• OneDrive, several problems

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    LANGALIST By Fred Langa OneDrive’s poor documentation and weak user interface can cause endless frustration. Some important OneDrive procedures are le
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    • #2358767

      I find the simplest method of avoiding problems with OneDrive is to just uninstall it every time it shows up on my computer.

      Cloud storage hosted by Microsoft…  What could possibly go wrong!

      Having had numerous clients hire me to reclaim their data from OneDrive or its predecessor, place it on a locally controlled server, and make sure that OneDrive never gets used again, seems to indicate not everyone thinks OneDrive is a good idea.

    • #2358813

      Very good article!

      Some questions:

      1. How do symbolic links work if I wish to sync a folder between two or more PCs?  May I use symbolic links at both ends?  How does each PC know that its symbolic link is for the same synced folder?  What if the folder structures in the PCs are not identical?  Do symbolic links end up giving me what I used to have on SugarSync Free?
      2. At some point, OneDrive on my Win 10 Pro PC grabbed all my “Documents” and “Desktop” folders and moved them into the OneDrive parent folder.  If I want to move them out, what is the bext procedure?  And also to keep them syncing per preceding question.


      • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by glnz.
      • #2358839

        Nothing works like SugarSync.
        I went ahead and bought it after the freebie went away.
        5 Macs, a Win7, a Win8.1 and an iPad SugarSynced – you can’t beat that!!!

    • #2358885

      I had an excel file that had several hyperlinks to network directories.
      Just by saving THAT file to OneDrive, it had the wisdom to change ALL the links in the file to OneDrive directories, rather than the network ones!

      There’s a setting in one-drive to stop it doing that (can’t recall it off-hand at the mo), and then it left them alone. Boggling I had to research and set that though. Why the heck would I want it to just blast through all my folders and update links to ones that don’t exist?

    • #2358870

      There is an official way to change the location for the local OneDrive repository.
      Pls see:

      Bengt Karlsson, Sweden

      • #2362283

        I’ve been doing that successfully for quite some time.

        TIP (for all): if you need to reinstall desktop OneDrive, be aware that OneDrive setup does not seem to check any previous install location information. Ensure you change location to your alternative as your set up during reinstallation.

        Group A (but Telemetry disabled Tasks and Registry)
        Win 7 64 Pro desktop
        Win 10 64 Home portable

    • #2358950

      I, like many, have used all of the iterations of OneDrive mentioned in this article. There are certain applications for it which I find it quite useful (although I use Resilio for major Windows file synchronization). Three applications I use OneDrive for in particular: sharing files with others, OneNote notebook synchronization, and syncing my password manager file across platforms.

      But the reason I write is to note the incongruity in two newsletter articles this week. In this one the solution is to use symbolic links, where as in the later article “All storage is not created equal” by Will Fastie, he points to https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/restrictions-and-limitations-in-onedrive-and-sharepoint-64883a5d-228e-48f5-b3d2-eb39e07630fa?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US&mc_cid=e07ab388a3&mc_eid=b26cf2e144#invalidfilefoldernames

      which explicitly states “OneDrive doesn’t support syncing using symbolic links or junction points.” Like many things in Windows, it probably works until it doesn’t… I’m guilty of using things which aren’t documented or I used and they work but in some release they don’t work right anymore and I have to figure out a new way. Ah, Windows…

      [edited to add OneNote synchronization – this is really important to me!]

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by PhilInWA.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2359070

        PhillnWa – Tell us more about Resilio.  Is its free version similar to SugarSync paid?  Syncs across a few devices?

        Are you related to SteveInWa?  (He’s a grumpy ObiHai and GoogleVoice guru.)


        • #2359227

          glnz – No connection with SteveInWa although I have an Obi device and follow his advice. But since you asked…

          This is a bit off topic in this thread but here’s how I use some of the products/services mentioned:

          Resilio Sync (free): I have three desktops and 4 portable devices running Windows (10 but I’ve been doing this since XP). My wife has a desktop and 2 portable devices running Windows. My son and daughter each have a portable device running Windows. All of these sync their Documents folder amongst their devices and my three desktops (and the desktops amongst themselves). On the desktops then I have 11 synchronized folders. Here’s why I do it that way: 1) I use Backblaze on one desktop to backup everything to the cloud (a single license). 2) On 2 desktops I take local image backups thus capturing “everything” for “everyone.” 3) I have ready to run machines with all my data in case of a failure. 4) Resilio can run as a service easily on those desktops. 5) If a machine has multiple users, each user has its own sync process. I used the precursors of Resilio (don’t remember how many) and this method has gradually evolved over time to be quite stable.

          OneDrive: Sync between Windows, Android & iOS for password management and OneNote sync. We use several shared OneNotes to manage our planning. Also, a convenient way to share photos with others.

          Microsoft 365 Business Standard: 2 licenses for Exchange email and desktop Office products. Exchange email makes all these shared devices work between my wife and myself. It is better than any other alternative I’ve found because we’re both very Outlook centric in our workflow. (And Microsoft pricing is very good.)

          I don’t use DropBox (unless someone drags me in to getting something there). I don’t use Google Drive (similar reason and why add other products into the infrastructure!). And I’ve never used SugarSync (or a couple of other sync products I’ve looked at and even tried) because what I have has been very solid. I actually pay for some things I use that are free because they are so good (e.g., Merlin router firmware, KeePass, AskWoody…).

    • #2358981

      When I first started using OneDrive, I moved it to a partition on another hard drive.

      All of my folders/files are still on my PC in their original locations.  OneDrive is simply a backup for those folders/files.  While the OneDrive folder shows lots and lots of files are cloud-only, the actual file is still in its original location on my PC.

      I don’t use OneDrive to store files in the cloud instead of on my PC.  I use OneDrive to backup files in the cloud.  I have six SSD’s in my daily drive totaling 3.75TB of storage, with plenty of free space available.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do to our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2359079

      Noticed lately that onedrive gets stupid if you have pst files in your documents folder.. which is where outlook defaults to. I get it, don’t sync outlook to onedrive but really, move your pst file and then have to redo all rules etc. I hate MS!

    • #2359143

      Used to be when I bought a new PC I had to uninstall all the third party bloat software that was included such as security trialware, apps I would never use and the OEM “value added” crap the PC maker included. Now days a lot of that has been replaced by Microsoft’s junk applications that I must go through and uninstall. Especially if you sign in with a Microsoft account. Because it will log you into Mail, Calendar, Skype, One Drive, and the Store. How convenient but for who?  I can understand why some obsess over uninstalling apps like Edge or any other Application. You should be able to uninstall anything you want to on a Windows install. But you can’t and that is something Microsoft doesn’t seem to respect of its users.

    • #2359244

      The symlink points to a folder that has the original files in it, right?

      So, what happens when you access OneDrive via the web on another unrelated device when the device that has the “pointed at folder” is not up and running?   Can OneDrive let you see the files that are in that “pointed at” folder?

    • #2368165

      I implemented the symlink procedure for several of my important folders and it works. However, I’ve noticed that OneDrive doesn’t immediately start looking for changes when I make changes in the targeted folders. It does look for changes at startup, but there are several ways to force it to  start syncing after you’ve made changes. You can right-click the one drive icon and select pause syncing for 2 hours. Then restart syncing. It will then start looking for changes. Another way I’ve used is to put an empty file (call it file1.txt) on OneDrive and then use a batch file to rename it. This also causes OneDrive to look for changes. Here is the batch file:

      @echo off
      cd C:\Users\<user-name>\OneDrive\
      IF EXIST file1.txt (RENAME file1.txt file2.txt) ELSE (RENAME file2.txt file1.txt)

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