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Computer deletes all mesh files at startup, but leaves folders in place RRS feed

  • Question

  • Problem is described in detail here: https://connect.microsoft.com/LiveMesh/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=520396

    Short version is:
    - Three independent mesh folders shared across three different teams of users
    - New system installed (Win7 x64)
    - Mesh folders set up and syncronized all ok to the new computer
    - At next windows logon, all files from all three mesh folders are being deleted
    - Files does not end up in recycle bin on the new system
    - Files are also deleted from Live Desktop and from all participating team members
    - At team members machines, files does end up in recycle bin
    - Restoring files from another machine will sync them back to all other, including the new system
    - But, files are again deleted at the next windows logon at the new system

    Annoying, especially when addicted to the Mesh :)

    Hoping for an answer, haven't found many similar problems in the forums...

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 8:49 PM

Answers

  • A rather embarrassing discovery this week... this problem doesn't have anything to do with Mesh (other than the consequence being that mesh files are deleted).

    I never got around to delete my AD profile, but did some extensive tests with adding new mesh folders and placing some new files in them and some files from a zip of my old mesh folders. Through these tests, I discovered that, after a reboot, only files extracted from the old zipped mesh folder was deleted. Then, by accident, I also extracted some of these files to a folder on my desktop, ie. a folder totally apart from Mesh. The breakthrough was to see that the files in this separate folder was also deleted when I logged back on.

    During this whole period of testing, I have kept my local Mesh folders inside My Documents or on my Desktop, both inside of my AD profile... So, I figured I'd try and put a Mesh folder apart from the profile, and made a folder C:\Mesh and synced down a few folders here. Same procedures as before was followed, and after a reboot, the files were still there!! :D :D

    Well, there's still a problem, but that's got nothing to do with mesh and belongs in another forum... Besides, I can totally live with the mesh folders at this new location.

    Steven, I am sorry to have wasted your time on this issue. Thanks a lot for your persistent support which truly helped me from totally giving up on this.

    Best regards,
    Roar Fredriksen 
    Thursday, February 18, 2010 3:47 PM

All replies

  • Are all team members using different LiveIDs and the folders shared between them or is this all within a single Mesh defined by a single LiveID.

    I can only speculate on the cause, but it would seem that Mesh is acting on instructions to delete these files from one of the PCs in the Mesh.

    If your bug report contains logs from all machines, what I'd do is remove the folders from the Mesh and then start over. Also, make sure that there are no machines in the Mesh set to sync the folders that is now not actually part of the Mesh. For example, if these are shared between meshes and all users have the rights to add/modify and delete, but one user decided that they didn't need the local folders and deleted them - poof, off they go.

    Another reason for this is when the folder is being synchronized by two competing sync programs. This can result in data loss where the files do not end up in the Recycle Bin.

    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 2:22 AM
    Moderator
  • Steve,

    Thanks for your answer. Some more information:
    - All users have separate Live IDs
    - Of the three Mesh folders, two are on my account, while the last one is by invite from another user
    - I am confident only the last (newly installed) machine is causing the trouble. The problem has been repeated a number of times.
    - Other users being the problem can be eliminated:
      + Of the three Mesh folders, one is a private where only I am a member. This one only exists on my two computers, and in my last attempts to reproduce this error, I was only syncing this one folder onto the new machine. In all cases, once I log onto windows and Mesh starts, files are gone from all mesh folders which is set up on that machine.
      + The same group of people has shared the same folders for several months now, with no prior trouble like this
    - There are no other sync software running (The PC was just reinstalled on a blank HD, so Win7, Office2007, VS2008, Messenger and Mesh is about everything that's installed)
    - Just to emphase this, files are deleted from all machines and also from the Live Desktop. Everywhere, but on the problem machine, files are found in the recycle bin

    Unfortunately, I haven't included logs from all users machines. Most of us have a couple, so I was hoping to avoid this. Being able to reproduce the error with an environment consisting of just one Mesh folder, not shared with anyone but me, and only my own two computers, I thought it should justify eliminating the other pieces of this puzzle... let me know if you don't agree...

