I recently upgraded my laptop hard disk and in the process discovered either a feature or bug, regardless, an undesired outcome. Microsoft OneDrive (was SkyDrive) deleted two files without notifying or asking me. Here’s the sequence.
1) Backed up my entire disk using Disk Mode on Acronis TrueImage 2013. This preserves system and hidden partitions, bootable state etc. Created bootable media for Acronis to do its restore. Note, this is exactly what you should already be doing to keep an important laptop or PC backed up in case of storage failure.
2) Realized a few minutes later I hadn’t yet copied the service manuals for my HP Pavilion 17 notebook to my OneDrive so I could read them on my phone. So I did that. I wondered what would happen if OneDrive came back post-restore and those files were added – it should pull them from the cloud, right? Wrong. Read on.
3) Shut down laptop, power off and meticulously follow the directions in the manual. I now have an Intel 730 Series SSD in place of the 1TB WD Blue that shipped with the laptop.
4) Boot from Acronis media, restore full disk images and resize the primary partition from 900GB to 420GB. Only 100GB was used so I’ve got plenty to grow.
5) Restart with new disk. First boot took about 9 seconds. FAST. Give it an hour to detect new drivers for the SSD, and let whatever confusion settle.
6) Check OneDrive. The two files I had just copied are missing. Hmmm. Check my phone. Acrobat has a local copy but the OneDrive app on my phone says the files are gone. Something about this process caused OneDrive to delete them from cloud, disk and all other devices that sync with it. I’m not sure what the issue is. Could be that OneDrive considers my laptop as primary for the account’s master file list. It didn’t detect a File Delete system event; nothing had deleted them, they just didn’t exist in the restore image. I would have preferred to have a warning pop up saying “these two sources disagree. Tell me which one is accurate.”
So, be careful when syncing to the cloud if you’re doing system backups and restores.
Please comment if you know about OneDrive’s internal behavior or how to find a log of file updates. I know how to do that with DropBox but not OneDrive.