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Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

I have similar issues as some other users on Windows 10. Basically, Dropbox (version 64.4.141) just randomly shuts down after just a few minutes, disappearing from tray. Usually it gets through "Starting" phase and while it's syncing or downloading files, just stops without any errors or any other notification. Crashing happens even if I pause the sync immediately after starting it.

This has been plaguing me for a few weeks to a month, and only on one computer. Previously, restarting the app 3-5 times ensured it stayed open at least to sync whatever small changes I had made, but now it doesn't seem to start at all on this one problematic computer. I have performed the advanced reinstall, with no help. I even removed the local Dropbox folder and started to re-download everything, but even then it crashes a few minutes into the download.

 

Currently I am at the end of my wits. I have been a very happy user since 2009 (and an equally happy Pro user for the past few years), but at this stage I'm not sure what else to do. Dropbox is literally unusable on my primary computer, and I will have to start syncing my important files using another program just to keep my work going.

13 Replies
Dropboxer

Re: Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

Hey there @nettajehu - sorry to hear about this!

Can you please let me know if your account contains a large amount of files as the performance of the Dropbox application starts to decline after reaching about 300,000 files?

If that's the case, I'd advise using Selective sync to speed up the client (i.e. the desktop app) on this specific computer. 

I guess you've already checked this but could you confirm that this is not caused by a security program like antivirus, a firewall or a VPN/proxy setting you may have running on the affected computer?

Moreover, since the app is crashing, you may want to review the following article first which covers common causes of high CPU usage and the steps to resolve these:

https://www.dropbox.com/help/desktop-web/high-cpu-usage

While we're at it (and since you've already performed some troubleshooting on your own) could you see if this persists on a brand new local user profile with administrator rights?

If you need assistance with this, I've included the steps below:

Spoiler
Follow these steps to create a new Windows 10 user profile:

1. Click Start.
2. Click Control Panel.
3. In the Control Panel screen, click on User Accounts.
4. In the User Accounts screen, click on the Manage another account option.
5. Click on Create a new account option.
6. Click on Add a new user in PC settings.
7. In the next screen, Other accounts will be highlighted. On the right side, click on the + sign in Add an account.
[By default, the next screen will want an email address of the new user associated with an existing Microsoft live.com email address. If you don't have one, click the link at the bottom of the screen that says Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended).]
8. The next screen will have a button that says "Local account". Click on that.
9. Enter the username, password, and password hint, and click next.
10. You will return to the Manage Other Accounts screen. Select the newly created account, and click the Edit button.
11. There will be a drop-down menu. Open it, and select Administrator, then click OK.
12. The new user profile will NOT appear in the Manage Accounts screen but will be selectable on restart and will appear in the Manage Accounts screen on next login.

Last but not least, if none of the above helped, if you would like, you can try our most recent beta version of the Dropbox desktop application from the following link:

https://www.dropbox.com/downloading?build=65.3.160&plat=win&type=full 

If this resolves the issue, you should be able to continue using this version as it will update automatically to the next available build going forward.

I hope this is helpful to some extent and please keep me posted on your progress!




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


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Level 4

Re: Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

Hi Walter,

It seems like reducing the number of synced files helped dramatically. I originally had approximately 200,000 files, but after I zipped tons of old directories I managed to cut it to about 90,000, and it seems like the previous silent crashing behavior has disappeared. This is also supported by the fact that when I used Selective Sync to sync just a few smaller folders, there were no issues.

I still don't understand why would Dropbox just crash? Is it running out of memory when indexing and/or checksumming too many files? In that case, wouldn't it be better to do that in batches that are safe in size? I think sync taking twice or thrice as long is vastly superior to the sync never happening due to a silent crash.

I will mark this issue solved given that I have no had a single crash after this change. However, I encourage Dropbox to look into making the Windows Desktop client a little bit more robust. Even telling me that "Dropbox couldn't sync files due to there being too many" would be much, much better than just dying without any notification.

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Dropboxer

Re: Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

Glad to hear this helped @nettajehu; thanks for circling back here to let me know too and I appreciate your feedback as well - I'll be passing it on to our dev team for their consideration.

Just note that the file sync is a complicated process that includes more than just the transfer of the data. Each file is divided and compressed into hashed components, transferred via secure data transfer, and then encrypted and stored on our servers. During an upload, the transfer speeds are also dependent upon how quickly your computer can process and compress the components of the files to make them available for upload.

The Dropbox client will also batch upload smaller files into batches of 800 files. If you have 800 * 1 kB files the effective batch that's sent to Dropbox will be 800 kB in size. You may commonly see this behavior when Dropbox first starts syncing as the client starts with smallest files first and then progresses to larger files (thus the overload when starting it up with so many files to index/sync). 

In any case, please let me know if you have any questions. Oh and happy new Year too!




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


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Level 4

Re: Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

Hi again,

Unfortunately, it seems my previous message may have been premature. On todays boot of my system, the client again crashed, despite the total number of files selected for sync being under 100k. I should note, this is on a HDD, not a SSD, should it make any difference.

I understand the point about speed. However, I don't see how that is a good reason for the client to go into panic and crash, instead of just finishing the sync with a slower speed. 

Regardless, I will remove the "answered" tag from the earlier answer for now until I get to test more solutions and see if they work. Reducing the amount of files definitely helped (this time, re-opening Dropbox after the first crash worked, and it hasn't crashed since), but it's not prudent for future readers to consider the issue answered until it's truly and completely answered.

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Re: Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

I'm experiencing the same problems. Even after re-installing multiple times. It worked perfectly untill 2 days ago. I do have a lot of files, but even selecting only 1 folder with 3 files will make the app crash. It works perfect on my laptop with like 1.6m files, but desktop won't sync.

It starts syncing, after a few minutes the memory-usage starts to rise until it fills my entire memory and then it crashes.

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Dropboxer

Re: Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

Hey folks @MathijsHuisman & @nettajehu - thanks for pinging me here to let me know about this. 

Could you please take a look at the following article to see if your issue is caused by any of those factors (other than the large file count you have your desktop sync on start up) and let me know what you find?

https://www.dropbox.com/help/desktop-web/high-cpu-usage

If you still have troubles with this please log a ticket with our team (and let me know the ticket IDs so I can get on them) or let me know here so I can reach out via email instead using your Dropbox associated email addresses.

Keep me posted please!




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


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Level 4

Re: Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

Hi Walter, and thanks for picking this up again.

At least for me, the CPU usage is very modest, around 12-13% (i.e. approximately one out of my 8 cores) during sync. I also don't see any abnormal RAM usage, just a few hundred megabytes. 

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Re: Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

Appears to be my dropbox sync is not working at all.   It just keeps saying it's starting up but never actually does so.  Then when I quit I get an error saying something about "this is usually a permissions error."

 

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Dropboxer

Re: Constant crashes on Windows 10, advanced reinstall doesn't help

Could you share a screenshot of the exact error message you get @vlifflevloffle

While you're at it, do you happen to have an antivirus, firewall or VPN/proxy setting that could be preventing our desktop app from connecting to the internet properly? 




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


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