Dropbox opvault discrepancies between iOS and MacOS

As far as I can tell...

MacOS points to an opvault on Dropbox.
iOS (iPad) also points to an opvault on Dropbox
I assume they are both the same Dbox accounts
1PW on MacOS looks to a folder on a RAID array for the opvault file.
Due to ongoing issues with the said flakey RAID array that occasionally drops out for a while when it's having a bad hair day, Dropbox replicated itself on the Mac's local Home drive. 1PW looks for a physical user-defined folder location for Dropbox rather than a logical location defined by Dropbox. So if it looked for whatever Dropbox considers to be the actual live folder location, it'd find the right one each time.
However, in my scenario, Dropbox has quietly copied and relocated the opvault file. 1PW is oblivious to the new location Dropbox has defined as the live folder and merrily continues to update the opvault file which is no longer being synced.

So... how to resolve this?
I would like to leave the local Home folder as the 'live' Dropbox folder as the RAID isn't going to improve anytime soon. Life is just too short.
I can change 1PW to look at the Home folder version but... I'd like to merge the two versions first so I don't loose changes. The RAID version is larger than the Home version.

How can I merge the two please?


1Password Version: 6.7.1
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: 10.12.5
Sync Type: Dropbox

Comments

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member
    edited July 2017

    @head4heights: Thanks for reaching out. I'm a bit confused about what you're trying to do here though.

    1PW on MacOS looks to a folder on a RAID array for the opvault file.

    Don't do this. 1Password needs to be able to access the vault at any time, and if it isn't available it can use problems. Best case scenario, you end up with duplicates/conflicts. Worst case is data loss/corruption. 1Password doesn't get notified when it goes offline, so be sure to keep it on a reliable, directly connected drive.

    Due to ongoing issues with the said flakey RAID array that occasionally drops out for a while when it's having a bad hair day, Dropbox replicated itself on the Mac's local Home drive. 1PW looks for a physical user-defined folder location for Dropbox rather than a logical location defined by Dropbox. So if it looked for whatever Dropbox considers to be the actual live folder location, it'd find the right one each time.

    1Password doesn't work that way. It doesn't get the path from Dropbox; it gets it from you. So it simply attempts to read and write to the specific location you told it to, rather than trying on the fly to adjust to changes to the vault location. It expects it to be where you told it to look.

    However, in my scenario, Dropbox has quietly copied and relocated the opvault file. 1PW is oblivious to the new location Dropbox has defined as the live folder and merrily continues to update the opvault file which is no longer being synced. So... how to resolve this?

    That's very much by design. If you want the vault to be written to a different location, you can disable sync and configure it for the new one when you set it up again.

    I would like to leave the local Home folder as the 'live' Dropbox folder as the RAID isn't going to improve anytime soon. Life is just too short. I can change 1PW to look at the Home folder version but... I'd like to merge the two versions first so I don't loose changes. The RAID version is larger than the Home version. How can I merge the two please?

    That part's easy. First some background information. When you setup 1Password to sync with a specific folder, whether that be in your Dropbox folder or somewhere else on your Mac, it still has its own internal database. So for example if you disable sync and delete the sync'd vault, you don't lose any data. So when you disable sync with the current location and enable it again to set it to the new one, it still has all of the data it's been using internally and you'll be given the option to Merge when you select the new one. Be sure to backup your data first though, as your description of the flaky RAID array makes me nervous. :)

  • Apologies for the confusion... not intended.
    As I understand Dropbox, there is a cloud folder, the contents of which are propagated to a local storage area of devices accessing it. The integrity of the cloud folder is maintained by means of synching changes between local folders and the cloud.
    Having set Dropbox up with the local folder on the RAID, 1PW's path to the opvault ended up being hardcoded to that folder at the time of 1PW being set up. Glitches in the RAID have since caused the trouble described above.

