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I have Dropbox installed on my laptop and my old desktop with 15.6 GB of data. Typically when I reinstall the operating system on either machine I would leave the other one on so it would sync over lan and not use any of my bandwidth.

I am getting a new desktop and I wanted to get it up and running as fast as possible. Is there a way to get Dropbox data (via an external hard drive, for example) on to the new machine and let it figure out that it is synced?

Would this be as simple as just copying the data over and letting Dropbox index it? What are the exact steps? I figure I want to get the data over first and then install Dropbox and point it at the directory where the data is because I don't want it to start syncing in the mean time.

If it means anything, my laptop is a Windows 7 machine and my new desktop is an iMac. I keep shortcuts in my Dropbox, will these sync correctly on the iMac?

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Yes, that is all you need to do!

Quite frankly, Lan Sync even on a 100Mb connection shouldn't take that long (dependent on a few other factors).

Due to the way it works, I am certain it will pick up the changes/work through a variety of methods, but, My recommendation would be to install Dropbox, let it set up its default folder and then sign out or exit Dropbox, copy over the files (USB or otherwise) and reopen Dropbox.

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