How to connect to SkyDrive with WebDAV – and my Office 2010 awakening

2010-01-17
[This does not work as decribed anymore, and it probably never was meant to by Microsoft. I've moved on to SugarSync for my cloud storage needs, even though they don't either support WebDAV.] Actually, I stumbled upon this when I decided to try out Office 2010 beta. I haven't found any official documentation about how to connect to Windows Live SkyDrive with WebDAV (or any API), so I'm not sure how well supported this will be in the future. If you find any word about this from Microsoft, please let me know in the comments. The good news is that it works. The bad news is that it is very slow, but being 25 GB for free I guess you get what you pay for speed-wise (understandably).

[Update: New info about a tool I wrote to find out the addresses for WebDAV discussed below]

There is now a tool available that can determine the addresses you need for your WebDAV access to SkyDrive. It is available on CodePlex here. You can download the console application and run it from a command line. There is also a WPF application (seen below) if you have the latest version of .NET 3.5 SP1. More info in CodePlex site. But read the background below to know how I got there and what to do with the information that the tool provides.

Showing how to determine WebDAV address with WPF application

But let me start at the beginning with a brief introduction to Office 2010 beta. If you find this boring, scroll down to here.

Microsoft Office 2010 and installing the beta

I had actually decided to part from Microsoft Office in favor of more lightweight applications like Google Docs and OpenOffice. For two reasons: price and size. So I haven’t installed Office 2007 on any of my newer computers or laptops for the last six months or so in order to ensure that I don’t need it anymore and I have gotten by pretty well.

The application I’ve missed the most is probably Outlook. At the same time it is the application where the hate/love relationship is the greatest. I really like working with it but at the same time it feels way too big, bulky and complex for something that should be simple: mail and calendar (the way I see it). Too much MAPI baggage I think.

Then I listened to Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott about a new installation option for Office 2010 beta. It is called Click-To-Run and sounded interesting since it uses an application virtualization technology called App-V that means that you can install and run the application side by side with whatever you have on your computer without risking changing any system settings (which especially affects Outlook, had I had Outlook 2007 installed).

I decided to give Office 2010 an extra chance and now I’m glad I did. Not only for discovering WebDAV access to SkyDrive. Everyone can download, install and use Office 2010 beta until october 2010 when it expires, but you do need a Windows Live ID.

Of course, there are a hundred-and-one SKUs (different packing of included applications etc) to choose from for Office 2010 also. No, I shouldn’t be so sarcastic about that since it does mean that if you don’t need everything in the full suite you will be able to get it for a lower price. But it is a pain to keep track of all the combinations.

What I’m getting to is that Click-To-Run only seems to be available for the “Home and Business” SKU, at least during the beta period. So go and download and install it here (requires registration via a Windows Live ID). The installation experience was smooth but a little weird. You see, Click-To-Run also has some sort of streaming built in so that different parts are downloaded when needed. In practice this meant that it looked as though only PowerPoint was installing since that was the screen shown during most of the installation. But I realized that was because an introductory PPT-file is automatically shown as the first thing after installation. Also, beware that one (or two?) dialogs didn’t activate as the topmost window and therefore I missed answering them (which is why the installation seemed to be stuck for a while).

One great thing about configuring Outlook 2010 that really impressed me was that I only had to specify my e-mail address for Outlook to figure out on which server my mail was located and by which access method it could connect. Maybe I shouldn’t be impressed since it usually is that easy for ordinary POP3/IMAP access, but still – a great improvement that has awakened my interest in Microsoft Office.

Another thing I like already is that the big circle button in the top left corner of the window is gone and has been replaced by a File tab (albeit a “special” tab) . That makes the interface much more uniform – a strip of tabs – and maybe even I can find the ribbon likable…

Microsoft Office 2010 and the web

The first thing that interested me, and that led to the discovery of WebDAV for SkyDrive was “Save to SkyDrive”. Yes I know – get to the point!! – not yet…

Paul Thurrott mentioned this feature in the netcast and it was the first thing I tried. Under the File tab and the Share menu option you’ll find “Save to SkyDrive”. Of course, I assume you already have a SkyDrive account so just login and you will be presented with your folders.

Office 2010 and Save to SkyDrive option

The next step in this screen dump is to double click the Public folder. Note however that this is really slow (for me, at least) and that Excel is unresponsive for a minute or two. Lets hope we can attribute this to beta software. Have patience, and you will (hopefully) be prompted with a dialog box to specify the file name, which is also what gave the WebDAV functionality away.

Dialog box asking for a file name

Also, before this dialog box appeared, the status bar gave away an address. I have removed the part that is unique to every user below (a guid), and changed it in the screen dump above.