    What I didn't appreciate was what you put in your last paragraph however... that 1PW carries it's own copy of the opvault which I assume will be copy of whichever opvault 1PW was looking for at the time of it loading. In this instance it'll be the opvault on the RAID. So I need to disable 1PW synching. Make sure it points to the non-RAID version of the opvault. Delete (or at least rename) the RAID version. Restart synching and with any luck 1PW will merge it's internal copy with the slightly different external copy. Then it's in the hands of the Dropbox Gods to synch the local opvault with the cloud version.

    I hope this makes sense... is it a viable plan?
    Many thanks.

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    Hi @head4heights

    Yes and no. :)

    An OPVault, for 1Password for Mac, is just a sync file. It isn't 1Password's database. So you could, in theory, delete that file entirely without losing any data. The problem becomes that 1Password expects the sync file to always be available. If it isn't available, it can cause the difficulties Brenty mentioned above, which is why we can only recommend storing the sync file on an internal drive.

    So I need to disable 1PW synching. Make sure it points to the non-RAID version of the opvault. Delete (or at least rename) the RAID version. Restart synching and with any luck 1PW will merge it's internal copy with the slightly different external copy. Then it's in the hands of the Dropbox Gods to synch the local opvault with the cloud version.

    If Dropbox has indeed updated the location of its local folder to your Mac's hard drive then yes, I think that sounds like a reasonable plan.

    Ben

  • Oh dear... I'm not coping with this at all well. I was under the impression that Dropbox cloud was a perfectly legit place to store the 1PW database. I thought the 1PW database was the opvault file - but it's just a synch file. So it appears that it is my synch files which are all up the creek. Understanding the problem is a good start but apparently I'm not there yet.
    There is a synch file, the opvault, held in the DB cloud. It is, as far as I know the master reference. If I make a change to 1PW using any one of my devices, my understanding is that the changes are synched to the DB opvault and propagated to the others by virtue of the other devices updating their local copies of opvault from the DB cloud version. It's how I imagine 1PW works and why Agile promotes the use of DB. But... I'm probably still wrong and I still have the problem lying around unsolved. How to get 1PW re-synched across all devices as described in my previous posts. Anyone?

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    @head4heights: Using Dropbox to sync 1Password data is very much supported, but even Dropbox cautions against renaming or moving the Dropbox folder, and recommends against against using a location not on the boot drive:

    If you decide to move the folder, we recommend choosing a location on the same hard drive as your operating system. Dropbox won't work correctly if the Dropbox folder becomes inaccessible, which can happen if it's located on an external drive that gets disconnected.

    And this note at the end really sums it up for me:

    If the external drive is disconnected from the computer while Dropbox is running, there's a small chance that the app will start deleting files before realizing that the entire drive has been removed. Be extremely careful if using an external drive for your Dropbox folder.

    They don't come right out and say this, but I will: it seems like moving a Dropbox folder isn't meant to be something that's done frequently, if only since there are risks involved in doing so. We always try to make it clear that sync of any kind is not a backup, since file deletion and corruption will be sync'd as well.

  • Clearly the movement of the DB folder can be problematical, especially if on an external drive. Indeed, moving it off the RAID to the local SSD is my goal at this time. The issue remains for me about how to merge the two 1PW synch files so that order and stability can be restored. One is on the RAID volume and the other on the SSD. Can I assume Ben's endorsement of my plan still stands?

  • BenBen AWS Team

    Team Member

    @head4heights,

    Just to be sure you can always make a copy of the sync file in Dropbox and make a backup of the data in 1Password for Mac before making any changes:

    1Password backups

    :)

    Ben

  • Well... that wasn't entirely painful. At all. My 1PW/Dropbox universe is now happy. The merge worked (at least the issue that alerted me to the problem is now fixed) and I can now zap the Dropbox off the RAID.
    Many thanks people! :)

  • brentybrenty

    Team Member

    Excellent! Thanks for the update. You are most welcome! I'm glad to hear everything went smoothly. It sounds like you should be all set, but don't hesitate to reach out if we can be of further assistance. Cheers! :)

This discussion has been closed.