/drive/community?hl=en
/drive/community?hl=en
5/18/18
Original Poster
Wilkins Chung

Complete summary of all Backup and Sync problems (urgent since Google Photos Backup is being deprecated)

Here's a complete list of all Backup and Sync issues I've encountered thusfar, and am unable to resolve:

Note:
Make sure you set Removing items to "Don't remove from everywhere" so Backup and Sync can't destroy your drive.

Issue 1: (Mac and PC)
Multiple cannot sync error messages with reason being that "These photos and videos are already in Google Photos". This results in the sync never finishing and scanning the entire library every time the app starts again.

Settings that cause this issue:
Choose "Back up photos and videos" only.
Create a directory for Google Photos in Google Drive as per https://support.cloudhq.net/how-to-enable-google-photos-folder-in-your-google-drive/

Workaround that 'kind of works':
Choose "Back up all files".This causes Backup and Sync to create some 'hard links' to the duplicated photos in Google Photos in the appropriate directories on Google Drive.  However, it only 'kind of works' because of Issue 2.

Issue 2: (Mac and PC)
Backup and sync does not adhere to the high quality settings for movies and some images (possibly all) if you choose to sync all files.They upload full resolution and take up drive space.

Workaround:
Choose "Back up photos and videos" only. 

Issue 3: Mac only (fixed)
Backup and Sync does not ignore thumbnails and other generated images for iPhoto libraries even if you deselect "Back up Apple Photos Library Metadata" 

Workaround:
Move you iPhotos Library Masters directory to ~/Pictures and symlink into the iPhotos Library directory (you can't simply create a symlink directly to ~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library.photolibrary/Masters because Backup and Sync will say that it can't read the directory because it's unsupported):
mv ~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library.photolibrary/Masters ~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Masters
ln -s ~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Masters ~/Pictures/iPhoto\ Library.photolibrary/Masters

Choose the new iPhoto Masters directory to backup.


Issue 4:

If you set Removing items to "Do not remove from everywhere", the delete operation will not be synchronized.

However, the file restored from the trash on the web side is downloaded to the PC side, and the original file is overwritten by the compressed file on Google Photos.

This worst behavior only happens in the first setting sync, it seems not to happen in folders that have been released from sync and merged again.


Issue 5: 

Reconnecting a directory to Backup and Sync and enabling merge causes duplicate images on Drive if images were previously compressed using the High Quality option. 


Settings: 

No google photos folder on google drive 

Upload photos and videos, high quality, do not delete from everywhere on backup and sync 


Problem: 

After syncing files once, I disconnect the computer from backup and sync. 

I then reconnect backup and sync. It asks me if I want to merge the existing folder, I say yes. It then reuploads all my files but creates a second copy, some showing the full file size but zero byte usage.



Issue 6 (Can no longer reproduce):

Duplicate image reference issue causing conflict between old images uploaded by Google Photos Backup and re-uploaded images via backup and sync. Appears to be two metadata references (with different data) to same underlying file structure. 


Situation:

Photos (call this IMAGE_1.JPG) have been uploaded to Google Photos before via drag and drop or Google Photos Backup.

Drive does not have a Google Photos Folder.

Google Photos is set NOT to sync to Drive.

Basically, keep Google Photos and Drive separate.


Problem:

Backup and Sync set to 'Upload to Google Photos' as well, so whenever new files are synced, they're uploaded to Drive and Google Photos.  Setting is High Quality, Upload Photos and Videos only.


So what happens is this:

IMAGE_1.JPG gets synced to Drive, and Backup and Sync writes it to Google Photos as well.  Now, we have two copies of IMAGE_1.JPG in google photos.


However, the critical problem is this: it does NOT seem that the two images are actually different.  If IMAGE_1.JPG originally had the timezone fixed, to say, PST, the new IMAGE_1.JPG has the timezone NOT set when uploaded.  If you try to fix the timezone and time of the new IMAGE_1.JPG, it shifts the original IMAGE_1.JPG's time as well (example, say one file has the right timestamp and one is off by 3 hours, if you shift one by 3 hours, both get shifted so you can never correct it)!!!  So in my situation, I can never fix the images to have the correct timezone.


