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Old Jun 10, 2013, 06:42 PM   #1
PaperQueen
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Best way to set up Dropbox in Parallels (running SL)?

Here's my scenario:

MacBook Air (late 2011)
OS 10.7.5 (although it's bumping to 10.8 once this is resolved)
Parallels, with Snow Leopard (10.6.8) installed
Dropbox on the Lion (primary) side; not on Parallels/SL side yet

What's the best way to set up Dropbox in the Parallels (SL) environment? There are about a dozen large folders I need to access from both operating systems---it's imperative they remain in sync with the office computer.

My best guess: Install Dropbox in SL, then use Selective Sync to limit what shows up there.

My big worry: Those folders are huge. Won't this double up on the amount of disk space used?

Any wisdom would be deeply appreciated. Can't find a thing on the Dropbox site, other than people having problems with installs already in place (I'm hoping to do this right from the start, not do it wrong, then contend with damage control).

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jun 10, 2013, 06:55 PM   #2
CylonGlitch
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I don't know what you're trying to get at exactly. Just install a version of Dropbox inside of the Parallels virtual machine. Doesn't use any disk space, it's all in the cloud. Also have it installed in SL, again, doesn't use any disk space.

You could just share the Dropbox directory between Parallels and Snow Leopard, that's a feature of Parallels (share a directory, Dropbox just looks like a directory). If your just trying to keep the OS' in sync, just share the directory on the Lion machine with the SL machine. Doesn't duplicate anything, it just make it available.
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Old Jun 11, 2013, 01:51 PM   #3
PaperQueen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CylonGlitch View Post
You could just share the Dropbox directory between Parallels and Snow Leopard, that's a feature of Parallels (share a directory, Dropbox just looks like a directory). If your just trying to keep the OS' in sync, just share the directory on the Lion machine with the SL machine. Doesn't duplicate anything, it just make it available.
That's what I thought. Then learned different.

One of the apps that require SL produces .zip backups running 1.43Gb in size.

When the app backs up directly to Dropbox (via the shared directory), everything looks fine...but Dropbox refuses to upload the file. In other words, I can put it in the Dropbox folder, but Dropbox won't touch the thing. Big red X icon, even after shutting down and restarting. It's as if DB sees a "non-customer" item, then rejects it.

Second attempt:
Saved the B/U to the SL desktop, then dragged it from there into Lion's directory/Dropbox. Same problem. Just took a lot longer to get there (9+ min to copy from SL to Lion).

Third attempt:
Dragged the B/U from SL's desktop to the Air's (Lion) Public folder, waited 9+ minutes for it to copy (again), flipped back to Lion, then dragged it from Lion/Public to Dropbox. Took forever, but Dropbox liked the end result, uploading the file.

Fourth attempt:
Same as the third, but this time, instead of saving to Lion's Public folder, I saved it to the "local" SL (Parallels) Public folder. Flipped over to Lion, drug it from SL/Public to Dropbox. Was much faster, since the primary OS (Lion) was able to copy in only 30 seconds (as opposed to 9+ minutes). Again, Dropbox seems to be happy with the end result.

So, number four works...but there's GOT to be a better way with fewer hoops. Thus, my question about the best way to deal with Dropbox in two OSs using Parallels.
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Old Jun 11, 2013, 05:18 PM   #4
dan1eln1el5en
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Sorry, but this sounds stupid.

You are running Parallels, so if you install DropBox on both the OS X and Windows (I assume) you will have the exact same files/folders twice on your harddrive.
Not only that, but they ail sync over Wifi...

No, set up your virtual machine with integration, so you see one content from one harddrive, in one copy.

Absolutely no good reason to dync folders between OS X and Parallel Windows, integrate them better to reuse the stuff you already have.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 09:56 AM   #5
CylonGlitch
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Inside of parallels you can directly map the OSX drive. I recommend doing this. From there you can access it just like a drive, it will look identical and will not require you to do extra copying around. You can have your script / app write to the "dropbox" directory in the mapped drive. Dropbox on the host computer will see it and sync it. This way you aren't doing a bunch of copies, you aren't doing anything different, from the virtual machine, it looks like it is just writing to another hard drive but the reality is it is directly writing to the host hard drive (which happens to be the drop box folder).

Let the host handle the drop box sync.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 10:05 AM   #6
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You don't need to have DropBox installed in your system. Your guest system (the OS installed in your Parallels) can access the files in your host OS (SL) without a problem.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 01:03 PM   #7
PaperQueen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1eln1el5en View Post
Sorry, but this sounds stupid.

