Dropbox Files Missing

by Michael on July 14, 2011 · 4 comments

Yesterday when I popped into my Dropbox to grab a file that I hadn’t needed in awhile, it wasn’t there. In fact, there were lots of files missing. Uh-oh. A number of these were critical files that would take forever to replace.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that this wasn’t simply a big chunk of folders. Yes, some entire folders were missing, but there were also sets of files nested deep within other folders. In other words, while I’m not above making mistakes, there’s simply no way that I could have accidentally deleted these files.

A quick check of the Dropbox events log revealed that these files were deleted back in early June. Weird. Especially since they weren’t in a shared folder, and I have physical control of the only computers that can access these files.

Was I hacked? Was this due to a Dropbox glitch of some sort? Or did I black out and go on a random file deleting rampage? Or is there another explanation entirely? I really don’t know.

What I do know is that I discovered this problem more than 30 days after it happened, which means that I wasn’t able to simply undelete the files. I could if I was a paying for the Packrat service, but I’m not. So… I’m out of luck. Or am I?

While my main online backup service (Backblaze) also only stores deleted files for 30 days, I remembered that one of my linked computers hadn’t been online since before the problem occurred. I was thus able to go into the yet-to-be-updated Dropbox folder on that computer and move snag at least some of the missing files.

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