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RJ’s Geeky Explorations — 2021 October

See also: August 2021 and November 2021 (View all)

G Drive Review (i.e., Google One)

Wow, recently Google notified me that its Backup and Restore Windows program in its Google One service has been updated (i.e., it’s going to be retired). Fine, fine, fine. I’ll do it; I just need to configure it properly. And it’s a big deal because most of my personal content is saved onto Google Drive after Dropbox became prohibitively expensive. I pay $30 annually for 200 gigs of cloud storage. (Dropbox only has as 2 TB plan and manages versions for only 30 days — which is practically the same as Google One).

Basically you were confronted with two tasks: Do you want to mirror the G drive on your local machine or do you want to stream it? I actually create a lot of content on Google Docs, but I’ve also been using it for file backup. The answer turned out to be that I really wanted to stream my drive (which meant that most content resides on the cloud, except directories you specify). You do that by right-clicking on the local directory and selecting Offline Access –> Available Offline.

After thinking about it, I can appreciate the better features in this arrangement. Being able to keep mirrored directories on your local directory was unwieldy — particularly true if you’re using one of those Chromebook with limited local storage. Synchronization proceeds as it did before, but there are some scenarios I haven’t really contemplated: what happens if you need extra space on your laptop and want to delete content from a directory which you’ve arranged to be available for offline use. I’m assuming that changing it from Available offline to Online only will safely delete the local copy, but I’d have to test that out first.

During the migration, my local content appeared the same as before. Everything fine, right? Not so fast. It turns out I had two different local paths:

  • G:\My Drive\1local (new path)
  • C:\Users\idiot\Google Drive\1local (old path)

1local was a root level directory which I created to contain all stuff I wanted locally. G is a virtual drive which really doesn’t exist on the physical drive — but contains a listing of all directories and files (which are available even if you check the properties tab — the number of files and directory size is as before).

To my horror, I realize that I still had multiple files open in text editors which were stored on the C drive rather than the G drive. Also, I had pinned several Google directories from the C drive to my Quick Links.. Don’t want to do that!

Even though I didn’t quite remember when I did the software migration, but I searched all my files in my C drive Google Drive path for this week and last. Luckily, I hadn’t edited a lot of things and could manually verify which files were in my new virtual G drive. I caught a few recent saves which were not in my G drive, so I simply copied them over to G.

Now the big question. Google is asking: Do you want to remove your old Google Drive folder? Delete all my files?? I’m not confident to do it just yet. I need to test some things, and then I’ll let you know.

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