Posts tagged ‘Windows’


Microsoft Hates This One Weird Trick To Escape OneDrive!

(Actually I have no idea whether Microsoft hates it; what would it mean for a corporation to experience hatred? Can an entity hate something without experiencing hatred? Some thorny questions there! But for now, on to the trick.)

This is a followup to yesterday’s whinging about how Windows 10 decided to store my “desktop” and “documents” and “pictures” in their teeny little cloud drive (“OneDrive”), and then nag me for money once it got full. I have (I think) a solution! But first I will talk about what didn’t work, because this is a weblog.

First, what not to do, or at least what to undo quickly if you do it: One thing that the Microsoft site and various web searches will recommend if you ask the question in certain ways, is to just go into OneDrive setup, and turn off syncing (or backup or something) of certain directories. If you read the fine print before doing this, what it actually tells Windows is “I don’t want to be able to see these directories from my computer, just keep them up there in the cloud.”

This is exactly the opposite of what I want, which is to have these directories actually physically present on my computer, and not in the cloud at all (“There is no cloud; it’s just someone else’s computer”) except to the extent that I elect to put them there explicitly.

To accomplish that thing that I do want, it turns out that you want to (here is the trick) “unlink” the computer from OneDrive (or perhaps unlink OneDrive from the computer). The instructions for doing it are on the obvious Microsoft Help Page, but they cleverly don’t say what it actually does! And what they do say (“You won’t lose files or data by unlinking OneDrive from your computer. You can always access your files by signing in to”) makes it sound like it will do what turning off syncing does, which is to make the files invisible from the computer.

But in fact what it does (I’m pretty sure; this is what it appears to have done for me anyway!) is point the Desktop, Pictures, and Documents at local directories (without the dreaded “\OneDrive” in their names), put all of their content into those directories, and then stop sending everything that you put into them up into the cloud, where they will cause OneDrive to fill up the tiny 5G space and start begging you for money. Copies of the files will (probably?) still exist in OneDrive, getting slowly out of date, unless you take action to clean them up (and who has time for that, really?).

(One caveat: among the fine print as you do this, is a note that any files (or folders) that are “online only”, will disappear from your computer. Do I have any “online only” folders or files? Beats me! Is there any way to tell, short of looking at every one? I don’t know! But I assumed, and so far apparently correctly, that I don’t have any of those. With luck, you don’t either.)

(Important update: In fact if you are like me, lots of files might be “online only” without your realizing it! Like, in my case, at least all of the screenshots prior to May of 2020! So you’ll probably want to check in whatever way you prefer (haha) to make sure that there are at least the same number and/or size of files in the newly-local directories (“folders”) as there are up on or whatever it is. Arggh!)

It’s possible that some of the behavior I’m seeing here is because the directories (“folders”) involved are the special “personal folders”: Desktop, Pictures, and Documents. (You might think that all of the folders on a Personal computer would be Personal folders, but in fact Microsoft considers everything outside of Desktop, Pictures, and Documents to belong to Microsoft Corporation, and don’t you forget it!)

One thing that I’m considering doing is creating like a “d:\onedrive_cloud_data” directory, and telling Windows to “link” and/or “sync” with just that. Then I could store stuff in OneDrive only when I wanted to, by putting it in there. But I kind of doubt that I’ll do that, because it’s just too likely that if OneDrive is turned on at all Microsoft will start putting the Desktop etc. there again just for fun and revenue.

So now you know! Assuming I’m not completely wrong.

Afterward: While poking around inside Windows for this trick and these weblog entries, I ran into various reminders of why I try to avoid poking around inside Windows (and why I’m so happy that I don’t rely on Windows for anything beyond playing entirely optional games).

For instance, while I was poking around for disk information, I went into the “System and Security” part of “Control Panel”, and found that in there there is a subsection called “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)”. I’m sure I don’t want to know why that is there.

There is another subsection called “Flash Player (32-bit)”, which I wish wasn’t there because it suggests that I have Flash Player installed, which is a security nightmare and now I have to go find it and uninstall it. One also wonders in what sense the Flash Player is “System and Security”, but I suppose calling the section “System and Security Nightmares” would have been bad for marketing.


In which I simply whine about OneDrive

I started out to write a more general weblog entry, but ended up just complaining (or “whinging” or even “whingeing”, as the Brits say and the spellchecker here recommends against) about Microsoft OneDrive, because that is what is currently Top of Mind. Apologies that this is probably Not Terribly Uplifting.

I have this fancy “Legion” laptop (named after the WoW expansion a couple before last, for some reason), which has a cool multicolored keyboard, and came with Windows 10, many of the features of which I am becoming convinced are subtle pranks on the user.

