The last time we gathered here, I discussed – at least conceptually – some of the challenges I’ve faced deploying OneDrive for Business to a large enterprise.
This time I’ll describe the most commonly seen issues and, where possible, their resolution (or if not resolution, at least an explanation of why things are the way they are). We’ll also indulge in a bit of techno-philosophy.
Let’s start with deployment.
As I mentioned in my previous post, users whose machines have MS Office or any of its apps installed via MSI will most likely encounter the following error while trying to setup the OneDrive for Business client:
As the error states, there is a conflict, or incompatibility between Click to Run and classic Windows Installer based programs running on the same computer.
And although you may Google-find references to a stand alone OneDrive for Business installer, these are only stubs to Click to Run setup routines.
The only real solution is creating a redistributable installation package (which is compatible with Windows Installer); a process described in detail at the excellent Kloud blog.
If you’ve leapt the installation hurdle, another possible obstacle is trouble syncing.
Consider this error, for example:
Typically, this is a very complicated problem to solve since it involves many moving parts including (obviously) the client on a user’s computer, the configuration of their OneDrive for Business SharePoint site and the interaction between the two.
Here’s Microsoft’s guide to solving sync-related issues.
That’s certainly helpful but doesn’t cover all the possible scenarios.
A review of the troubles others have had, gleaned from the Office 365 Community forums reveals that in some cases, an as-yet undocumented issue – resolved only by Microsoft engineers behind the scenes – is responsible.
Ideally, Microsoft would openly describe the PowerShell script logic used to solve this problem. Their reluctance thus far to do this suggests there’s an architectural bug that pops up from time to time, requiring structural adjustment at the tenant level.
Missing Guest Links
According to this guide, it’s possible to share documents or folders from your OneDrive for Business share using links you can send to external recipients.
Of course, you can share folders and documents, just not in exactly the way described. The article mentions the creation of guest links but when you go to your own OneDrive for Business site and try to duplicate what’s shown, you notice the “Get a Link” option is missing.
It’s missing, because despite the documentation’s assurances, it’s not an option, as confirmed here and here.
Needless to say, you can anticipate fielding many questions from savvier users about this mysteriously missing option.
Give us a moment to set things up…
Yet another issue I’ve seen is trouble with the provision process.
When a client first connects to a OneDrive for Business SharePoint site (yourdomain-my.sharepoint.com/user_name) there’s an initial provisioning process which connects the application to and syncs it with the user’s SharePoint site.
For an as-yet undocumented reason (at least, I’ve been unable to find a direct answer) sometimes, this process gets stuck for hours or even days, requiring the intervention of Microsoft engineers on the back-end of your tenant (for example, see this Office 365 Community thread).
A Preliminary Thought…
Although not a complete disaster by any means, it’s clear that OneDrive for Business is a not quite polished product. In just a few short weeks, it has consumed a good amount of my time and generated much confusion among users.
The design assumption seemed to be that everyone had Office 2013 and a yet to be released version of Windows (and, therefore, all the necessary components for a relatively trouble free experience).
It is, in a way, a forced march into Microsoft’s vision of their cloud based infrastructure, as these growing pains show.
And as the days and weeks move on, I’ll continue to document its idiosyncrasies.