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Level 1

Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

I use Dropbox for business and have been for years, but recently something odd has been happening which makes syncing very slow.

We have a shared folder and use it for software development files (1000s of files). When the Dev team release from their environment to the shared folder, even though only 3 or 4 files have actually changed, they tend to release 1000 to 2000 files. All but the 3 or 4 files are identical to the ones that were already in the shared folder, so other than the date stamp on them, they are exactly the same.

What used to happen was Dropbox (for Mac) would see that the 3 or 4 files have changed and just sync those, but now it thinks that all 1000-2000 files have changed and syncs them all. It's a real pain.

Anyone else seeing this sort of thing?

15 Replies
Level 1

Re: Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

Are you sure the files have not changed in any way? Have you run a byte by byte comparison, dont assume they have not changed, even if the assumption is based on common logic. Ensure you are correct (and im not saying you are not, but best to check)
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Changing the date will of course trip the DB app into INDEXING the file, since the file date changed it has to check if the content changed, and then upload them if it has. This brings me to a point about the files changing, on the DB cloud, do you see all the NEW dates on the files when it has synced them? If so then the file HAS changed, I say this because of what I just said, when you change a date on a file but not the file content, it is INDEXED and found to be the same so is not uploaded, so no new date stamp gets applied to it on the cloud. So you should see the folder on the cloud with a myriad of dates on files even if the local ones all hold the same dates, if they all updated, then all the files changed. (FYI: locally rename the folder, await sync, then rename it back and await sync to force all local dates to the cloud)

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Level 1

Re: Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

Additional causes of INDEXING (but not syncing/uploading) can be caused by a change in the permissions on a file, as this trips the DB app into examining what just changed in the file, and finding no content change.
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Also the DB app attaches an alternative data stream to files in DROPBOX, should those files be replaced with a master copy of the file again, the DB app notices the file does not have the alternative stream and so does INDEXING on it as it knows something changed in the file. (FYI: this can be fixed by copying the master set into DROPBOX awaiting sync, then copying the master set back out, this leaves the alternative stream data attached to the file, this data wont survive some editors, normally those that read the file, and when saving it , generate a new file, and replace the old one, as they dont read the alternative stream at all)

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Level 1

Re: Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

Hi Dave,
We've taken on board what you said, but don't seem to be getting the results that you expect.
As back ground, we're on Macs running OSX 10.10. This seems to have started happening (although we can't guarantee this) when the source Mac was updated from Mountain Lion to Yosemite. Both machines have SSDs. The source machine had the SSD fitted around the time it was updated to 10.10.
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Dropbox version: 3.2.9 on all machines.
.
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Test 1: (Passed)
Source Mac
Ran touch on a file.
i-node: Unchanged
Expected result: No Sync
Actual result: No sync
.
.

Test 2: (Failed)
Source Mac
Opened Vi on a file, made no change, wrote back to disc.
i-node:Changed
Expected Result: No Sync
Actual Result: Sync
.
.

Test 3: (Failed)
Source Mac
Had the same (byte for byte identical) file in a directory that is in Dropbox (A) and the same file in a directory that's not in Dropbox (B).
Ran /bin/cp to copy the file from B to A, 'overwriting' the file.
File in A:
i-node: Unchanged
Content: Unchanged
Modification time:Changed
Expected Result: No Sync
Actual Result: Sync (new modification times showing in the cloud and file came down the pipe to the other Mac)
.
.

Test 4 (Failed)
Source Mac
Had the same (byte for byte identical) file in a directory that is in Dropbox (A) and the same file in a directory that's not in Dropbox (B).
Ran /bin/cp -p to copy the file from B to A, 'overwriting' the file. (-p to preserve file attributes)
File in A:
i-node: Unchanged
Content: Unchanged
Modification time:Unchanged
Expected Result: No Sync
Actual Result: Sync
.
.

Rob.

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Level 1

Re: Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

Dave,

Any update on this?

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Level 1

Re: Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

Dave,

We'd really appreciate an update on this, it's also affecting our battery life because Dropbox chews away at CPU, particularly because 1000s of files 'change' each day.

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Level 1

Re: Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

I'm seeing this problem too. It previously worked "as expected", but at some point relatively recently (in the last year) it stopped. I don't know whether that's down to yosemite, a new version of the dropbox client, or something else. Either way, it's a pain!

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Level 4

Re: Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

I know this is an old thread, but I started experiencing these issues a few days ago. I have a set of files that are constantly being updated.

They are not listed as recently changed in the Events page but are constantly being downloaded and then re-downloaded by the Dropbox client (3.10.11). I am using OS X 10.11.1

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Level 1

Re: Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

Same problem here, on Windows.

Dropbox keeps indexing and syncing untouched files.

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Level 1

Re: Problems with 100s of files syncing, even though they haven't changed

I also just started having this problem. Dropbox is syncing nearly 100,000 files that haven't changed. Any updates?

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