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Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest versions

Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest versions

KeithRG
Helpful | Level 5

I use:

  • Acronis True Image to image my system from time to time
  • And all my documents, pictures etc. are backed up to Dropbox (as well as to a second cloud data backup app) and are synced across all my devices thanks to Dropbox.

 

The great thing about Dropbox is that it keeps all my documents and pictures updated to the latest version across all my devices. It's what I love so much about it 😄.

 

Anyway, here's my question that has been bugging me for some time now:

  • Imagine a disaster such as a total disk failure.
  • Theoretically, disaster recovery should be easy as pie with Dropbox. All I need do, having replaced my failed disk with a new one, is to restore it to the most recent system image, and then turn wifi on and wait for Dropbox to update all the data files whose versions have changed since the date of that last system image backup.

 

However, I have a niggling doubt, it's a giant one, and one I've had for some time:

  • Will Dropbox download the latest versions of my documents to my device, thus updating my data to the latest version?
  • Or will, rather, the outdated System Image document versions update to the Dropbox Cloud, and thus become the latest versions across all my devices??

 

If the former, then that's great, and just as I'd like it to be!! If the latter however, then my disaster recovery becomes a considerably more complex operation to perform. So which is the correct answer?

 

Many thanks!

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest v

Jay
Dropboxer
Hi @KeithRG, in general, there can be issues when recovering the old Dropbox folder via a backup from another service. It could result in the files on the machine overwriting those on the site, since they could be determined to be newer files.

There are also additional issues such as file permissions associated with the old computer profile, which would cause further syncing issues, corruption, and potentially data loss.

Our best recommendation is to not recover the Dropbox folder or app with the backup, and to instead install the Dropbox app as new, and then have the Dropbox app sync the files normally from the site to a new, empty, Dropbox folder.

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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7 Replies 7

Re: Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest ve...

Hannah
Dropboxer
Hey @KeithRG, thanks for your post!

To answer your question, if you happen to have such an issue, depending on your Dropbox plan, we offer a restoration window that allows you to restore your files.

Meaning that if files saved in your Dropbox get deleted, you can simply recover them and Dropbox will then restore the latest version of the files that was saved.

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest v

KeithRG
Helpful | Level 5

Thanks for your reply, @Hannah !

 

I'm on Dropbox Free and I'm not aware, with that plan, of being able to do a manual, single-operation rollback of all my data files using a "Restoration Window". What I however can clearly do is, individually and separately for each data file, download the version I wish to revert to. If I'm missing something here, please do let me know :wink:.

 

Also my question wasn't about how to recover deleted files but rather the question whether, following a system reimaging:

  • Dropbox would upload the older versions of my data files from the system reimage to the Dropbox Cloud, which would then become the current versions of those data files
  • OR: Dropbox would download the current versions of the data files from the Dropbox Cloud, which would then replace the older versions from the system reimage.

The latter obviously being the desired option!! That was my question in the original post of this thread.

 

Hope that helps, and hope you can help!

 

EDIT: Btw when I started this thread yesterday, I later tried to rename the title to make the topic a bit clearer for others to understand. Unfortunatey, in doing so I seem to have inadvertently created a duplicate thread:  https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Dropbox-installs-integrations/Disaster-recovery-system-reimaging-wil... , where there is also an exchange of suggestions, from Mark a "Super-User".

Re: Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest v

Hannah
Dropboxer
Thanks for the additional info, @KeithRG!

The thing is, our desktop application syncs the files in your local Dropbox folder to your files in the cloud. So, in the case of a disk failure and deletion of your files locally, they will probably be deleted from the cloud as well. 

Once you replace the disk, that's where the restoration comes in! 

You'll restore the files from our website and the latest synced versions of your files will return to your Dropbox account and your computer. 

A system re-imaging is something we can't really control, since it's generated by your OS, so restoring the files directly from Dropbox, will give you the results you want.

If you need anything else, let me know!

Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest v

KeithRG
Helpful | Level 5

Several times in the past I've had to reimage my disk (fortunately not for a long time now, but I need to be ready should such a thing happen again hence my question), once or twice even replace my disk due to disk failure. Never (so far) has this caused  deletion of my data files.*

 

So, after reimaging, I'm left with a restored disk but with data versions dating back to when I made that system image. I know I can use the safe procedure of starting the Dropbox procedure from scratch, which is starting with no data on my reimaged disk, reinstalling Dropbox and then waiting for it to restore my data from the Dropbox Cloud.

 

That is not my question. So let me repeat. If I reimage my disk and then turn wifi back on again:

  • Will the old versions of my data files from the system image replace the current versions in the Dropbox Cloud?
  • OR: will the current versions in the Dropbox Cloud replace the old versions from the system image?

 

That's the question I'd like the answer to. If possible.

 

*And as you point out, if that did happen they'd likely be deleted from the Dropbox Cloud as well ☹️. But that's not my question.

Re: Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest v

Jay
Dropboxer
Hi @KeithRG, in general, there can be issues when recovering the old Dropbox folder via a backup from another service. It could result in the files on the machine overwriting those on the site, since they could be determined to be newer files.

There are also additional issues such as file permissions associated with the old computer profile, which would cause further syncing issues, corruption, and potentially data loss.

Our best recommendation is to not recover the Dropbox folder or app with the backup, and to instead install the Dropbox app as new, and then have the Dropbox app sync the files normally from the site to a new, empty, Dropbox folder.

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question!
:pushpin: Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

View solution in original post

Re: Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest v

KeithRG
Helpful | Level 5

Thanks, @Jay !

 

Finally I have a clear answer to the question I asked.

 

You will see that in the other thread which I link to above (somehow, and inadvertently, this thread got duplicated), Mark (Super User II) replies that the scenario I lay out — restoring the Dropbox data from my System Image and then letting it be updated by the Dropbox Cloud — did work for him "the few times" he tried it, but you are crystal clear that this is a potentially dangerous avenue to take and could end up with undesired consequences.

 

That's what I wanted to know, and you have answered my question clearly. I have therefore "Accept(ed your answer) as Solution".

 

Thanks so much!

Re: Disaster Recovery: restoring System Image & then using Dropbox to update my data to latest v

Jay
Dropboxer
No worries, @KeithRG, glad to have helped out.

Enjoy the remainder of your week!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question!
:pushpin: Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

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