At this point, I had to manually go and delete all newly uploaded replicas.  BUT, another problem, when I delete the new photo only from Google Photos (found using photos.google.com/search/_tra_ ), it deletes the OLD file!!!


Issue 7 (misunderstanding in how images work, Google Photos and Google Drive files are linked no matter what the settings on Drive/Photos are as long as Backup and Sync is set to upload new files to Google Photos.)

Photos are being deleted from photos.google.com if they are removed from Drive even if drive sync is disabled and there is no Google Photos directory on Drive. 


Situation:

Previously had Google Photos folder and Enabled drive sync on photos.google.com 

Deleted Google Photos folder. Disabled drive sync on photos.google.com

Backup and Sync set to upload photos only, checkbox for upload new files to Google Photos enabled. 

Problem:

When new photos are synced, they are shown in google photos, as expected. However, if the photo is deleted from Google Drive, it is also deleted from Google Photos! This should not happen as drive sync is NOT ENABLED on photos.google.com and I do not have a Google Photos directory in Drive, so the files should NOT be connected. 



Issue 8:

Photos that end up in google photos that are uploaded by backup and sync have random timezone and time stamp data. Even photos that are from the same source, sequentially numbered and taken minutes apart will be off by hours (specifically the number of hours from UTC the uploading computer’s time is set to). 


That is, say photo 1 is taken at 12 pm PST (UTC-7) and photo 2 is taken 12:01 PST (UTC-7).  Sometimes, you will see photo 1 with a time stamp of 12 pm and no timezone set, but photo 2 will be set to 7 pm with no timezone set. Seems like sometimes google is trying to adjust for the utc offset and sometimes not. 


This was never an issue with Google Photos Backup and I have confirmed the problem doesn’t exist by attempting an upload using Google Photos Backup with the same files (since that app still works). 


Issue 9:

Sometimes Backup and Sync will give an error saying it 'Can't convert an image to high quality'.  However, deleting the file, copying it back and resyncing it will work with no problems.  CRC checked both files on the desktop side and they were the same, so it appears to be an intermittent problem on the backend.


Here's when it failed:



Here's when I deleted and resynced the same file.  As you can see from the 0 bytes storage used, this time it worked.



Issue 10:

Files are deleted from the source computer when files are moved on drive.google.com, even if you have 'Removing items' set to 'Don't remove items everywhere' on the Google Drive program.


To reproduce:

Have a folder sync'ed.  Add a file to the folder on the computer.  Go to drive.google.com and drag the file from it's location in 'My Computer' to somewhere else (any other directory that isn't currently being synced).  The file will disappear from the computer.  Although this isn't a delete on Google Drive's side, but simply a move, having the file deleted from the computer is very unexpected behavior.




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All Replies (54)
Alex_ F
4/17/18
Alex_ F
Issue 3 should be resolved in the latest version of Backup and Sync (3.41)
4/17/18
Original Poster
Wilkins Chung
When will that be released?  I can't seem to find the release notes here:https://support.google.com/a/answer/7573023?hl=en
Alex_ F
4/17/18
Alex_ F
This has been released and is currently available for download.  The release notes have not yet been updated
4/19/18
Original Poster
Wilkins Chung
Is the development team aware of Issues 1 and 2?  They're pretty much blocking me from using Backup and Sync and I'm still reliant on the old Google Photos Backup app (which is going to be deprecated in May) until it's fixed.
Boiling Coffee
4/24/18
Boiling Coffee

Hello Wilkins

Please let me use this topic place you prepared for reporting the problem I noticed.

Some will include supplements and additions to the issues you reported.

The following behaviors were confirmed in Ver. 3.39 to 3.41.


