Office 2013 & SkyDrive Pro - Saving files while offline

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I have found what I think is an annoying bug in the Office 2013 applications that is keeping our staff from creating new documents on the road in places where they have no internet access.  For reference, our computers in the field are Surface Pro 128 GB models running Windows 8 Pro 64-bit and Office 365 Small Business Premium 64-bit (Ver. 15.0.4535.1004) and we are on hosted Office 365 post-upgrade.  We are completely up-to-date on patches for Windows and Office.

 

Here's the problem, which should be very easy to replicate:  When a computer is not connected to a network with internet access or is in airplane mode, Word, Excel and other Office 2013 applications cannot save to some nested folders within the main SkyDrive Pro folder.  It seems to vary on the nesting level required for the error to occur, but in general, 3 levels almost guarantees it.  So, if I open Word 2013 on an offline computer and attempt to save a new file to "C:\Users\[Name]\SkyDrive @ [Company]\Foo\Bar\Test\test.docx", Word spits out the following error: "Word cannot open or save this file because the path name is too long."  Of course, we can see that the path doesn't exceed 255 characters by any means.

 

If we open Excel 2013 and try to save a new file to "C:\Users\[Name]\SkyDrive @ [Company]\Foo\Bar\Test\test.xlsx", Excel says this: "Microsoft Excel cannot access the file ''.  There are several possible reasons:  - The file name or path does not exist. - The file is being used by another program. - The workbook you are trying to save has the same name as a currently open workbook."  Once again, all 3 possibilities for the error fail to pan out.

 

However, if we open Notepad and try to save a new file to "C:\Users\[Name]\SkyDrive @ [Company]\Foo\Bar\Test\test.txt", it succeeds perfectly, which points to the Office 2013 applications as the cause of the problem.

 

I have tested this on multiple computers, so I'm fairly confident that it is not specific to our environment and that a solution can hopefully be found (and patched, if necessary).  It is really impacting our users and it isn't fun to tell them to either leave all of their documents open and save when they can get WiFi or save them to the Desktop and then manually copy them into the SkyDrive Pro folder using File Explorer.  This is the kind of stuff that should work seamlessly, especially since SkyDrive Pro was developed alongside Office and with Office in mind, specifically.

 

Please let me know if you can replicate this problem.

 

- Brandon

All Replies
  • Hi Brandon,

    Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention, your time and efforts on this matter are highly appreciated.
    I have reproduced this issue on the following environments:
    Windows 7 64bit, Office 365 Small Business Premium 64-bit (Ver. 15.0.4535.1004), SkyDrive Pro (Ver. 15.0.4505.1007)
    Windows 8 64bit with Office 365 Small Business Premium 64-bit (Ver. 15.0.4535.1004), SkyDrive Pro (Ver. 15.0.4535.1000)
    The Office 2010 doesn’t have this issue.
    The Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 (Ver. 15.0.4420.1017) doesn’t have this issue.

    If I create the Word document directly by using right click menu or copy the documents to the SkyDrive Pro local folder to edit. It can work fine.

    We need to further investigate this issue.

    However, I have resolved the issue on my test computer by using the steps below. But I have found the root cause. So, I cannot ensure it can work in your environment.
    1. Reproduce this issue (In Word 2013) in the offline environment. (Create a test document on the desktop and save as to the SkyDrive Pro local folder)
    2. Then click “Sign out” in Word 2013 as the screenshot shows below:
      
    3. Don’t close this document. Connect to the internet then click “Save As” to save it to the SkyDrive Pro local folder again.
    4. The Word client will finish some procedures then finish the “Save As” step.
    5. After finishing the steps above, I disconnected the internet and try to reproduce this issue. This issue hasn't occurred again.

    Please let us know if it can work in your environment.

    Thanks,
    Wilfred

    1 out of 1 people found this post helpful.

  • Wilfred,

    Thanks for investigating.  Unfortunately, your workaround only works on a folder-by-folder basis in our environment and doesn't correct the problem automatically in all subfolders of the 'fixed' folder.  Our users have a lot of folders, so it would be time-prohibitive for me to repeat the procedure on every folder in a user's SkyDrive Pro storage.

    However, for now, I can have our users create the files they need to create while offline by using File Explorer and then opening any newly created document in Word to edit it, as that always works.  If you find the root cause and/or there is a patch/hotfix released that fixes this problem, please let me know, as our users would be quite happy.

