Placeholder files with same name as local files should prompt for merge or version


There seems to be an issue when copying a real file into another folder with a placeholder file which has the same name. Briefly after the copy both files co-exist, but then shortly after, the real file will replace the placeholder file.

If the files are exactly the same this is good, but if the files are not the same (they only have same name, but content is different), then the placeholder file is lost.

There is no opportunity afterwards to recover the placeholder file. I am using this with ACD and even when I look there the file does not appear in the Trash.

For real files, if they are the same name, Windows offers to either replace, skip or compare, and if you choose compare Windows places a (2) on the end of the file. Odrive does not perform this integrity check and therefore it is easy to lose files which have the same name.

I don’t think it is uncommon for people to store files in different locations and have the same name, and maybe there is slight different in content. As an Example, it could be the same .pdf file, but one could have been marked up and the other could be the original. Ok, you could argue that people should rename there file, but that’s why Windows offers to opportunity to rename the file, which Odrive does not.

Now, the last few weeks I have been reorganising my files and this has happened quite a few times. So I think I have lost some files (I just hope they were not important files).

The only workaround I can think of is to download the placeholder file to a real file and then let Windows make the changes, but this is for me not the advantage of Odrive. Odrive has the advantage of rearranging placeholder files and real files simultaneously, but it appears not to be safe.

Also, It has been said in the forum that Odrive does not explicitly delete file unless it has been committed by the user. Well in this case Odrive is deleting the files without user consent. In the case described above the files had different content, just the name was the same, and Odrive deleted the placeholder file
(i.e. the file storage in the cloud) irrecoverably.

Any fixes or workaround to avoid this.



Hi @maccra,
If you add a file with different content alongside a placeholder with the same name, it is assumed to be an “update” to the file. The file is not actually deleted, which is why it does not end up in the trash. It is updated with the new content.

This is expected behavior. Windows is not prompting for overwrite since the files are not the same extension. odrive sees them as the same, though.

In several cloud storage offerings, this isn’t much of a problem since they offer versioning of files. Unfortunately Amazon Drive does not offer file versioning.

I understand the scenario you are describing. I will classify this as a feature request so it is tracked properly. We have talked about offering our own versioning for sources that don’t natively support it, which would help your flow by creating a new version of the file on Amazon Drive instead of updating it. We could also implement our own prompting for physical replacement of a placeholder file, although it introduces some complexity.

In the meantime, you are correct, the best way around this is to either make sure the files are downloaded before copying files in that potentially have the same name, or renaming them beforehand, or copying the files into locations that will not have name conflicts.

One other idea: You could copy the files you are reorganizing into new folders inside the desired location (calling the new folder something like “to_merge”), wait for all of the files to upload, unsync the files, then move the resulting placeholders over to the desired location. This would then cause Windows to prompt you for merging any files with the same name, since both sides will now be placeholder files.

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What a amazing idea! I really need the file versioning on Amazon Cloud Drive and already send them this feature request, but i don’t think they will implement this soon. Would be awesome if Odrive could do this!

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