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Files from old computer are lost

Files from old computer are lost

SZ3
Explorer | Level 4

Hi, I have used basic Dropbox on my work computer for the last 5 years and it worked perfectly. However, I quite my job last September, so I had to hand in my work laptop. In order to save the personal and work files that were on this computer, I have put these personal files in different folders on Dropbox. I checked multiple times over a period of 5 weeks if the files were indeed there. In order to do so, I logged in onto dropbox on my personal computer and on my phone. All times the personal files from my work computer were indeed in dropbox. So, first of september I hand in my work laptop at my employer's. Now, I needed one of the personal files yesterday, so I logged in again on dropbox only to find that 99% of the files I have saved via my work laptop over the last 8 months are gone from Dropbox. The folders I made during this period are still there, but they are empty. What makes it even more strange, is that there are 5 to 10 random files in these folders that are there, while the other 200+ are not. I have looked in deleted folders but it is empty. In my Events page I can see that I have created the folders, but I do not see any history of the files I have added, nor of the fact that they were deleted again somehow. 

My work laptop has been deleted (cleaned) by my old employer,  so they don't have my files anymore. In other words, I'm panicking cause almost 4 year of work has been lost now.... 

Is there a way to get these files back? Thanks for your help!

9 Replies 9

Re: Files from old computer are lost

Jay
Dropboxer
Hi @SZ3, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Did the people delete the files directly from the Dropbox folder in the laptop?

Do you have any other devices that could be connected to the account to recover the files?

This will help me to assist further!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Files from old computer are lost

SZ3
Explorer | Level 4
Thank you for your quick response Jay.

At this moment I have my new computer and my new phone connected to Dropbox. However, at the time that my old work laptop was cleaned it was the only device I had connected via the Dropbox app. I did log in via dropbox.com on multiple devices but did not install the app on any other device than my work laptop.

To answer your other question, I think that my old employer just did a general swipe/reset on the entire laptop. I do not think they went specifically into Dropbox to delete anything, but I think the entire Dropbox app was deleted during the general reset of the entire computer.

Does this help you any further?

Thanks for your response!

Sophie

Re: Files from old computer are lost

Jay
Dropboxer
If you're not seeing the missing files on the deleted files page, then there's a few possibilities as to why this might be the case:
 
  • The files are on another Dropbox account
  • They were on a shared folder you don't have access to any more
  • The files were deleted outside of the 30 day period
  • The files were permanently deleted
Since you mentioned that you're seeing random folders on your account, I'd first make sure you don't have your files on another Dropbox account you own, under a different email address of yours.

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Files from old computer are lost

SZ3
Explorer | Level 4
Yes, I have already checked that. However I have no other user accounts with any of my mail addresses, including my old work email.

By now, the files do fall outside the 30 day period I'm afraid. Because I think they will have reset my computer somewhere in September.

Re: Files from old computer are lost

Jay
Dropboxer
Were you part of a Dropbox Business team by any chance, and your files were stored on that account?

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Files from old computer are lost

SZ3
Explorer | Level 4
No, unfortunately not. It was my private Dropbox and I never shared any files with anyone.

At first I thought maybe the work files are not there because the company maybe prohibited to save files anywhere else then internally. However, since all files where in Dropbox before I handed in my computer and seeing as some random files still are, I don't think that was the issue.

Could it be that Dropbox saved my files on the harddrive of the laptop instead of in the cloud? And that the files were deleted when they reset the entire harddrive? I never intentionally chose the option to save outside of the cloud but could this have happened without me knowing?

Thanks again!

Re: Files from old computer are lost

Jay
Dropboxer
It is possible that the files were in the Dropbox folder, but the app itself wasn't running or syncing.

This would mean that the files would remain on the computer, and not sync to the site, so there would be no backup there.

Do you definitely remember the files being located on the Dropbox site itself?

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Files from old computer are lost

SZ3
Explorer | Level 4
Hi Jay,

Yes, I have logged in onto dropbox.com via my phone, my friends laptop and my own laptop on different occasions to check if the files were indeed on Dropbox. And they were till September. Then I didn't check it anymore after handing in my laptop at work until last week, so that was the first time I noticed that the files were gone.

Does this help you?

Re: Files from old computer are lost

Jay
Dropboxer
If you last saw them in September, and then only recently logged in and didn't find them in the events page or deleted items, then it would mean tit wouldn't be possible to recover them now, unfortunately.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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