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  • OneDrive Mess Up (How to Repair)

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 OneDrive Mess Up (How to Repair)

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      • #2305011
        AskWoody Lounger

        Long, weird, story. Started here and continued in the attached Word file.

        We ordered a laptop. It has a short: shocks us, completely crashes, and reboots. We’re sending it back.

        We ordered an AIO as a replacement. Works fine.

        Wife had stuff on the laptop. She hand moved most of it to the AIO. OneDrive synced everything it had from the problem laptop to the new AIO. She did a week’s worth of new work on the AIO … and this is key for down below … added, deleted, and moved files and subfolders in its OneDrive folder.

        Needed to get all personal information off the laptop before returning. But the laptop has not been on for a week, so it is not synced to her OneDrive.

        I powered on the laptop. I unlinked OneDrive on the problem laptop. For all I know, it accomplished some synching while I was doing that.

        Backed up most of the personal stuff to a thumbdrive just to be sure. Then I deleted those folders from the unlinked problem laptop. This included folders from the OneDrive folder. Paused for a while.

        In the meantime, the problem laptop did its shock, crash, and reboot thing … and there was a setting in place to start OneDrive on a reboot.

        So it synced, deleting the matching files and folders from and from the new AIO (while my wife was watching from the other end of the house).

        We both got the popup from OneDrive that there was a lot in its recycle bin, and did we want to restore it. Before we could coordinate, my wife did a restore on the AIO, which then repopulated the AIO and the problem laptop.

        Here’s the thing. It is obvious that OneDrive got confused. Almost all of it is fine, but there are some discrepancies that are obvious to us. This seems to be mostly a problem of files and subfolders.

        I have attached a Word file where I laid out some problems and questions.

        Moderator note: Contents of attachment below

        Let folders be single letters: A, B, C, etc.

        Let files in the root be numbers 1, 2, 3, etc.

        Let subfolder be two or more letters: AA, AAA, BB, BBB, CC, etc.

        Let files be the folder with a number, so: A1, AA1, B1, etc.

        I think this describes the initial setup of the problem laptop.

        It has two files, 1 and 2, and two folders, A and B, in its root.

        A contains two files A1, A2, and two subfolders AA, and AAA. Each subfolder contains two files, so AA1 and AA2 in one, and AAA1 and AAA2 in the other. B is organized the same way.

        In the AIO, a file was deleted and added in the root. In folder A, a file was deleted and added in a subfolder, while a subfolder was also deleted and added. In folder B, files were only moved around.

        Like so (it would be great if someone can fill in the blank columns):


        This is all kind of mind-boggling. Anyway, I know that what OneDrive restored to the laptop does not match the back up that I’d made a few minutes before. And, OneDrive does not appear to have properly restored everything from the AIO back to itself. I know what OneDrive will do when I delete a file from the laptop that’s in the same location on the AIO.

        1. If the file has moved, when it is deleted from the laptop will OneDrive find it on the AIO and delete it (what happens to B1)?
        2. If the folder has moved, when it is deleted from the laptop will OneDrive find it on the AIO and delete it (what happens to BBBB and its contents)?
        3. If the files in the folder have changed, and I delete the folder from the laptop, will OneDrive delete the folder with different files in it from the AIO (what happens to A)? If I then restore that, how will it handle the discrepancy in files (what happens to AA3 — we do have some files that look like they may have just been dumped to the root).
        4. What other possibilities am I missing??
      • #2305090
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Better off putting the problems and questions here in text. Can’t see too many wanting to download, open, refer etc.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2305189
        AskWoody Lounger

        I did that on another forum and I got snark because the text version of the table wasn’t very readable. That basic point is that there’s a lot of ways that two hard drives could differ, and I can’t figure out how that translates into files showing up in the wrong places, or disappearing (the real problem since both original file structures are now gone).

        • #2305710
          AskWoody Lounger

          Yeah, OneDrive is a bit weird in how it tries to be smart about “renamed file”, “new version of same file”, “unrelated file with same name as previously existing file” and…

          (It’s hardly unique in that regard. Google Drive for example has its own weirdness too.)

          The Microsoft Graph API is what you’d possibly have to use to actually determine what happened… the “driveItem” resource type can get the unique ID of a file, etc, and from there you can get to “DriveItemVersion” and such…

          … and if this is OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online, you can even get a bit of a trace from “itemActivity”, but not for OneDrive Personal.

          Yeah, sync conflicts can get all kinds of hairy, seen various ways how that can go wrong… like the “Dad! A sync error ate my homework!” episode the other time… (local schools use MS 365, my house is a bit weirdly built and the three wifi APs still don’t cover all rooms)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2305338
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        The only way I can see to guarantee your files and folders are retained is to perform a regular backup to a local external hard disk. Then you can restore when things go pear shaped.

        cheers, Paul

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