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  • SharePoint Online Move Command ISSUE

    Home Forums AskWoody support Microsoft Office by version Office 365 and Click-to-Run SharePoint Online Move Command ISSUE

    • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
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      • #2348833
        AskWoody Plus

        Having just helped a client with a significant reorganization of their SharePoint site, I can say without question that moving large folders of files using the move command is not reliable.

        Without knowing PowerShell remote commands you are left with no way to understand simple needs as an admin. What are those?

        You have no comparison tool to easily understand what files were on the source site and what files actually made it to the destination site.  I have discussed this with MSFT tech support and they have no suggestions.

        If a move does not complete properly, there is no error message. There is no way to know whether 100 files actually populated the destination properly.

        The move function apparently does a special copy of the properties of the source files, then deletes them. They are recoverable from the recycle bin.


        I have witnessed a move improperly complete, leaving a large number of files in the recycle bin and empty folders on the destination site.

        The recovery process for restoring ‘lost’ files in the recycle bin is primitive at best.

        The move of files takes huge amounts of time, compared to hard disk to hard disk copying as we are all used to. I am talking hours not minutes. You have only one small progress bar with no granularity or visibility into the move while this happens. If you happen to have your browser refreshed, you have no bar showing after that.

        The only tool that automates this is from ShareGate and costs $4,000.It clearly is marketed at corporate users.

        The rest of us are stuck having to master PowerShell. While a wonderful command line tool, this is not for casual admins. Many of us will only encounter these kind of reorgs of SP sites only a few times a year. Keeping up to date on PS at this level requires a much more frequent use of the tool.

        I have searched the internet this last weekend for hours looking for tools to help gain visibility into mass moves like this. I have a wonderful tool on my Mac for doing hard drive to hard drive migrations. Even a simple tool like Xcopy or RoboCopy for SharePoint would be welcome. Have I missed it somewhere? Can someone build one? Microsoft, you listening?  The PS toolset does not easily delineate the entire move of files, like robocopy or xcopy do. Or at least I didn’t see an easy way to do that.

        The client reached out to a much more senior consultant in the world who is well known by the SharePoint admin world. I was on the conference call with them. They had no answer other than the same thing that I found. No tools other than ShareGate, and he didn’t do PowerShell either. I guess I need to raise my rates….(grin).

        Does anyone know of tools that I might have missed? Other than that, if you are considering reorganizing your SharePoint sites, you might want to break the project down into tiny bite size pieces (say 50 to 100 files at a time). Print out a detailed list of files (which is not easy to do on SharePoint without using PowerShell!) Validate that all files arrived as expected. If not, that will allow you to go to the recycle bin and restore.

        To be clear, I don’t think that Dropbox or any of the other online services have any better tools. I think this may be an issue we all are going to face. I am willing to find out that others have solved these problems and somehow in the vast sea of the Internet and Google Search, I’ve missed them. Let me know.


      • #2348992
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I always use Robocopy to migrate files on a server.
        Run it a week before you need the files to populate the new box, then run it again every night to update the changes, with a final run on the day of the migration.

        It has a great logging facility so you can see what has moved, errors, etc.
        And it’s built in to Windows.

        See this post for details:

        cheers, Paul

      • #2349183
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi. Sorry Paul. Robocopy does not work with cloud based servers. Unless you know something I don’t know. The article you pointed me to is from 2016. Yes, there are SharePoint servers running internal to many companies (called on-premise servers) but this is the cloud based version.

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