I recently wrote an article on the new Google Drive where I spoke about how great it would be to have my shared web storage linked to my email account seamlessly. Google Drive seemed to be the answer.
What I didn’t take into account however was the possibility that the Google drive desktop application may have been rushed into production. Harken unto my tale and install the Google Drive application at your own peril.
Sometime last week I got a Google Drive error message on my PC, saying that Google Drive had quit unexpectedly. I was a little concerned but I thought nothing else of it, putting it down to teething problems with a new application.
Today I received the same error message, this time on my laptop. I decided to read the full details of the error to see what I could do to rectify the problem. The error window calmly advised me to unattach my Google account and re-authenticate the application. I didn’t have time to worry about it then and there, so I just unattached the account and carried on using the folder to store data, thinking I could re-authenticate and sync my changes later.
If only it were that simple.
Later on when I decided to resolve the issue, I fired up the Google Drive application on my laptop and proceeded to re-authenticate my Google account details. Doing so took me through the initial sync wizard that I saw the first time I installed the application. What I didn't expect was the error message that 'The folder you have selected is not empty, please select an empty folder'. Well of course it wasn't empty, that’s where I was syncing my data to. Is the Google Drive application not intelligent enough to compare the data in the source folder and sync it with my web storage contents? Apparently not!
So I thought maybe it just needs the initial folder to be empty. I'll move the files to a different location, start the sync process, pause it, copy the files back and we're done. 'Not so' says Google Drive, 'I'm not intelligent enough to compare the files in your local storage with the files in your web storage, so if I find a file that has the same name I will simply rename it and place it in your local storage'. So now I have duplicates of all my files in my local storage on both my PC and my laptop.
Very well, I will just pause Google Drive, delete all the files in my local storage, re-authenticate my Google Drive and then download all the files again. Sadly at this point I was working on both PC and laptop and forgot to 'pause' the Google Drive application on the PC, so as soon as I deleted all the local content the web content got deleted as well. So now I have nothing to sync locally. Going to drive.google.com shows me a nice 'Welcome to Google Drive! To get started, install Google Drive on your PC. Then, add files to Google Drive on your PC and they'll automatically sync to My Drive' message, with all of my files gone. *Sigh*
Fortunately one of the oldest tools in the world, Windows Recycle Bin, still works as it's expected to, so I quit all running Google Drive applications, uninstalled on both PC and laptop, restored the data from my Recycle Bin to the Google Drive folder on my PC and copied all the data back to my local Dropbox folder. Dropbox probably has some clever way of comparing my data to whatever I had previously, because the files were back and synced in less time than it took me to write this article. Not only that, but because Dropbox can sync data across my network instead of over the net, my laptop is back to where it should be in no time as well.
After writing this article I realised that I could probably check my Google Drive Trash folder online. Sure enough all the files I had deleted from the PC folder had been trashed; however so had all the duplicates. I just couldn’t bring myself to restore only the files I wanted and start all over again but at least it’s good to know the files weren't completely destroyed....