• Where OneDrive really (really!) shines

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    LANGALIST By Fred Langa AskWoody’s recent coverage amply illustrated OneDrive’s drawbacks and hassles, but there are instances where OneDrive (and sim
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    • #2389479

      Fred, OneDrive does have its good points and I use it to keep my documents and photos synchronized. But I still cannot figure out why you say “Who wouldn’t want better backups.”

      Unless I completely misunderstand how OneDrive works, if I accidentally delete a file on my computer, within a matter of seconds it is also deleted on OneDrive. Sure, OneDrive has a Recycle Bin from which it can be retrieved, but then so does my computer — and automatic backups of files edited and saved are also a normal part of Office apps (.WBK, .XLK).

      My “real” backups are made by Macrium Reflect and saved every night. The first one of every month for the past couple of years, and the first of the year for a couple of years earlier than that, are saved on a hard drive external to this computer. By mounting one of the Macrium backups and assigning it a drive letter, the entire 280GB can be viewed and copied from Windows File Explorer.

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    • #2389737

      In under a minute, literally all my user files became available to me again…

      In less than a minute, all my user files — gigs and gigs of data — were fully accessible and ready for business!

      IMO these statements are rather misleading. All Fred actually saw was a collection of tiny icon representations of his *potentially* ‘available’ user files… not the data itself.

      “But it is a pipe.”

      “No, it’s not,” I said. “It’s a drawing of a pipe. Get it? All representations of a thing are inherently abstract. It’s very clever.” (The Fault in Our Stars – John Greene)

      Any hiccup with Fred’s internet connection – for whatever reason and for any amount of time – and his data would be inaccessible.

      With that in mind, I note that Downdetector.co.uk shows 20 reports of OneDrive ‘outages’ in the last 24 hours:


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      • #2389785

        I use Task Scheduler to keep my data synced between my daily driver and my NAS.  I have Microsoft 365 accounts on both, under two different Microsoft accounts.  That gives me duplicate files locally, and duplicate files stored on OneDrive.

        But I put my faith in my drive images stored on duplicate HDD’s offline.  I don’t count on OneDrive as backup, just duplication in the cloud, which gives me access via my phone, if the need might arise.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don't all have to do the same things.

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      • #2390149

        You saved me from having to point out exactly the same thing.

    • #2389802

      Cloud storage, whatever its name, and cloud apps, whatever their names, have the main function of providing a seamless transition from one device to another. Work can continue as if it had never been interrupted by switching form one device to another. All cloud apps and all cloud services are generally efficient if this is how they are used. As data backups, cloud storage and cloud apps have serious shortcomings,including what happens if Internet access is interrupted before the data gets fully synced to local storage.

      I rely on local copies of data and local backups of systems. I run three different distros of Linux and Windows and Chrome OS and an Android phone. If I tried to sync everything across these disparate platforms, chaos would rapidly ensue! Similarly, in Linux, even though one can share a Home partition, I do not recommend sharing the /Home directory across disparate distros. Too much chance of a conflict or overlap of same-named but different files and directories.

      In Windows, I would not want all my instances of Windows to be synced. Different devices do different tasks for me, and so they need different files and file versions. Syncing everything across all devices is simply not for everyone. It works best in collaboration environments in education and business or government. There, everyone has to be on the same version of the same page for any useful work to get done. Not so much for most home users.

      As for storing passwords in your browser — Don’t. Just. Don’t.

      -- rc primak

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    • #2389977

      As for storing passwords in your browser — Don’t. Just. Don’t.

      I do. Why not?

      Microsoft Edge password manager security

      Windows Hello integration in Microsoft Edge

      OK, way off-topic (hello mods? Anyone there?) but, for starters…

      Why you should never allow your web browser to save your passwords

      Password managers: Is it OK to use your browser’s built-in password management tools?

      You read… you decide.

      Hope this helps…

    • #2390009

      So, no mods whatsoever to remove Bruce’s and my last posts and re-route this topic back on track? Shame on you, AskWoody.

      Where’s the likes of Kirsty, Elly, satrow, etc. to police these off-topic posts?

      • #2390053

        So, no mods whatsoever to remove Bruce’s and my last posts and re-route this topic back on track?

        OneDrive cloud storage is stored online, can only be accessed via a web browser, and is only available with the proper credentials; a Microsoft account and a password.

        In that regard, a discussion of password storage is not particularly off track.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don't all have to do the same things.

        • #2390109

          And passwords stored in a browser were specifically mentioned in Fred’s newsletter article:

          Immediately, all the usernames and passwords stored in Chrome’s password manager became available to me.

          Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.1485 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

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    • #2391894

      OneDrive still has me a bit more confused than normal. If I tell it to sync the Pictures and Documents folders it does fine, picking up the pix and docs from my legacy folders in my Windows Users profile as well as new entries. But I have also told it to sync the Desktop, and only files that were placed onto the “live” (displayed) Desktop are uploaded to the Cloud and then downloaded to my other computer.

      The files in my C:\Users\{my name}\Desktop folder are not getting synced. They are not even visible on this computer (where they are stored) unless I manually copy them to the live Desktop, where OneDrive finds and uses them. Some apps store files on the legacy Desktop, not the OneDrive version, so they never get seen unless I navigate to my User profile and copy them from there.

      Any clues how to get OneDrive to treat the Desktop the same as it does Pictures and Documents?


      • #2391909

        Look for some desktop icons/shortcuts stored in Users\Public\Desktop.
        MS is doing this on my machines, both Win8.1 and Win10.
        That may be why they are not syncing.

    • #2391920

      Thanks, PK. My Public Desktop is empty. I may have found the issue: my Profile Documents folder is empty, too. Apparently ALL of the shared files are ONLY on OneDrive. So any app which saves to {YourProfile}/Documents, or Pictures, or Desktop; are not synced — only the ones saved to OneDrive.

      So I have to go through all of my programs and see which ones are saving to the legacy folders (watch out for Web browsers!), and if they can be configured to save to OneDrive instead. Some, I fear, cannot.

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