I just want a computer that can run WoW and Chrome and Second Life and maybe No Man’s Sky and not really a lot else, but nooooo what they sell me is a whole little ball of strange marketing things and little popups about how great the “Edge” browser (i.e. “okay, okay, we admit Explorer was bad”) is and wouldn’t I like to switch to it, and keeps storing what are apparently important files that I thought were on the very large hard drive into the tiny “OneDrive” instead, and then telling me that “OneDrive” is full and wouldn’t I like to pay for more of it?

This computer has, in particular, about half a terabyte of reasonably fast SSD as the “C:” drive (hello, 1983!), and another ummm about one terabyte of not as fast “D:” drive. In contrast the “OneDrive” is apparently five (5) gigabytes in size, and is almost full, because Windows keeps putting things into it.

(It also causes a perpetual red warning X to appear in the Windows toolbar thing, due to being worried in some obscure way about three files whose names end in “.lnk”, and really ask me if I care.)

It was almost full the other week, and I tried a bit to figure out what it was, and decided it was a teeny bit of free Cloud storage space to which Windows automatically syncs who-knows-what, so that I can get to it from my other Windows devices, of which there are zero (0).

So I erased the largest thing in it that was taking nearly all of the space, the “Epic Games” directory (sorry, “folder”) and everything under it, because why the heck was it syncing that to cloud storage anyway?

And of course it turned out that erasing that from OneDrive also erased it from my hard drive (or at the very least made Windows think that I had), and so now none of my Epic games work anymore until I reinstall them.

I’m guessing that I won’t be able to reinstall them, because there isn’t enough space in OneDrive.

In the meantime, even without having tried to reinstall any of those games, I am getting warnings again that my “OneDrive” is filling up and wouldn’t I like to buy more? This time, it’s apparently because Windows has decided to put every screenshot that I’ve ever taken, as well as a whole lot of other image and movie / video files there. I am of course afraid that if I remove them from OneDrive they will be destroyed, so basically Windows is actively holding them hostage, demanding that I pay them monthly or who-knows-what will stop working, and preventing me from moving them elsewhere by an implicit threat to move them back, since it moved them there in the first place without asking me.

I would like to tell Windows to remove all trace of OneDrive from my computer, and to keep all of my files on the hard drive thank you very much. I see that many other people have had this same desire: “Just what the hell is Onedrive and how do I get rid of this nuisance?“, “OneDrive – How do I get this off Windows 10“, “When was the last time you even used OneDrive?“, “ONEDRIVE is a photo theft program“, and so on and so on.

Some of these prior complaints contain or link to ways to (try to) get Windows to stop this hostage-taking behavior. I don’t have much faith in my ability to do this, and I suspect it will continue stashing things there forever. But perhaps I can get it under some sort of control.

My tentative theory is that it is configured to “sync” my “desktop” to OneDrive, and that since there are/were symlinks or “shortcuts” or something from my “desktop” to various photos (and Epic Games) directories, that counts. I will follow one or more of the sets of instructions on the web, and/or just configure it to sync nothing at all, and see if that helps.

I consider it a bad sign that Windows seems to think that the path to the desktop for instance is “C:\Users\xxxxx\OneDrive\Desktop”, but I carry on regardless.

Wish me luck!


One or more network protocols are missing!

I want to write a random woolgathering post about how all various things are happening in the world and thoughts are occurring in the mind of the Ultimate Ground of Being and all, but right now I’m going to write about a Microsoft Windows thing, because well there it is right there.

There are many places on the Internets where people are asking or complaining or telling about an error message like “One or more network protocols are missing from this computer” and/or the associated “Windows sockets registry entries required for network connectivity are missing”, presented by various different “Microsoft Windows” operating systems, often but not always after making some change to the system (like being fooled into upgrading to Windows 10, for instance), and finding that networking isn’t working (haha!) through one or more channels through which it ought to be.

In my case it happened after I put a nice little Ethernet splitter in the basement (between the house modem-thing (cable or phone company or something I always forget) and the little boy’s room where the PS/4 or 5 or 7 is, which is there because the WiFi doesn’t really reach quite to that end of the house) and ran another Ethernet cable from that into the Maid’s Room (we don’t actually have a maid, but maybe someone did once), and plugged the end of that cable into an Ethernet-to-USB adapter, and that into a USB port on this laptop here, because really the WiFi doesn’t reach all that well into the Maid’s Room either, at least not if I’m lying comfortably back on the little bed there ’cause I’m staying up late in WoW or Second Life or whatever.

Anyway! After doing all of that plugging, Windows saw that it had an Ethernet connection, but it couldn’t get to the Internet through it, and the reasons that it gave were the (misleading, erroneous, and generally unhelpful) messages above, there. The little boy’s PS/whatever worked fine, even after replugging of things to make sure it wasn’t a bad port on the splitter or something, so I suspected Windows.

