Need better tools for backing out of a huge, failing sync

Occasional Contributor

I'm just putting this out here, that we have seen some significant adoption challenges for our org, and I'm interested to see what approaches have worked for anyone.  Truth be told, I think of this as a bug report, or a comment on OneDrive's technical debt, as much as anything else.


From a support perspective, our biggest challenge is dealing with a situation that's already gone out of control - and it's happening a lot.  Sometimes a sync will just never finish, if there are too many files either on the local disk or already in the cloud (from a previous sync).  I don't know how exactly ODB's is failing in these situations, per se, other than it's not making forward progress, even after 8 - 24 hours or however long we've been allowing it to chug away. maybe it's too many files, too many changes, too slow a network. . . I don't know. It just goes on forever. Carefully looking at logs suggests some kind of loop or recursion after 2 hours, at least in one of these cases, but there's no prompt or error message, just as if all we needed to do was wait. The only way I could tell what was happening there is because of an open source ODL reader on github. Just using MS included tools, I would have nothing but an abiding mystery.


Resetting the account just starts the clock over from the beginning, and it still never finishes.


On the PC, there's a hidden option (which should not be hidden) to "choose folders" BEFORE a big sync even starts, based on a number of MB of content, which is configurable through group policy.  That features is critical because if we waited until the sync starts, there would be no practical way to interrupt it other than to quit entirely, unlink the account, and restart syncing.


On the Mac, as far as I can tell (and I looked pretty hard) there is no such option to choose folders before syncing.


There needs to be a way to change preferences while sync is paused. Currently pausing sync doesn't buy you anything but a little CPU & disk IO back, but it won't help you change anything with your onedrive situation.


Also it would be nice to have some advice for what to do with a lot of files, and I think most likely it means splitting up the document library. If someone has too many files (and they can't be deleted, or can't be deleted, yet), and it needs to go somewhere, I would say probably they need another document library to split up the load and isolate the syncing processes.


I'd also like to say that the "shortcut" feature has really made all of these problems worse, by cramming more sync activity into a single folder.


And while I'm at it, I really wish we had some kind of overriding admin access tool to the onedrive content. I have seen quite a few problems that I would have been able to solve with an "rsync"-like program that OneDrive just chokes on and never fixes.



1 Reply
The hidden option to prompt users with a "Choose Folders" dialog probably should have a default value set by microsoft, ahead of any configuration to the organization's group policy. Currently the setting is in MB, but there should be a setting based on the total number of files, too. Probably most of the challenges have to do with the total number of files, rather than the total size.

I haven't done extensive testing, but if it isn't already counting bytes or files on the local disk to be uploaded, as well as the already-in-cloud bytes or files that the sync would make available, it should be. That's just a hunch.