Status bar in Office specifying the address

Nice! My conclusion was that Office 2010 must be using WebDAV for this so I had to investigate this further.

Another surprise was that SkyDrive in the browser will obviously support Office Web Applications, which means that you can view and even edit the documents right there in your favorite browser (which is Firefox, of course). At the moment, you can only view Word documents, but you can actually edit Excel spreadsheets. Excel editing looks really nice and is really hard to separate from the real application visually, however it does not seem to have a lot of functionality. I couldn’t find copy-down for instance. It remains to be seen just how much functionality will be available, but it would be strange if Microsoft didn’t try to at least match Google Docs Spreadsheets.

Steps to access SkyDrive folders with WebDAV in Windows Explorer

So, with this new information, here are the steps to connect to SkyDrive folders using WebDAV and get access to their contents in Windows Explorer. Note that I’m using Windows 7 (64-bit) and I don’t know if this works in older Windows versions.

[Update: I first thought that you could access SkyDrive folders without the sub domain mentioned above. That is probably not the case, so I've revised my instructions.]

In order to determine what path to specify in Windows when connecting via WebDAV, you either need to run my tool or use Office 2010. If using Office 2010, create a document and share it to SkyDrive as described above. When saving the document and specifying its file name, you have the chance to look at the address bar and copy the path, in my example:

https://pxeptc.docs.live.net/b8c6f2e973a17512/^2Public

Actually, the folder name “b8c6f2e973a17512″ in the path is the same as a personal sub domain when logging on to SkyDrive the normal way from your web browser. It can look like “http://cid-b8c6f2e973a17512.skydrive.live.com/”.

The sub domain “pxeptc” in my example is something derived from your SkyDrive account and the specific SkyDrive folder you want to access via WebDAV. So for every folder in SkyDrive that you want to access via WebDAV, you have to share a document from inside Office 2010 to determine this name.

In developing my tool, I saw that Office calls a web service to determine the WebDAV addresses for each folder in your SkyDrive account. That web service is located at http://docs.live.net/SkyDocsService.svc but you can’t access it in your browser since it requires a Live ID authentication token. (My tool fixes that.)

Also, some folders are special and “known” to the system much like “My Documents” on your computer. That means that their name is not the same as on the web page in SkyDrive. I have identified two such folders that I have. In SkyDrive they are called “Public” and “My Documents”, but in WebDAV they are called “^2Public” and “^2Documents”.

Also note that Windows recognize another way to specify this address which I think is interpreted in the same way. So the following two addresses would be equivalent:

https://pxeptc.docs.live.net/b8c6f2e973a17512/^2Public

\\pxeptc.docs.live.net@SSL\b8c6f2e973a17512\^2Public

To increase speed you should also make sure the following option is unchecked in Windows (if you don’t need it):

Control Panel, Internet Options, Connections, LAN Settings, Automatically detect settings

Conclusions

That’s it! Of course the maximum size of a single file is still enforced (I just had to try…). Unfortunately I don’t think this will work in other operating systems. I assume that the WebDAV part is used according to the standard, so that should not be a problem. However, I did notice when looking closer at the http communication that the server wants to authenticate with Passport1.4 (MS-PASS) which is Microsoft specific and I doubt that would work on Mac or Linux?

Also, it is very slow. Sure, you get what you pay for, but maybe there will be more (payment) options with SkyDrive in the future now that the sharing functionality from Office 2010 has been implemented. I don’t think I would mind paying if the speed was there.

I suspect Microsoft has something up their sleeve when it comes to “storage drives in the cloud” (duh! :)). Right now they have been silent for quite some time. I use another service, namely Live Mesh, for file synchronization. It works great (5 GB limit), but it has been in beta for long now and Microsoft has discontinued all the developer stuff (sdks) for that service and for all or most of Live Services also I think. They are obviously up to something.

Unfortunately, there is no caching of files accessed over WebDAV. Windows has a built in system for remote access of files on remote locations called “Offline files”, but it only works on true Windows paths (SMB) and not WebDAV. At least not that I know of. Therefore you probably want to save to local disk and use a synchronization application to put your files on SkyDrive.

For me as a developer the most important part of this story is that there now is an api for SkyDrive access where there was none previously. Not counting the screenscraping way of the SkyDrive client library by ghollosy on Codeplex. It worked great when I tried it, but I don’t like to be in the hands of the web browser user interface on the site in case that changes (more of a “when”, than “if”?).

Additional information about photos

In my SkyDrive account I also have photos. They are obviously not exactly the same thing as a folder. I think they are somehow integreated with Windows Live Photos or whatever the branding is. Maybe you can have Windows Live Photos in your Windows Live account without having a SkyDrive folder account?

