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  1. #1
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    OneDrive - Managing Large Data Volume

    One of the things that puzzles me about the notion of a 1TB OneDrive account is how to use it in a practical manner. I recently got 200GB of OneDrive space free for 2yrs when I purchased a 2TB external drive. I was then faced with the issue of how to copy data from that drive to my online OneDrive account without having to put it on my computer as well.

    There's a way to map a drive to your OneDrive space so you can set up a folder online that isn't replicated on any of your computers. Then you can use any file manager to move files back and forth. You can do pretty much the same thing using a web instance of OneDrive along with Windows explorer but it's not as neat as using something like TotalCommander.

    Not for the first time, I wondered why MS has not made a proper UWA OneDrive app. Some kind of file manager that could be used to access your online OneDrive account and move files back and forth between a local drive and the cloud without syncing.

    I concluded that probably MS has yet to finish OneDrive - that is, we now have something like a hot dog. Sure, you can take a hot dog out of the package and eat it cold (it is cooked after all), but it really needs to be heated up and put in a bun with just the right combination of ingredients before it can really be called a hot dog. So what we have is somewhere between SkyDrive and whatever vision MS has for OneDrive 2.0.

    So, your suggestions for managing a large amount of data would be appreciated.
    Last edited by gsmith-plm; 2016-12-23 at 08:11.
    Graham Smith
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    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm
    Not for the first time, I wondered why MS has not made a proper UWA OneDrive app. Some kind of file manager that could be used to access your online OneDrive account and move files back and forth between a local drive and the cloud without syncing.

    I concluded that probably MS has yet to finish OneDrive
    What's the incentive for MS to 'finish' OneDrive and make it useful in the way that you describe if you're not actually paying for it. Why would MS (shareholders) be generous enough to keep buying storage for data farms in order to give it away for free? I suspect that it sounds good but making it hard to use just works out cheaper for MS.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Some of us do pay for Onedrive storage by way of an Office 365 subscription where the 1TB storage is one of its selling points.

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    I don't think these online storage offers, in terms of volume, are good for anything but backups. Even with a decent internet connection, it takes time to upload a few GBs.
    Having easier to use ways to manage the data won't affect that upload speed, and the upload speed will be a factor for any large scale use of the alloted storage.

    I currently use about 55GB of my Office365 included 1 TB of storage. It took a few hours to get there. I use it in the hope I will never need to use it, if you know what I mean.

    I am aware that this is not very helpful, sorry for that.
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    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    using a web instance of OneDrive along with Windows explorer but it's not as neat as using something like TotalCommander.
    Graham, doesn't OneDrive show up as a folder in WinExpl, so you can just drag n drop there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    Why would MS (shareholders) be generous enough to keep buying storage for data farms in order to give it away for free?
    Standard corporate practice designed to build market share. That's why Gmail, Youtube etc etc are free--the users are the product, the free software service merely the means to acquire users' and their valuable info. Also, almost every start-up designed to be a money game uses this model.

    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I currently use about 55GB ... It took a few hours to get there.
    Count your blessings Rui! I live in the US, which has relatively poor internet service--and very poor when the cost is factored in. I can't imagine how many weeks it would take to upload 55GB, my biggest program download of 30GB took 15 hours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rui
    it takes time to upload a few GBs.
    Some services used to have a 'seed' function, where you'd start out by sending them a disc/disk with all your stuff, which they'd add to your account. I assume such service still exists.
    Lugh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugh View Post
    Count your blessings Rui! I live in the US, which has relatively poor internet service--and very poor when the cost is factored in. I can't imagine how many weeks it would take to upload 55GB, my biggest program download of 30GB took 15 hours.
    That's quite bad and I can say I know how that feels. During a good part of my work week now, I need to live with 4G mobile broadband which, although advertising top speeds of 145 Mbit/s, sometimes is almost useless. It's terrible, in fact, and online storage is really worthless while I am on 4G.

    Some services used to have a 'seed' function, where you'd start out by sending them a disc/disk with all your stuff, which they'd add to your account. I assume such service still exists.
    Those services exists, for example, for Azure, but I don't think they exist for OneDrive, at least not that I am aware.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugh View Post
    Graham, doesn't OneDrive show up as a folder in WinExpl, so you can just drag n drop there?
    Sure, but that's your local OneDrive folder(s). If you want to upload files directly to OneDrive to a folder that isn't mirrored locally, the only two ways I have found are the two I mentioned.