Caution

Even if Removing items is set to "Do not remove from everywhere", the original files in the PC are not protected.

(I'll write about this later as well)


▼ Issue 1 (You reported)


A user in limited setting state encounters behaviors that repeat upload attempts and skips each time Backup & Sync tool starts.

It is a user who displays photo or video files in Google Photos folder created on Google Drive.

In addition, it is limited to users who have set the uploaded file type to "photos and videos".

Problems arise when they resynchronize files that are in "Google Photos Folder" using the Backup & Sync tool.


If you upload new files to Google Photos via Backup & Sync, sync folders will be created in Google Drive's My Computer.

Backup & Sync puts a 0 byte file (a thumbnail linked to Google Photos) in it.

If the PC folder and the folder in "My Computer" become the same content, Backup & Sync considers synchronization to be completed.


Files that have already been uploaded via mobile, browser, or older sync tool do not have thumbnails in "My Computer".

So, Backup & Sync will try to place thumbnails in "My Computer" but duplicate thumbnails exist already in "Google Photos Folder".

Google Drive will refuse to have two thumbnails of the same file.

Therefore, the folders on the PC and folders in "My Computer" can not be in the same state and the synchronization can not be completed.



Backup & Sync tells us this result with the message "These photos and videos are already in Google Photos".

This message confuses the user.  "Synchronization failed" should be written correctly.


As a solution, I previously recommended two ways.

(A) Delete 'Google Photos Folder'

(B) Set the file type to be uploaded to "all files"

However, currently only (A) is effective. (B) has a big problem, heading for a terrible ending. (▼ Issue 2)


(A)

Regarding the setting of "Create Google Photos Folder", if you enable this setting, the system do process displaying the file of Google Photos to My Drive only once.

The same applies to newly uploaded files while setting is enabled.

Processing stops if you disable the setting, but the file reflected in the past remains as it is.

For the Google Photos folder under My Drive, you can delete the whole folder and you can leave the file on the Google Photos side (If you delete the content thumbnail, it disappears from Google Photos as well)



▼ Issue 2 (including those reported by Wilkins)

By setting the file type to "all files" and uploading the file existing in "Google Photos folder", 0 byte thumbnail will be created in "My Computer".

But surprisingly, the original file in the PC folder has been overwritten by the compressed file on Google Photos!

Also, click on the thumbnail in "My Computer" to zoom in and then return, the file has a real size on Google Drive!


I think that these behaviors did not exist until Ver.3.39 was released. Something may have changed on Google side. It is unknown.

Please note that this problem does not occur for files that do not exist in "Google Photos Folder".


▼ Issue 4


If you set Removing items to "Do not remove from everywhere", the delete operation will not be synchronized.

However, the file restored from the trash on the web side is downloaded to the PC side, and the original file is overwritten by the compressed file on Google Photos.

This worst behavior only happens in the first setting sync, it seems not to happen in folders that have been released from sync and merged again.


4/20/18
Original Poster
Wilkins Chung
There’s one more issue I’ve encountered:
Issue 5:
Settings:
No google photos folder on google drive
Upload photos and videos, high quality, do not delete from everywhere on backup and sync
 
Problem:
After syncing files once, I disconnect the computer from backup and sync.
I then reconnect backup and sync. It asks me if I want to merge the existing folder, I say yes. It then reuploads all my files but creates a second copy, some showing the full file size but zero byte usage.
4/20/18
Original Poster
Wilkins Chung
Also, do you have any idea why (at high quality unlimited use) setting it sometimes uploads at full res and sometimes not? My theory is that the compression happens on google’s side, and it starts out as a complete file and then gets compressed down (I’ve noticed files initially have a 20MB file size, but then go to 700k or so). It seems to be the same method as what happens if you choose the compress and save space option on google photos. However the compression logic seems to be flawed as some files are never compressed even days later.
 
