Can I move odrive place-holder folders/files to a different location?

I have a set of external HDs that I mount to my Win7 PC as needed. So at any time, I have one external HD mounted, and 11 or so ext HDs unmounted (in a heavy pile nearby). Once mounted, the ext HD might be my D drive, or it might be some other (non “C”) drive letter.

I’m using oDrive to back up these HDs to my Amazon Cloud Drive. In many cases, my backed-up folders can be unsynced. The (default) way it is now, my original ext “D” HD contains these placeholder (odrive) folders/files. As I swap between my pile of HDs, each HD has it’s own set of (oDrive) placeholder folders/files. If I need to search for a particular folder/file in my possession (or out on my cloud), I need to separately mount/unmount cycle among all my ext HDs to look through my collection of (oDrive) placeholder folder/files on each ext HD.

Since their storage size is no longer an issue (but inode capacities might eventually become an issue), it makes better sense to have all of these disparate (oDrive) placeholder folder/files collected together on my C drive rather than on their originally created external (“D” drive etc) HDs.

I’m experimenting with this now, and it doesn’t look like I can use the Win7 standard OS folder/file transfer capabilities to achieve this desired end: It seems that the mapping between the (oDrive) placeholder folder/file and the remote cloud storage is fixed between my original ext “D” HD (where the oDrive backup process was originally run from) and the cloud storage location… such that if I simply move the placeholder folder/file off the “D” HD onto my “C” HD, the proper mapping between the placeholder folder/file and the cloud storage object is corrupted & lost (informatively, the placeholder folder/file wisely informs me of this undesirable state by changing the folder/file icon away from any of the used oDrive icons back to the plain OS icons).

A kludgey way to achieve what I’m looking for would be to copy/move the content off of all of my external “D” HDs onto my “C” HD, then use oDrive to backup these folders/files to my cloud storage… then unsync them. This seems like a load of copying work I’d like to avoid (shortcut around) if possible.

Rather than using any of the regular available OS utilities to do such a placeholder move… it looks like a process customized to the oDrive environment needs to do such work instead.

Does this utility already exist? If not, is the usefulness of such a utility recognized? Might it already be on the “things to do” list?

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Hi @amazon1,
I am not entirely clear on how the the external drives are mapped into odrive. Can you elaborate on that? Are you using the “sync to odrive” feature, which allows arbitrary local folders to be synced to locations in your ACD account, or something else?


In my first use, I opened one of my externally mounted HDs (attached to my PC via a USB3 cradle) as my “D” drive, I navigated to a folder on that HD I wanted to backup to my ACD, I left clicked on it and choose the offered “Sync To oDrive” option. The web window opened up, I navigated to the point on my ACD where I wanted the backup folder to go… and the process kicked-off fine. After a few days, the ~1TB folder, comprising 40 or so sub-folders, was successfully backed up.

At this point I’m ready to un-sync those folders I don’t need locally. But then I realized, having these un-synced placeholder files on my soon-to-be unmounted ext HD is not ideal: It would be much better to have these placeholder files located someplace on my (persistently mounted) “C” internal HD so that I can peruse them readily at will… not having to search through my pile of unmounted HDs looking for this or that place-holder folder/file.

Giving this scenario, my question is whether its possible to move these oDrive created placeholder folder/files to a different location away from their originally created location. My experimentation isn’t working… so the answer seems to be “no”. It appears that in order to be able to click on the placeholder folder/file for oDrive to go out to my ACD cloud and retrieve the original folder/file… can only happen if the placeholder folder/file stays put in its originally created location.

This brings up other related questions. If there’s no “migration facility” for such movement of these oDrive placeholder folder/files, does this mean that all of our placeholder folders/files are lost if we need to upgrade to a new PC? Or, will the placeholder folder/files continue to work as expected if we locate them on the exact same directory tree path as they were on the original/first PC?

If the placeholder folder/files are merely fixed to the exact same directory tree path existing when they were originally created, then there’s hope; If the placeholder folders/files are using any sort of PC system specific UUIDs in the background… migrating one’s collection of these placeholder folders/files to a new PC will not be trivial task… at least not one doable using the Win OS’s regular embedded file transfer utilities.

