Windows Insiders with SD cards turn into OneDrive outsiders

Microsoft's decided only NTFS devices are allowed

Microsoft has tried to DoS its forum servers, by changing its OneDrive consumer policy to only support cloud backups of NTFS-formatted drives without warning users first.

Unsurprisingly, that's lit up the forums with complaints, because people only found out when OneDrive popped up error messages.

Windows 10 insiders copped the change when they installed the latest build, and got a message reported in this Reddit thread:

The location where you were trying to create OneDrive folder belong to a drive with unsupported file system. To have OneDrive use a different location, click Set up OneDrive and point OneDrive to a NTFS drive. To use the existing location with OneDrive, you need to format it with NTFS then click Set up OneDrive to configure your account.

As the Redditor who posted that note observes, that means even Redmond creations like the Resilient File System (ReFS) are blocked – not to mention SD cards formatted to FAT32.

A similar restriction applies to Windows 8.1, as stated in this support document (last republished July 5, but the policy may well be older):

OneDrive can sync only with folders on a drive formatted with the NTFS file system, which is most commonly a hard disk drive on your computer, or an external hard disk drive. Portable storage, such as USB flash drives or solid state memory drives, use a different file system and won't sync with OneDrive.

This complaint at a Microsoft support forum identifies yet another alienated user base – a user with an SDHC card supplementing the 32 GB storage on their lightweight laptop.

So far, 106 other users have clicked “me too” on the question, and the reply tagged “most helpful” reads “Add me to the list of EXTREMELY pissed off PAYING CUSTOMERS who got shafted by this sudden change. I'd be OK with it, if there had been communication in advance. But making a change that breaks functionality and without warning... that's not the behavior of an enterprise software company" (edited).

One response suggests a non-destructive format is possible:

Right click to select command prompt and RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:n

However, as the poster notes, this comes without warranty and might require re-installation of Windows Store apps.

It seems that non-NTFS support wasn't part of Microsoft's game plan, but the company forgot to tell users. Redmond responded to The Register's inquiry with the following statement:

"Microsoft OneDrive wants to ensure users have the best possible sync experience on Windows, which is why OneDrive maintains the industry standard of support for NTFS.

"Microsoft discovered a warning message that should have existed was missing when a user attempted to store their OneDrive folder on a non-NTFS filesystem – which was immediately remedied. Nothing has changed in terms of official support and all OneDrive folders will continue to need to be located on a drive with the NTFS filesystem." ®

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