How to Fix Persistent Dropbox Sync Issues on a Mac test

How to Fix Persistent Dropbox Sync Issues on a Mac

How to Fix Persistent Dropbox Sync Issues on a Mac

Tags: bugfix • Mac OSX
Oct 7, 2014 • n8henrie
Bottom Line: Try deleting the filecache.dbx file if you have a sync problem that isn’t fixed by following the official Dropbox instructions.
I had a persistent sync issues with Dropbox for several weeks — it was running continuously and revving up the CPU on my Mac (as shown in Activity Monitor). It would show the “syncing” icon in the task bar, and if I clicked to see what was syncing, it would just cycle between tens of thousands of files to sync, then thousands, then hundreds, then just a few… and then jump back up to several thousand.
I think it probable has something to do with me keeping a few git repositories and virtualenvs in Dropbox (mostly for the automated backup, which has come in handy).
The first few things I tried were following the official Dropbox instructions for this problem. Unfortunately, it required me to re-set all my  “Selective Sync” settings. Even worse, it didn’t fix the issue.
Next, I tried checking for problematic files using a Dropbox-hosted tool I didn’t even know about: I found a handful of files with invalid file names, which I either renamed or deleted. (By the way, I have to mention this great rename utility available in Homebrew, brew install rename). Unfortunately, that didn’t work, either.
Next, I found out that Dropbox (v2.10.30) has a hidden “fix permissions” tool. It’s hidden behind the Unlink This Dropbox button in the Account tab in Dropbox’s preferences — you have to hold down the option button to reveal it. For some strange reason, it doesn’t show up on my Mac unless I first click another button on that tab. However, if I click the Selective Sync’s Change Settings...button, I can then hit esc to get back out of that screen, and suddenly the Fix Permissionsbutton shows up when I hit option. Weird.
Once again, that didn’t fix my issue. Neither did numerous restarts, or repairing permissions on my Mac. I did find that deleting the ~/.dropbox folder fixed the issue for a while, but it made me reset selective sync settings and such… and when the problem came back, I didn’t want to go through that again, so I set out to find what it was in that folder that fixed the issue.
The solution I’ve finally come up with is that deleting ~/.dropbox/instance1/filecache.dbx seems to be the fix. Because I have a suspicion this is related to git / virtualenv and Dropbox, I assume there’s some component of permissions problems, so I’ve been repairing permissions as well (but as I said, this alone doesn’t fix the problem).
Because people may have different paths for their Dropbox, I can’t say this will work for everyone, but it might be worth a shot if you’re going nuts over this problem like I was. If you know your Dropbox installation is not immediately under your home folder, you’ll need to change the commands slightly, but this should work for a default installation.
  1. If you haven’t already, you should probable try the “official” fixes first (see above).
  2. Repair Dropbox permissions as described above (Preferences -> Account -> click something, then hit escape, then option to reveal the button).
  3. Quit Dropbox.
  4. Open up /Applications/Utilities/ Caution — if you don’t know what you’re doing, typing the wrong command in Terminal could be a disaster.
  5. Copy and paste in this command:
    [ -f ~/.dropbox/instance1/filecache.dbx ] && echo "File exists"'!' || echo "Sorry, I don't see the right file."
    If it says that the file exists, type the command below. Otherwise, you’ll have to search around and find filecache.dbx.
    [ -f ~/.dropbox/instance1/filecache.dbx ] && rm ~/.dropbox/instance1/filecache.dbx
  6. Restart Dropbox.
Hopefully you’ll find that Dropbox has to do a little sync to catch up, but afterwards works as expected.

"What Were They Thinking?" Department

Residents of a Dutch town say they've endured "psychological torture" due to a "singing" road, prompting officials to close it after only one official day in use.

The road, equipped with special strips on the asphalt, plays the tune to the anthem of the province of Friesland when cars drive over them at 60 mph. 

Although created as a novelty, but also to improve road safety, residents of a nearby village said the constant noise was irritating and keeping them up at all hours of the night.

"I'm going nuts. You can't sit outside and you can't sleep at night," said Sijtze Jansma. 

The BBC reports a spokesman for Friesland province said the strips were installed Friday as an experiment on how to "influence the behavior of our drivers," but added, "I was there myself and if you're living there it was unpleasant."

This is Getting Creepy

Alexa skills: the Triumph of the Virtual over the Virtuous. "Alexa, play relaxing sounds." "Alexa, give me a compliment." "Alexa, read me a bedtime story." "Alexa, help me meditate."

Reform is Not Enough

That some "minor" adjustment to second amendment rights will solve the "crisis" (which should never be wasted) of school shootings seems dubious, in fact, impossible of belief.  It would take draconian action, both on gun access and police practice, to rid ourselves of the scourge.  If that is so, then those urging reform are really urging repeal. 

If they succeed they will be disappointed in the result. Reality bites.