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Adding Dropbox to my new PC started deleting files

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Adding Dropbox to my new PC started deleting files

My worst nightmare. I bought a new PC, installed Dropbox, pointed it to a blank folder, and it proceeded to start deleting files from my account!

 

I managed to stop it immediately, but the first thing it did was generate the event "You removed your access to the shared folder TnT". I am the owner of this shared folder. There is no way to click on the event and undo it. When I showed deleted files, it showed the folder, which I restored, but none of the contents. I've looked and cannot find the folder contents anywhere in my Dropbox account.

 

Fortunately I have a local backup of all my data. But now I've shut off Dropbox syncing on all my PCs until Dropbox support gets back to me. My problem is exasperated because I live in the country and use satellite Internet, which has strict download limits. I have unlimited downloads 12am-5am, but can only move about 4GB of data during this time. What a mess. I don't understand how any modern file storage system can wipe out entire folders like that with no recourse.

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Solution
Dropboxer

Re: Adding Dropbox to my new PC started deleting files

Hi JustAnotherUser

 

If you are missing a folder, which previously was in your account and you cannot locate it, you can go to the "search" button at the top of your account and look it up. If the search returns a result in blue, it is still on your account. If it is gray, you will be given the choice to "Restore" it once you click on it. 

If you are missing  a shared folder, you can easily "Add" it back from the "Sharing" tab of your account, where it will appear in gray. More about it can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/help/149. 

 

Please let me know if you need more details about it. 

 

Thanks, 

JaneA

 

 

 

6 Replies
Dropboxer

Re: Adding Dropbox to my new PC started deleting files

Hi,

 

Thanks for posting. 

 

There's no need to worry. The files can be recovered via the Events page on your Dropbox account. You'll find more information about how to do so at this link:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/help/296

 

It's difficult, however, to identify the underlying issue with the information that you have provided, so if you aren't successful recovering the files yourself and resolving the issue then I would wait for Dropbox Support to get back to you. 

Re: Adding Dropbox to my new PC started deleting files

Thank you for your response. I am familiar with the Event log and have used it a few times to restore deleted files. It normally works great, but this time the event simply said "You removed your access to the shared folder TnT" and provided no option to restore, as it usually does.

 

So then I went to the Dropbox file manager, clicked on the ghosted trashcan icon to "Show deleted files." And sure enough, the TnT folder reappeared. I was happy briefly, until I clicked on the folder and saw that the ~3500 files were still missing, as the folder was empty.

 

I've had a support ticket out for 36 hours. I'm hoping to eventually hear back that Dropbox can somehow restore my files on the back end. Worst case, I didn't lose my files locally (I shut off the Dropbox sync before it could delete the TnT folder off my laptop) so I can reupload the files if needed. Unfortunately, with my bandwidth-limited satellite Internet, this operation will require me to stay up late a few nights to take advantage of the 12midnight-5am free period.

 

This incident has shaken my confidence in Dropbox. I had become complacent on relying on Dropbox and have been backing up my Dropbox data locally only a couple times per month. This is a lesson to every customer of every cloud backup service to always have a current local backup, just in case.

 

Thanks again for responding.

Dropboxer

Re: Adding Dropbox to my new PC started deleting files

Hi,

 

Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response. Was the folder a shared folder? For, it appears that the you 'removed access' meaning that you voluntarily removed your access to the folder and this is why the files would be deleted from your account (although not generally) and not recoverable. In the event that you didn't have local copies of the files, you would need to request access again from the owner of the folder. I'm glad to hear that your files haven't been lost, but its best to understand the cause of these things so that they don't happen again. 

Re: Adding Dropbox to my new PC started deleting files

Yes, it was a shared folder, but I am the owner of the folder and shared it with my wife. Of course her access was terminated as well. Note that I did not voluntarily remove access. Dropbox did this automatically when it was syncing with my new laptop.

I sent a very detailed message to Dropbox support, so hopefully they can figure out what went wrong and prevent it from happening to other customers in the future.
Solution
Dropboxer

Re: Adding Dropbox to my new PC started deleting files

Hi JustAnotherUser

 

If you are missing a folder, which previously was in your account and you cannot locate it, you can go to the "search" button at the top of your account and look it up. If the search returns a result in blue, it is still on your account. If it is gray, you will be given the choice to "Restore" it once you click on it. 

If you are missing  a shared folder, you can easily "Add" it back from the "Sharing" tab of your account, where it will appear in gray. More about it can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/help/149. 

 

Please let me know if you need more details about it. 

 

Thanks, 

JaneA

 

 

 

s Re: Adding Dropbox to my new PC started deleting files

Thanks, Jane, your tip worked great. I didn't think of doing that because I owned the folder to begin with and shared it with others. I never expected that I could somehow unshare it with myself. So that's a little confusing, but I am happy to have all my files back.

 

The most important aspect of this ordeal is that any cloud file service should never lose files within the 30 day retention window (unless of course I choose the "Permanently Delete" command) and Dropbox came through with flying colors!

 

Thanks again.