Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Minor hiccup with Google Drive

First of all, I’m a huge fan of Google Drive and Google Docs. In fact, most of these blog entries are written in Docs and then copied over to WordPress. I also love Dropbox too so I’ve actually placed my Dropbox folder inside my Google Drive folder.

But I had a disconcerting experience with Google Drive last week.

My domain runs on Google Apps and I’m using the Google Drive client for OSX. One morning, out of nowhere, the Google Drive client quit with a β€œThis service has not been enabled by the administrator of the domain" error message.

As the administrator of the domain, I knew that wasn’t true and my first fear was that I had been hacked. I quickly logged into the Google Apps dashboard and, after checking everything over thoroughly, I convinced myself that wasn’t the case.

I also verified that Google Drive was working on my Android phone as well as my Windows desktop.

It was just the OSX client that was having trouble.

I decided to take the approach of letting it sit and seeing if the problem corrected itself. Sure enough, when I fired the Drive client up again the next day, it started without errors.

But my troubles weren’t over yet.

The Drive client has behaving as if I was setting it up from scratch and was asking where I’d like the Google Drive folder to be placed. I pointed the client at my existing Google Drive folder and was presented with an error informing me that that location couldn’t be used because it already contained files. Apparently the client insists on having an empty folder to start with.


I moved all of my Google Drive files out of the way, pointed the client the correct place and moved my files back. My hope was that Drive would be smart enough to know that these files were exactly the same as the files living in the cloud.

No such luck. Drive started re-syncing everything as if it was brand new.

Another wrinkle that I didn’t notice for a couple of days was that it was creating duplicate folders for everything.

My Google Drive folder now looked like this:


Dropbox (1)


Files (1)


Photos (1)


After some investigating, I verified that the contents of each folder were exactly the same.

From there, I killed all of the (1) folders and everything has been running normally every since.

At no point was I in danger of losing anything, although migrating away would’ve been a pain. But it made me glad that I have a decent backup plan in place.

Thanks to Google Drive, all of my non-Google-Docs files also live locally on my machine. I’m also paying for Backupify which backs up my Drive, Calendar and Gmail.

But the whole experience made me just a little bit nervous.