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Getting around the removable media restriction

Getting around the removable media restriction

Derek D.7
New member | Level 1

I use a Surface Pro (the first version). It is intended that heavy users use a microSD card for more memory than the 128MB built in.

Dropbox won't let me use the SD card for my dropbox folder. Is there any way around this?

14 Replies 14

Re: Getting around the removable media restriction

Ed
Dropboxer

Hi there,

Sorry for the late response - are you still having issues?

thanks




Ed G
Community Manager @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Getting around the removable media restriction

Derek D.7
New member | Level 1

Yes, still have problem. In "Preferences" I try to set my dropbox folder to my SD card and it tells me that I cannot because it is removable media. But that is primary storage on this tablet, so ... well so far I haven't used dropbox yet.

Re: Getting around the removable media restriction

Peter M.102
New member | Level 1

I'm in the same position with the a Surface Pro 3. From everything I've found on these fourms, Dropbox hasn't noticed how many devices come with small built-in storage and expandability through MicroSD. I'm looking into OneDrive Pro.

Re: Getting around the removable media restriction

Fredrick L.1
Explorer | Level 4

Exactly. Using a Windows 2-in-1 laptop with 32 GB of storage. But I have a 64 GB SD Card. Yes technically it is "removeable" but it will never be removed.

Today I had a Windows 10 update that is 5 GB, but with Dropbox there, it has insufficient space.

So I uninstalled Dropbox, thinking I could just install again and point it to the 😧 drive, the SD Card.

Dropbox: "can't install on removable media"

Oh really, Dropbox? Whose computer is this?

Fix it, Dropbox!

Re: Getting around the removable media restriction

Fredrick L.1
Explorer | Level 4

Let's call this what it is: Programmer Arrogance

Arrogance in "deciding" that a user will never want to use removable media for their Dropbox storage. I can say this as I'm a programmer too, and recognize taking away a user's rightful choice. Arrogance that a warning would not be sufficient. Yes, if a user does this, they need to realize the drive must always be available when they start their computer. But like others have posted, we live in a different world - 2 in 1 laptops, netbooks, tablets, all sorts of machines that often have limited storage on the "C:" drive if you can even call it that. Mine is an SSD, not really a drive at all.

When I bought this 2-in-1 laptop, it had a 32 GB drive. That is barely enough for Windows 10, which takes (I believe) 21 GB by itself. So I got a 32 GB SD Card and put it in the slot the day I bought it. I will never take it out of the slot. So why, oh why, do you want to deprive me of 32 GB of storage, on this storage-starved machine? Programmer arrogance.

Oh, but you say, I'll lose everything when the SD Card fails. Probably not, it will likely not fail. But even if so, I have Time Machine backups of Dropbox on my Mac, as well as BackBlaze online backups. So no, I am not going to lose anything. My choice! Not the choice of a Dropbox Programmer!

OK, I got this done but it was a huge hassle. I had to use the SUBST command to fake a drive, pointing to the real C: drive as the "fake" "R:" drive. Uninstall Dropbox and delete the Dropbox folder in my user profile. Reinstall and point to the fake drive during the install. Let it sync. Change Dropbox preferences not to start automatically. Shut down Dropbox. Copy the Dropbox folder over to the real destination, an SD card. 

Then remove the SUBST R: drive and SUBST to point the fake drive to the SD Card, drive "D:". So now, instead of R:\Dropbox pointing to the C: drive, it points to the 😧 drive, the SD Card. Then I had to create a bat script to do the SUBST first, and then fire up Dropbox. I had to make sure the SUBST command ran first, before Dropbox fired up, otherwise I got an error and had to restart it.

So now, after all that, it works as it should. And now I have 10 GB free on the main C: drive. A must because some Windows updates/upgrades are 5 GB in size. I know, I just had one yesterday, which started me on this path.

A huge hassle, all because some programmer made this "decision" for me.

I've been a Dropbox user for many, many years and turned many clients on to it. But this can only be called a:

#dropboxfail

To remove a SUBST drive, it would be:

SUBST R: /d

where "R:" is the drive letter of the "fake" drive.

 

Here is the bat script file. I called mine "mysubst.bat". It must end in .bat to work:

@echo on

subst R: D:\

timeout /t 60

c:

cd "\Program Files\Dropbox\Client"

start .\Dropbox.exe

timeout /t 5

 

To make this script start up with your login, press Windows+r and type:

shell:startup

This will open the Startup folder, where you can place programs to run on login.

You must have already created a shortcut to the bat file, and copied it to the clipboard. Then paste it in the folder.

*voila* problem solved!

Re: Getting around the removable media restriction

Joseph M.23
New member | Level 1

Message Directed to Dropbox Sales and Development

When will Dropbox give users the option to backup and save files to removable media?  I too own a Microsoft Surface with insufficient memory.  I cannot utilize the primary drive to backup my media.

It is interesting to note that Google Drive fully supports removable media.

Joe

Re: Getting around the removable media restriction

Kenneth_l
Collaborator | Level 8

Hey, Joseph.

If it were up to me I wouldn't give users the option to backup and save files to removable media because that would be a global nightmare for the support staff. For every person that knows how to do it properly there's 300 others that will royally mess it up. Which causes even more chaos.

Does your Microsoft Surface allow you to plug in a usb external hard drive? That way you can simply drag and drop various DB folders into it?

Fredrick, while I hear your passionate views on the issue I strongly believe they’re directed at the wrong company by about 5,000 miles.

I suggest you direct your annoyance at Microsoft. They made the hardware and software for the Surface Pro. And with a market value of something upwards of $400 Billion dollars maybe they can make changes to it that suit you.

I find that far more effective than complaining to one online storage company such as DB, regarding what the Surface Pro won’t let you do.

Re: Getting around the removable media restriction

Joel S.26
New member | Level 1

Box.com lets you store your directory anywhere.  Go there.  I did.

 

Re: Getting around the removable media restriction

Fredrick L.1
Explorer | Level 4

Kenneth: I do not have a Surface Pro. I have one (of the many) Windows 2-in-1 laptop/tablet machines.

And it is Dropbox that is adopting this policy, not Microsoft.

So why should I bother Microsoft? It is a Dropbox issue.

As I stated, I got around it through some trickery and batch files, but it was a pain to do.

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