Google Docs in Google Drive can become invalid

Recently, I spent some time organizing the contents of my Google Drive. I moved some .gdocx and .gsheetx files to new locations, and moved several folders containing such files as well. The odrive client made this very convenient, since I could drag and drop locally instead of using the Google Drive web interface.

Unfortunately, after reorganizing, many of the Google docs became invalid: Google Drive saw them as 0-byte files ending in that extension, rather than actual Google docs. And the original Google docs were in the trash. I was able to pull everything out of the trash using the web client, put things back where they should go, and delete all the bogus .gdocx and .gsheetx files, but the situation could have been much worse if I had not noticed right away.

The problem seems analogous to the one described here, except that I was only moving docs between folders of the same Google Drive account, which according to my understanding should work just fine.

In general, I get the impression that odrive sometimes deletes and reuploads files, rather than doing an atomic/efficient move operation. If so, that would explain why the .gdocx and .gsheetx files got corrupted: they were uploaded as normal non-Gdoc zero-byte files.

Why does odrive use zero-byte .gdocx and .gsheetx approach, rather than using the same format as the Google Drive client, with .gdoc and .gsheet extension containing the actual GDoc remote key for each file? The zero-byte approach seems much more fraught with peril, as evidenced by the above.

For now, I have unsynced my GDrive accounts from odrive, because this bug was way too scary, and switched back to the Google Drive client. But I actually have three GDrive accounts (basically 1=work1, 2=work2, 3=personal), and it would be much awesomer to use odrive since it handles multiple GDrive accounts, unlike Google’s Drive client.

Is this a known bug? Would it help for me to try to reproduce again?

Hi @ctrueden,

We’re looking into this… though we can’t reproduce the problem. If you’re just moving .gsheetx and .gdocx files around, we’ve tested that it maintains the connection within google docs fine.

The only way this is a problem is if you try to do either of these:

  1. Move google docs between two linked google drive accounts
  2. Copy-and-paste instead of move the .gsheetx and .gdocx files.

Are you sure you didn’t accidentally do either of the above? If you do manage to find time to reproduce it, can you immediately go to the tray icon menu and select to “Send diagnostics” for us?


1 Like

Thanks for your reply, @Jeff!

I am fairly certain I did not. However, it is possible that I moved a folder out of the odrive Google Drive folder and onto the desktop, before moving it back in at a new location. I honestly do not remember at this point. And I see how that might cause the client to do what it did.

Since switching back to the Google Drive client, my local GDrive folder is now out of sync with what’s actually in the cloud. >_<

So I am going to switch it back to odrive, and will monitor things more carefully moving forward. And if I notice any further issues, I’ll grab and send the diagnostics!

I am still curious about the technical reasons for using .gdocx/.gsheetx rather than .gdoc/.gsheet with embedded keys. It would certainly ease my mind if the key was stored locally in a user-accessible way. And might reduce the likelihood of these sorts of problems.

1 Like

Thanks for following up and keeping us updated!

We added our own extensions so that they could be associated with being opened by the odrive app in our own particular way–the “x” is sort of a cloud-file equivalent even though technically speaking all google docs are always opened in the cloud (there is no true “local” version of a google doc unless you export it into a particular file format like PDF). The handling of that conversion needed to be a little different. It’s possible this may be different or no longer be necessary with a future release, but this is the current behavior for now.


1 Like

A post was merged into an existing topic: Google drive files unuseable