Box Sync Failures May Occur When Workstations are Offline or Unused for an Extended Period of Time

Posted: 07:17:01, Thursday, May 5, 2022   Expiration: 07:17:01, Friday, May 12, 2023  

Box consumers have encountered some catastrophic failures of the Box Sync client which left the connected Box account in an inconsistent or unusable state.

Issue: The UW-Madison Box Service has encountered instances where a Box Sync client attempts to upload or replace existing files/folders with local desktop versions of the folder that are out of date. This can leave the connected Box account in an inconsistent or unstable state. This may occur on a workstation that has been off the network, unused or shutdown for an extended period of time, likely due to a workstation repair.

Mitigation: In the event you encounter a workstation using Box Sync that has been offline for an extended period, we recommend that you invalidate the Box Sync login for that device before rebooting and remove Box Sync from the device and start from a clean install.

Follow these steps:

  1. Review Application Security and Access for your UW-Madison Box accounts.
  2. "Forget" Box Sync login from the device that has been offline. Use "Forget All" if you are uncertain which login to remove.
  3. After booting your workstation, make a backup copy of the local Box Sync folder in case there are unsynced edits.
  4. Remove Box Sync from your workstation and delete the existing Box Sync folder
  5. At this point you can reinstall Box Sync. However, we strongly recommend switching to Box Drive.

Important Note: Box Support does not have the ability to restore a Box account back to a specific date/time in the event of a Box Sync failure. The UW-Madison Box team may be able to help individuals develop an action plan for attempting to manually restore the account but this is not guaranteed and the process can take up to several weeks. Please contact the DoIT Help Desk for assistance.

Box Desktop Client Recommendation: Long term, Box intends to deprecate Box Sync in favor of Box Drive. The UW-Madison Box team recognizes that Box Drive does not have full parity with the Box Sync product but we recommend discontinuing use of Box Sync wherever possible.

Switching from Box Sync to Box Drive

-- UW-Madison Box Team

Created: 19:00:59, Wednesday, May 4, 2022 (by Jeannine B.)
Updated: 10:13:36, Thursday, May 5, 2022 (by Jeannine B.)