So… Can I move/migrate these placeholder folder/files to a new different location on my same (or on my next new/different) PC?

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Hi @amazon1,

As far as I have understood your scenario, you simply wanted to backup / sync you files from external HDD to Amazon Cloud Drive (which is already done). Now you are looking for to unmount your external HDD (to use for different purposes?) without losing your backup in Amazon Cloud Drive, right? if so then follow the steps below:

  1. Goto your external HDD (e.g. D:/)
  2. Navigate to the folder, you have backup to Amazon Cloud Drive from your HDD
  3. Select that folder, Right click --> “Remove sync”

At this point, odrive won’t sync anything from external HDD to ACD or ACD to external HDD folder. You can still access all of your backup / synced files directly from odrive folder --> Amazon Cloud Drive storage folder. This also means you don’t need to worry about managing placeholder files in your external HDD =)

Well, you can “Sync to odrive” again any time in the future to sync your files from your external HDD to ACD without any issue.



No. I have no fear of “losing” my oDrive folders/files that were backed-up to my Amazon Cloud Drive (ACD)… In fact, I have my ACD separately mounted in my desktop environment (as a separate higher drive letter) via my use of NetDrive2. I’ve also noticed (as you’ve pointed out) that I can also see my backed-up content via browsing my locally mounted oDrive Folder which also will get me into my remote/network ACD directory tree.

The oDrive created zero-sized placeholder folder/files are very exciting to me: I’m charged over the capability to physically represent large remote content locally within my standard desktop storage environment (as the oDrive zero-sized placeholder folder/files are doing) without the actual baggage of the hugely-sized actual/real folder/files.

It’s true that its increasingly easy (via all these remote network mounting capabilities springing up in software everywhere nowadays) to simply view the large amounts of actual/real folders/files at their (network) mount points in my local storage environment… but this isn’t the same thing as having a compact local version of this same info (via the zero-sized oDrive placeholder folder/files) residing in my local storage environment - now readily accessible during offline times. This off-line capability is especially poignant on platforms most likely to be off-line, like phones and tablets (more so than desktop PCs/Macs)…

I’m getting carried away in my imagination of what these small symbolic placeholders can be doing…

Inevitably what I’m looking for is the ability to create a collection of oDrive placeholder (symbolic of “un-synced”) folder/files that are not in a set/fixed location in my desktop environment. I desire to move these small placeholder folder/files around from/to different locations. Presently this is not possible - the oDrive placeholder folder/files must stay in their original directory tree location. If you try to move them to a different folder, a different directory tree location, they don’t work anymore. You can’t re-sync the placeholder sitting in a new/different location from where it was originally created.

Since these oDrive placeholder folder/files are zero-sized (containing zero information themselves), its apparent that the information on how they map back to a particular remote cloud location is resident in a separate oDrive list/database maintained someplace else in my environment.

I’ve answered my original question of this thread… Given the present design and implementation of oDrive, it is NOT possible to move the placeholder folder/files away from their original directory tree location - they must stay put in that exact same location for their ability to re-sync to continue working. If I’ve got any further comments to make about this - they belong in a new (differently focused) thread.

I got my answer here. Let’s consider this thread CLOSED.

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Maybe not closed just yet. :slight_smile:

I am not super clear on the exact use case, but I can see you using “sync to odrive” folders for this, to a degree.

The reason you can’t move placeholders to arbitrary locations is because they are representative of cloud data. The local placeholder always has to correspond to a location in the cloud. Every local action needs to correspond to a remote action because sync is predicated on a tight coupling or remote and local relationships. So, for example, if you were to take a placeholder file and move it out to your desktop, it ceases to relate to anything, because your Desktop folder is not connected to any cloud storage. There is no longer a relationship there. There is no corresponding remote action

You can create these types of relationships with “sync to odrive” folders. When you create a folder like this, you are creating a new relationship between a local location and a remote location. They are now paired the local location can properly represent cloud data with placeholders and local actions can be mirrored in the cloud, by way of the sync engine. Taking this a step further, you can create a new folder anywhere you like on your system and map that to a location in the cloud. You can then move placeholders between these mapped folders, as long as they are both mapped to the same storage service.

