Power users of Microsoft OneDrive suffer massive inconvenience: Read-only files

Workaround available for problem which started a week ago

Microsoft is still completing a fix for an issue with its OneDrive cloud storage that "affects a large subset of users worldwide, who have a storage quota that exceeds 1TB," in which files become read-only.

The problem, incident OD280960, was first reported on August 26th, and the company's engineers soon worked out that some misconfigured process was "not recognizing user licenses and reverting the storage quota limit to the default settings of 1TB. We're changing the way the quota is calculated, which should mitigate the issue." The workaround, Microsoft said in its status update, was that "admins can individually set the quota for impacted users."

All was not well though, and 12 hours later Microsoft reported that "we've determined that the previously provided workaround is not viable or functioning as expected for all affected users and have removed that guidance from this message. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused."

A fixed fix was identified and a few hours later, the company was confident that "the deployment has completed successfully. Additionally, we’ve identified that the fix will take approximately 24 hours to take full effect."

Two days later though, on the 28th, Microsoft said that "we have received some reports that this issue is not resolved for users with custom quotas. Further investigation is required." The workaround that was earlier rejected was again recommended, that "admins attempt to manually set the quota for individual users."

The word "attempt" possibly signaled some doubt about how well this would work. "A more robust solution" is in the works, the company said. An additional apology was added to the status update. "We understand how impacting this issue has on your organization and we want to assure you that we are treating the issue with the utmost priority," it said.

Later that day another update referred to a "separate mitigation activity that will temporarily increase the quota to a value greater than 1TB, and then subsequently apply the correct value." Users were also advised that they should "initiate a refresh activity," such as logging into OneDrive on the web.

On the 30th, Microsoft said it was "in the process of completing our final validations within our internal environments prior to initiating a targeted release." Then yesterday, "We’ve completed the validation process and are deploying our solution for users with applied custom quotas."

Another update is expected soon and the hope is that all will now be well. It is fair to say though that resolving this "misconfiguration" has proved trickier than was originally thought.

The good news, perhaps, is that only a minority of users have storage exceeding 1TB in their OneDrive. For those with memories, for example, of 1.44MB floppy disks, it still seems a large amount of space, though easy enough to fill for the determined power user. ®

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