Chiming in here with a similar (but not too similar) issue...
I'm a Mac user, and my home computer's internal hard drive bit the dust last weekend (R.I.P.). I cloned a copy of my work computer (the exact same Mac, including year, memory and all other specs) onto an external drive and am running my home computer as an exact replica of my work computer, which means that my entire Dropbox collection is already on my cloned computer.
Everything about the computer runs great and exactly as it did before the internal hard drive crashed with the following exception: even though I made the clone and installed it onto the "new" computer without making any changes to any of my Dropbox files anywhere, Dropbox has been syncing for the last four days (power saving is set at "always on", my Internet speed is blazing fast, the computer has pretty much just been sitting and syncing these past two days).
Yo, whattup wit' dat?! Yes, I have over 1,000,000 files on it because we're a photography studio, and all the images files are in a single "client photos" folder with over 2,500 client subfolders so it's not like I can easily use "Selective Sync" to download it in stages. Regardless, every single Dropbox file was already on the clone so seriously, what's up? I'm 30% done after four days!
Also having this issue and I do not accept Dropbox's reply saying it will take a long time. I could actually download the all the files quicker than what smart sync takes to just sync the folder/file structure. Something is wrong.
Once left for a full day and night until everything smart syncs, it seems to work as expected.
I've read this thread and still havn't found a good answer to why it takes time to sync online only files and that it depends on the file size.
With online only, all Dropbox has to do is create the folder structure and zero byte placeholder files. This shouldn't require more than one request from the server with a response not more than a couple of megabytes, at max.
Anarfox - you're making the assumption that you're only keeping files "online." Dropbox (at least at my subscription level) didn't quite work that way. In addition to keeping things online, it essentially syncs things to each of your machines' local drives.
The original problem I posted was that if I had a terabyte of space taken in my dropbox account, it would take days to fully sync a new computer (i bought a new machine and couldn't use it for over a week...because it was downloading, downloading, downloading).
BUT...I FOUND TWO SOLUTIONS! First off, I changed providers. Dropbox, for some reason, would have to resync itself every other week at my office...FULLY RESYNC! It would slow my machine down SIGNIFICANTLY. Now that I switched to a paid Google Drive, I NEVER have that issue.
Secondly, they originally told me I couldn't use an external drive to transfer files...but then later in the thread, told me I could. So it looks like you could transfer everything to the Dropbox directory locally which would cut on sync time. (PLEASE NOTE - the re-syncing issue was so bad that I switched providers before trying this second method...so I'm not sure of whether or not it would actually work. Logically, it should).
Yes. If I select online only, I assume that the files will not have to be downloaded until I try to use them. That's a resonable asumption to make since that's how Dropbox is marketing smart sync.
I had 125,000 files locally on my laptop - about 350Gb of data, I wanted to backup these files to my dropbox, so I cut and pasted the root folder into my dropbox account.
It then proceeded to "sync" which took nearly 24 hours to do !, I tried everything to speed it up, from increasing my bandwith within the dropbox preferences, to changing the bandwidth priorities per IP address in my router to give my laptop 99% of the available bandwidth. Nothing seemed to speed it up. I am on a fibre connection with 100mbps upload and download speeds. It still took nearly 24 hours.
NOW ..... I have decided to smartsync the files to on-line only, to save space on my hard-drive, and the syncing of 125,000 files seems like it's taking forever, it's been going two hours and still has 121,000 files to go. Why does this smartsync conversion to on-line only take so long, when all your app should be doing is replacing the file on the local version with the thumb-nails of the header information. Will it take ANOTHER 24 hours (or longer) to sync from local to on-line only ??? Why is it taking so long to convert the folder to "on-line only" as all the files are already on-line and it shouldn't need to sync much data at all.
Same issue here 200k files and syncing takes days even if I keep all my files online with smart sync. I also have a google drive account with a similar amout of data and the syncing took only a few seconds! Having to wait days for my new computer to be productivce again is really not good enough.
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