Summary of Issues with WSA Sync

Discussion in 'Prevx Releases' started by STV0726, Nov 5, 2013.

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  1. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Rage-free, succinct, and hopefully useful for Joe and his team to sort these issues out with great haste. (EDIT: I don't mean to sound impatient either...I only say it that way because I have had file reversion and risks of data loss throughout this whole week and as we speak.)

    1. File change reversion - Sync reverts a file to an older version (If this is not caught and corrected manually by the end user downloading the correct version from the Web Console Change History, permanent data loss is imminent!)
    2. File duplication - Sync creates a duplicate entry entitled the same but with an (on XYZcomputer) appended. File is often partially blank or outdated.
    3. Renaming leaves both - Sometimes, Sync will leave a renamed file intact, forcing end user to delete the old one
    4. Sync delay - Sometimes Sync will not function at all until two default scans are run, presumably due to how WSA communicates with the cloud.
    5. Storage space error - Sometimes, Sync will show that only 1GB of storage is the maximum allowed, instead of 25GB

    More to come as I observe them or can add more details to the existing list...

    Again, 2014 release definitely made the existing issues worse for me. :thumbd:
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  2. PrevxHelp

    PrevxHelp Former Prevx Moderator

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    Thanks - I had memorialized most of these but this list definitely helps keep everything in one place. We're hard at work getting to the bottom of these with yours and Muddy3's assistance. I will only claim success when we've thoroughly reproduced and resolved the issues but will keep everyone in the loop as we make progress.
     
  3. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    I am not adding this one to the main list above because it may be by design, but...

    WSA Sync seems to approach folder renaming by deleting the old and copying and creating a whole new folder with the new name.

    This to me is a disaster waiting to happen and adds extra bandwidth usage.
     
  4. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    Some thoughts on the above:
    1. Yes I agree. This, to me, is the greatest problem.
    2. Well, here I must beg to differ. This is a convention that is used when a Sync App detects a potential conflict. It will save what it believes to be the good version under the good name, and append in parentheses the aforesaid text to those that it believes to be invalid conflicts. This is for the user to check. What I will say however is that, whilst this can happen quite frequently with SugarSync and Webroot Sync (particularly the first time that you sync across your computers), I have found this event to be virtually unknown in Dropbox. Superior programming? I dunno though I have generally found Dropbox to be the most stable of Dropbox and SugarSync.
    3. I can recall no previous experience with this. Perhaps because I never renamed a file while using Webroot Sync??
    4. This area is problematic for me. I found at the beginning that Webroot Sync was just failing to sync or decided to sync many hours later. However, later on I discovered that it was necessary to close the file for it to sync (very strange protocol, may I add, and not the ideal procedure imho). This made me question whether this had been the reason why earlier I had experienced apparent lack of syncing. I frankly don’t know the answer to that question.
      Have you checked, STV, that this is not the cause of your installation failing to sync?? I would be extremely interested in your findings.
    5. Yes, this problem continued, and continues, despite the fact that Support had previously informed me that it should be resolved by Feb 2013.
    6. (in response to STV's additional point in post 3 above that "WSA Sync seems to approach folder renaming by deleting the old and copying and creating a whole new folder with the new name") That’s very surprising. It seems to me to be bad practice and, as STV has said, a disaster waiting to happen.
    This list takes me back to the first week that I used Webroot Sync. I found a panoply of problems, many of which I can no longer remember, which made me ask whether the whole architecture of Webroot Sync was suspect. The fact that, at the very least, some of these problems remain today only serves to reinforce that doubt in my mind. I hope I am wrong.

    On the reverse side, Joe has informed me that Webroot Sync is widely used by Webroot personnel including himself and, although I haven’t yet got an explicit answer to this (he's only just informed me, and we're in constant communication), he seems to be implying that they have not been experiencing similar problems. I have asked for clarification as to whether they are using it to sync odd files here and there, for example in the “Webroot Anywhere” folder or if they are, like I was, syncing all of their data folders. If the former, that might explain if they haven’t experienced similar problems to STV and I.