    MS really needs to come up with an app or change an existing app to display folders and files that are in the cloud without having to sync them locally.
    Graham Smith
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    You should be able to set folders to not sync to your PC. You can use the web interface to drag and drop files to upload.
    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    You should be able to set folders to not sync to your PC. You can use the web interface to drag and drop files to upload.
    Yes. That's one of the two methods I mentioned in the original post. What would be nice is if MS would create an app or incorporate something into WinExplorer that would allow you to do this. So much neater than having to open something in a browser.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    This is just me, but I don't need any files on OneDrive that aren't on my computer. My OneDrive folder is in a separate HDD on my PC which serves as Backup #1. That folder syncs with OneDrive online, and that's Backup #2. In turn, my OneDrive online folder syncs with my NAS OneDrive folder, and that's Backup #3. And Backup #4 is TeraByte Drive Image to yet another separate HDD in my PC, and copied to my NAS.

    I'm using Task Scheduler to copy My Documents folder to my OneDrive folder on a nightly schedule. The OneDrive app and OneDrive online take care of the other stuff. Task Scheduler takes care of the weekly drive image as well. But I really don't have a need to park files online without having a duplicate on my PC. For me it's just an easy way to access files from my phone or my laptop, and another set of copies stashed away from my home.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    This is just me, but I don't need any files on OneDrive that aren't on my computer.
    You are fortunate enough to have a large enough local drive to be able to make that work. And if MS allowed one to span drives with OneDrive and/or reliably access external drives as part of that, then I wouldn't have an issue - but they don't and I do.

    OneDrive (or DropBox or Google or Amazon or almost any similar cloud storage) relies primarily on syncing with a single local drive. What they need to be able to behave like is akin to the way FTP works. I have a small FTP account with DriveHQ that I use for one client. I can connect to it from my end or theirs and transfer files to and from it as needed. It'd drop-dead simple and I can even do it via command line and scheduled tasks. And I can use any of a half-dozen small free utilities with it!

    My whole point is that this is a case where MS has this great service they want people to use and the only way to easily use it is with a desktop computer with a huge drive. There is not a single Surface computer sold by MS that can make use of the entire TB of storage they offer with O365 - at least not the way it's setup to be used.

    Ironically, the OneDrive apps on my Android phone and iPad work pretty well - I can access everything in the cloud and open and look and pull a copy to my device to work on and send it back when I'm done; but I can't do the same thing with my Surface Pro 3. It's the whole WTF issue with this that bugs me.

    <grumble, mumble, need to fix this, mumble>
    Graham Smith
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    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm
    My whole point is that this is a case where MS has this great service they want people to use
    Does it? When it knows that upload bandwidth is so poor? I think MS know very well that it cannot be used to its full potential by most people so it's mostly just an advertising hook IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm
    <grumble, mumble, need to fix this, mumble>
    Couldn't put it better myself.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    IRRC the OneDrive in 8/8.1 left files online and only "placeholders" on the local PC. (I wasn't using it at that time, except for my Windows Phone pictures, which was part of the phone setup) It was changed with Windows 10 to the present setup. I don't know what MS reasoning for this was, but now it is what it is. They promote it as "Get to your files from anywhere, on any device, with Microsoft OneDrive. Share and work together with anyone in your work and life." It would appear that OneDrive is a promotional tool for Windows 10/Office 365 more than anything else.

    FWIW the sync action is rather unobtrusive and uses bandwidth sparingly, and perhaps that has something to do with it. Not many ordinary users have T1 trunks at their residence. When I initially setup my OneDrive account, it took two or three days (over the course of a week or so) to get all the files I wanted uploaded. My DSL is 4Mbps down and 0.5Mbps up (realistically 3.8/0.3). The only noticeable effect was when my son started playing one of his online games. He would get a lot of lag, so I would pause the sync if he complained. Sometimes he didn't complain, depending on the time of day.

    Now that my OneDrive online is setup, the sync is just new/changed files, and is unnoticeable. But again, for me it is only a backup/file sharing utility.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    If browsing to OneDrive.com to drag/drop or upload files or folders is inconvenient, you can download the OneDrive app from the Store; but only add files, not folders that way.

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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    If browsing to OneDrive.com to drag/drop or upload files or folders is inconvenient, you can download the OneDrive app from the Store; but only add files, not folders that way.
    My first reaction to this statement was to scratch my head. The OneDrive app comes pre-installed on Win10 and when you run it all it does is open a copy of Explorer to your OneDrive folder.

    But then I figured that there had to be a reason WHY you mentioned this so I went to the store and looked and lo-and-behold, there is a separate OneDrive UWA that has an identical name but is actually a true UWA. So, I downloaded it and it actually works! It displays ALL my files (even the ones that are not synced locally) and I can drag files to it and download files from it. If a file is in a folder that is synced locally, I can open it.

    It's not perfect but it's not bad either. Why in heck this isn't in Win10 by default instead of the stupid "app" that's in the start menu is anyones guess..

    THANKS.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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