Bad experience with WebDAV/DirectNet Drive

Joined
Aug 15, 2008
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4,965
In my long term goal to move all of my data off of Google, I have setup a paid account with Fastmail. They are an AUS company that has been around for a long time and they offer a "tech pack" that is comparable in many ways to Google's common apps (drive, mail, calendar). One thing I got really used to using was Google Drive. It just works so seamlessly to synchronize files between machines and it does all the uploading in the background (to lightning fast Google servers). Fastmail has a file storage component of their email service that can work very much like Google Drive, but you are left to figure out the best way to synch files on it. It supports a protocol called WebDAV which lets you use third party programs that mimic the functionality of Google Drive. I chose a freeware program called DirectNet Drive that connected right up to my file storage and I started copying files over. Started with some small files and had no problems. Then I decided to cut and paste a few folders from my desktop into remote storage. It wasn't anything critical, but just some random documents I had collected over the past week. Well it turns out that Fastmail file storage has a daily bandwidth allowance that I hit in the middle of transferring these folders to the remote drive. DirectNet Drive recognized the error and went into a "failed, retrying in 3..2..1" mode and did this repeatedly. It seems the programmer didn't think to add a "pause" or "cancel pending files" function and I was stuck -- I had to wait until the daily bandwidth allowance reset itself so I could finish uploading the remaining files. Well, I guess after DirectNet Drive keeps trying, it eventually crashes. So those files I stupidly cut and paste are now gone. A few files made it to remote storage, but I have no idea what I lost. I've tried a few file restore tools to see if they still exist on disk but no go. Lessons learned: 1. Never cut/paste anything into a remote sync folder, unless it works like Google Drive where the folder is local to the machine. It seems that WebDAV "local folders" are still remote. 2. Got rid of DirectNet Drive. For now I'm just using Fastmail's web interface to manage files. 3. Thinking of upgrading my paid subscription so I can get more daily bandwidth from Fastmail. It's another $5/mo which isn't unreasonable. 4. Google has spoiled me -- but the point of this exercise is to get off of their platform so these sort of quirks are expected.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
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Location
CA
That's more of a Windows bug, that has existed for years. Probably 20 years. (Yeah, Google Drive does things a different way. I believe Dropbox does it similarly to Google Drive.)
 
Joined
May 21, 2013
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Saskatchewan, Canada
You almost certainly can get the "deleted" files back. As you probably know (or can now learn) no OS actually deletes files on unencrypted volumes; they just mark that file space as now available to be overwritten. That brings up the No1 Rule when you need to recover a file the OS has removed from it's file directory (the "index" of what's where) ... stop whatever you are doing, do not create any new files whatsoever, and shut down the computer. Restart from a different startup media (you can create, and probably already should have created, startup media that doesn't use the computer Hard Drive for the OS files, but in some cases you could use Windows Install Media) and run the relevant file recovery routine. There are hundreds, and of course on a WindowsOS system you have to wade through a bunch of useless, possibly harmful, often retail priced junk posing as software solutions, but generally speaking there are many free, useful utilities for WindowsOS and LinuxOS (a lot of repair CDs / Thumb Drives with all the proper tools installed). Don't overlook utilities offered by Thumb Drive vendors; for example Sandisk has one. They are designed to recover deleted photos from digital cameras, but work just fine on HDs and desktop computers. Be patient. Recovery takes time. If it's really bad ... I just recently recovered 10 GB of music files from a dying 250GB HD, which took 42 hours, but was an extreme case, where the entire Windows file structure was damaged and unreadable, so I had to resort to Forensic Tools (same ones the police would use to read a HD of a suspect) which examine every single bit. Normally you don't have to resort to that level of recovery. And no, it wasn't my computer. If your tool offers you the option of mounting the drive you want to recover files from as "read only", say "yes, thank you". If you have continued to use the computer after this fiasco, you almost certainly have overwritten some of those precious files, and they may be gone forever. Lesson learned.
 
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