Google Drive customers say Google misplaced their information; Google is investigating

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By Calvin S. Nelson

Did Google Drive lose some folks’s information? That is the query swirling across the Web proper now as Google pronounces it is investigating “sync points” for Google Drive for desktop. On Monday The Register noticed a trending submit on the Google Drive boards the place a consumer claimed that months of Drive information all of the sudden disappeared, and their information went again to a state from Could 2023. A couple of different customers chimed in with the identical problem, the worst of which says: “That is going to trigger me main points if I can not get the information again. It is all my work for the final 1-2 years. All my enterprise work, all my private information. Every little thing, simply vanished. It have to be 100’s of information all of the sudden gone.”

Google has a submit up on the Google Drive assist boards roughly acknowledging the difficulty. The submit, titled “Drive for desktop (v84.0.0.0 – Sync Challenge,” says, “We’re investigating reviews of a difficulty impacting a restricted subset of Drive for desktop customers and can comply with up with extra updates.” Google provides an ominous listing of issues to not do within the meantime like:

  • Do not click on “Disconnect account” inside Drive for desktop
  • Do not delete or transfer the app information folder:
    • Home windows: %USERPROFILEpercentAppDataLocalGoogleDriveFS
    • macOS: ~/Library/Utility Help/Google/DriveFS 
  • Non-obligatory: You probably have room in your exhausting drive, we advocate making a duplicate of the app information folder.

These directions sound like they’re geared toward preserving no matter potential file cache would exist in your pc. The outline of this being a “sync” problem would not actually make a ton of sense, since it doesn’t matter what, the Drive internet interface ought to present all of your information and allow you to obtain them. If the issue is importing, you must nonetheless have your native information.

What actually complicates the difficulty by way of fixing the issue and attempting to parse by consumer complaints is that Drive for Desktop has two completely totally different modes of operation that might be inflicting points. One is the standard “mirroring” mode that works like Dropbox, the place information in your exhausting drive get uploaded to the cloud, downloaded to all of your different units, and keep in your pc. It is exhausting to think about shedding information on this mode, since on the finish of the day they’re nonetheless information in your exhausting drive. Mirroring is not the default, although. Lately the defaults switched to “File Stream,” the place most information aren’t ever really saved in your pc, and as an alternative you solely get fancy shortcuts to information which can be completely within the cloud. You are anticipated to have an always-on Web connection and, once you attempt to open a cloud file hyperlink, the precise information is rapidly streamed to your system so functions can entry it. File Stream retains a cache of “lately and regularly used information,” however apart from these, Drive will actively take away information out of your pc.

That is all to say that, if Google misplaced information, and also you have been in File Stream mode, there is a good likelihood you do not even have your information anymore. Dropbox and Drive mirror mode maintain native copies of the file in your pc, however File Stream usually doesn’t. Is File Stream deleting or shifting information with out importing them first? That will be tough.

For a service that must be rock-solid dependable, Drive has had a tough yr. Moreover no matter this problem finally ends up being, Google has additionally tried to chop Drive prices this yr by rolling out a tough cap on file rely (along with the same old byte dimension restrict), which was later reversed after it received press protection. Google enacted this file restrict as a complete shock and did not discuss it for months, which left some companies with damaged setups scrambling to attempt to determine what was occurring. The entire gross sales pitch of cloud storage is that you must belief your big-tech storage supplier to care for your information and act responsibly, and Drive hasn’t met that gross sales pitch this yr. With paid further storage obtainable by “Google One” private storage, and “Google Workspace” enterprise accounts, many individuals are paying per 30 days to make use of Drive.

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