You are running Parallels, so if you install DropBox on both the OS X and Windows (I assume) you will have the exact same files/folders twice on your harddrive.
Exactly why I mentioned using Selective Sync (see above...also noted above, not Windows).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan1eln1el5en View Post
No, set up your virtual machine with integration, so you see one content from one harddrive, in one copy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CylonGlitch View Post
Inside of parallels you can directly map the OSX drive. I recommend doing this. From there you can access it just like a drive, it will look identical and will not require you to do extra copying around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by technowar View Post
You don't need to have DropBox installed in your system. Your guest system (the OS installed in your Parallels) can access the files in your host OS (SL) without a problem.
However...as noted above (the very first thing I attempted), Dropbox refuses to upload/sync the resulting B/U file that was saved directly into Dropbox, on the host computer's drive. Fine for small files, but big ones are being completely shunned (red X on those items).
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 10:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperQueen View Post
However...as noted above (the very first thing I attempted), Dropbox refuses to upload/sync the resulting B/U file that was saved directly into Dropbox, on the host computer's drive. Fine for small files, but big ones are being completely shunned (red X on those items).
Try contacting DropBox support and find out why.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 11:10 AM   #9
MichaelLAX
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FWIW:

Since I have your same setup and Dropbox already setup in the Documents folder on my Mac Mini; I opened it up just to take a look:

In vSLS, there is the Parallels Shared Folders.

In Shared Folders is my Home folder.

In the Documents folder of my Home folder is my Dropbox folder.

All of my Dropbox files seem to be accessible to me in vSLS without having to separately install Dropbox in vSLS.

What am I missing about your situation?
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 11:39 AM   #10
PaperQueen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CylonGlitch View Post
Try contacting DropBox support and find out why.
Did that a few days ago. Finally got a response yesterday, but it seemed to contradict itself (in one line, suggesting I install Dropbox in SL, then use Selective Sync for the few files I need...in the next line, said it's a bad idea to install Dropbox on both sides).

I asked for clarification, but haven't heard back yet. If they take as long to respond as the first time, could be a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelLAX View Post
FWIW:

Since I have your same setup and Dropbox already setup in the Documents folder on my Mac Mini; I opened it up just to take a look:

In vSLS, there is the Parallels Shared Folders.

In Shared Folders is my Home folder.

In the Documents folder of my Home folder is my Dropbox folder.

All of my Dropbox files seem to be accessible to me in vSLS without having to separately install Dropbox in vSLS.

What am I missing about your situation?
Hi MichaelLAX--happy to see you here.

Like you, I can see my Dropbox folder, open, and edit files stored there.

If, however, an app used in vSLS (Parallels > Snow Leopard Server) creates a weekly backup, sending it directly into the Dropbox folder that appears in the shared (non-Parallels) machine, the resulting file is rejected by Dropbox. Big red X, won't upload.

Not sure why Dropbox is refusing it, since the size is identical to what's been saved in Lion, using the same application, for years. My guess is that it has something to do with some weird data signature/metadata thingamabob somewhere in the background...? Am anxious to hear back from Dropbox.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 11:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperQueen View Post
If, however, an app used in vSLS (Parallels > Snow Leopard Server) creates a weekly backup, sending it directly into the Dropbox folder that appears in the shared (non-Parallels) machine, the resulting file is rejected by Dropbox. Big red X, won't upload.
Does this happen ONLY to weekly backup files? All or some? Size of backup file matter?

How important are weekly backup files in your scheme of things vs. just doing manual saves?

What is an example of an Adobe app that does this weekly backup thing? I have CS2 in vSLS; can I replicate your problem?
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Old Jun 14, 2013, 10:11 AM   #12
PaperQueen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelLAX View Post
Does this happen ONLY to weekly backup files? All or some? Size of backup file matter?

How important are weekly backup files in your scheme of things vs. just doing manual saves?

What is an example of an Adobe app that does this weekly backup thing? I have CS2 in vSLS; can I replicate your problem?
The app in question is Mariner's "Paperless" (invoice filing, year end reports, etc.). Unfortunately, the developer keeps removing features with every update---thus, my continued use of an older SL version.*

In response to your question, yes, weekly B/Us are vital. Manual "saves" aren't an option since this is more of a database than series of documents. The B/Us are compressed (.zip output), clocking in at 4+ Gb each.

I've held off on installing the Adobe apps until getting past the Paperless issue. Wanted to be sure this, and any issues with Dropbox, were resolved before adding more to the pile.

- - - - -
* Before anyone jumps in to tell me I (a) shouldn't rely on older software for invoice filing, or (b) should upgrade to the current version of Paperless, please know I've explored alternatives---ad nauseum---and have yet to find a solution that replaces all of the features heavily relied on. Sadly, Mariner keeps removing features (sub-category year end totals, for example) that make newer versions worthless for my purposes. Have found other options that fill some of the feature needs, but no one that hits 'em all.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 08:00 AM   #13
davidmorr
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You still have not explained why you are trying to use Dropbox for this when there are simpler ways.

You can just enable file sharing on the host computer (Mtn Lion) and mount the host's disk from within Snow Leopard. That way, you have exactly the same files without having to have separate copies on both systems as Dropbox would do. You can even set it up to automount by putting it in Login Items for your account, or numerous other means.

Or you can setup shared folders with Parallels as others have suggested.
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Old Jul 11, 2013, 10:52 AM   #14
PaperQueen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmorr View Post
You still have not explained why you are trying to use Dropbox for this when there are simpler ways.

You can just enable file sharing on the host computer (Mtn Lion) and mount the host's disk from within Snow Leopard. That way, you have exactly the same files without having to have separate copies on both systems as Dropbox would do. You can even set it up to automount by putting it in Login Items for your account, or numerous other means.

