cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Whether you are transferring a single drive, a team or an entire organization, Movebot's cloud migration tool has been built to make your Dropbox migration simple - learn all about it here.

Dropbox installs & integrations

Connect your tools and content together with help from the Dropbox Community. Join a discussion or post a question of your own to get started.

cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Dropbox folder filled up with ._ files since moving it to an external drive?

Dropbox folder filled up with ._ files since moving it to an external drive?

Christofer B.
New member | Level 1

I have pointed my dropbox to an external hard drive and suddenly a lot of ._ files. is showing, way? I see them only on the Web interface and not in Finder, only if I turn on Show Hidden Files.

 
1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: ._ files

A K.14
New member | Level 1

The following should help you keep Dropbox folder clean: https://github.com/simsalabim/dsweeper

View solution in original post

14 Replies 14

Re: ._ files

Rich
Super User II
I have pointed my dropbox to an external hard drive

Dropbox does not support external drives. Under the right conditions data loss can occur. If you continue to use an external drive you're risking the loss of your files.

a lot of ._ files. is showing

These are extended attribute files and are common to OS X. They're normally hidden from view on OS X but other operating systems will see them. These files are often created if you store your files on a hard drive that does not support extended attributes.

Re: ._ files

A K.14
New member | Level 1

The following should help you keep Dropbox folder clean: https://github.com/simsalabim/dsweeper

Re: ._ files

Monique M.4
New member | Level 1

Dropbox doesn't support external drives?  Well, that explains the issue that the original poster had that I've been having. But storing on my laptop is not a solution because it's storage-poor (64GB). The only way I can do dropbox on my laptop is with an external drive.  I'm wondering if there are other cloud storage systems that do support external drives...

Re: ._ files

Robert S.
Super User alumni

As Rich correctly noted, Dropbox doesn't support external drives due to a risk of data loss.

However, that has little to do with the "._" file issue which is caused by placing a Mac Dropbox folder on a volume which doesn't respect the hidden attribute of those files (i.e. FAT).

In all cases, the effect would have been mitigated by simply formatting the volume to the native Mac filesystem prior to relocating the Dropbox folder.

Re: ._ files

A K.14
New member | Level 1

Monique, Dropbox does support external drives. Mac OS creates AppleDouble files on external drives for its own purposes, and that is the issue the original poster experienced. The thing is, Dropbox app could have cleared after the OS but they don't think it's their concern. Formatting the drive as suggested above would solve the issue but if the drive is used on different systems (I do use it with Windows, Ubuntu and OSX), it's not an option.

Robert S, how is external drive different from internal one in terms of risks of data loss? Let's also take external SSD into account. I think the answer is pretty much "nohow" 🙂

Re: ._ files

Robert S.
Super User alumni

Dropbox does support external drives.

Incorrect, they don't, you use them entirely at your own risk.

Mac OS creates AppleDouble files on external drives for its own purposes...

Incorrect, Mac system files only become visible for the reason previously stated.

Dropbox app could have cleared after the OS but they don't think it's their concern.

Because it isn't. If you want to use a product in a manner that firmly puts you in the category of "unsupported fringe case" that's your business.

...if the drive is used on different systems (I do use it with Windows, Ubuntu and OSX), it's not an option.

Fringe case usage scenario, unsupported and at your own risk, see above.

...how is external drive different from internal one in terms of risks of data loss?

Completely. Under the right set of circumstances use of an external drive can lead to complete data loss. And, several threads in this forum stand as stark testimony to that reality.

 

Re: ._ files

A K.14
New member | Level 1

I feel like previous post was inspired by xkcd. Sorry if I touched your feelings, Robert S.

></p>
<p>Let's get it on :)</p>
<p> </p>
<p><em>Incorrect, they don't, you use them entirely at your own risk.</em></p>
<p>It's ambiguous.<em> </em>The application supports external drives even if Dropbox Support doesn't recommend it or doesn't want to address customer claims regarding them. As a user, I meant the application. It works with external drives (read

 

Incorrect, Mac system files only become visible for the reason previously stated.

I poorly articulated my point. Thanks for correcting.

 

Because it isn't. If you want to use a product in a manner that firmly puts you in the category of "unsupported fringe case" that's your business

I never said it was (yet the app could make users lives easier and it's not super hard to implement programmatically). I disagree with the rest and find the whole passage on how I want to use the product being irrelevant.

 

Fringe case usage scenario...

That's interesting. The whole point of using external dives is portability. It's not that much untypical and fringe to have computers running different OS at home and at work or even just at home - it's 2015. I would say other way around - that's rather trivial case for people who use external drives at all.

 

Completely. Under the right set of circumstances use of an external drive can lead to complete data loss. And, several threads in this forum stand as stark testimony to that reality.

It sounds like... "Incorrect". Because under the right set of circumstances use of an internal drive can lead to complete data loss. The only difference between external and internal drive is the drive's physical position. Internal HDDs crash a lot. External too. Same goes to SSDs. And that is why many people use Dropbox in first place - backups. 

In the meantime, nothing prevents user from unmounting their internal drives and connecting them via external interface (let's say USB with help of any SATA to USB enclosure). Voila - we've got internal drive (that is officially supported, right?) mount externally. Cool, right :trollface:

 

 

Re: ._ files

Jared D.2
New member | Level 1

Robert S.,

You said there could be data loss if you use an external drive.  Would the data loss be confined to the external drive?  Or, could using an external drive cause data loss on the web-based Dropbox file system?  I can risk losing my backup external drive data.  I could not risk losing the original files on the cloud-based system.  

Thanks in advance for your help.

Re: ._ files

Tim C.11
New member | Level 2

Dear Drop Boxers,

I have the same question/concern as Jared D.

Due to storage capacity issues on my hard drive I had to relocate my Dropbox folder to an SSD card. Now my beloved loyal Dropbox has gone all buggy.

Everyday the cloud based account is reloaded with (view-only conflicts) folders and ._ files.

My inconveniently unupgradable MacBook Pro simply doesn't have enough space to host my Dropbox directly.

 

Any tips would be most welcome. 

Who's talking

Top contributors to this post

  • User avatar
    mattwez378 New member | Level 2
  • User avatar
    Mark Super User II
  • User avatar
    markkeys Explorer | Level 3
  • User avatar
    Huboi New member | Level 2
  • User avatar
    Rich Super User II
What do Dropbox user levels mean?
Need more support?