    Writing this, I realize one thing I can do...
    - Set up a new mesh folder from this new machine
    - Don't give anyone else access
    - Don't sync with any other computer
    - Add a couple of files
    - Reboot and logon to windows
    - See if the couple of files are gone after a minute
    - If they are, post the log from this machine to my bug report, along with the above steps to reproduce

    Does this make any sense?

     - roar

    An update, 30 minutes later...
    I did the above, and found the files to remain also after a second reboot... so, this just proves nothing :)

    I then tried to replicate the original problem, but found my home computer to be turned off, so I couldn't reach it from here. (The folders in my private shared mesh folder were all empty after yesterdays testing, and I just wanted to add some files) Instead, I added a file from the Live Desktop and then synced the folder to my machine and rebooted. After the reboot, I expected the file to disappear, but no... it didn't... 

    So, right now, I'm wondering if my home computer being turned off plays a role in this. The local user account there share the same name with the new one, but the new one is a domain account. Probably more important, both computers are using the very same Live ID to sign in at Mesh... Could that be a problem at all? I taught most users were using mesh to sync files between their own computers, but I haven't seen anything about using separate Live IDs...

    To confirm, I will get my home computer turned on again and post an update here afterwards.

    - roar
     
    • Edited by roarfred Wednesday, December 16, 2009 2:01 PM
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:13 PM
  • Based on your description, logs from the two machines in your control, especially the one you suspect of causing the issue, would be critical. I don't know that you need logs from the others.

    Your test scenario sounds quite reasonable. I'll be interested in the results.
    Can you also tell me a whole bunch more about that machine? OS? User Accounts and privilege? Any utilities running on it? What security software? Etc. If you are right, and this machine is the culprit - I'd be looking for software on the machine that is causing the issue with Mesh. In almost every case of deletions without a trail into the Recycle Bin it has been found that other Sync software was in conflict and causing the problem.

    Once you perform the test, assuming that it shows that this machine is initiating the deletes and isn't putting the deleted data into the Recycle Bin, and confirm that you've sent in the logs from that machine, you may want to remove that machine from the Mesh and uninstall Live Mesh. See if the problem with all folders on the Mesh has now gone away.

    Then, install again, but repeat your test, to see if the problem persists, rather than adding all of the folders back to that machine to cause the mass deletion to propagate to the rest of the Mesh and other users.

    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:55 PM
    Moderator
  • Todays update on this...

    As I wrote yesterday, I synced down my empty folder structure and succeeded to add a file there through Live Desktop, and this one file remained in place also after a reboot. My home computer were logged off mesh, so I couldn't reach it to restore all files. Last night, when I got home, I signed in on my home computer, went into recycle bin and restored the content from this folder.

    At work this morning, my computer was hibernated, so I started it up and signed in. Now, all restored files got synced back in, so the folder was complete. I worked on the computer for about 3 hours to see if any deletion could happen outside of a login event... nothing happened... all files were there, and things looked kinda good. For a moment, I hoped things was solved, but knew a reboot was needed for the error to occur earlier. So I did reboot, logged into windows and found my files gone... hope for a solution gone, but at least we got a consistent error :) One funny thing however, the one file I mentioned I added from the Live Desktop is still there! (along with all folders). (I think I saw this earlier too, that a file being added from one other user after my machine removed everything, was still in place)

    oh, well, I've collected the log and will post to my bug report in a moment. I also produced a .nfo file from msinfo32.exe that should describe a lot about my computer and bits and pieces in my environment. The short, more readable version, looks like this:
    • Win 7 Pro (v6.1.7600) x64
    • Dell Precision M90, Intel Core2 6GHz w/4GB of RAM
    • Software installed is kept to a minimum, but I am a software developer, so I got SQL Server 2008 mgmt, VS 2008, Office 2007. In addition, I got Tortoise SVN and Ankh SVN running and also installed Microsoft Security Essentials. (The latter was however installed after I saw the problem, as I suspected it to might be a virus of some kind)
    • Other software includes Virtual Clone Drive, Skype and a Brother Control Center (for printer/scanner control)
    • At last, I see I also have Adobe Reader and Google Chrome installed
    • My coworker has the very same hardware, with all this software and then some, but 32-bit windows. We share one of the mesh folders, and she doesn't see the same problem (except that files will disappear when I log on)
    • Before my upgrader, I was running the same computer with the same software, but 32-bit Vista rather than x86 Win 7
    For more details, check the .nfo file submitted in the bug report...