    On this final point, personally I found that everything seemed to be working fine as long as I just synced odd files in the “Webroot Anywhere” folder. However the problems began when I started syncing all my data folders. This issue seems to have been acknowledged indirectly by MikeR in post 12 of the following Webroot Community thread: https://community.webroot.com/t5/Webroot-SecureAnywhere-Complete/BkUp-Sync-prob-might-be-user-error/m-p/17672/highlight/true#M1617. Admittedly that was a long time ago but I would be interested to know if this is the way Webroot personnel use Webroot Sync today.
     
  5. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Thanks for your additions, Muddy. You and I are quite similar in mentality. :)

    I will say that in response to you, I understand the parenthetical appending of what machine a file was made on is not an error in itself, but what is an issue is that it keeps happening with WSA and I can't for the life of me figure out why. The file isn't a duplicate...it is a single file being updated that it always happens to.

    Joe, has any progress been made on isolating and pinpointing any of these issues since I sent in my log?

    Thanks.
     
  6. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Hi again,

    Seeing as there is no ETA on this issue, coupled with the fact that the Sync team is unable to reproduce this, I have lowered my expectations for the time being to finding a workaround.

    It turns out, as much as I bashed other Sync solutions for having a single "sync folder" and not letting you pick custom folders like WSA does, I actually only use one additional folder containing all my docs to sync in addition to Webroot Anywhere.

    I have been hearing that it may work more reliably if everything is kept to that folder. I am seriously considering moving my documents folder (not the windows default my docs...a folder I create within that) into the Anywhere folder. Then, I would make another sub-folder in Anywhere for the temporary quick-sync stuff that I presently use Anywhere for.

    I hope this resolves my issue for now. It is getting close to the end of the semester and I cannot afford to lose anymore files, and I need syncing!
     
  7. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    @STV0726:
    Or use SugarSync for your documents folder? With SugarSync you can back up any folder you wish, and you can open a 5GB account for free .

    Btw did you have any comeback on my reponse to your point 4, i.e. may the problem of Webroot Sync's delay in saving your documents be due to your having to close those documents before they are uploaded to the cloud?? As I said, I never found the answer to this question and would be interested if you have any feedback on this.
     
  8. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Hi Muddy,

    Sorry...I actually do notice updated or newly saved docs losing their green sync icon briefly then regaining it, all of this happening after I close the file being saved.

    I do not believe this pertains to the issue I brought up for sync delay, though. I was talking about how sometimes nothing syncs upon booting or logging into Windows until two scans are done to "activate" cloud communication. (If that's working as intended they've got problems.)
     
  9. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    So you boot or log into Windows, then modify documents and/or create new documents and they don't upload to the cloud. Right?
     
  10. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Right...or more like I anticipate syncing of changes I made on another machine like creation of a lesson plan and panic when it isn't showing up.
     
  11. Techfox1976

    Techfox1976 Registered Member

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    Interesting...

    From all my years in the industry, what I've discovered is a pretty solid fact is that if it's not reproducible on a standard test machine, chances are pretty good (100%) that it's related to something non-standard on the machine that it occurs on. So at that point it becomes a question of finding out what specific item, setting, etc, on the machine in question, is causing the effect.

    This is good in a way, because it means it's not likely to be affecting anybody who doesn't have that specific setup. But it's also bad because it's YOUR setup that is having problems.
     
  12. PrevxHelp

    PrevxHelp Former Prevx Moderator

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    Using the 'Anywhere' folder could help but I don't think it would explain the other issues you've been having. We're still working through the testing and I should have responses to the rest of your questions/observations early the week.
     
  13. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    If WSA or any security layer cannot co-exist with my setup outlined in my sig, it is effluvia and gets the boot.

    Syncing of files shouldn't be broken by enforcement of LUA and software restriction. Nothing needs to be executed. Just sync the darn stuff and stop duplicating and reverting it!