Anyway, I also discovered that this WebDAV access works with photos but I haven’t found a way to determine the sub domain needed for all my photo folders. However, if you have the name of a photo folder, I got Windows Explorer to do a redirect and tell me the name.

I just followed the pattern above and replaced the last part such as “^2Documents” with the exact name of one of my photo folders. And what do you know? Windows Explorer took a few seconds but then redirected to a sub domain under docs.live.net and there were all my photos in that folder!

How to set up WebDAV in Windows Explorer

If you need more specifics about how to create the WebDAV connection in Windows Explorer, here are the screendumps.

First, right-click on Network icon in Windows Explorer and select “Map network drive…”.

Select Map Network Drive in Windows Explorer

This dialog box will be shown:

Click on link

[Update: I previously had several screen dumps here, going through the whole wizard, but I later found out that as long as you map a drive letter at the same time, you can do it all from this single dialog box.]

Type in the path to the SkyDrive folder that you want access to in the “Folder” field. You can use either the https path or the \\ path. For instance:

\\pxeptc.docs.live.net@SSL\DavWWWRoot\b8c6f2e973a17512\^2Documents

Dialog box with filled in path

Windows will ask for your SkyDrive login either way, but you should also check the option “Connect using different credentials”. You don’t have to check “Reconnect at logon” of course, but then you have to remember the path the next time you need access. It may be a bit irritating to have the SkyDrive mapped on every boot since Windows probably will complain that it could not attach the mapped drive (if you don’t store the password permanently).

Click Finish and after typing your SkyDrive user name and password you are done.

Dialog box asking for user name and password

Showing the new drive in Explorer left pane

Remember that file access to a remote location using WebDAV probably is a lot slower than local file access in all cases, and especially slow on SkyDrive. Don’t be surprised if your waiting time increases when saving files etc.

88 Responses to “How to connect to SkyDrive with WebDAV – and my Office 2010 awakening”

  1. [...] Live Skydrive in Windows 7 – To Mesh or Not to Mesh? I was pointed to this post by Mike Plate on how you can access your Windows Live Skydrive directly from Windows 7 by Jamie [...]

  2. Mark Roddis says:

    Fantastic.

    At last Skydrive becomes what it always should have been.

    Who needs Google Docs now

  3. Paul says:

    Couldn’t get this to work… is it just a question of submitting your live id and password?

    Would be great to get this working!

  4. JIOB says:

    It does not work in Windows Explorer. I think the problem is that my computer does not know where found the domain \\docs.live.net Mike could you take a look to your host file at C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc? It seems that its necesary to add a line with the IP number for the host docs.live.net works

  5. admin says:

    There is probably more to the story than what I said in my blog post. I’ll try to investigate further. For now, you might get better result if you actually put on that extra sub domain that I talked about and forget about “.Documents” being the same as “^2Documents”. This means that you have to download Office 2010 in order to find the sub domain. If I choose to Map network drive and input the following, it seems to work better:

    https://pxeptc.docs.live.net/b8c6f2e973a17512/^2Documents

    Also, I now know why my sub domain seemed to change inside of Office. The sub domain doesn’t change, but it is different for every folder, so in my example “pxeptc” only works for my “Documents” folder. My other folders have other sub domains, but by sharing documents from Office 2010 to them, I can find out what the sub domain actually is.

  6. Quinny says:

    Brilliant stuff Mike!
    Work perfectly under XP and Server 2003 x86
    Thanks.
    Sam

  7. Mike says:

    im running windows 7 home premium and nomatter how I try to connect to it, it will come up with ‘windwos cannot access http://blah blah, check spelling of the name, otherwise their might be a problemn with your network exc.
    eror code 0×80070043 the network name could not be found

    I think i am doing it right it just cant find it for somereason.

  8. admin says:

    @Mike I tested logging on to my SkyDrive WebDAV folder in Windows 7 Home Premium, just to ensure that it isn’t something strange with that version, but it worked fine. You should be able to open the https url directly in Internet Explorer and get a “The website declined to show this webpage” (window title shows “HTTP 403 Forbidden”). If you’re getting “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage” there is something wrong with the domain in the address, or your network.

  9. Mike says:

    got it to work using skydrive simple viewer. Its just incredibly slow right now. Any way to speed it up? 9KB/Sec right now

  10. My SkyDrive is mapped in Windows Explorer – it works well.
    But I can’t copy files through the command line or robocopy.

    Do you know if there’s a way to read/write to a WebDav mounted drive through the command line?

  11. Got it working like this:

    net use S: “\\xxxxxx.docs.live.net@SSL\DavWWWRoot\yyyyyyyy\^2Documents” /USER:me@live.com MYPASSWORD

    Good times!

