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Dropbox emptied all my symlinked folders

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

DropBox just emptied out all of my symlinked folders. That means it deleted all my local copies of several thousands of very important files. An archive of family photos.... all my apartment renovation materials.....

After nearly having a heart attack, I realized the files have been moved to new directories, with "(Symlink Backup Copy)" appended to the directory names. I have no idea if the program is planning on re-downloaded these files to my computer, it's been more than a day and it doesn't seem to be planning to do that. 

So... did I miss something? Like a bunch of emails saying in giant bold letters "WE WILL DELETE ALL YOUR SYMLINKED FILES"? Because to do this with no warning at all is absolutely insane. I was stunned to find thousands of files missing from my machine last night. Luckily I thought to go onto the DropBox site to see the files there, but even then, OH MY GOD YOU DELETED ALL MY FILES.
Is this an unintended consequence of no longer supporting symlinks? Again, a warning would have been paramount. 
Or did the DropBox developers simply decide to lose a bunch of customers? Not supporting multiple synced locations is bad enough as it is, but to then take away the only workaround is just unacceptable.

I am really looking forward to an explanation.

 

16 Replies 16
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Re: Transition to symlinks from linked folders - symlinks not enough

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

So... the only way to sync two different locations is to create different users... one for each synced location. That is absolutely crazy.

Also, thanks for DELETING ALL MY FILES from my local drives, when you killed all my symlinks without any warning whats so ever. This is incredibly unprofessional.

Highlighted

Re: dropbox emptied all my symlinked folders

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey @Dodo_is_dead, I’ll do my best to explain! 
 
For starters, you can have a look at the relevant resource that’s detailing the change in behavior as an initial point of reference. I’m wondering if you received any recent communications by our team regarding this, as there should be a proactive email which may have ended in your Spam folder accidentally. 
 
While you can review your links with our online tool, it’s advisable to move the actual files inside the Dropbox folder instead.  
 
What if you have a second look at your account online? Can you locate where these files are located locally on your Mac/pc? Do the paths ring a bell incidentally? 
 
Please let me know & we’ll take it from your findings! 

 


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

 

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Re: dropbox emptied all my symlinked folders

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Jane,

Thank you for your playful response. I don't think your tone is in any way reflective of the seriousness of this issue. 

First off, please acknowledge that all my files pulled in to my DropBox directory via symlinks have been deleted locally. Please let me know if this is the intended behavior of the new DropBox.

Secondly, yes I see the missing local files when I visit dropbox.com via a file browser. Will these new (Symlink Backup Copy) directories be downloaded to my local drives again? Why has this taken more than 24 hours to start? 

There have been no emails from DropBox about this issue that's reached my inbox in the last three months or spam folder in the last month. There have been no alerts when I visit dropbox.com. How is this at all acceptable for a service my business relies on?

 

Highlighted

Re: Transition to symlinks from linked folders - symlinks not enough

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

@Dodo_is_dead I understand the frustration. I am unable to support the symlink behavior but truly am sorry to hear your set up was affected by the changes. I want to point out that your Dropbox files are safe in our cloud, even though they do not reflect to the symlinked locations anymore. 

I also wanted to add some more Community threads we've had about this 

Sync never end for a symbolic link

New symlink handling breaks current workflow 

Best practices for using symlinks (symbolic links)

I hope you can find a workaround in this or any of the Community discussions I offered. 


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


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Highlighted

Re: Transition to symlinks from linked folders - symlinks not enough

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Okay. So you've moved all my files into new folders labeled "(Symlink Backup Copy)", deleted these files from my local drives. Fine, that's done. Terrible and yet recoverable.
My question: why aren't these new symlink backup folders being downloaded to my local drives?

@Fiona

 


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Re: Transition to symlinks from linked folders - symlinks not enough

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Cause your symlinks no longer work @Dodo_is_dead. So they can't reflect the files elsewhere anymore.

As of mid-2019, Dropbox can no longer follow items outside of your Dropbox account that are linked t...

 


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


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below. 
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Highlighted

Re: Transition to symlinks from linked folders - symlinks not enough

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

@Fiona

Obviously I don't expect my missing files to repopulate into their original symlink locations on drives outside my DropBox folder. I understand that DropBox no longer supports symlinks.

What I have an issue with is that there are now several folders labeled "(Symlink backup copy)", created by this surprise change in your app, which are not being re-downloaded into my main DropBox directory. I am having to go through and rename each one to trigger the downloads. But the fact that I need to prompt it to do re-download all this data is unacceptable.

Just to be safe, I've been downloading everything in pieces through a web browser, diligently trying to stay under your zip file size limit. Because who knows what other surprises your system has in store.....

Highlighted

Re: dropbox emptied all my symlinked folders

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

@Jane

No response? Maybe a warning that these new (Symlink Backup Copy) folders are never going to be downloaded would have been nice. How am I supposed to anticipate that your system will never sync these files back to my local drives? I need access to my files now, not 10 hours from now when the downloads finish. 

Highlighted

Re: Transition to symlinks from linked folders - symlinks not enough

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

I understand you are still concerned. 

  The Symlink Backup Copy folder will be unchecked in your selective sync preferences by default. Select it and it will appear locally in your desktop. Please correct me if that is not what you are trying to accomplish. 

The article I offered explains all about the Symlink backup copies you have there.

Get back to me with any further questions, though. I want you to have a clear understanding of the current situation.  


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!)

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