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Occasional Contributor

Save Bandwidth by Copying Box Files to New Computer so they don't re-Download? Compare Merge?

I want to set up three Computers with my Box Account.

However, it would be nice if they did not all have to download the files again for each computer.

Can I manually copy my Box Folder to each computer, Install Box and point it at the Files?

Then start Box Syncing?

Will Box recognize that the Files already exist in the Folder Hierarchy and not create duplicates?

 

I am hoping if the Folder Structure and File Dates Match that all the files would not need to re-download and then future changes would be saved.

 

 

 

Box Certified Professional

Re: Save Bandwidth by Copying Box Files to New Computer so they don't re-Download? Compare Merge?

@tekfranz,

 

When you write about "installing Box" do you mean Box Sync? If so, my recommendation would be not to install it at all. Install Box Drive so you don't have to download any of the data. Box Sync is intended to be used for situations where you need offline access to content (and only that content you need offline). In most other cases Box Drive will serve you much better and you don't have to worry about this issue at all.

 

Bob

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
Occasional Contributor

Re: Save Bandwidth by Copying Box Files to New Computer so they don't re-Download? Compare Merge?

Just curious how Box Drive handles existing data in the Box Drive folder? For example can I install Box Drive in a Directory already containing files? Can I drag a pile of folders in and have them all Upload?

You are right, I am using Box Sync and I might try Box Drive, but I like the fact the my PC backs up a local copy of the Box Data...(I suppose Box Drive would do similar if made the files available offline.)

Anyway, I am still interested in hearing how Box Sync handles existing data in a folder of it matches the data in the cloud. At what point does it determine there is a conflict and duplicate or can it intelligently merge identical files?
Box Certified Professional

Re: Save Bandwidth by Copying Box Files to New Computer so they don't re-Download? Compare Merge?


wrote:
Just curious how Box Drive handles existing data in the Box Drive folder? For example can I install Box Drive in a Directory already containing files?

No. You cannot change Box Drive's installation location.

 

Can I drag a pile of folders in and have them all Upload?

You can, but you would have a very poor experience. Box Drive is a mapped or mounted drive to your Box account. It is simply another view of your Box account. The files and folders you see in it are not actually on your machine. You are seeing pointers to the data on the Box website. Obviously when files are in transit, like when you drag a bunch into a folder via Box Drive, they are local until they have been pushed up to Box. And when you open a file from Box through Drive it pulls down and caches a local copy for you to work on.

 

Box Drive is not intended to be a content migration tool. Having said that, I, too, sometimes drag a lot of files into Box via Drive. Sometimes it takes a while for them all to get uploaded or updated. In fact, I have a ticket open with Box Support about one occasion where a big upload got stuck. I tried relaunching the application and restarting my computer. It turns out that it just needed time to process it all. Drive has a folder where it keeps the files that have yet to sync up to Box and it slowly works through it. Drive also has a cache folder that gives it the buffer space to work with. The cache is space-constrained though, so when you do a big data transfer and you've already got a lot in your Drive cache it has to clear that out based on its rules to give it room to work.

 

You are right, I am using Box Sync and I might try Box Drive, but I like the fact the my PC backs up a local copy of the Box Data...(I suppose Box Drive would do similar if made the files available offline.)

Oversyncing local copies of your data can become problematic, especially if you have an account with unlimited storage. Don't laugh, I've had more than one user hose their machine because of an insistance on syncing everything.

 

Anyway, I am still interested in hearing how Box Sync handles existing data in a folder of it matches the data in the cloud. At what point does it determine there is a conflict and duplicate or can it intelligently merge identical files?

Box, the box.com website if you will, is the source of truth. It does just fine with making updates locally and syncing those up, but if you drag a lot of things in, particularly duplicates, it may not end well. We had a user try to "migrate" his Box Sync content from his old laptop to his new by just copying all of the data over. He ended up with a lot of duplicate folders. He went into Box and deleted all of the duplicates. In the process he ended up deleting a folder with a significant amount of a researcher's data. That researcher did not discover the deletion until well past our trash retention rules and the data was unrecoverable. 

 

While Box Sync is a useful tool, its purpose is grossly misunderstood and the vast majority of Sync-problem posts on this forum are due to people trying to make it do what it was not intended to do and having trouble as a result. There is a difference between making creative use of a tool and misusing a tool because you "know better". I used to answer a lot of questions about Box Sync, but I've stopped because most every time the answer was the same, you are not using Sync as it was intended. So I would submit that you will have the best Box Drive experience if you use it as it is intended.

 

</soapbox>

 

Best of luck,

 

Bob

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
Tags (1)
Occasional Contributor

Re: Save Bandwidth by Copying Box Files to New Computer so they don't re-Download? Compare Merge?

</soapbox> Ha!

 

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.I really appreciate it and am enjoying get started with Box already.

 

Sounds like I better not get to adventuresome with Box then and just allow it to sync normally. Looks like I will be just be downloading the files and relying on the Box.com Website Master Copy to resolve and merge file differences.

 

On the local backup part I was referring to the Apple Time Machine backing up the local Box Sync folder. In Box Drive I suppose I would not have anything to backup with TimeMachine but Shortcut/Placeholders.

Box Certified Professional

Re: Save Bandwidth by Copying Box Files to New Computer so they don't re-Download? Compare Merge?


wrote:

Sounds like I better not get to adventuresome with Box then and just allow it to sync normally. Looks like I will be just be downloading the files and relying on the Box.com Website Master Copy to resolve and merge file differences.

This really depends on what your workflow is. Box Drive should compliment your workflow with the website. First of all The Box website is, for all intents and purposes, Box. It is your window into where all of your data is stored. It is where you manage collaboration. It is where you manage sharing (which is different than collaboration). It is where you access the full functionality of the Box platform. You can use the upload button to upload individual files or folders full of files. You can also drag and drop files right into the browser window. This is one of the most efficient upload mechanisms to Box because it chunks the files for faster upload. (NOTE: All upload methods to Box have a maximum rate of 4 files/sec.)

 

If you want to access a file in a collaboration folder and are concerned that someone else may want to access that file at the same time, you should lock the file before editing it. Currently you cannot lock files through Box Drive. You would go to the folder on the Box website and lock the file before opening it, either from the browser using Box Edit, or through Box Drive. You can either set a time-limited lock or just remember to unlock it when you are done. If it is a .docx, .xlsx or .pptx file and you have the Office Online integration enabled, you can both edit the file simultaneously through the website and the file will auto-lock.

 

On the local backup part I was referring to the Apple Time Machine backing up the local Box Sync folder. In Box Drive I suppose I would not have anything to backup with TimeMachine but Shortcut/Placeholders.


Yes, that is correct.

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services