Google Drive Question

fmuellerfmueller Auckland, NZ Icrontian

Short version: How can I wipe a 100GB Google Drive that's 100% full so it's completely empty without sitting there for days deleting files, and then removing them again from the trash folder?

More detailed version: I have a side job at a university maintaining an NMR spectrometer. The instrument writes data to a C:/Data folder of a PC. I need to get those data to the users, and they love Google Drive. I set up a Google Drive, and synced the C:/Data folder to that drive. I've given the login details to all users, so they can go to the drive and download the data they need to their work or home computer. Everybody has their own sub folder, both in C:/Data and on the Google Drive. They love it, and everything has been running smoothly for three years. Recently we got close to the 15GB Google gives you with a free drive, so I asked the university to pay for the upgrade to 100GB. They did it, and all was good. Last week, one user decided to sync the desktop of his PC to the Google drive, so he doesn't have to download the data manually, but they will appear automatically on his desktop. Great idea, but the dude did a two way sync, meaning not only did the data in his folder get downloaded onto the desktop, but all the data on his desktop got copied to the Google Drive. Believe it or not, the dude has well over 100GB on his desktop, so the Google Drive was 100% full, and the entire system came to a screeching halt. I eventually identified the problem, found the culprit and the dude has been deleting all day today, with the result that we are now at 71GB of 100GB used. At this rate, it will take forever until we get back down to the about 15GB of actual NMR data we have on the drive. My proposed solution was to simply wipe the entire Google drive, and then put the data we need back on there from C:/Data. But wiping a Google Drive appears to be easier said than done! I've done some googling, and lots of people seem to have trouble with this. That's why I am asking all you computer whizzes around here ;-)

Oh yeah, the computer support guys at the university get ulcers when they hear the word Google Drive. They told me not to use this, but some drive the university provides. Trouble is, all my users hate the university drive, and they voted unanimously to get their Data via a Google Drive. Of course I am eager to please my users.

Many thanks in advance for the help!


  • GargGarg Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares Icrontian

    Forgive me for suggesting something you may have seen from Googling, but does just selecting everything in the web view of Google drive, deleting it, and trashing it work?

    My old uni used Box, which people weren't big fans of, but the pro was that it was located on premises so they could comply with HIPAA and FERPA regulations. That meant transfer speeds were pretty fantastic. Anyway, if you have a similar arrangement with whoever provides your cloud storage, it might be worth a second look.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Just go into the Google Drive folder on the web and delete the user's folder, then let him re-sort out the sync from his desktop.

  • fmuellerfmueller Auckland, NZ Icrontian

    Thanks for the input! I am in New Zealand, so US regulations don't apply. I don't actually know why my users don't like the university's storage, but they don't - none of them. Also, the speed of Google Drive is not an issue. They are very happy with that.

    The problem with deleting everything in a folder on Google Drive is that you can't highlight everything in a folder. You can only highlight everything that's on a page, and that isn't much, if you are dealing with thousands of files!

    For some reason, the files don't seem to be in the user's folder. At least I can't see them. I don't know much about how Google Drives work - well, nothing actually. But I can't see them anywhere in the view where I can see the folders. There is another view where you can see just files, not folders, and that's where you can see them. It's really weird!

    Anyhow, the user has been deleting for a couple of days now, and from 100GB he is down to about 40GB. I reckon after another day, he should be around 20GB, and that's when I am going to let him off the hook ;-)

  • Your users have too much control.

  • @Cliff_Forster said:
    Your users have too much control.

    I hate to agree with Cliff, but he's right. If the people setting policy says they need to be using the university network drive, that's what they should be doing and that's what should be supported. If they don't like it, they should try and change policy, not just get you to jump through hoops to work around it. There's probably a good reason they're saying to use that drive, I doubt it's just an arbitrary decision on their part.

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