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Dropbox on machines that are rarely powered on

Level 3

What kind of problems can arise if Dropbox is installed on a machine, but the machine isn't powered on for a long time? Is there a point beyond which sync can become unreliable, or previously deleted items might be re-added in error?

For example, I powered on my Windows travel laptop after 8 months. Dropbox finished updating on that machine. Afterward, a series of files which I erased half a year ago reappeared on all machines. 8 months is an extreme case. I'm wondering what specific interval I should treat as the longest allowable before doing "maintenance" boot ups, or if this was a one-off fluke.

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Re: Dropbox on machines that are rarely powered on

Dropboxer
Hey there @Brian M.22
 
In general, you can experience issues if you have a computer running an older version of the desktop app that hasn’t been connected or updated in some time. If you reconnect it, you may see files that were missing from the website but were still existing in that Dropbox folder as new content in your account, rather than deleting them from that computer to match the website.
 
Another explanation for this may be in the case that you have symlinks in your account, as they can be the cause of unwanted errors (including syncing errors or quota usage disparities). You can find more info about this in this article (step 7)
 
Nonetheless, if you’d like to have a more in-depth look into this though, I’d be more than happy to send you a ticket to the email address associated with your Community profile. 
 
Let me know how you’d like to proceed or if you have any other questions!

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


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Re: Dropbox on machines that are rarely powered on

Level 3

In this case, the older app version makes sense. For about how many months should an older version of the app be expected to perform properly? That amount of time would tell me how often I need to ensure I have powered on any machine or VM.

I appreciate the offer on the ticket, but it was easy enough to clean this up myself as all the resurrectd files appeared in the Dropbox recent change timeline.

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Re: Dropbox on machines that are rarely powered on

Dropboxer
Glad to hear that you were able to sort things out, @Brian M.22grinning face with smiling eyes 
 
What you can try in such cases though is first to ensure that you’re not connected to a WiFi network or immediately quit the desktop app so that it doesn't run upon boot, update to the latest version of the desktop app, and then run it.
 
I hope this helped to some extent!

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


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Re: Dropbox on machines that are rarely powered on

Level 3

Do you know about how long a machine should be offline before I disable wifi and prevent Dropbox from running as a precaution? A month? A quarter? Six months?

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Re: Dropbox on machines that are rarely powered on

Dropboxer
I don’t have a specific time-frame to suggest on this, but it may vary with the number of desktop app client version releases, although there isn’t a number on this either. Nonetheless, for the sake of precaution, what I mention previously is what’d I’d recommend to bear in mind. 
 
Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with, @Brian M.22upside-down face

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


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Dropbox on machines that are rarely powered on
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