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SkyDrive issue in Windows 8.1


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I recently did a clean install of Windows 8.1 Pro and am having some SkyDrive issues.  I keep all of my documents on a separate hard drive from my Windows Installation.  Typically I just add the documents that are on the other hard drive to a Windows library and that works pretty well, at least it did in Windows 7 and 8.  Most, but not all of my files are in SkyDrive, but so typically my libraries would contain two folders one that pointed to D:\userfiles\documents and another that pointed to D:\userfiles\skydrive\documents.  With Windows 8.1, SkyDrive has its own dedicated folder, just like documents, pictures, music and others. These are not libraries, but special folders that are set up in the OS as a dedicated storage place for these things.  Under properties, all of these types of folders have a tab called location.  You can move the default location of that folder and Windows will change where it stores that.  It is pretty common to move these folders to an external drive and I used to do that a lot.  So I had all my SkyDrive files stored on my D: drive from my windows 7 and windows 8 installations.  When I installed windows 8.1, SkyDrive is built into the OS and it sets up a special folder under C:\users\kyle\SkyDrive.  That folder appears to have all of your SkyDrive files in it, but is really only a link to the file online unless you open it or tell it to be available off line.  Paul Thurrott refers to this system of "Smart Files" in this article http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/windows-81-skydrive-smart-files.  


Anyway, I wanted to move the SkyDrive folder from the C: drive to D:\userfiles\kyle\SkyDrive which was the location where I had a local copy of my SkyDrive files.  I went to properties and under location changed the folder path.  Windows then asked me if I wanted to move all of my files.  I said yes.  Maybe I should have said no, but I didn't want to have any old files hanging around.  The problem is now that the files it tried to move are all of the so called "Smart Files" and it tried to merge them with the full files that already existed in that directory.   Now I have about 5000 files that are pending upload in the SkyDrive Metro/Modern app.  I thought that the system would be smart enough to see that the files already existed and it would just know which versions were the most recent, but is not really looking that way. 


I like SkyDrive a lot, but it is pretty important to me to keep a full local copy of my files on my hard drive so that I can back up it with CrashPlan.  In 8.1 SkyDrive does give you the option to make all files available offline which I did.  However, it still seems like it is confused about which files are the right ones.


Does anyone have any further insight into the behind the scenes workings of SkyDrive in Windows 8.1?  Any suggestions for fixing my pending upload issue?




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@tekguru thanks for sharing. At least I know I am not the only one with this issue.


The windows 7/8 SkyDrive desktop application client that ran it the system tray had gotten really good. Now that they have baked it in to the OS in 8.1 it seems to have lost some of the functionality and granular controls that advanced users want.

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  • 2 months later...

Solved! (at least for me)

Well I was able to get SkyDrive working a while ago but I thought I would update this post and let you what worked for me as far as getting SkyDrive "unstuck" from it's syncing issues.

All of the files that were giving me trouble were Office documents of various formats. They showed up in the metro SkyDrive app as pending upload and in windows explorer they had a yellow icon indicating the sync issue.  (if I remember correctly, at least some of the files were showing up with syncing problems in the office upload center. I wish I had paid more attention to what the upload center was doing.)

I tried editing and/or opening some of my documents locally with Word, hoping that would get the system thinking and make it realize which file was the most recent, but it didn't.  So then I went to SkyDrive and opened one of the thousands of document that showed a syncing error.  Just to be safe I made an extra copy of this document on SkyDrive. Then I proceeded to make bunch of edits on the original document using the Word web app. At some point this triggered the syncing function in SkyDrive and eventually it sorted out all of the rest of the documents. Its possible that I had to approve the conflicting versions of the document in the office upload center, but I don't remember for sure.


So in the end it was a pretty simple fix. All I had to do was to make edits on one document and it fixed all of the rest as well.  Its working now but it seems like there should be a more obvious way to go about it.

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Skydrive was my biggest (maybe only problem) when moving from 8.0 t0 8.1.  I had followed Paul T's advice and moved all documents to Skydrive BUT on a data drive D: not the default.  It caused major problems on the move to 8.1.


In the end I deleted the lot and started again with a backup copy of all documents on my 2012E server.


Since then it has worked a dream

Edited by Poppapete
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