James Mayes

Posts Tagged ‘undelete on dropbox’

Blog: Recovering from a Dropbox disaster!

In Gadgets, Mobile, Software Development, Start-ups on September 20, 2011 at 8:02 am

Many people I know, myself included, make extensive use of Dropbox for cloud storage. Install on all your devices, have all your files accessible from the cloud, synchronised AND available offline. Lovely.

What happens when you make a mistake?

Last night, when I deleted a crucial folder by mistake. My first thought was to grab the phone next to me, which had the Android version of Dropbox installed – I opened it up, and watched as “in the cloud” synchronisation took over and the folder deleted itself right before my eyes. The very definition of a disaster gathering pace. I thought of the data in that folder… yes, I had a backup. No, it wasn’t recent.

Verging on meltdown, I fought to think logically… Dropbox stores a copy on each local machine… it synchronises changes via the net… I have  laptop upstairs which is currently off… QUICK…. kill the wifi! Internet suitably disabled (i.e. plug removed sharpish from router!) I powered up the other laptop. Yep, the folder was intact. I copied all my Dropbox files to a USB storage device, then double-checked it on another PC. Breathe easy.

Panic over, I calmed briefly and tweeted about my near-miss, reminded people of the value of back-ups. I won’t share with you the thoughts I had when I saw this response:

Dropbox undelete

I’ve known Fordie a while, he tweets some great stuff… but right then, I coulda killed him! Now though, cool & calm, I have the following lessons:

  1. If you’re going to entrust your data to a site or service, learn about it up front – especially the recovery options
  2. Back up. No site is ever 100% perfect and even if it gets close, there’s still the huge potential for error between the chair and the keyboard
  3. Tweet for help before you panic!

So, this being done, will I still use Dropbox? Hell ya.  I think it was probably my error that caused it, and I’ve just tested the Dropbox undelete feature – works a dream. Log into the website, go to your Files; the deleted stuff is greyed out; click the down arrow next to it on the right, you get the option to undelete. Would I recommend it? Yeah, if you keep the above stuff in mind.

Finally – if you don’t yet have an account, click here  – using that link tells them I sent you, which gives me a little extra free space. Cheers!

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