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  1.    14 Jun 2015 #1
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1

    How to migrate files without confusing One Drive


    I have a question which I just can't seem to find a straight answer to. I even tried contacting Microsoft support about it, but regretted that rather quickly, sadly.

    My question is this:

    I have circa 200 GB of files fully synced with OneDrive. I have a number of PCs all signed into my OneDrive account. They are all set to use all files offline, so any change on one PC automatically propagates throughout the others. This setup works well for me.

    I want to buy a new PC when Win 10 is released next month. It is critical for me that I will be able to access all my files as soon as the PC is built and ready. I therefore need to copy all my files to that PC.

    The 'easy but slow' option is to set up windows on the new PC, sign in to OneDrive and wait for the files to sync over the internet. The problem is that with the volume of files I have, this will take a week + on my internet connection. That is just not reasonable.

    I would much prefer to copy all the files to an external HD and transfer them locally. This would be much faster and exactly how I would have done this pre-cloud storage.

    But, if I do this and copy the files locally, will OneDrive get confused and upload the copied files and effectively result in me having two copies of everything?

    I really don't want to mess this up. On the one-hand, if I wait for the files to sync over the internet I am unable to use my new PC fully for a week. On the other, if I make a local copy, I am worried that I will make a huge mess of my OneDrive files.

    So the short question is - how do I copy across a large volume of files locally without upsetting OneDrive?

    I am surprised no-one else has this problem.

    I am sorry if there is already an answer to this here - I did a search but could not find anything.

    Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    14 Jun 2015 #2
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,142
    Windows 10 Pro

    You aren't really getting how OneDrive works. It works by hashing your files and determining if there are any changes. If the files are the same as the files on the server, they won't be uploaded.

    Even if they are, you won't have "two copies", as OneDrive does not keep versions of files, it would just overwrite the file with the same file (but it won't do that, because the files will be unchanged)
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    14 Jun 2015 #3
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    You aren't really getting how OneDrive works. It works by hashing your files and determining if there are any changes. If the files are the same as the files on the server, they won't be uploaded.

    Even if they are, you won't have "two copies", as OneDrive does not keep versions of files, it would just overwrite the file with the same file (but it won't do that, because the files will be unchanged)
    Thanks for that - so am I right in thinking that if I copy the files across locally, keeping folder structure etc identical, I will have no problems with OneDrive? This is exactly what I was hoping to hear, thanks.

    Incredibly this is the exact opposite of what Microsoft told me. They categorically told me I could not copy files across locally and my only option would be to sync them all over the internet. I was frankly astonished at that advice, but that was the advice I received.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    14 Jun 2015 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    UK
    Posts : 18,303
    Windows 10

    My experience with using it is the same as the response from MS (but this was with an earlier build)

    You can copy the files across locally, but this will cause Onedrive to re upload them all (even though the files are identical), the only way to get this to work properly is to download from onedrive using the app and set the folders to sync
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    14 Jun 2015 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 1,422
    win 10 Insider

    Being so important, and given that there is conflicting information, can you not test by adding just a few files to a new box? You obviously would have to work out how to know what was actually happening, though. Maybe monitoring the upload traffic?

    From personal experience (not with Onedrive) I know where you are coming from. File syncing can be a fraught experience, and, like you say, it is hard to get definitive info. Versioning or no versioning is very important to know about as well. What happens if a file gets deleted or trashed locally?

    Look forward to a happy result in your case. Let's know how you go.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    14 Jun 2015 #6
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1
    Thread Starter

    I will give it a go and see what happens and report back (it will be a month from now or so) - but it's crazy that there isn't a definitive answer.

    This must be one of the huge downsides of cloud storage - is it really expected that all new PC builds can only be populated with copy files by syncing from the cloud? What about those like me who have large volumes of data stored or those with limited bandwidth connections?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    19 Jun 2015 #7
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 3
    Win. 7

    This is for an older version of One Drive but it may still be helpful.

    Move SkyDrive folder location without re-downloading all files
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    23 Jun 2015 #8
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,142
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by benj79 View Post
    Thanks for that - so am I right in thinking that if I copy the files across locally, keeping folder structure etc identical, I will have no problems with OneDrive? This is exactly what I was hoping to hear, thanks.

    Incredibly this is the exact opposite of what Microsoft told me. They categorically told me I could not copy files across locally and my only option would be to sync them all over the internet. I was frankly astonished at that advice, but that was the advice I received.
    Let me clarify a few things here. First, i'm talking about the current OneDrive in Windows 10. One of the problems here is that the "old" version did not actually download files when you synced them. The new version does. So in the old version, this was a major issue.

    There still won't be "two copies" even if it does upload the files a second time.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    26 Jun 2015 #9
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Shardik View Post
    This is for an older version of One Drive but it may still be helpful.

    Move SkyDrive folder location without re-downloading all files
    Thanks, but that describes how to move the folder on the same PC. In fact, since 8.1 you can do this without having to hack the registry, see:

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/o...e-36a8eab9446a
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    26 Jun 2015 #10
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    Let me clarify a few things here. First, i'm talking about the current OneDrive in Windows 10. One of the problems here is that the "old" version did not actually download files when you synced them. The new version does. So in the old version, this was a major issue.

    There still won't be "two copies" even if it does upload the files a second time.
    I appreciate that - I've never used 'placeholder' files anyway, all my files are stored locally and all available offline. I can see that placeholder files can cause confusion (although I do think they are very useful if you have one device with more limited storage, like my surface pro) but I don't use them - so it really would just be a case of copying all the files to an external drive and moving them across.

    Your money is on this being a relatively hassle free process?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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