    And software testing systems should include a setup like this as far as I'm concerned.

    We don't know the cause at this point. If we start apologizing for WSA and pointing the finger at my less-typical setup, it will drop this issue to a lower priority on their fix list and since data loss is on the table and the cause unknown, that's never a good thing. :thumbd:

    I don't see any apparent conflicts with any of my other computing setup or security layers, so at this point, I'm going with the presumption that many users don't notice reversions until it is too late. Nor do they notice things aren't syncing. They just install, setup, and assume they are protected and everything is peachy.
     
  14. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    It seems this is a more typical setup, though, correct? I'm willing to adjust that.

    As always, I'm not-so-willing to start shutting off and stripping down my other security layers just to see if there is contention. :)

    WSA should be (and I believe currently is) designed with a layered approach in mind.
     
  15. Techfox1976

    Techfox1976 Registered Member

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    Sorry for the confusion. I don't mean strip off and blame something else and leave it off. I mean find what else is causing it so it can be reproduced as to what exactly is causing it.
     
  16. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    My bad mate, been a hard day.

    I see what you mean now.

    I thought you were leading to "if you use WSA you don't need other stuff. Strip it down to typical Windows installation and enjoy." :p
     
  17. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    Sorry! I should have said:
    "So you boot or log into Windows, then modify documents and/or create new documents, close them but they don't upload to the cloud after closing. Right?"

    EDIT: Almost sure you understood this when I first asked the question, however just double-checking to be sure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  18. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    UPDATE:

    Utilizing solely Webroot Anywhere default folder for all syncing doesn't seem to help.

    Really need a fix for this!
     
  19. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    Or use Dropbox for those folders which you don't mind putting in a special dedicated Dropbox folder (you can open a free account and also earn up to 16GB free extra space by referring friends and contacts to Dropbox) and use SugarSync for the other folders whose paths you don't want to change (you can open a free 5GB account). That's a potential for 21GB free storage space (I currently have 16GB in total), until Webroot Sync becomes a robust and reliable backup solution.

    By the way, I'm still interested in your answer to my previous post. I was double-checking that your documents and files are not uploading to the cloud even when you have closed them. I assume you answered this in our previous exchange but just checking that we understood each other.
     
  20. PrevxHelp

    PrevxHelp Former Prevx Moderator

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    Did you experience the issue again? Can you send me the log files from your WRData folder?

    Thank you!
     
  21. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    Any progress update, Joe—even though you may not yet have a solution? That's of course if you feel it's appropriate to share here.
     
  22. PrevxHelp

    PrevxHelp Former Prevx Moderator

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    We have a longer solution which is passing through our QA team as we speak, which is being deployed as part of a refreshed backend update. However, the team was under the impression that the workaround they have in place now should have avoided it, so I'm definitely interested in STV's logs if they're still reproducing the issue.
     
  23. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the update :)
     
  24. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Let me be more specific...

    I don't think I have had any file reversions since I used solely WR Anywhere.

    I have had a few (On AltComp) files be created for no good reason that I can see. I mean, I understand if there is a sync conflict then that gets added; but what is conflicting and why so often?

    You cannot tell me this is working as intended: Create a file and save it on one comp, let it sync, use it and edit it on another comp, save it, then a (On AltComp) file spawns.

    Gosh darn.

    Now Joe are you saying the your team is under the belief that this file reversion issue, the most severe glitch with WSA Sync, only happens when the end user uses other sync folders besides Anywhere?

    Muddy, I honestly don't know for certain the answer to your question and I apologize. All I know is whenever and however WSA syncs is fragile and a disaster ripe for detonation.
     
  25. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    @STV: OK :). Because as I said above, I did discover completely by chance that files are only uploaded once you close them (at least on my computers!). As far as I know, nowhere is this explained in the help screens or manuals, and anyway I personally don't like this way of proceeding.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
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