This is the one: Cloud storage edition #2 (debate)

I’ve been down this road before. I’ve ranted about OneDrive, and I’ve also swooned about it. Just going to link to that image again:

In my original post from 2015, I captioned this: “How do you like them Apples?” Now I just sigh.

With those storage limits now a long distant memory, yesterday I turned the PC on to find this

Snip of OneDrive cloud icon in system tray showing storage is full - Why yes, I did hodge-podge this together in Paint. I'm not going to spend an hour in GIMP trying to accomplish the same thing.

Why yes, I did hodge-podge this together in Paint. I’m not going to spend an hour in GIMP trying to accomplish the same thing.

I then go to check my account storage and find this:



My last enthusiast bonus expired, so now I’m down to a 30GB limit. Yes, I can probably remove a bunch of (mostly work-related) stuff, but now that I’ve been entrenching myself within the Google ecosystem over the last year, I thought that perhaps it was relooking at Google Drive. Or finally rolling my own cloud solution, which I’m pretty sure I’ve been threatening to do for at least 2 years now. Oh well.

So, my options are:

  • Stick with OneDrive
  • Migrate to Google Drive (and eventually change my digital ecosystem)
  • Roll my own cloud storage

I think this debate and decision needs to be carried out simultaneously with the creation of my home network (now that we know we’re staying) and my backup solution (because, seriously cloud storage != backup).


This is the one: Cloud storage edition (rollback)

After thinking I only had to rant about OneDrive for Business, it saddens me to have to rant about OneDrive as well. Yesterday, Microsoft did something weird. Since my exams are finished, I’ve been going through my to-do list and preparing for the various tasks I have up ahead.

One of those tasks is to sort out my home network. Again. For real this time. One of my strategies was going to be to use my 10TB of OneDrive storage as remote backup for all the devices that my family owns. I’d achieve this by running SyncToy as a scheduled task on their devices, or using FreeFileSync to write their backup files to my server, which uses a local Windows account linked to my OneDrive.

Those rough plans are clearly out of the window now.

No more unlimited storage. Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers will no longer be offered unlimited storage. Instead, those subscriptions will include 1 TB of OneDrive storage.

All the more reason now to roll my own cloud, and maybe, finally, set up my own VPS somewhere. What I don’t understand about this whole mess is reducing the amount of free storage from 15GB to 5GB. What does that have to do with those few users who had 75TB???


Another rant and rave about OneDrive for Business, and light at the end of the tunnel

After ranting about the OneDrive for Business app on this blog, to my colleagues, and to our IT Servicedesk, it appears that Microsoft has decided to personally respond to my complaints. Yesterday, they announced the preview version of their next-gen sync client, which basically means the ODfB client has now been integrated into the consumer OneDrive client.


In my last rant, I stated that I was giving up on ODfB, at least until Microsoft sorts itself out. I then attempted to go back to normal OneDrive, but it was no longer working on my work laptop. I decided to wait until my new one arrived.

Of course, it didn’t install on my new one either. My suspicions were confirmed when I asked our on-site IT support lady to please look into it for me, as I did not want to have to deal with our off-site support again (in the Philippines). She reported that yes, IS has blocked the installation of the consumer OneDrive client because everyone must use ODfB now that the company has completed the switch to Office 365.

I pointed out that not only do very few people even know about ODfB, most people are using Dropbox anyway. A few years ago, they had a special whitelist for people who specifically requested access to Dropbox. They had to scrap the list and open access to everyone because too many people were asking. The consumer OneDrive always worked because no one was using it at work (besides me).

She then said IS indicated to her that soon they will remove Dropbox access and force everyone onto ODfB. I’m going to buy some popcorn so I have something to eat when the inevitable fireworks over that decision explodes. Anyway.

I decided to google around again, and discovered that my real issue is not a 20 000 file limit, but a 20 000 sync limit, purely because of the limitations of the current ODfB client. The workaround is to use the browser to upload (no), or to map your ODfB account as a network drive.

I tried to map it immediately, knowing deep within that it would fail. After putting in my ODfB url and connecting with my AD credentials, I got an Access Denied error. I needed to add the company’s SharePoint site into my Trusted Sites under Internet Explorer options. Guess what?

Some of these settings are managed by your system administrator.

Now tell me, why is the company’s Office 365 SharePoint main site thing not in the list of trusted sites? Why do I have to suffer like this, trying to stick to “company-approved” apps while others merrily Dropbox it up? Unbelievable.

Either way, I still have to wait because Microsoft is, of course, staggering the rollout of the new client. Seeing as we just completed the switch to 365, and got everyone onto Office 2013 (just in time for 2016’s release), I can only assume that IS is not even aware of this development, never mind trying to get on a waiting list. Until I log several calls about this issue when I get back to office tomorrow.

Yes, I’m still sick at home, mostly because my brain still feels sore. Probably because I’m ranting about computers and overthinking this again.


Apps I’ve given up on: OneDrive for Business

It was only a week ago that I first posted about the rough time I was having getting OneDrive for Business and OneDrive to work on the same computer. I ended up removing OneDrive completely and changing my files in the webapp instead, so that I could have 1DfB sync my work files.

It turns out that was the wrong move. I was unaware of the 20 000 file limit on 1DfB. For reference, I have 21GB of data in my Asset Management GIS data folder, but over 50 000 files, because GIS does like to create many, many files.