After trying all various suggestions that I found on the Internets (via the WiFi connection, while not lying back too far) and the YouTubes (why do people make videos of things that could just as easily be written down?), involving resetting things and restarting things, none of which worked, I clicked down into more menus in Windows, and found what the problem was in my case.

All modern client computers (that is, everything but servers managed by professional IT persons and their close equivalents) these days get their IP addresses assigned by asking the network for a conveniently-free one. But clicking down into the “Properties” of the “TCP/IP V4” or whatever thing listed under the Ethernet connection in the “Change settings of this connection” in the “Network Connections” section of the Windows Configuration maze, I found that the “Use the following IP address” box was checked, and that there was no IP address following it.

Checking “Obtain an IP address automatically” instead (and also “Obtain DNS server addresses automatically”, which also wasn’t checked) fixed the networking problem pretty much instantly. Something that had nothing whatever to do with missing network protocols, or Windows Socket registry entries, and that apparently, despite being blindingly obvious in retrospect, none of the various “Troubleshooters” that I’d run on the way there had thought to do.


tl;dr: If you have the “One or more network protocols are missing” and/or “Windows sockets registry entries required for network connectivity are missing” problems on your Windows computer, drill down into the TCP/IP properties of the network connection in question, and make sure “Obtain an IP address automatically” and “Obtain DNS server addresses automatically” are checked. (Unless for some reason you don’t want them to be, in which case make sure that the proper IP addresses are in fact filled in!)

And Windows’ error messages and troubleshooters are really very bad.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

As usual all various things have happened since some amount of time ago!


I now have one of these:

an Oculus Rift device

and as soon as I get this one cable that it needs to attach to the enormous Windows machine, I will try out the demos and maybe like WoW or something (and sometime probably Second Life), and that will probably be amazing or disorienting or both.

(And boy will one look amusing while using it.)

The Smart-o-Phone

Speaking of the enormous Windows machine, I now have yet one more non-Windows computer, running yet one more operating system. Here is the Instagramming of my telephone upgrade:


Having skipped a few generations there, I now have one of these modern “Smart-o-Phones”, and am apparently an Android user (which also involves chocolate bars in some way).

KitKat logo

The Smart-o-Phone can do all various things; pretty much everything that the “i-Pad” can do, except that it is considerably smaller. But as I have pointed out when comparing a little laptop screen to a big desktop display, the Smart-o-Phone screen can be made pretty much as large as you want just by holding it closer to your eyes…

Oh, also, it has some sort of telephone in it. But that is okay, it does not hardly ring much or anything annoying like that.

I have been installing Smart-o-Phone “apps” on the Smart-o-Phone, which allow me to listen to the radio, and sign into WoW (once I convince WoW that I don’t want to use the i-Pad for that anymore), and look at train schedules, and drive little imaginary trains around a simplified model of Europe:

Pocket Trains

Also (like the i-Pad) you can watch TV on it, which I am in fact doing right now (mostly just because I can); this is mildly convenient if one wants to watch one of the subset of shows that Verizon makes available for streaming. For whatever reason the only thing I ever seem to watch this way is “Law and Order: something something”; they just barely clear the bar of being worth ignoring all those commercials.

Ooh, probably I should install the “Net Flicks app” also! That has things which do not have commercials.

So now I have the Smart-o-Phone running Android, the i-Pad running iOS (and which it’s not entirely clear what it is for now), the work computer running ChromeOs (and Chrome Remote Desktop connecting into the at-work work computer running Goobuntu (haha “Goobuntu”)), and the enormous Windows computer running Windows 7 something something, which is basically just for WoW and Second Life these days (and see recent Facebook thread where I complain about Windows’s virtual memory pessimisation algorithms). And the Oculus Rift. :)


Oh yeah, these things happened too!


Solstice Dinner 2013

Solstice Christmas New Year Holidays and all! Which is why I now have the Geek-o-Vision and the Smart-o-Phone and all. :) And the little daughter used some Interweb Site to create and produce this amazing tee shirt:

Best Tee Shirt Ever

which attentive readers will notice is based on a recent weblog posting just right here.

Isn’t that the best thing ever? Such an amazing little daughter…

I’m sure other things have happened also, but those are the only ones I will write down for now I think. Lots of lazing about to do today! :)

Update: some of the images in the above are nefariously appearing or not appearing at random, or perhaps with some weak correlation with my attempts to get them to appear. Tsk!

Update 2: Oh yeah, I was going to talk about Ingress on the Smart-o-Phone too! But I didn’t. Maybe later…