  12. [...] account. For this there is a simple portable tool called SkyDrive Simple Viewer developed by Mike. Run the tool and login to your Skydrive and select the folder which you want to [...]

  13. admin says:

    @Mike: About speed. This setting seems to be slowing down WebDAV access in general. Make sure it is unchecked:

    Control Panel => Internet Options => Connections => LAN Settings => Automatically detect settings

  14. Michael says:

    Very nice, the upload is not that slow but a bit slower. But over all very nice to have these folders mapped. Just start your upload before bed time and in the morning you are done.
    Also do make sure you Un-Check that check mark in Internet Options, it helps alot.

    Thank you for all this info as my NAS crashed and I do not have the funds for a new one. Life Saver!

  15. Robert says:

    Mike,

    I love the DumpURLs, but must be missing something. All of the folder subdomains are listed, but theroot of my SkyDrive is not. Thoughts?

    Thank you,

    Robert

  16. admin says:

    @Robert: The thing is that there is no notion of a root with a single access point (url). I’m guessing this is for load balancing reasons. You have to map/access every SkyDrive root folder to a different url.

  17. Jim says:

    If you right click and choose “Add a network location” instead of mapping the drive, Windows won’t complain when it can’t attach the drive at startup.

  18. Bill says:

    Well I can’t get SkyDrive Simple Viewer to run. System XP with latest update, .Net 3.5 Sp1 and firewall switched off.

    Running dumpurls.exe alone at the DOS prompt yields “Please run command with Windows Live ID username and password” Syntax: dumpurls.exe ”

    OK, tried that. Response: “Wrong username or password!
    ‘xxxxxxxx’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.”

    In my password the “xxxxxxxx” is a truncated part of my password following a “&”.

    Another try was to include the username and password in “” which produced: “< was unexpected at this time."

    I immediately logged on to Windows Live manually with no problem.
    Each of the above unsuccessful attempts was tried a number of times.

    Would appreciate any help or suggestions.

  19. admin says:

    @Bill It is true that if the password contains < , > or | (maybe more characters?) you have to enclose it with quotation marks when running dumpurls.

    dumpurls.exe myaddress@domain.com “abc<&def”

    That should be sufficient, but obviously not in your case. Try the WPF application which could work better since it is not based on the command line. My last suggestion would be to change your password to something only consisting of a-z and 0-9. The WebDAV addresses are the same regardless of your password, so if you do that and retrieve the WebDAV addresses, you can change back to your old (more secure) password before mapping the drives in Windows Explorer.

  20. Bill says:

    Thanks, the quotation marks solved the issue. For some reason I had wandered off to check the allowable file characters in the .Net environment and “&” was not excluded and I stopped there; not thinking the obvious, which was, this was just a command line script and and would likely need to conform to the “long file name, special characters, etc” requirement for quotes. Sometimes I over think things! Thanks again.

  21. Fred says:

    Thank you so much for this tip! It worked perfectly well for me.
    The only thing is that the speedy is indeed pretty slow: I get around 40KB/s even with “Automatically detect settings” disabled.

  22. Bill says:

    Mike, I am trying to determine the sub domain for a folder under Photos following the comments in your post titled “Additional Information About Photos”. I’m not sure I understand Windows Explorer redirection well enough. I did try mapping a Network Drive using the same path as used to mount the Documents folder (ie “^2Documents” and maps perfectly) with the name of my photos folder but that just yielded a “path could not be found” message. I assume that is because I have in that path the sub domain for the Documents folder. IOW I simply replaced the “^2Documents” with my photo folder name. I would appreciate the steps you followed to have Windows Explorer resolv your photo folder sub domain. Thanks for all you help and advice.

  23. admin says:

    @Bill The address you type into the address bar of Windows Explorer should look like:

    \\docs.live.net\383b4c6f2c973a17\Summer2009

    where you replace “383b4c6f2c973a17″ with your own id and of course “Summer2009″ with the exact name of one of your photo folders in Windows Live. Be patient since it can be like 30 seconds before the login dialog box is shown. I just tried it and I got in, but for some reason I had to type my login 2-3 times (?). However, even though I see my photos there, now I can’t find where I saw the subdomain the last time I tried. With a tool like Fiddler (www.fiddler.com) I can see it, but that is of course more work.

    I’m hoping there will be something official about all this SkyDrive/Live services from Microsoft during the MIX10 conference March 15-17. They have been quiet about Live services and their api for quite some time now…

  24. Bill says:

    Mike, Once again, THANKS! I had much the same experience. I think I had to provide my logon password five times. Go figure? In an earlier attempt I had tried removing the sub domain as you suggested but I had included the Secure Socket Layer (@SSL) in the path and that perhaps is what was causing the problem. As you say, the sub domain isn’t displayed but the folder mapped OK, so that is all I need.

