DropBox Conflicted Files

I have my 1P files stored on a DropBox folder. Several devices (iPads, iPhones, PCs, and Laptop - soon to be joined by a Mac Air) share the data files.

Sometimes when I view the 1P data files I have two files for an entry but one has (conflicted device date) added to the file name. I have been told by the DropBox folks that the file with the "conflicted" addition is the most current. Unfortunately, I deleted these conflicted files before I found out they were the most current. Since I do not have a record of when & what, that will just be an error I will have to live with. I would like to avoid that in the future though.

I have yet to be able to determine how these conflicts occur but somehow DropBox thinks the file has been updated at the same time??

I have a couple of such files now. I tried renaming the existing file with OLD added to the name and then removing the "conflicted" data from the newer file's name. I looked at the file and am able to tell which entry is associated with the file. That change does not seem to work since the modified date is older when I look at the file on a PC (the modification timestamp really should be displayed on the 1P iPad/iPhone apps!!).

So, what procedure should be followed to resolve the conflict?

Mike

Comments

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    Awesome question(s), Mike!

    The sync conflict resolver is a great place to start:

    Screen_shot_2011-07-25_at_02.37.58-20110725-024341.jpg


    Make sure you check the box for "Detect conflicts automatically". Periodically when Dropbox syncs conflicted data, this window will pop up to have you review them.

    I honestly can't tell you for certain what causes these issues, though. Between time zones, time variations between devices, internet latency, or plain old network connection issues (including devices not being connected at all at times), it is a wonder it works as well as it does! I guess that's why Dropbox is so popular: They have this stuff all figured out.

    I am not really sure how, but I rarely even see this issue -- even syncing between numerous mobile devices and about half a dozen computers and VMs. I think the best thing for you to do is use the conflict resolver and let Dropbox worry about the rest.

    If you are having a specific issue, let me know and we can try to get it straightened out. :)
    MikeV99 wrote:

    I have my 1P files stored on a DropBox folder. Several devices (iPads, iPhones, PCs, and Laptop - soon to be joined by a Mac Air) share the data files.

    Sometimes when I view the 1P data files I have two files for an entry but one has (conflicted device date) added to the file name. I have been told by the DropBox folks that the file with the "conflicted" addition is the most current. Unfortunately, I deleted these conflicted files before I found out they were the most current. Since I do not have a record of when & what, that will just be an error I will have to live with. I would like to avoid that in the future though.

    I have yet to be able to determine how these conflicts occur but somehow DropBox thinks the file has been updated at the same time??

    I have a couple of such files now. I tried renaming the existing file with OLD added to the name and then removing the "conflicted" data from the newer file's name. I looked at the file and am able to tell which entry is associated with the file. That change does not seem to work since the modified date is older when I look at the file on a PC (the modification timestamp really should be displayed on the 1P iPad/iPhone apps!!).

    So, what procedure should be followed to resolve the conflict?

    Mike
  • MikeV99MikeV99
    edited July 2011
    Where do I find the sync resolver tool? I do not see it on my iPad, iPhone, or Vista Laptop (have not tried my XP system)? The screen shot looks like a Mac (I won't have my MBA for a couple of weeks).

    It would be really nice to have that tool on all devices since we are heavy ipad/iphone users. I really wish I could see the modified date on the ipad/iphone.

    If I do not have access to the resolver tool, what do I do about these files?

    A1F0081FF5B341E8B6D5C3AB3F3BAF56 (Mike’s iPhone's conflicted copy 2011-07-23).1password 1,486 07/23/2011 15:34
    A1F0081FF5B341E8B6D5C3AB3F3BAF56.1password 1,491 07/22/2011 11:24

    Thanks
  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    edited July 2011
    Hey, Mike!

    I am so sorry. I assumed you had the Mac version as well, since you mentioned getting a MacBook Air. Apparently that will be your Mac.

    Unfortunately, the Windows version doesn't have this feature right now, and while we hope to add it in the future, you will at least be able to use it on your Mac once you get it.

    I know this doesn't help the Windows-only folks, but the good news is that 1Password for Windows automatically loads the non-conflicted copy and ignores the conflicted copy, so you should be okay. The regular .1password item you mention there is the original stored on your computer, which in most cases is the one you want. The conflicted copy is created when the copy on your PC and on another device are both modified and the other syncs back to your PC. All of this is kind of confusing and certainly not easy to manage, which is why I am happy to let Dropbox take care of this for me. ;)

    On the mobile platforms, 1Password is not able to directly manipulate files (which is why the initial Dropbox setup has to be done on the desktop version), so it isn't really possible to manage conflicts there at all.

    If you like, you can temporarily move the original to a different location and rename the other to remove the " (Mike’s iPhone's conflicted copy 2011-07-23)" from the filename and then reload 1Password to use it.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. :)

    MikeV99 wrote:

    Where do I find the sync resolver tool? I do not see it on my iPad, iPhone, or Vista Laptop (have not tried my XP system)? The screen shot looks like a Mac (I won't have my MBA for a couple of weeks).

    It would be really nice to have that tool on all devices since we are heavy ipad/iphone users. I really wish I could see the modified date on the ipad/iphone.

    If I do not have access to the resolver tool, what do I do about these files?

    A1F0081FF5B341E8B6D5C3AB3F3BAF56 (Mike’s iPhone's conflicted copy 2011-07-23).1password 1,486 07/23/2011 15:34
    A1F0081FF5B341E8B6D5C3AB3F3BAF56.1password 1,491 07/22/2011 11:24

    Thanks
  • MikeV99MikeV99
    edited July 2011
    Thanks for the reply. I could see that the file with "Conflict" had the later modify date (that modify date is very useful, I wish the UI also had create date). I could not tell how important were the changes, so I just created a new entry and deleted both of the previous entries.

    I can see that I will need to be a lot more alert when changing files stored on DropBox to either avoid conflicts or be able to resolve them manually.

    Thanks for help

    Mike

    PS -- Please ask the developers to include Modified Date in all their various products.
  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    I am sorry that I didn't have a more satisfying answer, but I am glad that helped. We are not thrilled about anyone having to even deal with this at the filesystem level, so hopefully we can add a UI (or logic) for this at some point. For the most part, conflicts seem to be rare, so it is hard to justify spending time on this instead of browser support (Firefox 6 is coming, and Chrome just keeps chugging along!)

    In my experience, the modified date isn't necessarily helpful in these situations. If one or more devices are not connected to the internet when an item is updated on both, there is no reliable way to decide between the two short of having the user pick one when the sync occurs. If 1Password is able to sync the change to Dropbox right away, Dropbox will have the updated information and it is easy to say that it is good, since it was received right after the time stamp says it was modified.

    That said, in general the modified date can be helpful for sorting and filtering when the data is known to be accurate. We will look into adding that for the mobile versions. :)
    MikeV99 wrote:

    Thanks for the reply. I could see that the file with "Conflict" had the later modify date (that modify date is very useful, I wish the UI also had create date). I could not tell how important were the changes, so I just created a new entry and deleted both of the previous entries.

    I can see that I will need to be a lot more alert when changing files stored on DropBox to either avoid conflicts or be able to resolve them manually.

    Thanks for help

    Mike

    PS -- Please ask the developers to include Modified Date in all their various products.
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