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New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Level 6

I have purchased a new laptop, and added my Dropbox to it.

Only picture and PDF files open; all MS Office files refuse to open, UNLESS I open the MS Office application (ie Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) first, and browse to the file, then it opens fine.

After reading various posts on your forum, I uninstalled Dropbox, and added it back, but the issue persists.

The error message shows the file path, and then "Unspecified error".

My productivity on my new laptop has taken a massive hit until I can get this resolved; can you help me, please?

Thanks!

StevoAUST

13 Replies

Re: New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Dropboxer
Hey @StevoAUST, that’s an interesting report! 
 
For starters, if you don’t mind me asking Steve, can you please clarify if you’re currently working on an upgraded plan? Following, I’m wondering if the installation has been carried correctly on your end. If it’s not too much trouble for you, could you unlink & relink your account on your desktop once as a quick fix & have a look at your overlay icons to see if your files are syncing correctly Arrows Counter Clock/White check mark? Once you do, please grab a screeenshot of the error message & the overlay icons on your files for me (without personal info) & include it in your next message if possible. 
 
Thanks in advance for taking the time to gather this info; I’ll be awaiting your next post to get going on this matter! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


 


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Re: New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Level 6

I have a "Professional" account

I tried the uninstall and reinstall (unlink / relink), to no avail

I do use the selective sync feature, as my Dropbox is huge.  However I cannot open locally MS Office sync'd files, UNLESS I open the program first (eg Excel, Word, PowerPoint), browse to the Dropbox folder, and open the file that way.

The files have the grey icon against them, ie 

 

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Re: New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Super User II

What happens if you move one of the effected files out of Dropbox to your Desktop and you try to open it from there? Do you get the same message?

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Re: New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Level 6

Interesting!

When I copy the file into My Documents and open it there, they open fine.

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Re: New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Level 6

Also copying and pasting the file within the same Dropbox folder, that also results in a file I can open!

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Re: New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Super User II

Do you happen to be renaming the file when you copy and paste it to a shorter name by any chance?


 


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Re: New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Level 6

No, I didn't rename it. File name was longer, as it has "copy" at the end.

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Re: New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Level 6

Found a solution!

(Maybe a work around...but it works)

Maybe I am using Dropbox wrong?

Solution:

  1. Right click on the file (or folder)
  2. Go down to 'Smart Sync'
  3. Select 'Local'
  4. Wait while Dropbox downloads a local copy
  5. Open the file!

In other words, Dropbox is not automatically downloading the required file, just by trying to open it.  This manual work around forces Dropbox to download a local copy, which opens fine.

 

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Re: New computer - unspecified error, can't open MS files

Dropboxer
Hey @StevoAUST, happy to hear that you got this figured out on your end! 
 
While you’ve worked very efficiently towards resolution on your end Steve, let me quickly confirm that when you attempt to access the 'online-only' file that has been removed locally with Smart Sync, Dropbox will sync that file to your computer. While we begin syncing the content immediately, it may take some time to completely sync and open. Sync speed is impacted by the size of the file and the speed of your internet connection, it may take some time to completely sync and open. If you see the associated application open, but your file does not load or an error occurs, the first step to resolve this issue would be to right-click on the file and select ‘Local’ from the Smart Sync menu. 
 
Nonetheless, I’m also suspecting that maybe you’ve got duplicate files, as the gray circle icon with a minus sign indicates. Please have an additional look at the resource I linked, in order to prevent that from re-occurring in the future & let us know on our discussion here if you have any additional thoughts or questions. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


 


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