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I'm trying to use Dropbox to synchronize some folders that are outside my dropbox folder on my computer. My dropbox folder is placed on my secondary hard drive which is an ordinary mechanical hard drive. The folder I want to synchronize is located on my C drive which is a SSD. I would like to synchronize the folder from the SSD to my Dropbox, so that the files are still located at the SSD so that applications would still benefit from the faster speed of the SSD and not have to look for the files at my HDD.

I tried to look into how to sync files from outside the Dropbox folder, and I learned about using mklink from this link: http://www.dropboxwiki.com/tips-and-tricks/sync-other-folders

The approach suggested here is to move the desired folder from it's original path to the Dropbox folder, then use mklink to create a directory junction between the Dropbox folder and the original path. The way I understand this, that whenever any of my applications then try to access the files at the original destination, Windows then redirects the requests to the destination created by the directory junction. This would mean that I wouldn't take advantage of the SSD speed since the files are now placed on my HDD. I would like to have the files still on my SSD, still have Windows direct requests to the SSD location, but also have the files backed up automatically on Dropbox. I understand this would probably create a duplicate of files on both of my drives, but so be it.

Is there a way to do this?

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    You might try a batch file to copy changed files to DropBox. I do this every day as part of my shutdown routine. – BillDOe Jan 28 '18 at 21:18
  • @BillOertell nah, a junction works much better. It'll ensure every file is synced the moment it changes rather than at the end of a system shutdown. – LPChip Jan 28 '18 at 21:27
  • @LPChip, agreed. But that means your whole folder has to reside on DropBox (or iCloud, OneDrive, etc), rather than just changed files. That being said, one big downside to putting it in a shutdown script is that the actual files don't get updated until you turn your computer on again, but it's the only thing I can think of for storing changed files offsite. – BillDOe Jan 28 '18 at 21:42
  • @BillOertell see my answer on how to actually do it using a junction. You can turn the direction around so dropbox looks for files elsewhere and syncs that. True, it will sync the entire folder, but that's usually what people want anyway. – LPChip Jan 29 '18 at 8:08
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You indeed need to use a junction using mklink, but you want to turn its direction around. Make dropbox find a junction inside the dropbox, follow it to the files on your C drive and sync it that way.

Lets assume your dropbox is located at D:\Dropbox and your precious files in your C drive are located at C:\MyStuff.

You will want to do the following:

  • Open a command prompt as administrator.
  • Type in cd /d d:\Dropbox (the /d is so it changes drive too, and you don't have to type d: cd dropbox.
  • Create the junction by typing mklink /d MyStuff c:\MyStuff

Inside your dropbox there's now a junction to your stuff on the C drive. Dropbox will find it and backup its content. If for some reason dropbox syncs the link itself rather than the content, remove the junction and recreate it, but this time use /h (hardlink) or /j (junction). I don't have dropbox installed so I'm not sure how dropbox treats a normal directory junction (/d)

  • I used /J Junction. I noticed that if I made the junction from the dropbox folder to the local folder, I couldn't access the folder through dropbox on my computer if I deleted the folder at the local destination. I could still however, access it trough the Dropbox website. That made me wonder if the folder and its contents will be available from the dropbox website forever, or if they will delete it after a while? Also, when done like this, are the files stored at both drives on my computer at the same time, taking up twice the space? Both on my SSD (C drive) and on my HDD (D drive)? – CoffeeQuest Jan 29 '18 at 20:11
  • Did /d not work, or did you simply use a /j because that wiki also mentioned a /j? I find that /d often works better in these cases. Anyway, it will only be on your C drive, but it will also sync to the cloud. As long as that junction exists, it will also be on your dropbox. – LPChip Jan 29 '18 at 21:06
  • Do note, restoring will restore to your dropbox folder on D, not to your C drive, unless you make the junction first. – LPChip Jan 29 '18 at 21:07
  • I used /j because that dropbox wiki specifically said to use /j. I don't understand "better" in this case. I either syncs or it don't - or is it not that simple? I can give /d a go to try and figure out what you mean. – CoffeeQuest Jan 30 '18 at 8:31
  • Its not that simple, otherwise there were not that many different choices. Some can even make a junction to a network share. It is a level of emulation, and how much aware the programs are. – LPChip Jan 30 '18 at 9:05

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