Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Moving to SkyDrive

I hope Security Garden readers haven't missed the message from the Windows Live Mesh and SkyDrive Teams announcing the retirement of Mesh earlier this month.

With the retirement of Mesh the following changes are taking place:
  • Remote desktop and peer-to-peer sync are no longer be available.
  • Any data on the Mesh cloud (Mesh synced storage or SkyDrive synced storage) will be permanently deleted on August 13, 2013.  (Mesh users go here to access your Mesh online storage.)
  • Synced folders have stopped syncing.
  • You are no longer able to connect to your PCs remotely using Mesh.

Get SkyDrive

Whether you are a former Windows Live Mesh user or just never tried SkyDrive, you will discover that it is very easy to set up.  SkyDrive works on Windows 8, Windows 7, or Vista, and Mac OS X Lion computers.

Setting up SkyDrive couldn't be easier.
  1. Download SkyDrive Desktop App for Windows
  2. Double-click SkyDriveSetup to start the installation.
    SkyDrive Install
  3. Click the Getting Started link on the Wizard that launches after installation.
    SkyDrive Getting Started
  4. Sign in with your Microsoft Account.  If you don't have a Microsoft Account yet, just click the link to sign up.
  5. Click Next and you have the option to change the location of the Skydrive folder, although you may want to stay with the default.
    SkyDrive Introduction
  6. As appropriate, check the box to "Make files on this PC available to me on my other devices" and then click Done.
    SkyDrive Done
  7. All you need to do to get started is drag the files and folders to your new SkyDrive folder and the application does the rest!

It is that easy!

Now you can easily access your files from another computer or device.  With 7 GB of free storage, you have enough space for 20,000 Office documents or 7,000 photos.

SkyDrive Desktop for Windows System Requirements

  • Operating system: One of the following:
    • 32- or 64-bit version of either Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 and the Platform Update for Windows Vista. (This app can't be installed on PCs running Windows RT.)
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 and the Platform Update for Windows Server 2008
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz or higher, Pentium IV or higher
  • Memory: 1 GB of RAM or higher
  • Internet connection: High-speed Internet access is recommended.
~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

As a SkyDrive Insider, I am excited to share information about SkyDrive.  If you have a question about this post, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to assist.

Learn more about the SkyDrive Insiders program here


Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...


Peter Griffioen said...

Corrine, explain to me why I have 30 GB of space on my Skydrive and is accessible from my DT & LT running W7 Home Premium 64 bit and another DT running XP Home SP3. I can access it from from all 3 PCs. I just use my hotmail address which runs under from website ''. I also have a folder under "Computer>Local Disk (C)>Users>Owner>SkyDrive" but that folder is completely empty. I am a bit puzzled about this. I have uploaded 1 file to SkyDrive and it is sitting there without any problems. Could you please clarify for me what is going on. Thanks in advance, Peter.

Corrine said...

Hi, Peter.

I also have files and folders that are saved to SkyDrive that are not located in the default location (in my case, C:\Users\Corrine\SkyDrive).

They are files and folders that were saved to SkyDrive prior to installing the SkyDrive app to my computer.

Peter Griffioen. said...

Corrine, all solved. Skydrive required an update on both W7 PCs. I am now able to upload and download from both but only download from my XP PC. Thanks for your assistance. Regards, Peter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Corrine,
I want to download/install Skydrive, primarily for my many pictures and a few documents/letters.

With Skydrive, can I keep them "private" or will they be "public" by default?

Thank you
Basil Assimakopoulos

Corrine said...

Hi, Basil.

That is an excellent question!

By default, the files you save to SkyDrive are private. What is particularly nice is that you can share a folder with just one or a group of people or make a folder public.

See Share files and folders and change permissions - SkyDrive.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Corrine for the clarification. I am looking forward to downloading Skydrive later on this morning....especially as I am a person that has been using Picase for many!!
Best regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Corrine,

In the past I used Live Mesh to backup My Pictures Folder and with it I could easily download pictures from my camera. I kept pictures ON my computer and backed them up to the cloud. I used Essentials Photo gallery to view my photos. Nice and simple, no duplicates, one process to download.

I switched to SkyDrive last year when I heard that Mesh was ending.
I started out with a default install of SkyDrive and then copied pictures from within My Pictures folder and added them to SkyDrive. The problem with this was it resulted in duplicates of every picture when I open Photo Gallery. It also meant that every time I download pictures from my camera I had to do it twice. Once into My Pictures and once into SkyDrive.

It got to be such a mess that I deleted all SkyDrive folders. To eliminate duplicates, I went into the Properties portion of My Pictures and changed the location tab of My Pictures to within SkyDrive. This eliminated the duplicates and multiple camera downloads.

With this model, "MY pictures" are in the cloud and not on my computer.

I'm interested in learning how you have your pictures set up with SkyDrive.

Thanks in advance.

Corrine said...