It’s laughable really. I had everything synced perfectly with my personal OneDrive, and was simply trying to do the right thing by moving my work files to my Business account.

The cherry on top is that because I installed the app as part of the Office 365 bundle, I can’t uninstall it. I have to “permanently stop syncing” the folder, remove the Explorer shortcuts and delete the files manually.

I have also since discovered that I cannot reinstall OneDrive. There seems to be a group policy or something in effect, because my colleague can no longer install it either, and he did not have it on his computer before. So now I have a laptop full of data and scripts, not being synced to anywhere.


Using OneDrive and OneDrive for Business on the same computer: A nightmare

My unit at work migrated to Office 365 about 2 weeks ago, which means everyone upgraded from Office 2010 to 2013, and all our stuff moved to the cloud. I’ve been using Office 2013 since it came out, and I’ve been using it on my work laptop for the last year and a half with a MSDN licence, so the changes really didn’t affect me at all.

Everyone else is losing their minds about how different Outlook and Excel looks, and that the design should have remained the same. Basically, the usual reaction to any change in technology. Whatever.

The big thing for me is finally getting access to OneDrive for Business (hereafter referred to as 1DfB). I can now take the 21GB of Asset Management GIS data off my personal 10TB OneDrive (hereafter referred to as 1D), and shift it to my 1TB 1DfB.

Ha! I made that sound so simple didn’t I? I installed the 1DfB client by the totally unintuitive process of clicking Sync in my Office 365 Portal OneDrive web app. That’s because I was just clicking things to see what it would do. I then copied the relevant folders from the local copy of my 1D over to my newly created library for 1DfB.

I’m not sure how long I thought it was going to take to sync all that data to the cloud. When I initially synced the folder to my 1D about 3 months ago, it probably took about a week to upload what was about 15GB at the time. With the state of the network at work, I accepted that.

It’s been a week and a half now, and only 10GB has been uploaded. That may sound like a FWP, but the sync process is hogging the very few system resources I have, and it keeps creating huge folders of “unsynced changes” on my hard drive. Also, my 1D client no longer works. I actually uninstalled the app and tried to reinstall it, but it refuses to install.

In the meantime, I have to carry on working and manually syncing the work on my laptop to our network drive. In conclusion, I now have my 1DfB app taking forever to upload, using up system resources, and repeatedly racking up sync errors, while my personal 1D can no longer sync with my laptop, so I cannot work locally on my 1D documents. All the googling has led me to is the fact that 1D and 1DfB can indeed live on the same device because they use different protocols. To this, I say, nope.

The lack of substantial search hits for this question leads me to assume one of three things: not many people have both clients installed (probably for the best), the people who do have both installed are using Windows 8.1 like in the previously linked blog post, or the people who have both apps installed and working correctly have excellent Internet connections and computers. I feel like it’s that last option.


This is the one: Cloud storage edition (review)

I could go into an in-depth review of the advantages and disadvantages of OneDrive over other cloud storage options. It certainly is not perfect – last week I was desperately looking for some documents which I was positive I had put on OneDrive. After searching high and low, I remembered I had placed a physical backup of my offline synced OneDrive folder onto my backup hard drive.

When I checked the drive, I saw I had deleted the folder after copying it back onto my laptop and synced. A disk recovery showed me that the files had been there, but were now unrecoverable from the hard drive. I then realised that I had copied the folder, thought OneDrive had finished syncing, deleted my physical copy, then disconnected the OneDrive app from the laptop (Windows 7) and reconnected it during one of my computer cleaning frenzies. So having no file version history like Dropbox – bummer.

On the other hand, I’m just going to go ahead and leave this here:

How you like them Apples


This is the one: Cloud storage edition (decision)

I know what you're thinking
I started out with 7gb of SkyDrive when I made my first foray into the digital ecosystem. As mentioned in that post, I did not want to go the Dropbox route, and with only 2GB of free storage (still!), it didn’t seem worth it. I had to get a Dropbox account for work, but that’s about it.

I also couldn’t think at the time, what I would possibly want to store online. A colleague and I tested out Cubby when it launched. During the beta, we got 100GB of cloud storage, and intriguingly, the ability to sync unlimited files directly between computers through a LAN, or through normal internet. They took that option away from the free version though, so that was short-lived.

A while later, box offered free 50gb accounts to anyone who wanted it. Still unsure about what I would do with it, I grabbed two natch. I’ve got them on ice for now.

I checked out BitTorrent Sync while it was in alpha, when I was toying around with the idea of a personal cloud. I liked the multiple platform support it provided, strong security and unlimited syncing, but my home server was not set up at the time.

When Copy emerged onto the scene last year, I grabbed an account, since it was basically a habit by this point. That account is on ice for now as well.

So what did I end up choosing? After Microsoft bumped up the free storage on OneDrive to 15GB, and I scored another 15GB for being a Windows Phone user, then that 15GB expired, but then I got another 15GB for temporarily activating my camera roll upload feature, I now sit with a permanent 30GB of free OneDrive storage. With that account being accessible natively across all my devices, it was another no-brainer. In the last 2 weeks, my decision has proven to have been the right one, but more on that later.

so many

Sounds about right