  25. [...] mynetx, Mike Plate, [...]

  26. Lucas says:

    Didn’t work for me in XP. I tried it a bunch of different ways, and I can see the files using three of them, but I can’t copy or open the files using any of them. It only copies a few kilobytes and then stops. The copied file is there on my local drive, but with only the few kilobytes that were copied. Sucks. Thanks anyway.

  27. Lucas says:

    What I find curious about this is that it works fine with Gladinet, yet this won’t work at all. What is the Gladinet software doing that I’m not?

  28. goonmunster says:

    how can I link to an image from an html document using link and/or img?

  29. kashmiri says:

    A couple of remarks to correct the above article:

    (1) Drive mapping works without the subdomain for me:
    \docs.live.net\1234567890abcdef\Folder

    (2) Documents (My Documents) is under Documents; ^2Documents never worked for me.

    (3) The @SSL part in the alternate URL has never worked for me – I’ve always had to leave it out to make the thing work – like this:
    \\docs.live.net\1234567890abcdef\Folder

    (4) Both the “Add a Network Place” and the “Add a Web Folder” wizards in Windows XP work very well (albeit slow) but only when a subdomain is prefixed; both of them create a new entry in My Network Places. Differences: the former effectively creates a “network folder” there, and the later – a folder looking like a local folder.

    (5) You can get the subdomain of the picture folder very easily: whenever you save a document to SkyDrive in Office 2010 beta on Windows XP, the relevant SkyDrive folder is automatically added as a network place to My Network Places. There you can see its full URL. This is true for SkyDrive’s Pictures folder as well.

  30. Michel says:

    Your solution works for me, but :

    a) I can’t copy files with “.cs” extension. I get a “Incorrect parameter” message.

    b) When there is an underscore in a file name or forder name, it is replaced by “^_”. And when I get back the file, it definitely has this sequence “^_”.

    • admin says:

      @Michel Haven’t tried cs-files myself, but is does sound like something that the Live web servers are blocking. Since cs-files usually are blocked, that could be the case (and could of course be a bug too – which ever way you choose to see it). The “^” encoding was also interesting to hear about. I guess both of these problems would have to be solved by writing a copy/sync application that takes care of such name transformations.

  31. Peter says:

    Hi I was glad to see your post on how to network Map Skydrive. I downloaded the Skydrive viewer and tried to run it. I found that it replyed I had the wrong username or password. I also tried to down load DumpURL, and received the same answer. I know the username and Password are correct, I can log on to Skydrive directly. Any Ideas? Thanks

    • admin says:

      @Peter The only thing I can think of is if the password contains some unusual character that the applications doesn’t encode correctly. You could try changing the password to something constrained to a-z and 0-9 and see if it helps.

  32. [...] SkyDrive Simple Viewer, (requires Microsoft.NET 3.5 SP1) kindly offered in a 14KB zip file by a developer that discovered that files could be uploaded to SkyDrive via WebDAV. Download it [...]

  33. [...] SkyDrive Simple Viewer, (requires Microsoft.NET 3.5 SP1) kindly offered in a 14KB zip file by a developer that discovered that files could be uploaded to SkyDrive via WebDAV. Download it [...]

  34. tk says:

    I know this is an old post, but I’ve been testing this method lately, and everything work swell except two things:

    1) I cannot delete any files from SkyDrive. I can correctly move files around folders and subfolders, but when I just delete one, it always reappear after refreshing.

    2) Modification dates are not conserved when uploading or moving files around on the server. This could make it hard to use incremental backup software.

    Also, any way to use this on a Mac?

    Thanks for all of this!

  35. admin says:

    @tk: Are you using Windows XP when not being able to delete? I think I remember some sort of problem with WebDAV thereand if so, there could be hotfixes to install (not sure though).

    Anyway, the most important conclusion from this blog post is that there is an api that applications can use to interact with SkyDrive. I think a custom application would be able to use WebDAV and set the dates correctly. And a Mac application (not Finder+its WebDAV support) could do the same (or Linux for that matter). I think that the WebDAV support, even in Windows 7, is not good enough as a solid transport mechanism but only serves as a proof of concept.

    However, for me personally, I think Microsoft has been silent for too long here. Maybe with the Windows Live 4 (I think it is called), there will be news about SkyDrive/LiveMesh also. But I’m moving on to Dropbox or SugarSync for my file syncing needs.

