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Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

MisterZP
New member | Level 2

Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry. And when I click Smartsync then Online Only it does nothing....just continues to suck memory from my hard drive. It has taken 120gigs so far and it is still dropping......

15 Replies 15

Re: Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

MisterZP
New member | Level 2

There are only 50gigs of files in my Dropbox and my Harddrive is literally still dropping in available memory.... and to think they just put the price up by 60%

 

Re: Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

kmakhk
Explorer | Level 4
I recently being asked on Mac for whether to use SmartSync, i clicked ‘No’ and all files on the laptop began to re-sync with the refreshing icon.

It sucks out all disk space until things began to not working, i then tired to enable Smartsync to help reducing disk space. It began to suck up even more until my computer has no disk space now and can not even enter MacOS...

It’s a work computer. It now stopped all my business and i need to try going to Apple Genius to help...

Re: Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

Walter
Dropboxer

Hey there people (@MisterZP & @kmakhk) - sorry to hear about this.

As I'd like to have a better look into this, could you forward me (a screenshot of) the exact status of the desktop app at the moment?

To do this, please take a look at the Dropbox icon in your menu bar and let me know what the exact message being displayed reads.

Please note that certain messages may change, and file numbers or sizes may increase or decrease while syncing is taking place. If this is occurring, please include a description of this behavior as well as it may be helpful.

In addition, could you let me know (or preferably send me a screenshot of) where you've spotted the discrepancy you mention in regards to your computer's hard drive space?

Thanks in advance!


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

kmakhk
Explorer | Level 4
Thanks Walter - for me the main weird moment was that i clicked not to use SmartSync when i was asked, but everything started re-syncing and began to create a lot of ‘purgeable space’ (seen in Disk Utility). Afterwards, everything i delete and tried to empty trash for freeing up space didn’t work anymore. The purgeable free space kept increasing while MacOS couldn’t recognize actual free space .

Currently the computer is fully running out of space that has difficulty to enter MacOS, so i need to restore everything from my TimeCapsule. But the last status of Dropbox that i remember is that it began to show a few ‘green ticks’ but with most of the files still not synced. Then it paused and said it needs more free space to sync again.

Re: Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

Walter
Dropboxer

Thanks for the additional information @kmakhk - much appreciated. 

May I ask what's the exact version of your Mac's OS as there is a known limitation with macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) when it comes to how fast can the Smart Sync feature free up space from the device in question?

Also, you mentioned :

...everything i delete and tried to empty trash for freeing up space didn’t work anymore. The purgeable free space kept increasing while MacOS couldn’t recognize actual free space .


Can you elaborate on this for me please? Were you deleting files from your computer and your hard drive's space wasn't reflecting those changes?  

If you're referring to making files available 'Online Only' and not actually deleting them, note that this hard drive space should eventually be freed up by the OS, but the amount of time this will take can vary and this isn't a behavior specific to Dropbox, but instead the designed behavior of macOS.

In any case, please keep me posted!


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

kmakhk
Explorer | Level 4

Hi Walter-

My version is exactly 10.13.6 (17G65). But as I mentioned that I didn't even activate smartsync. I've however just restored my whole laptop from TimeCapsule and Dropbox asked me whether to use SmarSync again after I logged-in so it reminded me of what happened. I also took some photos so here are more details:

1. My harddisk was low in freespace when I'm transfering some new photos from my camera to the laptop. Dropbox popped up a message asking if I want to use SmartSync to help to free up space. It asked for autherization to install something to make this function work (I don't remember exactly the wordings, but I guess you would know better than me). After it's done, I actually chose "not now" when I was asked whether to use SmartSync now. 
2. The whole Dropbox folders & files all turned to the "syncing" icon all in a sudden. In the dropbo status it shows the big number (over 100,000: should be all my files) are being sync-ed. 
3. After a while, actual free spaces eaten up. This is read through "Disk Utility"- it shows that I have, from time to time, 30mb - 500mb under "Free".
4. Then I started to ACTUALLY DELETE files that I don't need to free up space. (not using SmartSync at all)
5. I threw away a lot, emptied Trash Bin, but all didn't help. In "Disk Utility", under "Free" it shows the same amount of free spaces under 500mb. And actually as read under "Available" there supposed to have a lot of space - 120.99GB (120.44GB purgeable).
6. I tried to wait to see if Mac or Dropbox would start to recognize the actual free space, or purge the spaces. Nothing happend and at some point the laptop isn't moving anymore, for a few times that it couldn't be restarted (I guess because disk space is full).

