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markowe

SERIOUS concerns about BTSync syncing Dropbox folders

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OK, this is going to be hard to explain as there could be a million factors at play. I set up BTSync effectively as a backup to a disk at a remote location. The contents of that disk are not altered locally at the remote location, i.e. the only changes happening should be in one direction, from my desktop to the disk at the remote location.

 

I had BTSync set up to sync my whole My Documents folder, which included Dropbox - thought it was overkill, but didn't actually think there would be any problem. So about a week later I head into Dropbox to resume a project I had been working on, and I find ALL my project files missing (about 5 months' work - backed up in other ways too, but still a SERIOUS setback to reconstruct).

 

OK, hold the panic, so I head into Dropbox and show the deleted files for that folder, and there they are, my project files, disaster averted! I undelete them and they pop up again in Dropbox, apparently safe and sound.

 

Now, the question is, how the hell did they get deleted? I assure you there is absolutely no earthly reason for me to go in there and delete them all, or anyone else to do so, and nobody has deleted them at the remote location and prompted a sync which effectively deletes them at my end. Yet there is also no sign of them in the .SyncArchive directory (actually there were SOME project files that also should NOT have been deleted, but not these particular ones). I must say I have been concerned at the number of !sync files which seem to be floating around on my disk - I am not sure there should be any given the model I am employing, and even if there are, I am concerned as to why they are not disappearing once their function has been fulfilled.

 

Is there any known issue with BTSync (especially in combination with DB) that could cause something like this? I have read some of the DB-BTSync threads but they do not mention an issue like this. I still can't be 100% sure the issue has ONLY affected my Dropbox folder.

 

Obviously I have instantly shut down BTSync, I can't possibly risk using it if there is ANY suggestion it might cause any kind of file loss.

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I don't have an answer, but what you describe has been happening to one of my clients, whole folders being deleted without reason and not appearing in syncarchive.

 

I think there's serious issues in bts which is why we have dropped it for the time being

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Is there any known issue with BTSync (especially in combination with DB) that could cause something like this? I have read some of the DB-BTSync threads but they do not mention an issue like this. I still can't be 100% sure the issue has ONLY affected my Dropbox folder.

The bottom line is, it's never a good idea or advisable to run multiple different file Synchronization software products on the same set of files! - it's always going to cause issues!

You'd be best to either choose BitTorrent Sync OR DropBox for your file syncing needs. If you insist on using both, make sure that they don't "overlap" in terms of the files/folders they're syncing (or if that's not possible, as a last resort, you could try using BitTorrent Sync's .SyncIgnore features to exclude your DropBox folder from syncing)

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I have been using btsync on some of my dropbox subfolders. On pc and android mutually. All issues I recall were related to my mistakes and picasa specifications on saving altered pictures.

 

As Marko said, more than one sync tool will most likely cause troubles. Regardless what tools it is. So before you know a bitterness of sync conflicts of your chosen tools, better keep backups safe.

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Sure it was a bit reckless in hindsight as you don't really know what's going on behind the scenes. Well, I will keep an eye on it and see if that is all as regards these issues - I have put Dropbox in the ignore path... It would be nice in a future version to be able to select folders to sync in a granular way from the GUI as it's always a hassle to edit text files and be sure you have specified the paths properly etc.

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It would be nice in a future version to be able to select folders to sync in a granular way from the GUI as it's always a hassle to edit text files and be sure you have specified the paths properly etc.

This will almost certainly happen at some point - right now, Sync is still in "beta" so the focus has been more on functionality than perhaps on the user interface and "user friendliness".

 

There are some improvements coming to .SyncIgnore with Sync 1.2, but at some stage after that I would expect/hope there will be a more "user friendly" way to easily exclude items from syncing.

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Dropbox:

 

Just to share with everyone here we're a data center that has been extensively testing Bittorrent Sync on 100+ computers to see how well it works.  We have been so impressed with it that we are working to build it into some new services to offer our clients.  

 

Part of our extensive testing has been in running it concurrently with Dropbox. Most of our clients who use Dropbox are very unhappy with is, mostly for how limited the amount of space it provides and how slow it is to sync.  Our testing has shown that Dropbox also does not play well with Bitsync, owncloud, or any other syncing app.  This is mostly because of the overly-complex way Dropbox manages time-stamp and transaction logs.  In our tests Dropbox regularly deleted files and folders immediately after they were synchronized by bitsync.  Not sure why, but that issue was consistent.

 

The good news is that we are having some good success in getting BitSync to work with the ownCloud web back end, although it's still in testing and needs further customization.  ownCloud clients frequently drop their connection to the server and stop syncing, so we're trying to create a system that uses BitSync on the client side with ownCloud on the web gui server side, to create a Dropbox-like system, that's more reliable, faster, and feature-robust than dropbox.

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