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Thread: Wrangling OneDrive
2015-12-15, 15:13 #1
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Wrangling a Large OneDrive Account
Now that MS has reversed course, again, about how much free space you get with OneDrive, I decided to have a second (really a third) look at what it might be useful for.
Like several other issues with Microsoft products, things are changing so fast that it's tough to find accurate and up to date information. Much of what you will find on the interweb about OneDrive is about SkyDrive and refers to the prior version of the software that's installed on your PC. Even information that's clearly about OneDrive may refer to the older version. Here's the difference.
With the older version, you could upload files to the ether (my retro pet name for the cloud) and you would have a "placeholder" shown on your computer that would allow you to retrieve or view that file to your local computer. I'm not entirely sure about this but it almost seems as if there was a brief time when you could have some files locally that were cloned to the ether and others that were only placeholders. In any case, there's a lot of comments from MS that people found that confusing.
So, in the new version of OneDrive you decide which sub-directories (I hate the misleading term folders) in the OneDrive directory you want to sync to the ether. Here is how that works...
Assume that you have a sub-directory named Documents and below that one named LocalFiles. In the OneDrive settings on you PC, you can mark LocalFiles to sync but leave the parent Documents to not sync . Anything you put in either Documents or LocalFiles will upload to the OneDrive servers. The difference is that if you delete the file in the main Documents directory, it will be gone locally but remain available through your OneDrive online account. If you connect from another PC with the same setup, what's in LocalFiles will download to you but what's in Documents won't.
So, with this setup, you can store some archive files that you don't need except on demand as well as stuff you might use every day. If you only have the 30GB free account, this probably doesn't matter. But if you have a 1TB account, this could be the answer to what is otherwise a big organization problem.
There is, I have discovered a possibly better solution. You can map a network drive to your OneDrive online files. With this, you can bypass the whole Sync/Don'tSync business and copy files directly to and from the OneDrive server. Of course, you can still use the OneDrive directory on your PC for files you want to keep in sync, but the mapped drive is a way to upload archive files like backups easily. Here is what you do...
Right click the OneDrive icon in the system tray and select view online. Sign in if necessary. Look at the URL and you will see something that starts with onedrive.live.com and ends in a bunch of letters and numbers like abcd1234eiei0. That's your account id (of some sort). You can map a drive using that account id as follows: \\d.docs.live.net@SSL\abcd1234eiei0\
Once you have done that, you will have to provide it with your credentials to attach to the drive. But you will now have a drive letter that connects you directly to your online directories.
CAVEAT: I have just stumbled across this last bit and have no idea if there are any downsides. So proceed with caution, and remember, Your Mileage May Vary.
Editing note: I had listed a variation on the Documents directory/sub-directory that seemed to work when I first set it up but was very inconsistent. So I deleted it and replaced it with the more complicated version.
Last edited by gsmith-plm; 2015-12-16 at 14:59.Graham Smith
"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)