EDIT 2: Odrive’s support team was very speedy, and confirmed that odrive had not deleted anything from my cloud drive because of this. So I didn’t lose any data, and am happy. Leaving this here because I think this is still a theoretical possibility, so it may not hurt to be aware of it if you start seeing odrive sending items to your trash that you didn’t actually delete. It could be your drive failing.
EDIT: It may not be as bad as I thought, or even exactly what I thought. oDrive’s defaults don’t empty the trash and commit the deletes unless the user manually selects empty trash. Support has been super responsive and I’ll delete or update the thread as appropriate as soon as we know more.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m posting this so that others can be aware that it can happen. If I’d known what I was seeing earlier, I would have been able to save a lot more data months ago.
I have used oDrive as a backup solution for years, and loved it. I still love it. Now, it’s like my friend has become my enemy.
A few days ago I found out that one of my data drives may be failing. It’s throwing bad sector errors, and failed to clone the disk. I wasn’t worried about this. I use oDrive to sync between a few systems, and my data drive is just a terminal, essentially. I thought all my data was backed up and safe on Google Drive.
Apparently my hard drive started failing a while back, because I’ve been seeing local deletion notices for items I didn’t change for a while, but assumed they were the auto-unsync tools doing their thing. It turns out that it was oDrive deleting files from the cloud as those files failed on my local drive (I think).
I checked the logs today to make sure that my backups were up to date, so I didn’t have to worry that the drive was failing. What I found were long lists of random files that I haven’t touched in a long time being marked for deletion from the cloud, because they had been deleted locally. These were mostly larger files, like old movies, old photo archives, but also smaller ones. I looked locally and they were indeed gone. I believe that as the drive has failed and the larger files have been more likely to be corrupted, they were being “lost” by the operating system, and essentially deleted.
I believe that oDrive has unfortunately detected those corruptions and disappearance as the file being deleted locally. It’s then been sending instructions to the cloud to delete the file there, as well.
The result has been that as my local drive has failed, file-by-file, oDrive has dutifully carried that drive failure to my backup drives in the cloud, and wiped out each of those files in my backup.
I’m not 100% sure this is the cause, and I’m still investigating. I don’t have an easy way to know how much data I have lost - how do you know if you’ve lost 1 photo out of 100, or 10 out of 100. I do know I’ve seen long lists of files queued for deletion on various days for a long time, when I delete almost nothing from my system.
So, here is the service warning. Unless oDrive has some sort of solution, or some sort of technical way to catch the difference between a slow drive failure vs. your local deletion, having oDrive installed has the potential to silently wipe out your online backups.
Please periodically check to make sure it’s deleting files that you have actually deleted.