    Thanks!

    - Brandon

  • Hi Brandon,

    We appreciate your understanding.
    I have sent the report of issue to the related team. If there are any updates, I will reply the thread.

    Thanks,
    Wilfred

  • I have the same problem. Did anyone come up with a viable solution to this problem?

    Thanks,

    Tim

  • I was hoping that the problem would be fixed in Office 2013 SP1, but it is still present.  The only way that I've found to work around the problem is listed in my previous post.  Unfortunately, it seems like this problem is rather low priority for the relevant team at the moment, so I'm not holding out much hope for a fix anytime soon, if at all.

    OneDrive for Business (formerly SkyDrive Pro) in general needs some work and feels like more like a public beta than a released product...

  • hi,

    I have exactly the same issues, and it's a real hassle to have to deal with this when travelling a lot and being a business user. Is there a real solution by now, because the workaround takes too many steps.

    thanks, Marco

  • My experience with Office 365 is appalling. I have been trying it out as part of finding out solutions for a client (and future clients) and after numerous pitfalls, and now the above problem, I am seriously thinking of looking elsewhere. As someone else has said, it really feels like an unfinished Beta product and it really doesn't do "what it says on the tin". Anyway, I too have this problem (doesn't anyone who works with offline files?). I am begging for a fix (the one above is hardly a fix) but seeing as though the original post is 7 months old, I guess I am not holding my breath. Unbelievable! I remember the days when customer service mattered and if something was faulty you would be entitle to a refund or it got fixed. Sigh! My workaround at present is to save to desktop and then manually move the file to the OneDrive folder (previously stated).

  • Dear Microsoft Team,

    As a MS Partner I can verify the repeated existence of this problem.

    I manage a portfolio of clients that in one degree or another have been moving to a full Office 365 solution.

    Unfortunately, it is becoming quite uphill to maintain the users confidence in the solution when these types of issues black-hole with no solution neither feedback.

    Onedrive is objectively and indisputably a product that was not ready for prime time as released. On each one of my customers, their user base works with documents in roaming mode and not being able to save their files is obviously a big problem that I don't understand how come does not gets addressed in expedited mode.

    Can someone please escalate to the appropriate responsible party?

    I have a parade of several other issues with Onedrive, but this one is a big show stopper.

    F Bello

    1 out of 1 people found this post helpful.

  • MrFBello,

    Thanks for bumping the thread and keeping it alive.  It's been over 9 months (!!) since I started this topic and there is no word of a fix for this problem.  It really is a showstopper, like you say.  I'm really disappointed that this problem has only been mildly acknowledged and not resolved by now.

    To any Microsoft support reps that are reading this topic, what exactly are we supposed to do to get problems resolved in a timely manner?  Small businesses need to have a voice when it comes to services like this.  This isn't a trivial problem for us; it cripples workflows for our users and I feel like we are being ignored simply because we don't have much weight to throw around.  The thing is, problems like these do have a real impact and need to have due attention paid to them.

    I hope to see a solution soon and plan to reach out to more contact points about this if I am ignored here.  Maybe commenting on the Office blogs would make more of an impact?

    - Brandon

    1 out of 1 people found this post helpful.

  • Hello,

    I suggest you to download new Long Path Tool software that simply allows you to work easily on Long Path files.

    Thank you.

    0 out of 1 people found this post helpful.

  • Hi

    Just wanted to see if there was any likely timescale for a resolution to this problem? I'm just about to roll out OneDrive Pro to our organisation and it's pretty fundamental that Office products can save to the sync'd folder when offline.

    If it is useful, I'm running Windows 8 64 bit Home and Business Edition of Office.

    Please could we have a definitive list of products affected, and timescales for a fix/hotfix?

    Also, is there a more appropriate forum to raise this as a bug.

    thanks

  • Hi Microsoft,

    How can we get this bug escalated? This is a real shame that it has not been addressed. It is not even acknowledged in the known issues section in Office 365!

    Some of the key points that our customers want to use OneDrive for Business for, simply do not work.

    Please can someone take ownership and assist?

  • Hi Microsoft,

    This is causing us a major issue saving files when working off-line we have a remote workforce that travels and need to be able to save work in the most efficient way possible. If Dropbox and others can do it without issue why can't you integrate your products properly?

    Regards