Unlinking Google Drive removed all of the the local Google Drive content in the odrive folder

A few days ago I emptied the trash of my Google Drive from the Odrive desktop application (Windows).

For some odd reason, it decided that a few of my undeleted folders needed to be removed too. I can’t explain this behavior, but I didn’t have time to investigate. I exited the Odrive application, then I went to the web and unlinked my Google Drive from Odrive (and revoked Odrive access from Google Drive itself) while I figure out what the hell happened.

Today, after spending hours digging up the files that were deleted, I started the Odrive desktop application again. I forgot that I had unlinked it from the web.

Within SECONDS it laid waste to my entire Google Drive folder. EVERYTHING GONE from the ENTIRE hard drive. NOWHERE to be found.

Obviously, the copy on the Google Drive cloud is still intact (thank God for that)… but it is outdated (it was last synced by Odrive when it unceremoniously deleted a few of my files at random).

So I guess my question is: What in the HELL is going on??

Hi @abdulaziz,
I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you are having.

odrive’s primary responsibility is to keep your content in sync, on both the local machine and the remote storage. In this situation, odrive saw that the link and folder no longer existed remotely and synced those changes locally.

This behavior is expected, but I realize that this type of situation can cause some confusion.

Thanks Tony.

Without getting into why this behavior should not be expected (or at least come with ample flashing red lights and warnings), the question remains, what do I do now? Just resync from Google Drive and lose everything from the past few days?

Hi @abdulaziz,
When remote files/folders are detected as deleted and odrive syncs that change locally, it will tell Windows to move the files to the Windows recycle bin, instead of issuing a delete. Unfortunately, Windows has a maximum size that it will allow in its recycle bin. If the data to be moved to the recycle bin exceeds the limit, Windows will delete it instead.

If you don’t see it in the Window Recycle bin then another option is to try a recovery tool like Recuva (https://www.piriform.com/recuva)

As you said, you can also download the synced files again from the cloud.

Again, I am sorry you are in this situation. I have pointed our product team to this thread to highlight these types actions and see if we can come up possible options to combat these scenarios.

Since it sounds like you prefer to have all of your data local and in the cloud, it seems that a traditional backup flow might be better for your use case. In that flow, reflection is always “one-way”; you can push changes to the cloud, but not from the cloud to local. This is something we are working on releasing.

Thanks @Tony I will look into that.

I’ve resynced everything from Google Drive, and fortunately, one of my work colleagues whom I had shared the drive with, had already copied most of the changes from the past few days, so it minimized my loss.

Like I said, a simple warning would have made this wholly unnecessary. If Odrive starts and then detects that a cloud storage has been unlinked, it should say something like “Ummm… it seems you’ve unlinked this storage. Should I go ahead and delete it from your computer, or do you want me to leave it alone?”

Thanks for the response and ideas @abdulaziz.

We will need to think about this a bit. There is an advantage to the current behavior in that you can remove the content on a computer by unlinking, in the case of a lost or stolen device, for example, but your scenario highlights a case to be considered too.

Thanks. For cases where the device is lost or stolen, I suggest a separate “force wipe” functionality. It wouldn’t occur to me to use the unlink to remove the files from a device. I’m not saying I’m representative of a majority of users, but for at least some people, they wouldn’t think of this… But with a function like “wipe”, it would be very clear to most people what that function is intended for.

Just an idea.

Hi @abdulaziz,
We plan to add a remote wipe feature and I will push for safeguards around unlinks. Thanks for the comments!