    Any suggestions are most welcome! Also let me know if I can provide more information

    Regards,
    Roar


    One update: I was wondering if the fact that files were restored from recycle bin would make a difference. So, I added a file at my home computer (which had never been in the mesh folder before), watched it being synced to my work computer, waited a few minutes, rebooted, and verified it was automatically deleted when I logged back on.

    The file added from Live Desktop is then still the only one left in this folder (apart from the complete, but empty, folder structure). I am thinking a possible workaround could be to reactivate my other folders, let everything be deleted from everyone else's folders and then rebuild the folders from my work computer. Problem is, with the number of users and computers sharing these folders, it will be a real pain... question is, would it be useful to keep this environment in this state for the Live Mesh team to track down this problem?
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 1:07 PM
  • Thanks for the detailed description, additonal testing, and the update.
    Restoring a file from the recycle bin vs. adding a new file should not make a difference, but that's odd about the new file added the the Live Desktop not being affected.
    What is Virtual Clone Drive? Is it acting on the folders that you have in your Mesh in some way? What do the SVN programs do? Are they attached to the Mesh folders in any way?

    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 5:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Virtual Clone drive is just a virtual DVD drive, used to mount ISO images. imo, should not affect this.
    SVN (Tortoise SVN and Ankh) is a source control system, integrated as a shell extension and a visual studio plugin, but not set up to touch any of my mesh folders.

    Both programs are also running on my home computer, and at coworkers computers without any problems.

    As per now, it seems like mesh folders created before my computer was reinstalled are seeing the problem, while one I created after is not... The last one was created from the problem (work) computer, so I'll try and make a new one from my home computer to and see if a possible workaround could be to recreate all old mesh folders, and just reinvite people. (even if I see this a challenge to have other users recreate their folder when the problem is clearly on my side) I'll let you know of any discoveries...

    - roar

    UPDATE: A brand new mesh folder was created at home computer. Some files added from home computer and one file from live desktop. Connected to my work computer and synced this folder to it. Also restored content to one of the problem mesh folders. Both folders were synced fine to the work computer, but after a reboot the problem folder were emptied (except for the two files I mentioned earlier), as expected. The new mesh folder, however, (created and populated from the home computer) seemed to have no problems... all files are there, also after the reboot.

    So, my conclusion is that there's either something on my work computer referring to these specific old mesh folders or some attributes on the folders in mesh that are causing this. Is there a good way to ensure a complete removal of mesh from the computer, other than just a uninstall from add/remove programs (which I've already tried)?
    Friday, December 18, 2009 12:39 AM
  • Thanks for sticking with this. ;-) And, thanks for explaining the apps that I asked about.

    Give the following a try - it should not affect any invites or status of your Mesh on the other PCs.

    On the problem PC that you've identified as the source of the deletions, uninstall Live Mesh via programs in Control Panel.
    On the Live Desktop, remove the PC from the Mesh.
    On the problem PC, reinstall Live Mesh.
    On the Live Desktop, change the properties of the sync folders to share with the "new" PC.
    All of the folders you identified as synchronizing with that PC will be offered on the PCs desktop.
    Click each folder in turn and click browse to "merge" the newly offered folder with an existing folder on that PC - the one you were previously synchronizing with. Accept the warning about conflicts.

    I'm hoping that the problem is due to some oddity with the way the folder properties in Mesh were existing.