I’m kind of irritated google has decided to deprecate the Google Photos Backup app with a non functioning Backup and Sync app. I want unidirectional sync only, I don’t want the possibility of google overwriting my core files.
Boiling Coffee
4/22/18
Boiling Coffee
Hi, Wilkins
I have not experienced Issue 5 yet.
My experiment is always done with a small folder (number of files is about 10).

As you say, compression is done on Google's server side.
The original file is provisionally saved and replaced after compression.

I have always tested it with a small folder, and after confirming that all the files were compressed, I am doing the next step.
So, I may not encounter the problem you reported.
When uploading a large number of files all together, processing may be delayed, and some errors may have occurred.
I can not check it because I can not prepare a lot of files for testing.
When you test with a small amount of files you will be able to see if similar bugs will occur.
4/22/18
Original Poster
Wilkins Chung
There are still significant issues with Backup and Sync for existing Google Photos users.  I really wish they would delay deprecating Google Photos Backup until everything's resolved.  I also wish they would have a unidirectional sync option to prevent any overwrite possibility, which is a disaster for photos.

I encountered another issue today, it is very nuanced:
Issue 6 **CRITICAL**:
Situation:
Photos (call this IMAGE_1.JPG) have been uploaded to Google Photos before via drag and drop or Google Photos Backup.
Drive does not have a Google Photos Folder.
Google Photos is set NOT to sync to Drive.
Basically, keep Google Photos and Drive separate.

Problem:
Backup and Sync set to 'Upload to Google Photos' as well, so whenever new files are synced, they're uploaded to Drive and Google Photos.  Setting is High Quality, Upload Photos and Videos only.
So what happens is this:
IMAGE_1.JPG gets synced to Drive, and Backup and Sync writes it to Google Photos as well.  Now, we have two copies of IMAGE_1.JPG in google photos.
However, the critical problem is this: it does NOT seem that the two images are actually different.  If IMAGE_1.JPG originally had the timezone fixed, to say, PST, the new IMAGE_1.JPG has the timezone NOT set when uploaded.  If you try to fix the timezone and time of the new IMAGE_1.JPG, it shifts the original IMAGE_1.JPG's time!!!  So in my situation, I can never fix the images to have the correct timezone.

At this point, I had to manually go and delete all newly uploaded replicas.  BUT, another problem, when I delete the new photo only from Google Photos (found using photos.google.com/search/_tra_ ), it deletes the OLD file!!!

4/22/18
Original Poster
Wilkins Chung
Hi Alex, thanks for the reply, however, I've discovered a few more critical issues with Backup and Sync for Google Photos users that can cause file/data loss on the host computer (Issue 4) and Google Photos library corruption (Issue 6) even if you disassociate Drive from Photos (i.e. no Google Photos directory in Drive and no sync with Drive enabled in Google Photos).

For Issue 4, I'd be happy with a unidirectional sync option like how Google Photos Backup behaved before (and many sync programs allow) to avoid any potential of data loss/overwrite.  However, Issue 6 is quite critical as when Backup and Sync is set to upload to Google Photos as well (Drive sync disabled due to other issues above), it results in some images being seemingly replicated, but not really, resulting in actions on one duplicated file impacting the other (time shifts, deletes, etc.).  Time shift is the oddest one, as if one version of the file has the correct time, and the other is off, by say, 3 hours, shifting the one with the incorrect time 3 hours results in both files being shifted, so you can never correct both files to the same time.
43 MORE
Google user
6/26/18
Google user
I have all the issues described before as well (high CPU demand, draining battery, very unresponsive UI). I created this short video that shows how unresponsive and resource demanding the program is. https://youtu.be/XWcOQIeQ2HkThe discussion doesn't lead anywhere though. All I hear is: Uncheck this, delete this folder, re-install, pray that it is fixed. If not, well we can't help you.I would really like to see some fixing updates to this software from Google. GDrive is unusable for me at the moment since I can't properly sync my files from my Laptop. 
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