Re: Problems with OneDrive replication

Mike Tate

John, thinking about your scenario, I may not have given a complete picture about how to use FH with OneDrive.

That may be especially significant if you have an unreliable Internet connection.


So the general rule is that not only must you run FH &/or AS on one PC at a time, but also allow OneDrive to synchronise over the Internet in between.


So here is an example.

Say you take your laptop out and about where there is no Internet/WiFi and perform some updates using FH &/or AS.

The laptop is then switched off and taken home. Now those updates only exist on the laptop disk drive in its OneDrive folder.

It is imperative that at home you switch on both laptop and desktop to allow OneDrive to synchronise over the Internet.

Only then is it safe to run FH &/or AS on the desktop PC.


If you don’t synchronise OneDrive first, and run FH &/or AS on the desktop, then the two PC OneDrive folders are out of synch.

Even worse, if that desktop has no Internet connection, you now have three versions of OneDrive data.

One version on the laptop disk, one on the desktop disk, and one in the OneDrive cloud store.

OneDrive will probably not successfully synchronise those three, so your Project data is at risk.


So bear that in mind, and think about where the updated OneDrive data exists before using FH or AS.


Regards, Mike Tate


From: <> On Behalf Of Mike Tate
Sent: 20 February 2020 16:00
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Problems with OneDrive replication


I was not sure exactly how you used the PC copies of the FH Project files, but it is now clear they are redundant leftovers from moving to OneDrive.

I thought you may have been regularly copying files between those PC copies and the OneDrive copies.

It is probably best to delete them to avoid any future confusion, and instead create regular FH Full Project Backups from your live Project on OneDrive.


As you have correctly identified, those OneDrive files are permanently on both your PC disk drives as well as in the OneDrive cloud.


Yes, you can safely delete any out-of-date Snapshot files. Another FH user has experienced similar issues with too many Snapshots.


It looks like all the live files (without the -Chillblast… suffix) have the latest ‘Date modified’ so are presumably your working data set.

There is virtually no risk in deleting all the -Chillblast… or -DESKTOP… suffixed files, but let them go to the Recycle Bin where they can be recovered for a while in case you discover any significant missing data.

The two GEDCOM files may be worth backing up outside OneDrive separately just in case as they hold the most critical data.


It appears that the synchronisation problems arose on more than just 19/01 and 10/02 because there are many more ‘Date modified’ values ranging from 17/11 to 17/02 for the Cache files.

You need to take care that only one application on one PC is accessing those FH files at the same time.


Most customisation settings (such as Queries) are NOT held within Projects, and some are even held in the Windows Registry.

They must be transferred separately and there is advice in the FHUG Knowledge Base on how to do that, and the simplest method employs my Plugin.

Maybe you originally followed the Family Historian V5 & V6 Migration Guide or alternatively the Utility ~ Microsoft OneDrive (SkyDrive) advice.

They both identify my Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings Plugin.

If you need any help with using it then do ask.


Regards, Mike Tate


From: <> On Behalf Of john@...
Sent: 20 February 2020 14:45
Subject: Re: [family-historian] Problems with OneDrive replication


Thank you Jane for your input and I will always try to have disciplined housekeeping on FH6 between my desktop and my laptop. I would have said that I never have FH6 open on both computers at once, but perhaps I did break this rule on 19/01 and 10/02 when the two extra copies were created.I will remember in future.
Mike, I have looked at the Microsoft article, "What do the OneDrive icons mean?" and I am not sure that I understand their descriptions of the two types of green ticks. The blue cloud icon is clear in that it means the file is only available online. The green tick in a white circle icon says, " When you open an online-only file, it downloads to your device and becomes a locally available file" From what you say, this seems to mean that from the first time you open a "green tick in white circle" file it downloads and stays downloaded from then on. The white tick in a green circle, which I have used, seems to leave a copy on the device from the start, even if the file isn't opened.  There doesn't seem to be much difference between these two states so I will stick to the white tick in a green circle version. I have long wished that Microsoft had published a users manual for OneDrive as I have had lots of what-if questions which I couldn't find answers to.
 I have checked the FH settings for snapshots and they are as suggested (5 fast and 3 slow) which should give 8 current snapshots, so why do I have 17 snapshots?  If they continue to pile up, can I safely delete snapshot files earlier than say the last 8, as FH doesn't seem to be doing this?
As I said earlier, I may have accidentally run FH on both computers at the same time on 19/01 and 10/02 when the Chillblast - duplicates were created. Can and should I delete these duplicates and if so at what level in the file structure should I do it so that I don't delete anything used by the original file? Should I delete them in File > Project window, where they all appear?
I do use Carbonite cloud backup, but when I moved the Project files from Documents to OneDrive, I didn't add their new One Drive location to the Carbonite backup list so that shouldn't be interfering. I have left the original Project files in Documents, but they are no longer connected to FH via File>Project Window so also shouldn't be interfering.
My anti-virus is Symantec Norton but I have not read of any OneDrive problems arising from Norton.
I am trying to remember how I copied my FH Project Files from Documents to the OneDrive folder and I think I used a drag and drop although I often use copy and paste. I had to also set up FH on my laptop and I used the FHUG Knowledge Base to be sure I did that correctly. I can't remember whether I transferred the Project Files to my laptop before moving the project files to OneDrive on both computers or whether I let the laptop populate its project files from OneDrive. Probably the former. I have since changed one of my custom queries on the desktop and these changes have not come through to the laptop so I will have to investigate what to do about this. The file these customisations  are in is apparently not being replicated via OneDrive. I only moved the FH Projects folder to OneDrive and not any of the other FH files.
If you can answer my query on safely removing the duplicates I will be very grateful.
Regards, John.

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