Dropbox and Disk Images

Traverse

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 11, 2013
6,837
3,062
Here
Hello,

I've read some posts (some of them on Macrumors) that stated that backing up a disk image to dropbox could corrupt it.

Is this still the case?
What if it is encrypted?

I have a series of documents (nothing super sensitive since it IS the cloud), but some archives that I would like to keep safe should my house burn down, etc...

Will dropbox cause corruption to an encrypted disk image? If so, is there any way to safely save something to dropbox?

Thank you!
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,648
29
USA
Words of advice:
  1. Search this forum.
  2. Take note of how many other users have complained about this same problem.
  3. HINT--Your post is the first I have ever heard of this.
Let's get serious for a second. Dropbox continually synchronizes files among all digital devices on which it is setup and the Dropbox cloud server. It is possible that among all of the digital devices having Dropbox installed, someone somewhere sometime may have experienced file corruption. But as a general problem, no. My guess is the more people had corruption issues on their hard drives.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Hello,

I've read some posts (some of them on Macrumors) that stated that backing up a disk image to dropbox could corrupt it.

Is this still the case?
What if it is encrypted?
I can see this potentially being the case in a couple of circumstances:

1. Two people on different computers with the dropbox app running and tied to the same dropbox account have the same disk image mounted, and make changes to it at the same time, or

2. Maybe if you're using a sparse bundle disk image, since dropbox acts at the file level, and a sparse bundle is actually a group of smaller files that are sequentially linked together.

If you want to be absolutely safe, you should probably copy the dmg file out of the dropbox directory before you mount and make changes to it, and then copy it back into the directory when you're done with your changes. And, avoid using sparse/sparse bundle disk images.

Also, keep a separate local copy... just in case.

I have a series of documents (nothing super sensitive since it IS the cloud), but some archives that I would like to keep safe should my house burn down, etc...
If it's truly not super sensitive, then maybe keeping it in a "plain" folder on dropbox would be okay. Dropbox does use a level of encryption that should be sufficient for foiling most casual to moderately-skilled attempts at taking the info. It most likely wouldn't be sufficient for an NSA-level attack, but then again, one has to wonder if even encrypted dmgs are safe from that level.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 11, 2013
6,837
3,062
Here
I can see this potentially being the case in a couple of circumstances:

1. Two people on different computers with the dropbox app running and tied to the same dropbox account have the same disk image mounted, and make changes to it at the same time, or

2. Maybe if you're using a sparse bundle disk image, since dropbox acts at the file level, and a sparse bundle is actually a group of smaller files that are sequentially linked together.

If you want to be absolutely safe, you should probably copy the dmg file out of the dropbox directory before you mount and make changes to it, and then copy it back into the directory when you're done with your changes. And, avoid using sparse/sparse bundle disk images.

Also, keep a separate local copy... just in case.



If it's truly not super sensitive, then maybe keeping it in a "plain" folder on dropbox would be okay. Dropbox does use a level of encryption that should be sufficient for foiling most casual to moderately-skilled attempts at taking the info. It most likely wouldn't be sufficient for an NSA-level attack, but then again, one has to wonder if even encrypted dmgs are safe from that level.
Thank you. Your second point was my main concern. Since a disk image isn't a traditional folder I thought there might be issues. I'll just take you advice of moving it out of Dropbox to edit it.

Since I'll use it for an archive it will only be accessed a few times a year.
 
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