Or you can setup shared folders with Parallels as others have suggested.
Please see post #3. I can access and edit the files, but for whatever reason, they're then refused by Dropbox, which means no sync with my office, nor copy on the server.
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Old Jul 11, 2013, 11:16 AM   #15
MichaelLAX
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I happened to stumble into the article "Three Tools that Improve and Expand Dropbox" in the October 2011 issue of MacLife magazine, p 86:

Access your Dropbox account through WebDAV

Maybe whatever this does for iOS access can help in Parallels?

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Old Jul 11, 2013, 11:17 AM   #16
davidmorr
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It's very hard to understand what you mean in post 3.

I do this for a Snow Leopard virtual machine running on Mountain Lion.

1. Set up Dropbox on Mountain Lion.

2. Remove Dropbox from Snow Leopard.

3. On Mountain Lion,
Sharing in System Preferences
Enable File Sharing
Add a shared folder
Select the Dropbox folder in your home directory
(This will share the Dropbox folder so it can be accessed by logging in with your own username. Do it this way rather than using Parallels Shared Folders as they do not seem to work properly for Snow Leopard virtual machines on VMware or Parallels.)
Close System Preferences

4. On Snow Leopard
Finder, Go menu, Connect to server
Browse, double-click your Mountain Lion machine
Click Connect As in the top right corner and login as yourself on the Mountain Lion machine.
Save in Keychain if it asks
One of the items listed should be your Mountain Lion Dropbox folder
Double-click it.
You should see a blue icon on the desktop called Dropbox (if you have servers enabled in Finder prefs)

5. Make an alias of it and save it somewhere. Or add it to your login items.

You can then drag things into the Dropbox or out of it. You can save files there or open files there. When they get to the Mountain Lion machine, Dropbox will send them up to the cloud.

Now if this is what you have got set up, then something is not right. Do you have enough space on Dropbox? Remember that it keeps all your files for 30 days in case you want to retrieve them. Look in the system log using Console to see if there are any errors from Dropbox. Try copying the same file to the Mountain Lion machine and then put it in Dropbox.

Last edited by davidmorr; Jul 11, 2013 at 11:23 AM.
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Old Jul 12, 2013, 12:54 PM   #17
PaperQueen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmorr View Post
It's very hard to understand what you mean in post 3.

I do this for a Snow Leopard virtual machine running on Mountain Lion.

1. Set up Dropbox on Mountain Lion.

2. Remove Dropbox from Snow Leopard.

3. On Mountain Lion,
Sharing in System Preferences
Enable File Sharing
Add a shared folder
Select the Dropbox folder in your home directory
(This will share the Dropbox folder so it can be accessed by logging in with your own username. Do it this way rather than using Parallels Shared Folders as they do not seem to work properly for Snow Leopard virtual machines on VMware or Parallels.)
Close System Preferences

4. On Snow Leopard
Finder, Go menu, Connect to server
Browse, double-click your Mountain Lion machine
Click Connect As in the top right corner and login as yourself on the Mountain Lion machine.
Save in Keychain if it asks
One of the items listed should be your Mountain Lion Dropbox folder
Double-click it.
You should see a blue icon on the desktop called Dropbox (if you have servers enabled in Finder prefs)

5. Make an alias of it and save it somewhere. Or add it to your login items.

You can then drag things into the Dropbox or out of it. You can save files there or open files there. When they get to the Mountain Lion machine, Dropbox will send them up to the cloud.
Thank you, thank you, davidmorr--that did the trick. Unlike my previous attempts to save directly into Dropbox, this seems to work (i.e., Dropbox hasn't rejected the file, and is uploading it to their server now).

:::whew!:::

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

07.17.13
Just a quick update, now that I have the two programs that needed SL up and running (Paperless and GoLive). Both are humming along smoothly, as well as successfully accessing and saving files to the Dropbox account that resides on my Lion side. Thanks to davidmorr for the directions that made that work...

...and, as always...

...thanks to MichaelLAX without whom none of this SL + Lion stuff would be possible.

It's people like you who make these forums solid gold.
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Last edited by PaperQueen; Jul 17, 2013 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Updated info
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Old Oct 1, 2013, 10:31 AM   #18
mievan
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Dropbox deletes files when syncing

I am a new user to Mac.

Software is Mac OS X 10.7.5

I am using Windows XP and sync my Dropbox folders to my hard disk. I have several copies on 3 other PCs. No matter which PC I use all sync with Dropbox and are updated. Of course that is how it should work.

I am running Paralles on the Mac which seems to work.

I downloaded Dropbox to OS X but Paralles can not see it (not shared).

Accessed Dropbox from OS X which promptly deleted 5000 files. Fortunately my PC was not connected at the time or I suspect the files would have also been deleted on my Windows drive. I emailed Dropbox and the files were re-installed within 24 hours. I asked why it happened but the question was ignored.

How do I prevent this happening again on my Mac?

Last edited by mievan; Oct 1, 2013 at 10:34 AM. Reason: spelling
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