Google Drive Limitations

After almost a week of using Google Drive I have found a limitation that is a show stopper for me. If you add a file to you Google Drive folder that already exists online it doesn’t check to see if the file is the same as the one online it just re-uploads it, as you can imagine this can be rather irritating if you have 70GB, as I do, of data that is already on two systems that you would like to keep in sync.

Other limitations that are bothering me:

  • It doesn’t tell you what file/folder it is currently syncing.
  • If it errors out it doesn’t give you much info, so if it hung on uploading a file you have to enable debugging and dig through the log file to track it down.
  • Memory usage is way to high, for me average running usage is around 300MB and I’ve see it get up to 1GB.

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  1. Hey :)

    I have had a lot of trouble using dropbox, so I am checking out googledrive to see if it is a nice replacement. I need to share my data with 23 other people, but they should not have the same rights as me. Therefore i need to know if there are some user rights, like READ, WRITE, DELETE, stuff like that. Can i be an owner, and they rest only read? Can I have 3 owners, and the rest only be read?

    I’ve installed gdrive like a hour ago, and it has not yet consumed 300mb/ram, but it started out with 70, and its climbing to 80 now.. Seeing that it is a rather new program, I guess they need time to sort these problems out. I think dropbox had the same problems.

  2. The short answer is yes, you can give any person rights to view, view and comment or to have full editing rights.

  3. Still using a lot of RAM, I think it has a direct correlation between how many files you are keeping in sync and how much RAM is being used. I’m keeping around 27,000 files in sync using 74.4GB of space.

  4. I agree, they need to do a ton of work regarding not re-uploading files/re-downloading, etc.. Also since it screws up the folder/file creation dates, there is no real way to merge in data that is already on your system.

    For example, I sync’ed up my 80GB archive from my high broadband PC, and then wanted to add my mom’s laptop (who is on slower DSL) – she already had an exact copy of the data, but trying every method imaginable, I couldn’t get Google Drive to figure out how to just merge it in and not re-download it. So here I am, 3 weeks (!) of downloading to mom’s laptop just to sync data that was already there.

    Dropbox is excellent at this. But it was $20/mo. Google Drive is $5/mo for 100GB. Also Dropbox was smart enough to sync over a LAN. So if I had mom’s laptop on my local network, it would have done a handshake with my local pc, and sync’ed everything up at LAN speeds. Something Google should have.

    One last note, about not knowing what is going on.. I wish someone would write a utility that provided a live verbose information feed of exactly what the Google Drive client was doing.

    I’m not sure if I read your post right, did you enable debugging? I noticed on my machine I have a C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Google\Drive\sync_log.log file. But it stopped recording anything a month ago. On my mom’s laptop, there is no sync_log.log file at all.


  5. Yes, you have to enable debugging to get any data into the sync_log.log file, you can enable debugging by holding down the shift key as you right click on the Google Drive icon and a new menu option “Enable diagnostic mode” will be available.

  6. I ended up using an old tool “Baretail” from to stream live output from the sync_log.log file. Learned quite a bit about what Google Drive is doing as I move files around from it. Lot of other tools out there too I’m sure, just haven’t looked yet. So far this has really really been useful as I’m moving files into the cloud.

    It would be good if Google (or a 3rd party developer) worked out a bit of a tool to show you more feedback as to what is going on in real time.

    Likely to be some chat about it here at some point!forum/drive

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