synchronised. I checked the Mac, and the file is there, it has yesterday's date, Dropbox is on, but the file is corrupt so I can't open it. It's not visible through the browser version (it has the previous date there). I tried copying the file to another folder on DB and it copied there, synchronised across the devices, but with the previous date (!). Without any of my yesterday changes!

So please tell me how to fix this, and if there's a way to recover my work from yesterday, because frankly speaking I'm starting to reconsider having my files stored at DB.

Kind regards,

WH

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Helpful | Level 6

Dear Fiona,

got it to work (i.e. I can now open all files, though I did lose the one that didn't get synced). Turned out I had to allow for Smart Sync in the Dropbox preferences and for some reason this fixed things.

Found the solution here: https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Files-folders/Corruption-of-Excel-Files-saved-to-Dropbox/td-p/289813...

Posted by another user. You might want to show this to other community managers as well so they can suggest this to other users with my problem.

So the fix required changing something with DB. I'd count it as "Dropbox corrupting my files", or at least as "Dropbox being misleading about what it's showing me in the Dropbox folder and not notifying me that I'm only seeing what's supposed to be there and not the actual file that is stored online" :/ .

Shouldn't the files be stored locally by default if someone doesn't enable smart sync? Is that what caused the problem?

Anyway. Thanks for your time and best,

Wojciech

View solution in original post

15 Replies 15
Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Thanks for reporting this experience @WHardy

I understand there is a corrupted file you have locally in your Dropbox folder and were not able to open or sync it. The cloud had a previous version of this file saved. To solve your syncing issue you moved it to another location in Dropbox and this helped it sync. But it still has the previous date on the cloud and the other devices. Please feel free to correct me if I didn't get somthing right, so we can be on the same page with this. 

Note that Dropbox doesn't have the ability to corrupt your files. Corruptions can be the result of third party app editions.

How does this file show locally when you try to open it? Is it corrupted in your local Dropbox folder and showing a functional previous version on Dropbox.com?  

Please add screenshots to show me what you see. Thank you!


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


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Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Helpful | Level 6

Hi!

Thanks for your reply!

"I understand there is a corrupted file you have locally in your Dropbox folder and were not able to open or sync it. The cloud had a previous version of this file saved."

Yes, that's correct.

"To solve your syncing issue you moved it to another location in Dropbox and this helped it sync. But it still has the previous date on the cloud and the other devices. "

I copied it to check if it will change anything to another Dropbox folder. Now, the corrupted 'original' still has the new date. The copy has the same new date, BUT it synced on the PC (so I got a copy there too), but with the old date (Nov. 5).

So it's like the file is on both devices (both the copy and the original), but Mac has a new date corrupted file, and PC has an old date working file.

Dropbox.com also shows the older, working version. If I switch for the copied file to be stored locally (right-click -> intelligent synchronisation -> local), the date reverts to Nov 5 (the old date). I dare not try it with the new-date corrupt file.

I'm not sure which part would you like a screenshot of, so if anything's still unclear please let me know and I'll add it.

Thanks,

WH

Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Thank you for clarifying this for me @WHardy . 

If the corrupted version of the file was synced to Dropbox, you would see the file corrupted on the website as well. We cannot fix the corruption made by a third party app, nor tell which part of editing went wrong in the third party interface to result to this. To solve this, we would have to recover the previous functional version from your Dropbox version history

Have you contacted Microsoft support for the Excel error you mentioned "Excel could not open the file ....xlsx due to an incorrect format or file extension." ? This error could be related to the corruption. 

Is this corrupted file missing its file type indeed? If it does, please add the file type extension manually. 

Test. We will need to make sure the device is syncing in general. Please drop a test file in your Dropbox folder and let me know if you see it syncing


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


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.
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Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Helpful | Level 6

The corrupted file isn't syncing (i.e. DB stores a previous version and somehow doesn't recognise that the corrupted file has a different date or that something changed).

The syncing, in general, works. As I described, if I copy the file within Dropbox (so I create a new instance of the file), it syncs across devices, but Mac still retains the corrupted version with a new date, and the other device (PC) gets the ok file with the older date. Somehow DB has these two versions still linked to each other.

And yes, the file has the proper extension.

And I don't want to recover an older version. I want my new one, but I understand that's not doable.

And I'm not contacting Microsoft - the issue is directly linked to Dropbox. The problem occurs only in the Dropbox folder and only on my Macbook and it also pertains to non-Microsoft files (e.g. the PDFs I store on DB are unopenable on my Mac as well, but they work on my PC).

I've seen other similar concerns around here, usually unsolved. Something doesn't sync as it should and I believe the burden of solving this is, unfortunately, on you (Dropbox).

Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

I understand you want the version you last edited. We can not use previous versions to solve this, as it is not saved, so all I can suggest is to try to repair the Excel workbook manually. Instructions from Office support: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/repairing-a-corrupted-workbook-7abfc44d-e9bf-4896-8899-bd10...

Keep me posted! 

crossed fingersFingers crossed.

 


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


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.
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Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Helpful | Level 6

Thanks. Tried it but didn't work.

I get that my problem is unsolvable, but you should probably try to get to the bottom of this so that more people don't end up in my situation.

Good luck,

WH

 

Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Since the file was edited with Excel when it got corrupted, I encourage you to look into this further with Microsoft to figure out how the file got corrupted and make sure it will not happen again. 

On our end can only restore previous versions to help with corruptions. 

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful with this @WHardy.

Have a nice day!


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


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.
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Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Helpful | Level 6

Dear Fiona,

again, this is not a Microsoft issue. Other files (not related to Microsoft) get corrupted as well (the difference being I have an online copy for most others).

The problem is most likely with Dropbox. I'm not using any third-party apps that could cause this. Even if it's something related to how Dropbox interacts with the MacOS file system, I'd say that solving this is on your side of things.

Best,

Wojciech

 

 

Highlighted

Re: DB on MacOS is corrupting my files (now irreversibly)

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Thanks for the additional info. Dropbox cannot corrupt your files. But we can try to help you figure this out and solve it. See which apps are saving the files corrupted. Please let me know the other file types that you get this issue with. 

Some screenshots of file examples you can't open, would be very helpful for this thread as well. 

How long has this been going on for? Have you scanned your devices with a security system?  Help Center article about this. 

 


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


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.
 Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

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