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I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old folder?

I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old folder?

ProPhil
Explorer | Level 3

Hi 

After I've exceeded my dropbox account storing boundary on my PC ,  the dropbox folder continued to appear in my file explorer and I used it, knowing that there is no sync to cloud. This was my 'old' dropbox folder

After a long period, I started a new job and started to re-sync a new dropbox account to my PC.  Once done I came to the understanding that during the re-install of dropbox, my 'old' dropbox folder with plenty of precious data has simply been overwritten (!)

My question is how can I recover my 'old' dropbox folder with all the files I had in it? Sincerely I can not understand how Dropbox QA team did not consider this situation and did not prevent it (just take example of microsoft: if you download an already existing file, the system add a '(1)' sufffix to your file name).Very bad experience for me
Thank you

8 Replies 8

Re: I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old fo...

Daphne
Dropboxer

Hi there @ProPhil, I'm sorry to hear about the situation!

 

When you reinstall the desktop app, it should indeed recognize that you already have a Dropbox folder on your computer and prompt you during the set up whether you want to reconnect to that folder or rename the old folder.

 

Another option would be to rename the Dropbox folder before connecting a new account to the desktop app to avoid the app "seeing" the folder, so that it just creates a new one.

 

Just to clarify, if you didn't manually rename the old Dropbox folder, could you double check if there is a folder named "Dropbox (Old)" on your computer still? You can do a quick search for "Dropbox" in your File Explorer to see if this exists.

 

Let me know and we can go from there!


Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old fo...

ProPhil
Explorer | Level 3

Hi Daphne

First, thank you for you answer!

Yes, you're right, during the re-install there was a pop-up, but I did not pay attention 😞

Renaming the dropbox folder is good solution.... may be  the next time

following your instruction I searched for dropbox folder from the root - found only the current (new) folder 

any other suggestions?

Thank you 

ProPhil

 

Re: I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old fo...

Daphne
Dropboxer

Thanks for getting back to me here @ProPhil.

 

I can suggest having a look at these steps for restoring any deleted files through Dropbox for any of the files that were able to sync with your account.

 

For anything that hadn't synced to your account, I would have to recommend looking into restoring the files through options on your computer itself. 

 

For example, checking the recycling bin, restoring the latest version of a file through the app used to edit it (if they have this feature), or a third party data recovery app.

 

Sorry that I can't be of much more help in terms of restoring that data, but I hope this info will be useful!


Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old fo...

ProPhil
Explorer | Level 3

Hi Daphne

The missing file were not sync - so indeed the options you mentionned like recycle bin etc.. are the appropriate ones

I did it and unfortunately wasn't able to find my files

I think you should promote the idea: if locally a  dropbox folder already exists , so do something but do never remove files (it's a too bad experience) if you think about it, it's a wrong solution design:
Do you understand that it means that actually dropbbox app has the ability to remove my personnal pictures on my PC?? it's a bug that dropbox ican do that. Even if someone 'approve' , it should not be allowed cause it's a too big responsibility that an app like Dropbox should never consider

Thank you

 

Re: I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old fo...

Hitch
Helpful | Level 6

Question:

 

If you reinstall Dropbox--for example, to a new drive (let's say the old drive crashed and died), does it update all the file and folder dates to the new date, or does it preserve the existing dates, that existed at the time it stopped synching?

 

(I kind of urgently need this information, if anyone knows...)

 

TYIA. 

Re: I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old fo...

Lusil
Dropboxer

Hey @Hitch, if the previous drive crashed, that would mean the Dropbox folder doesn't exist anymore on it. 

 

As such, you'd have to re-download all the content. 

 

As for the timestamps, you can find more information and scenarios on how they are affected, here

 

Have a look through it and let me know if it helps at all, thanks!


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old fo...

Hitch
Helpful | Level 6

The FAQ article doesn't help; it does not answer more-complicated date-stamp issues.

 

The harddrive did not, in fact, crash.  We have 1.5tb of data on a 2.0 RAID drive.  I don't have other slots where I can put in a 6tb RAID and simply "move" the one to the other, or change the drive names. That's out.  We tried a variety of means, to move the 1.5T (1M files, give or take 5,000 files) and with everything we tried, we ran into updating synch issues, changing ALL one million file modification dates to 12/24/20.  No bueno.

 

I've got a support request in, which is so far unanswered.  I can't move the DB to the new drive, as the old 2TB drive was F:/ and the new 6TB drive is F:/.

 

(And, just for fun agita, we put the original 2TB drive with DB already on it, back in place and for SOME damned reason, it too is now trying to sync and re-date everything to today, so I'm screwed here. We've done this before and never had an existing DB install, on an EXISTING drive, suddenly decide to update everything, for no apparent reason.  I mean, from the DB view, it should simply have been equivalent to set to not syncing the last few days, but nope....)

 

The only option I see at this point is to uninstall DB and reinstall it on the RAID, wiping the version of the DB that's on there (the 6TB raid) now, off.  That's the only way I see of preserving the existing time-stamps. so that the 20+ people that work for me, who've been working in "their" shared DBs, for the last 72 hours, don't have their work product wiped out with older versions of the files with newer timestamps.  While they are meant to use version numbers and dates in the filenames, not everybody is perfect all the time.

 

I'm certainly open to other ideas. We tried breaking the RAID, and copying from F to the now-new second drive (the new6TB now not-RAID drive) but that restricted the RAID partition to 2TB, which isn't viable. Changing that to 6, wiped off the data.)  sigh.

 

Hitch

 

 

 

Re: I reinstalled Dropbox and my old Dropbox folder was overwritten, how can I restore the old fo...

Hitch
Helpful | Level 6

For any poor bastards that come along after me, and who are utterly WRONGLY told by support that a DB reinstall won't affect the datestamps, WRONG!!! It most certainly shall.

 

We swapped out a 2TB drive for a 6TB drive and reinstalled, the DB as since the drive was occupying the same slot and we had no alternative option. ALL the modified dates on ALL the folders, throughout, were all  modified to the date that they synched, over the 12 days it took to reinstall and "download" the DB files from DB.com.

 

Utterly infuriating and what a nightmare.  I'm currently looking into other file-sharing apps that are far, FAR better documented than this nonsense.   I've been using DB for about 12 years and I keep thinking, stupidly, that their "grownup" documentation is right around the corner--but it's not.  It's all Apple-tized, meant for people who just want to push buttons.  I have just around 1M files on my DB, for my business and no matter how much you pay, or what account type you have, the documentation is equally woeful.

 

SO, if you're swapping out a drive, be warned--the only way, apparently, to preserve dates is to download them via the APP--which of course, has nothing to do with drive swaps.  Lovely (/sarcasm).

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