  36. tk says:

    Mike,
    Thanks for the reply.
    I’ve been using the Windows 7 beta. I will get to try it tonight on the real thing, so I’ll let you know ho wit goes.
    I tested around a few things, and it looks like Gladinet also mounts the drives using webdav. This is probably why it’s so slow.
    I am QUITE discouraged with Microsoft myself. They have all the right ideas, but the implementation is so complex, you get discouraged just trying to make sense of it all. They seem ahead of the curve, yet at the same time the current implementation is nothing than a proof of concept, as you said yourself.
    I understand that Office 2010 has a built-in cache function, through Office Upload Center, but it seems that you can never be sure of which drives are in cache. This does not make for a reliable solution.
    I find myself rooting for Microsoft these days, but until they do something about Live Mesh/SkyDrive, and come out with a tablet dedicated to OneNote, I can’t help but always wind up looking other places…
    Do you know if Dropbox keeps modification dates intact? I wonder if the problem with mounting SkyDrive is that it uses webdav.
    Thanks for the replies!

  37. Vitas says:

    Still does not work – network path cannot be found :-\ When I try to display the https address in IE than it correclty says “The website declined to show this webpage” so what can be a problem then? Do I have need to have some service running which I may have disabled on my WinXP pro system or is it a problem of my ISP blocking SSL filesharing or something?

  38. admin says:

    @tk Interesting discussion. I totally agree. My digital life today is a lot broader than just 1-2 years ago when it was very Microsoft centric. I’d say MS is still in the center, but my desk today has both an Android phone and a Mac Mini and I use Google Mail+Docs a lot.

    There are two reasons to wait/hope for “Windows Live for files”, I think: 25 GB free and in-browser editing of Office-documents. Note however that for WebDAV support, neither Dropbox or SugarSync will help you, if that is what you are looking for (for me WebDAV per se is not important, but supporting an api is). I still use the Live Mesh client but as I said I don’t feel it moving anywhere.

  39. admin says:

    @Vitas: Sorry I can’t think of any more advice for you. Yes, there is a “redirector” service or whatever it is called that I think is needed and ISP blocking or firewall issues could sure be the cause (but blocking SSL doesn’t sound likely).

  40. Mike says:

    Interesting problem. I have the drive mapped correctly and all the files and folders appear to be there. HOWEVER, when I copy down any file, the file itself is not retrieved. What does download is some HTML from the site showing the webpage of the SkyDrive.

    Any ideas what is happening?

  41. tk says:

    Mike,
    Are you sure the offline mode cannot be used with webdav on Windows 7? I’ve read about some people using the offline cache mode to speed up their SkyDrive on Windows 7. When I try to do it though, the Microsoft Sync Center gives me an error. I’ll get to try it on the release version of W7 later this week.

  42. admin says:

    @tk As sure as when I right click a network folder I get the command “Always available offline” in the menu. But no such command when right-clicking a webdav folder from SkyDrive. But if you find a way around that, please post in the comments!

    @Mike Getting html pages instead of files was a new one :) Only thing I can say is that it sounds as the code on the server is pretty well integrated if it can spit out the files or the html. For some reason, your incoming requests gets mistaken for a web browser and not a webdav client? Yes, weird.

  43. tk says:

    I actually do see the “make available offline” option in the contextual menu after right clicking a folder on the mapped SkyDrive. I can’t do this on the whole drive on the left side menu of Windows Explorer, but I can definitely do this on any individual folder. But whenever I do this, it says there is a sync error. (Invalid function or something like that.)
    After fixing the settings in IE8 (the LAN settings), SkyDrive is fast enough to be quite usable.
    If I can get the offline mode working, and can manage to erase files, then it should all be perfect. (Creation and modification dates are included in the metadata of Office and Adobe CS files anyway.)
    I’ll let you know as soon as I have access to a real Windows 7 installation. (Still on the beta on a VM on my Mac…)

  44. tk says:

    Sorry, mistake. I can actually see the “make available offline” option even when I right click in the navigation pane. It still doesn’t work, but I can definitely see the option.
    It’s so fast now. If I can make the offline function work, my life will become so much simpler.
    All my work and office stuff will go there. And since Windows lIve will act as a free exchange account, I will use it for calendars as well. I think MS’s privacy policy is better than Google’s.
    Windows Live might not have the cool factor of Google, but it is turning up to be the most solid offering for demanding people. (Formatting on GoogleDocs is horrible and amateurish, MobileMe is scary.) This coming from a Mac convert.

  45. admin says:

    @tk Yes, I agree that an offline mode is the missing piece. I’ve tried webdav from home to a private office server and even then, when the speed is high and the load is low, I don’t think it is a good solution to have applications save directly over the webdav protocol. They should save to local disk and then have some other system service or sync application handle the upload part.

