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Dropbox behavior relative to a system image/backup being restored

Dropbox behavior relative to a system image/backup being restored

klepp0906
Collaborator | Level 9

Just trying to get a handle on how dropbox would behave in the following hypothetical scenario.

I have my dropbox in its default location, my user folder.  I use a system imaging software to take an image of my C: drive daily.  Something awful happens that requires me to restore an image from lets say 3 days prior.

In those 3 days ive edited a half a dozen text files and a few pictures which were all in my dropbox folder and as such are sync'd upstairs.  When i restore an image, it's going to restore my C: drive as it was at the point the image was taken (3 days prior in this scenario which would include the aforementioned files prior to having been edited).   On the dropbox servers however the files are edited and current.

After restoring the image does dropbox sync to the pc from the cloud and as such, I get the current edited versions which would overwrite the 3 day old versions?  Or is it the opposite and the restoring of the image would sync the old files to the dropbox servers and overwrite my current edited versions in the cloud?

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Dropbox behavior relative to a system image/backup being restored

Rich
Super User II

@klepp0906 wrote:

After restoring the image does dropbox sync to the pc from the cloud and as such, I get the current edited versions which would overwrite the 3 day old versions?  Or is it the opposite and the restoring of the image would sync the old files to the dropbox servers and overwrite my current edited versions in the cloud?


Dropbox doesn't look at dates; it looks at changes. If you restore an old file on your computer and Dropbox syncs it, that file will overwrite whatever copy is in the cloud, even if the one in the cloud is newer. To Dropbox, the file has changed since the last time it was synced, so it will sync it again. It doesn't know (or even care) that the version it's syncing is three days older.

 

If you need to restore your computer, the safer option is to first disconnect Dropbox from your account and remove it from the computer, restore the system without Dropbox, then install Dropbox again and let it download your files from the cloud.

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2 Replies 2

Re: Dropbox behavior relative to a system image/backup being restored

Rich
Super User II

@klepp0906 wrote:

After restoring the image does dropbox sync to the pc from the cloud and as such, I get the current edited versions which would overwrite the 3 day old versions?  Or is it the opposite and the restoring of the image would sync the old files to the dropbox servers and overwrite my current edited versions in the cloud?


Dropbox doesn't look at dates; it looks at changes. If you restore an old file on your computer and Dropbox syncs it, that file will overwrite whatever copy is in the cloud, even if the one in the cloud is newer. To Dropbox, the file has changed since the last time it was synced, so it will sync it again. It doesn't know (or even care) that the version it's syncing is three days older.

 

If you need to restore your computer, the safer option is to first disconnect Dropbox from your account and remove it from the computer, restore the system without Dropbox, then install Dropbox again and let it download your files from the cloud.

Re: Dropbox behavior relative to a system image/backup being restored

klepp0906
Collaborator | Level 9

thank you for the info.  while disconnecting dropbox before the restore isnt really an option since the restores would be infrequent and only in some unexpected scenario, at least i know what to expect.  Unless you mean simply unauthorizing my pc on the dropbox website and then re-signing in after the restore which would leave my dropbox folder intact.  

though i imagine i'd get the "a dropbox folder already exists would you like to use it" prompt which would end up the same as far as older/newer files go.   At that point i'd have to restore, delete all the files, then sign in/re sync them all.

cumbersome to say the least but it is what it is.  at least i know.

ive also considered moving the dropbox off the c drive but that comes with plenty of problems of its own, namely the absolute slew of things i have path'd in with the current location.   seems i'll have to pick my battle. 

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    klepp0906 Collaborator | Level 9
  • User avatar
    Rich Super User II
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