* System Rebuild - data from Dropbox or backup?

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AdrianBruce
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System Rebuild - data from Dropbox or backup?

Post by AdrianBruce » 28 Oct 2019 21:08

I am in the process of rebuilding my PC. Unlike previous occasions when I had an old and a new machine, this time there's only the one. My last back-up was about 3 or 4d before the PC went down the tubes. I have Dropbox Plus running continuously.

The question was whether to load the data files from the back-up then sync with Dropbox to get the last 3/4d down, or just allow Dropbox to sync everything onto a rebuilt, empty PC ("everything" and "empty" is in the context of my user data in C:\DATA).

I made an initial stab at restoring the back-up of one of my local users - the data in C:\USERS\ADRIAN. This was not a happy experience - firstly I had no idea how much data there is in the Windows profiles for one user. Secondly, the permissions were all to pot because the "ADRIAN" before and the "ADRIAN" now are different, of course.

But more to the point, I got seriously worried by the dates on the restored files because the "created" date was the restore date. This disturbed me because if I went on to restore C:\DATA from back-up and then synched to Dropbox, it suggested to me that when Dropbox looked at the files modified in the last 3/4d after the back-up, and tried to decide which was the latest version, it would look at the "created" date and decide that the ones on my PC (from the back-up) were the latest version and so send the back-up versions up to the Dropbox server, "over-writing" the Dropbox versions with the (in reality) earlier versions from the back-up.

As a result, and failing to find much more detail in Google, I went for no restoration from back-up and just synching everything down from Dropbox. It is a long job!

Does anyone have any insight as to whether I was worrying unnecessarily, given that there are at least 3 dates associated with each file in Windows - Created, Modified and Accessed? (I really didn't expect to see Created being years later than Modified!) Could I have gone for loading the files from the back-up and then synching with Dropbox to get the last 3/4d??? Thanks for any comments - too late for this time but maybe for next...
Adrian

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Re: System Rebuild - data from Dropbox or backup?

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 29 Oct 2019 06:51

I went through this a couple of months ago, and took the decision to let everything restore from Dropbox (as I had the same concerns about Dropbox getting confused by restoring a backup as you do, even though I backup every night). Also I ended up with a different user directory name (atira rather than Helen) so it seemed simplest all round to let Dropbox do its thing. It was quicker for me as I have Dropbox synching to a local NAS as well as the cloud, but it was still a long job.

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Re: System Rebuild - data from Dropbox or backup?

Post by tatewise » 29 Oct 2019 10:10

the permissions were all to pot because the "ADRIAN" before and the "ADRIAN" now are different
Although true, that scenario is concerning, and might apply to OneDrive and Google Drive too.

Imagine a slightly different scenario, where this 'rebuilt' PC is in fact a new PC you want to synchronise with an old PC.
The "ADRIAN" new and the "ADRIAN" old are different.
But assuming "ADRIAN" new signs into Dropbox using the same account as "ADRIAN" old the synch should be OK.
This is exactly the same process as described in Knowledge Base > Family Historian Synchronisation where I would expect every Creation Date to be as on the old PC.

However, on reflection, maybe some of the C:\USERS\ADRIAN profile files are a special case, but other files should be OK.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: System Rebuild - data from Dropbox or backup?

Post by AdrianBruce » 29 Oct 2019 17:23

Thanks Helen and Mike.
tatewise wrote:
29 Oct 2019 10:10
... But assuming "ADRIAN" new signs into Dropbox using the same account as "ADRIAN" old the synch should be OK. ... However, on reflection, maybe some of the C:\USERS\ADRIAN profile files are a special case, but other files should be OK.
Stuff coming down from Dropbox (because yes, I did sign into the same account) seems OK permissions wise - it's basically full access (not Full Control) to all authenticated users - that makes sense because when you're swapping files, you don't want the permissions to go with them, but to acquire the correct local permissions.

The permission issues were with the files restored from the back-up. (Apparently the secret to regaining sensible permissions is to take ownership, not just simply set the permissions to what you think you want.)

Yes, the profile files baffled me.

Helen - the NAS idea looks attractive to me but I've no idea where I can physically put one!
Adrian

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Re: System Rebuild - data from Dropbox or backup?

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 29 Oct 2019 17:35

Yes, I need to relocate mine to prevent Little Madam (feline variety) chewing the cables. (Confession: I have two NASes -- one shadows the other -- belt braces and strong knicker elastic). Spare bedroom high up on a shelf (Boycat can open the door but doesn't chew and LM doesn't jump) looks like the best option, using a PowerLine adapter with thick and nasty tasting protectors on the cable. I suspect you don't have similar challenges.

Most of the house is wired using PowerLine -- wifi is unreliable, even though the distances involved and the wall materials should not be a problem. And yes, I tried changing the channel... absolutely not joy.

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Re: System Rebuild - data from Dropbox or backup?

Post by tatewise » 29 Oct 2019 19:46

Yes, restoring from backup on a different PC is notoriously littered with pitfalls.
Yes, changing Ownership is typically the workaround.
However, FH Project Backups all should be OK.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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