I had also been using Windows Live Mesh and was syncing some files (including some pictures) between two computer and SkyDrive. I didn't have it as well organized as I do now so moved that collection to a new folder on SkyDrive.

They are duplicates of what is on my main computer which I am still reorganizing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Corrine,
Having created an account using my gmail address, I am trying to download SkyDrive.

I have saved SkyDriveSetup.exe on my desktop and then try to run it.

It is trying to install it but towards the end, I get the message:

"SkyDrive can't be run using full administrator rights. Please restart without administrator rights."
I am totally confused....please help!
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Just realised one mistake and opened a live account with a address.
I can access Hotmail, so I must have done correctly.

However, I still don't know how to run SkyDriveSetup.exe without administrator rights!

Thank you

Corrine said...

Hi, Basil.

I found the answer in your log at LzD: "Windows Vista Service Pack 2 x86 (UAC is disabled!)"

SkyDrive cannot run on Windows Vista with UAC disabled.

There are two options:

1. Enable UAC by following the instructions here. (You will need to restart the computer to apply the changes.)

2. Turn your account into a standard user account.

I recommend enabling UAC.

Anonymous said...

Hi Corrine,
I very much appreciate your research efforts. Yes...I have UAC disabled. I will enable it and have another try, later today.
Thank you very much

Anonymous said...

Wow! many things to play with.
I have noticed that it will "transfer" individual pictures from "my pictures", but not folders containing many pictures.

I might as well leave UAC, ON.
Thank you very much for your help, Corrine.


Corrine said...

Hi, Basil.

Good to hear that enabling UAC solved the problem.

As to individual pictures vs. folders, you should be able to grab a folder and drag it to SkyDrive (either the location shown in Explorer or to the icon in the taskbar).

Alternatively, right-click the folder, select either cut (or copy), navigate to your SkyDrive folder and select paste.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Corrine,
It seems that it can not upload picture folders.
Whichever method I try, I get the message:
"Sorry, but we can't upload folders or empty files".

Corrine said...

Hi, Basil.

See if the solution for resetting IE provided at Sorry, SkyDrive can't upload folders or empty files. solves your problem.

Anonymous said...

Corrine. Is Skydrive suitable as a place to sync/save sensitive information (e.g. tax/financial records) or is it just really for things like photos, unimportant Office files etc? It would make things simpler for me if I could use Skydrive to sync all my files including the sensitive ones, but I am hesitating on security grounds. Thanks. Jane

Corrine said...

Hi, Jane.

Very good question!

Short answer: Yes, sensitive documents (e.g. tax/financial records) saved to SkyDrive are secure. The only way to access those files is by secure logon with your Microsoft Account.

That raises the reminder of ensuring that a strong/unique password is used for your Microsoft Account. For additional information regarding a strong password, see Password Generator & Checker | How Secure is my Password.

Additionally, regardless of whether anyone uses SkyDrive or not, I strongly recommend taking the steps to protect your account. This article written for "Hotmail" equally applies to the revamped Hotmail Security to Protect and Recover Your Account ~ Security Garden.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Corrine, that’s reassuring.
I have seen some bloggers suggest that one should encrypt important files locally before syncing them to Skydrive using software such as BoxCryptor or Cloudfogger. This frankly sounds a bit complicated – but you are suggesting it is not required? Thanks. Jane

Corrine said...

Hi, Jane.

It would depend upon the sensitivity of the information being synced on SkyDrive. Although files are transported to SkyDrive with SSL, if the material contains highly confidential information, encryption should be considered.

It is important to note that if a document or spreadsheet is password protected, the Word app cannot open the file. Instead, it will need to be downloaded to the computer.

I started an article on SkyDrive security but haven't had an opportunity to get too far into it. I'll try to get back to it in the next few days.

Anonymous said...

Turning on UAC and rebooting my Windows 7 machine didn't help resolve my Skydrive issue: "can't be run using full administrator rights"

Is there any other possible fix to this issue besides creating a regular user account?

At least I don't have this issue with BOX or DropBox.

Corrine said...

Hi. Please check the SkyDrive startup setting to see if that solves the problem. Open SkyDrive manually from the Start menu, go into "settings" and select "Start SkyDrive automatically when I sign into Windows".

pmeinl said...

Private files should only be stored in the cloud when encrypted with a key controlled by the user only (transport encryption and encryption in the cloud is not sufficient). Manual solutions like password protected files or containers (Ex: Truecrpyt, 7-Zip) are cumbersome to use. Not supporting EFS or offering an alternative solution forces us to trust yet another party like BoxCryptor. With SkyDrive being tightly integrated into Win81 and MS urging us to use it user controlled encryption is mandatory and no longer just nice to have.

There are reports of people having their SkyDrive account locked by Microsoft because the content or even the file names only did violate Microsofts very wide code of conduct This happened with files that private only, not shared with others.