A Dropbox #Fail – Updated

(Last Updated On: November 24, 2016)

I noticed on a Wednesday afternoon that some files were being deleted from my Dropbox, I have a 1tb account.  Since I wasn’t doing this I texted my wife to see if it was her, since she is the only other person with access.  She wasn’t deleting files either, although I didn’t find this out until later, because she was teaching at the time.  When I got home that evening I discovered that my Dropbox have gone from over 500gb to just under 32gb!  I immediately went to the Dropbox site and found that the number there was the same.  I looked for help in the Dropbox forums and found several other people having the exact same problem, their files were just disappearing.  The first mention of it had been 2 weeks earlier.  I then tried to contact Dropbox support and found the only way to do so was to put in a ticket.  I submitted a ticket describing exactly what happened.  It required an event ID, which I finally figured how to get (login to Dropbox, click events on the left hand side, click one of the links in the events, and copy the link from your browser).  In the meantime, I needed to go to sleep.  I went to bed around 10pm EST and woke up around 3am EST (don’t ask).  I decided I would check what was happening with Dropbox.  To my horror, while I was sleeping the total of my files in Dropbox had gone from 32gb to .2gb!  I sent a follow up email to Dropbox support telling them the new story.  This happened while the two people who had access to the Dropbox account were asleep.

I tried restoring files using the Dropbox web interface.  Unfortunately, when I clicked on one of the events, which said over 50,000 files had been deleted, it said I couldn’t restore it because there were too many files and that I should contact support.  There was even a link to click on to get to support.  The link opened up a generic email.  It didn’t even include the event link, which Dropbox support seems to require.

I did restore about 20,000 files, it didn’t balk at that.  I now have a whopping 2.9gb.  It’s a good thing I have backups of my backups.


UPDATE 20161123: after several weeks of back and forth I finally decided to resort to twitter.  I have done this several times before when the support I was getting seemed less than first rate.  Whether it was because of the direct Message I sent to dropboxsupport or not, ALL 431gb of files were restored 2 days from the time I tweeted – approximately 1 week ago.

BTW, I now have another complete backup and have discovered a way to make the Dropbox folder on my computer span physical disks.