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Dropbox and Lightroom - looking for advice

Explorer | Level 4

Hi - I've read with interest two articles that describe a couple of ways to migrate photos from Mac (in my case) hard drive to dropbox - greatly simplifying  working with Adobe lightroom across 2 computers AND having photos in the cloud and backed up. I am across how each of the solutions work (I can provide the links to the articles if anyone's interested)

 

But here's my problem... my photos take up 1.7Tb of a 2Tb drive. I have a Dropbox Plus account so sufficient capacity (for now).

Issue #1 - how long will it take to upload the 1.7Tb to Dropbox (I've a 15mpbs upload via my ISP) - I'm guessing it'll be a few days from back-of -the-envelope calculations. I'm assuming I can't modify any of the photos or add any new ones meantime until they're all safely uploaded(?)

Issue #2 - this is more concerning. I understand DropBox keeps a copy of each file on the computer's local bootdrive. This just wont work for me as the bootdrive is a 256Gb SSD and is 75% full anyway. 

 

I believe that you can point your Dropbox folder to an external hard drive as a workaround but that that is unsupported by DropBox

I also have read that I can migrate my files as "online-only" to DropBox. With such a large transfer of data that may take several days, this is a bit of a risk in my view. 

So I'm beginning to drop the migration idea and stick with my current solution.

So any feedback or suggestions most welcome. 

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Re: Dropbox and Lightroom - looking for advice

Super User II

@dmunro100 wrote:

Issue #1 - how long will it take to upload the 1.7Tb to Dropbox


No one can answer that. Transfer speeds are affected by too many things for anyone to be able to determine that. Speed of your computer, speed of your ISP, distance from the Dropbox servers, network congestion along any part of the route to the Dropbox servers, etc. Needless to day, 1.7TB will take a while to upload.


I'm assuming I can't modify any of the photos or add any new ones meantime until they're all safely uploaded(?)

You can modify and add new photos. Dropbox will be able to see that files have changed and resync them if needed. It could slow down the overall process, but it will still complete.


Issue #2 - this is more concerning. I understand DropBox keeps a copy of each file on the computer's local bootdrive. This just wont work for me as the bootdrive is a 256Gb SSD and is 75% full anyway.

That's the main purpose of Dropbox; to keep a local copy of your files in-sync with those in the cloud, and on other computers linked to your account. The main point of Dropbox is that it's a file synchronization service.

If your account has access to Smart Sync, you can set your files to be Online-only so that they don't take up space on your local drive. Files are removed from your local drive but they still appear in the Dropbox folder through a placeholder. Then, any file that is accessed (either by you or any program or service running on your computer) will cause that file to be downloaded back to your drive automatically and set as Local once again.

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Re: Dropbox and Lightroom - looking for advice

Advanced Collaborator | Level 16

Hi @dmunro100,

Better don't rely on backup functionality in Dropbox! Backup functionality is very limited and if this is primary one you look for, then choose real backup service. As @Rich note: "main purpose of Dropbox; to keep a local copy of your files in-sync with those in the cloud, and on other computers linked to your account".

1- According to Your data: the theoretical minimum time need to upload "from zero" is at least 11 days (in ideal case). More realistic would be 2 weeks (roughly).

2- If Your configuration have another connected drive (very often the SSD is in combination with HDD), then Dropbox dir can be moved using "Preferences..."->Sync->"Move..." and select a place in the choosed non boot drive. winking face

About the "online-only" option (i.e. Smart Sync or may be Selective sync), take in mind that this is not really "online only". May be this wouldn't be the best choice, while using low speed connection, for high sized data. Every time particular file have to be used, it will engage local space again, also network traffic (either automatically - "Smart Sync", or manually - "Selective sync"). The so engaged space will stay so until you explicitly force the particular file to be online again (every time)! Sometimes this is convenient, sometimes not. What will be for You?! thinking face The choice is yours. winking face

Hope this cast additional light.

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Re: Dropbox and Lightroom - looking for advice

Explorer | Level 4

Thanks to both of you for prompt and very useful replies. This has helped me to decide to stay with my current practice for now. 

I could probably have explained my backup needs better. I have very good and rigorous backup procedures at home and can always recover all my photos if necessary but every backup I have *is* at home so having a synced cloud copy of my photos is still very appealing. 

 

Thank you both for taking the time to reply.

 

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Dropbox and Lightroom - looking for advice
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