    -steve


    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Friday, December 18, 2009 1:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the suggestion, Steve. I have tried the procedure you provided, but unfortunately, with no luck. Folders gets synced onto the computer once chosen to merge, but ends up empty after a reboot...
    Monday, January 4, 2010 9:41 AM
  • That is really odd.
    Have you gotten any nibbles on your bug report submission?
    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Monday, January 4, 2010 3:56 PM
    Moderator
  • No responses nor anyone who can reproduce the error... I am not sure if these are looked into unless the problem reaches a certain amount of users who can see the problem.

    I am afraid my next option is to do a clean OS reinstall and wish for the problem to disappear. Really annoying to leave this out in the blue without having found the reason for the problem and the solution for it.

    Anyways, thanks a lot for all your feedback and suggestions!

    Regards,
    Roar
    Tuesday, January 5, 2010 1:46 PM
  • Rumor has it that the next version of Live Mesh/Live Sync is on the horizon - of course, that can mean any time in the next several months. If you can remove the troublesome machine from your Mesh and work around it, perhaps the new version will resolve it and that's why we've not heard back on the bug report....
    -steve


    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Tuesday, January 5, 2010 2:28 PM
    Moderator
  • Finally got myself to try start cleaning this up today. Was hoping my workaround solutions with creating new mesh folders should work...

    I gathered one of the team in the same room as myself. Then, I followed these steps:
    1) removed all of them from members of the Mesh folder
    2) Renamed the mesh folder
    3) Added a new mesh folder
    4) Synced the new mesh folder down to one of the team members machine
    5) Copied all the old files from the old location into the newly created folder
    6) Added the new folder to my "problem-computer"
    7) Synced down all files and rebooted

    Just to find that all files were gone when I logged back on. As before, they were also deleted from my coworkers computers.

    Next, quite a few steps were tried to solve this:
    1) Zipping down one of the trouble-folders
    2) Creating a new mesh folder, re-using the same name as before, not sharing with anyone but myself on my trouble machine. Unzipping files, keeping original file names ==> same problem, files are gone after reboot
    3) Same as 2) but using a new name on the mesh folder => same result
    4) Unpacking files from the same zip file into a different location within a mesh folder => same result again

    I am (again) totally lost... having a hard time realizing I should be the only one out here with this problem.

    My next step will be to totally remove my AD profile from this computer, create a new one and see if that does the trick
    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 9:30 PM
  • Thanks for the details on what you've tried again. I'm mystified as to what's happening. I'll see if I can poke the Live Mesh team to get some ideas for you...
    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 5:27 PM
    Moderator
  • A rather embarrassing discovery this week... this problem doesn't have anything to do with Mesh (other than the consequence being that mesh files are deleted).

    I never got around to delete my AD profile, but did some extensive tests with adding new mesh folders and placing some new files in them and some files from a zip of my old mesh folders. Through these tests, I discovered that, after a reboot, only files extracted from the old zipped mesh folder was deleted. Then, by accident, I also extracted some of these files to a folder on my desktop, ie. a folder totally apart from Mesh. The breakthrough was to see that the files in this separate folder was also deleted when I logged back on.

    During this whole period of testing, I have kept my local Mesh folders inside My Documents or on my Desktop, both inside of my AD profile... So, I figured I'd try and put a Mesh folder apart from the profile, and made a folder C:\Mesh and synced down a few folders here. Same procedures as before was followed, and after a reboot, the files were still there!! :D :D

    Well, there's still a problem, but that's got nothing to do with mesh and belongs in another forum... Besides, I can totally live with the mesh folders at this new location.

    Steven, I am sorry to have wasted your time on this issue. Thanks a lot for your persistent support which truly helped me from totally giving up on this.

    Best regards,
    Roar Fredriksen 
    Thursday, February 18, 2010 3:47 PM
  • It was most certainly not a waste of time! I am always open to learning and there is always the possibility that others encounter the same issue and we can steer them to the troubleshooting and solution through your discovery.
    Please do pop back with the details if you can eventually determine the root cause of the issue with the AD profile.
    -steve
    ~ Microsoft MVP Windows Live ~ Windows Live OneCare| Live Mesh|MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator ~
    Thursday, February 18, 2010 5:50 PM
    Moderator