I had an email from RW of BT support confirming the aspect of BT Cloud architecture that precludes it from synchronising edited files across the system to different devices. After suggesting 4 plausible user errors (not copied here) , he reaches the nub of the problem, as below. I have embedded some observations, clarifications and comments in the text, email extracts are in italics.
Basically, I want to use BT Cloud to sync between a desktop and laptop so that the laptop has my work files up to date when I am away from home. At any time, I will only work on a particular file on one of the two devices. They mirror one another, both W10 and generally the same apps. Again, this postulation has not been the problem.
As discussed below is the feedback and comments from the developer on their observation on the issue you currently having .
Why is the client marking the file as conflict:
The last file uploaded to the cloud is always taken as the correct one.
The logic of this design feature is that only one file of a particular name in a particular folder can ever be uploaded. If BT Cloud scanning the client finds a different version, the version on the server will be downloaded as the ‘prime’ version, the version on the client will be marked as a ‘conflict’ version, willy nilly. So, if a user updates a file, when BT Cloud detects the revised version it will immediately mark it as a ‘conflict’ version and download the version on the server, user’s work.
The valuable feature on BT Cloud Web of version control becomes void. If inadvertently an old version of a file needs to be retrieved, it was possible to do so; with the current architecture, there can never be multiple versions of files on the server unless created with Good OLD BT Cloud.
Fundamentally, under what circumstances is a newly edited version of a file copied to the cloud so that it can be synced to other devices? Old BT Cloud, Dropbox and OneDrive can/could do it, but after 3 years those running the current BT Cloud still can’t manage this basic cloud operation. My monthly fee to BT should give me 1 GB cloud storage, which is currently inaccessible, whereas I’d have to duplicate this at significant monthly fee elsewhere. BT are failing to meet their contract obligations
If the local file differs from the cloud, because it was edited offline and in the meantime the cloud file was also being edited, then the local file has to be renamed as conflict.
In Sync mode, the user does not have direct access to edit the version of the file on the server; it is the version on a client device that is edited. If you like, the user edits an offline version, albeit in the BT Cloud folder on the client device. Basically, any file in the BT Cloud folder on the client device will be ripe for marking as a ‘conflict’ if it is updated.
It is up to the user to resolve conflicts manually (to decide if to keep the conflicted copy and rename it, or keep the original file and delete the conflict).
I agree that was the procedure in the past with BT Cloud. An old file on the second device could be allowed to remain as a ‘conflict’ file, the updated file having been copied up to the server from the first device and then down loaded to the second device by the ‘syncing’ process. Then check whether the new file or the conflict file is the one wanted. But under the new regime, the updated file never gets to the server, and so never gets to the second device.
What do I do now?
The best way to resolve a conflicted copy is to compare both versions and merge them manually.
Conflicted copies can happen with all types of files. If you're using Microsoft Word, you can check out their help article on how to compare and merge two documents.
I am aware of how to check conflicts, the first approach being to look at the file creation date and size. And being aware of changes that have been made, when and why. Never happens now…..
How do I prevent a conflicted copy from happening again?
The best way to avoid a conflicted copy is to move your file out of its sync folder while you're working so that nobody else can access it. Once you're done editing, you can move the file back into its original location.
You jest of course. If our theory was correct, you could do it with free-standing Word or Excel files. Not so easy with a database (Access) file. Impossible with a website (.html) file, for which internal links depend on the position in the file structure. But the concept is fundamentally flawed - as soon as the files are copied back to their previous location in the BT Cloud folder, the files will be superseded by the old versions on the server
Alternatively, you can create a new folder for all in-progress files titled "In Use" so your collaborators know not to make changes
There are no collaborators
In the dim and distant past, the gurus provided us with a superb BT Cloud system that worked correctly. Then the inadequate nerds were put to ‘update’ the system. For 3 months it didn’t work at all. Then they got it to work, but with this fundamental error, that the server version of a file is sacrosanct, thereby preventing uploading of any revisions and hence transfer to other synced devices.
For crying out loud, accept your error, incompetence, and make it so that a newer version of a file on the client is copied to the server (the old version there being kept as an old version) so that the modified file can be copied to other clients.
There seems to be no dissent from my assertion that the protocol:
The last file uploaded to the cloud is always taken as the correct one.
More logical is:
The newer of the last file uploaded to the cloud and the version on the client is probably the correct one.
'Newer' rather than 'newest' as at any time BT Cloud is only comparing 2 files, as it is only looking at one client at a time.
'Probably' because we can't be certain, which is why (a) if the client file is newer, the older copy on the server is saved as a prior version or (b) if the server file is newer, the older copy on the client is renamed as a conflict.
Of course, BT Cloud should not upload to the server files that have been marked as conflicted on the client. They should already be present on the server as older versions of the file, without the conflict epithet.
The Modified date/time is the crucial one - not Created or Accessed - as you can see if you check the properties of an old Excel file that you have modified, closed and later reopened without changing it.
In 99% of cases, this protocol will get the correct file synced to the 'other' device(s), and in due course the conflicted files can be deleted. But the user has the option of checking the conflict version if things don't seem right, if for example when editing a text file parts suddenly go missing due to clumsiness at the keyboard. Like when I was editing an email to create the parent of this posting, some bits that should have been large italic reverted to normal... You can probably guess where. When I noticed, it was too late to edit the posting
Oh yes, I'm using OneDrive, and am close to the 100 MB 'free' quota. If I want more, I have to take out a subscription; the next level is 100 GB of storage, but I have 200 GB sitting on BT Cloud dormant, on hold for a solution. I am already paying for 1TB with my BTinternet monthly fee.
I have an inherent objection for paying for something that should work and then pay someone else to do the job properly.
Let’s face it, Cloud Storage is not rocket science. Dropbox, OneCloud and in the old days BT could do it.
However, Old BT Cloud had one crucial advantage, in saving old versions in case of error and identifying old versions as conflict files, for the user to inspect if appropriate. In contrast, I understand Dropbox and OneDrive overwrite existing older files regardless, precluding recovery if a naming mistake was made. So I'd like to get the logic of Old BT Cloud reinstated ASAP.
Unfortunately, someone was not thinking logically 3 years ago and introduced a illogical condition. Hopefully this error can soon be rectified and we can get a correctly working version of BT Cloud soon.
Given the following statement from BT I would not expect much future development of BT Cloud.