An example of this would be:
You create a new folder, C:\Cool_Vacation_Pics, and right-click->“sync to odrive” that folder to a location in your Amazon Drive account, /Pictures/Vacation_5_2015. If /Pictures/Vacation_5_2015 already has data in it within Amazon Drive, then C:\Cool_Vacation_Pics will suddenly get all of the placeholders representing the files inside /Pictures/Vacation_5_2015.

You then create another folder, D:\Special_Vacation_Pics and right-click->“sync to odrive” that folder to a new folder in your Amazon Drive, /Pictures/Special_Vacation_Pics. Since there isn’t any data on either side, the folder will remain empty, for now. At this point, though, you could move a placeholder file from C:\Cool_Vacation_Pics to D:\Special_Vacation_Pics. This will result in a corresponding cloud move of that file from /Pictures/Vacation_5_2015 to /Pictures/Special_Vacation_Pics

Additionally, you could even create another folder, E:\Pics and mount that to /Pictures/Special_Vacation, which would give you a mirror image of your placeholders within both local locations D:\Special_Vacation_Pics and E:\Pics

Now, I have to admit that I find this use case a little strange and these types of manipulations don’t seem very useful to me, practically speaking. But, that could be because I an not clear on some of the specifics you have in mind. I can see a case where you just want certain files/folders to be viewable in specific locations on your local system, for organizational purposes, and not locked into the odrive folder or on some external drive.


I’ll respond to your thoughtful reply step-by-step…

1.) I’m not clear on your assertion that the reason why … [quote=“Tony, post:6, topic:881”]
…you can’t move placeholders to arbitrary locations is because they are representative of cloud data. The local placeholder always has to correspond to a location in the cloud. Every local action needs to correspond to a remote action because sync is predicated on a tight coupling or remote and local relationships.

These cloud-resident files aren’t “opened” and/or being presently/actively accessed in any rxw way by running apps on the client, so where’s your asserted need for such “tight coupling” coming from? It seems to me that this limitation isn’t being imposed by any OS restrictions (either on the client PC side or on the remote cloud-based server side), or by any network protocols (ethernet is “stateless”) … it’s being imposed by the way oDrive is doing the local-to-remote mapping… via a static DB/list type lookup created at the point of placeholder-object creation.

Living with this reality that this is the way that oDrive is designed & implemented - I understand and agree with your assertion that this tight coupling is necessary… but it’s my (still-newbie) opinion that the rigidity of this design element is not optimal or essentially necessary to achieve oDrive functionality… you can move the placeholder-to-cloud mapping info out of your rigid DB/list and put it instead INTO the placeholder object itself, thus enabling the placeholder to be moved and resynced to any directory-tree location desired, not just the original location. (I’ve separately proposed this kind of design change in the New Functions Request section.) The contents of the placeholder object will include the hard mapping back to the cloud object, enabling a re-sync capability at ANY location that the placeholder object is moved to or copied to in the users desktop environment. (What I’m describing here of course is “dreamware”)…

2.) Your two use-case descriptions are illustrating the desktop-to-cloud mapping flexibilities the oDrive design presently enables, and they DO seem impressive (I wasn’t conscious of mapping cloud content back to a new/empty placeholder folder object in the desktop env in the matter you described - I’ll start trying-out this capability very soon). Do these use-case examples provide or allow for the same degree of flexibility I’m looking to achieve via my proposed “mapping-inside-the-placeholder” type design? Or another good question for me to ponder is whether my proposed design could support this (seemingly good/useful/impressive) use-case functionality you’ve already achieved…

Thinking about this for a bit, it seems that the use-case examples you’ve provided promise me almost everything I’m looking for… albeit within a rigid framework I’m not yet convinced is optimal to achieve the same results. Your present design lacks the flexibility to allow the placeholders to be moved around willy-nilly (a desirable trait in my book).

I need a few days to play around with the various new (to me) oDrive flexibilities you’ve bought to my attention. Afterwards, maybe I’ll be able to take a slightly more informed or intelligent opinion on these things.

In the meantime… thanks for your continuing patience with me.

Bill B.

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