    So, just to iterate: I don’t really think that having Explorer access via webdav is the big thing here (but of course important until we have a better access method). The big thing is that there is an available api that such system services or sync applications can use to do their work. I just hope Microsoft builds on this and moves the Live Mesh system to SkyDrive. Oh, and I think they have already done this with Office 2010 in that respect that Office 2010 is fully aware that it is saving to SkyDrive and therefore can do its own “save to local and then sync to cloud”.

    Remember, to anyone listening in on our discussion, if you are using Office 2010 I’m pretty sure it is much better to use the “Save to Web” menu inside Office, than to attach a webdav folder in Explorer and open/save via that (not sure, but doubt that Office 2010 is intelligent enough to see that the webdav folder is actually a SkyDrive folder).

  46. tk says:

    The problem I find with the Office 2010 uploader is that it is more difficult to know which files are cached. Of course, you can see the list in the upload center, but it can be quite confusing. Also, this only works with Office files, not InDesign. So if you want to use SkyDrive to have all of your office online, it won’t work.
    You’re absolutely right that Live Mesh will be integrated into Skydrive. You can see it just from this site:
    http://blogs.technet.com/james/archive/2008/11/25/live-sync-live-mesh-skydrive-and-why-patience-is-a-virtue.aspx
    When this comes, Microsoft will have the best suite of online services out there. (Remember that Hotmail will sync via exchange, including calendars.) Since they seem to have a better privacy policy than Google, they have my vote as far as online services go. This coming from a Mac convert…
    I’ve tested SkyDrive via Gladinet on real Windows 7 machine, and you’re right that the option for offline access wasn’t there. I will get to test more thouroughly later and get back to you.

  47. tk says:

    Mike,
    Just wondering about your application… Is it a true portable app? I.e. does it leave anything in the registry? I am really OCD about my registry…

  48. admin says:

    @tk: It sure is. No install, just unzip and run.

  49. tk says:

    Thanks! I’ll try it on my clean install of Win7!

  50. Rob says:

    @Vitas: I’ve been struggling for hours, until I found the WebClient-service was disabled on my machine! Starting it solved the problem.

  51. [...] Mike Plate have found found a way to access SkyDrive folders using WebDav which gives us the possibility to store the OneNote workbooks on the SkyDrive. You can read more about his approach here: http://www.mikeplate.com/how-to-connect-to-skydrive-with-webdav/ [...]

  52. Danny says:

    I am able to map the drive on my Windows 7 machine, but almost any file I try to copy to my skydrive it comes back and says the file is too large for the destination file system. This is with files in the 30k range, no where near the 50mb limit. Is there a limitation with this?

  53. Danny says:

    I seem to have found the answer to my issue. It seems to be based on file type. One file that failed was a 16k zip file. If I renamed it to a txt file it worked. Are there file type restrictions on skydrive?

  54. admin says:

    @Danny Oh, my. Same for me. I guess this is part of the update that was recently rolled out (release of http://office.live.com). I also guess this is to block users from using the 25 GB for generic file backup. I don’t know the details, but it seems that Live Mesh sync now somehow is integrated with SkyDrive but only for 2 GB of data.

    However, I could upload a 1 MB zip-file using the Silverlight plugin they now have in the web interface. Will have to investigate further to see what is actually going on.

    To me, SugarSync is looking better and better for file backup. But will of course cost you for data above 2 GB and does not support WebDAV. Then again, SkyDrive does not even have a payment option (yet).

  55. Octoplayer says:

    Not sure if list is a live update or because I have just upgraded to Office 10, but I now get “too large” error for any file type I have tried, png, bat, htm, jpg. Only Office-types files work , txt, doc, ppt, docx, pdf.

    Nice of Microsoft to a) provide any advance warning, b) give a meaningful error message

  56. jimwormold says:

    Great article that has been helping me backup for a couple of months now – so thanks!

    However, recently something has changed and I seem to only have read-only access to my mapped skydrive via WebDAV. I am using XP SP3. Are there any workarounds?

    Thanks again,

    Jim

  57. Jeff says:

    I am getting the same error as @Octoplayer I haven’t tried to use it in the past just tried to set it up and it seems that it only works for office files.

  58. JimMplsMN says:

    Rob – thank you for the Web Client service post – after hours of head scratching you brought me the solution!

  59. bgabrhelik says:

    It works for me in MS WebDAV miniredirector but it is very slow. It seems that only specific file types are allowed. I can upload just MS office documents. I was unsuccessfull with JPG file. The server response on PUT is 415 Unsupported media type.