7. After all these, for once I tried to see if using "SmartSync" would help. But it says I need to free up space to start to Sync again. So it paused.
8. I even tried to use "Selective Sync" and chose less folders there. Folders disappeared at some point, but didn't help in getting any free space.
9. At a few successful restarts, I entered reboot mode (by restarting with Command+R button), I tried to run "First Aid" to see if it can fix the disk error.
10. It always says the same without improving the situation: "error: snap_metadata_val object (old 0x11bda0): invalid extentref_tree_old" & "Snapshot metadata are invalid" & "The volume /dev/rdisk2s1 could not be verified completely".
11. So at the end I chose to run Restoring everything from Time Capsule

What I felt was that somehow after the SmartSync function has been installed, it triggered something in the Mac's file-handling system or free space recognization. All files that are "deleted" don't actually free up space. It just shows that there are more space under "available" in "disk utility", purgeable, but cannot not purged. And this applies to folders outside Dropbox's Sync folder, or even files that are deleted from "Trash Bin".

Re: Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

Walter
Dropboxer

Thanks for the extensive report @kmakhk!

You mention, "all files that are "deleted" don't actually free up space. It just shows that there are more space under "available" in "disk utility", purgeable, but cannot not purged. And this applies to folders outside Dropbox's Sync folder, or even files that are deleted from "Trash Bin" - this sounds strange indeed and perhaps indicating an underlying issue with the machine in question itself.

Truth be told, screenshots would definitely help get a better view of this!

That being said, as I wanted to have a better look into this, I went ahead and sent you a brief message to your Dropbox associated email address. 

At your earliest convenience, please take a look at your inbox and we'll take it from there.


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

MagicJoe
Explorer | Level 3

I have been having the same problem with Dropbox Smart Sync since I upgraded for more space.  This has been going on for months and months.  I see the hard disk fill up, click Preferences>Sync>Manage All Files, select EVERYTHING, UPDATE>UPDATE>APPLY>OK.  Sometimes it clears everything up and other times it doesn't.  When I finally get it it sorted, after restarting the machine (and often without), Dropbox starts downloading EVERYTHING to my hard drive again.  Rinse and repeat...

I have used and loved Dropbox for years until this "innovation" came along.  Now, it is driving me crazy.  I'm operating Windows 10 PRO Version 1809.  I have 1.5 GB left on my drive with 34,000+ files currently trying to download and despite having tried the above Smart*sync reset outlined above, the software is not doing as instructed.  I've even considered getting a hard drive larger than my dropbox to simply accomodate everything.  

This is obviously a flaw in the Dropbox software and has cost me a lot of time and money.  I hope you can get this sorted quickly on your end and retain me as a customer.  I feel like I'm owed a year or two of free service for this constant inconvenience.  If you can't get this worked out or give me an option without Smart-Sync where I can manually decide what stays on the PC and what is online only, then you will see me finding another option.

Please keep me posted.
Joe

PS I have gotten multiple email responses from support.  None of their suggestions have worked.  Some of them even seem dangerous.  How am I supposed to feel about being asked to turn off anti-virus software so Dropbox doesn't go berzerk on my system, especially when it doesn't fix the problem anyway?

 

Re: Help! I activated Smart sync but dropbox is now sucking my hardrive dry.

Walter
Dropboxer

Hi @MagicJoe; happy new Year!

I'm sorry to hear you're having issues with Smart Sync; let's have a look now. 

At first, can you please provide me with a screenshot of the status of the desktop app on your computer and a description of the circumstances you notice your files being recalled as local - thus taking up space on your hard drive- on your computer? 

Do you happen to use any 3rd party apps (or an alternative file browser perhaps?) on the affected device that might be trying to index or access those files, thus making them local again even after you've set them to be Online Only?

Any additional information you think might help is more than welcome Joe! 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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