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KB-5137: Dropbox breaks after converting a local user to a Centrify Active Directory user on Mac OS X

Mac & PC Management Service ,  

12 April,16 at 11:44 AM

Applies to: Centrify DirectControl 5.x.x on OS X 10.X 


A local user was previously migrated / converted into an AD user using either the automated tools, or the process described in: However after this is done, the existing installation of Dropbox fails to start or open with the error:
  • Dropbox needs to change the permissions for the Folder: /Users/oldhomefolder
(Where "oldhomefolder is the previous name of the home folder before it was renamed during the migration process)


This error is presented after renaming the home folder because Dropbox places some settings and a folder into a specific directory within the user's home folder on OS X.
If the user's home folder is subsequently renamed, Dropbox is no longer able to reference those linked settings and folders.


The following steps require an account with Local Admin privileges, if the affected AD user is already in the Local Admin group, then only this account is needed.
Otherwise a separate Local Admin login will be needed to complete the operation.
  1. Log in as the AD user with the affected Dropbox installation.
  2. If it is still running, stop Dropbox:
    • Click the Dropbox icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen
    • Click on the gear icon in the Notifications panel and select 'Quit Dropbox'
  3. Open the Terminal app (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal)
  4. If the currently logged in AD user already has Local Admin privileges, then skip to Step 5.
    Otherwise run:
    • login local_admin_username
    • (Where "local_admin_username" is the actual username of a Local Admin account on the Mac)
  5. Once logged into an admin account at the Terminal, run the following command sequence.
    • Notes: 
    • The following commands are high-level and need to be entered exactly as shown.
    • Entering the commands incorrectly may cause some harm to the affected AD user's home folder.
    • Replace "AD_Username" with the actual username of the AD user on the Mac
      • sudo chown "AD_Username" "/Users/AD_Username"
      • sudo chown -R "AD_Username" /Users/AD_Username/Dropbox
      • sudo chmod -R u+rw /Users/AD_Username/Dropbox
      • sudo mv /Users/AD_Username/.dropbox /Users/AD_Username/.Trash/dropbox.old
      • sudo mv /Users/AD_Username/.dropbox-master /Users/AD_Username/.Trash/dropbox-master.old
      • sudo chmod -N /Users/AD_Username
      • sudo mv /Library/DropboxHelperTools /Users/AD_Username/DropboxHelperTools.old
  6. Download and (re)install the latest Dropbox client:
  7. Once installed, restart Dropbox from the Applications folder.

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