    Also I tried it with WebDAV client we develop, but the server badly forms the body of OPTIONS command. There is a char sequence “--” in XML comment, which is rejected by our XML parser, so our logon sequence doesn’t pass.

  60. Jose says:

    using http://www.drivehq.com replace Live Drive’s WebDAV. Simple, Security, Faster.

    1. Sign up a free account on http://www.drivehq.com for 1G free space.
    2. Setup your WebDAV work space using http://www.drivehq.com/WebDAV/USERNAME.

  61. Alok Yadav says:

    hello, mike its works for me thanks ..

  62. [...] But let me start at the beginning with a brief introduction to Office 2010 beta. If you find this boring, scroll down to here. [...]

  63. Gurkan Durukal says:

    Dear Mike,
    I mapped my skydrive space with your skydrive simple viewer help. Thank you so much…
    If I want to use uploaded file from mapped skydrive directly for a kind of CAM software; all the time my files corrupted on transferring (when reading). If I try to open these files with this software GUI, I got suprised viewing some texts looks like “HTML codes” instead of my file details. Of course there is something about my files there, but these are nonsense for my CAM software. Is there any solution to avoid these corruption?
    Thanks for your consideration,

  64. Max says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you so much! Your method is the only one that was able to run n my computer without making it unweildy (compared to apps like Gladinet)!
    I’m on a Pentium III (all I can afford atm) and it has WinXP SP2 – I’ve been able to access the drive after mapping it – and made a few folders, however anything beyond that is impossible. I cannot rename aforementioned folders but more annoyingly, I can’t copy any files!

    I keep getting an `Access is Denied’ message – I’ve tried renaming file extensions to .doc, .txt and so on but it still gives me that same message. Would you have any idea why?
    Thanks again and Greets from Sri Lanka, let me know if you ever are in need of freshly picked Tea ;)

  65. admin says:

    @Gurkan Durukal and @Max: Unfortunately I think Microsoft is deliberately restricting, if not totally blocking, this feature. I have not examined how Office 2010 works around this when saving to SkyDrive and I don’t think I will. I’ve moved on to SugarSync for my cloud storage needs. It was fun while it lasted!

    • pozoun says:

      In my opinion it does not look like MS is smth restricting – I can create and remove folder but upload and also download ends with `Access is Denied’ message. Any idea?

  66. [...] 2010 with Web Apps is what seems to create them. As I was looking through the search results, I saw an article from a guy called Mike Plate who’s created a little tool that allows you to explore the [...]

  67. [...] 2010 with Web Apps is what seems to create them. As I was looking through the search results, I saw an article from a guy called Mike Plate who’s created a little tool that allows you to explore the [...]

  68. [...] For this there is a simple portable tool called SkyDrive Simple Viewer developed by Mike. Run the tool and login to your Skydrive and select the folder which you want to [...]

  69. amr says:

    Dear all

    To connect windows explorer to the skydrive as map drive

    The file will not open if you did it as the topic

    THE RIGHT WAY is:
    choose connect to online drive and then paste the WHOLE address of your folder with “https://”
    :)

  70. Dmitrj says:

    Hello mike!
    You wrote very good manual, but i have on problem.
    I vanting add my skydrive in xp i go My computer – Map Network Drive- link “connecting to store on the Internet or connect to a network server”
    - \some.docs.live.netcidPublic I have after this Map Network Drive but i havent permisions vrite on it.
    Please help me!

  71. Dmitrj says:

    I nead have permisions write on it

  72. Dmitrij says:

    Hello Mike I need to contact you.
    How i can do this?

  73. [...] quick search led me to this great post from Mike Plate. This gave me a good starting [...]

  74. Evert says:

    Hi, could you please help me. Whenever I connect to SkyDrive it work perfectly until the next boot, then Windows 7 tells me: “could not reconnect all network drives”. It drives me nuts. If I have to reconnect manually each time it would defy the whole purpose to connect it in the first place.
    Hope you can help me with a solution?

  75. Rob says:

    Hi Mike, i’ve been looking at using SkyDrive and followed the above and all worked fine (thanks for great instructions!). However it only allows certain file types as others have already mentioned. To upload photos in SkyDrive you have to click the link to create a photos folder (for arguments sake called photos). This then has an adddress of photos.live.com (so different to the docs folder that uses docs.live.net) and the simpleviewer tool wont show the photos folder info, only the non photos folders.

    Is there anyway of finding out the path of the photos folder? I tried \photos.live.com\Photos but it can’t map a drive as unable to find the address.

    I wanted to use the 25gb on SkyDrive to backup my 10gb of family photos as a safe online backup but there just doesn’t seem a way of being able to map to the photos folders you have to create seperately.

    Any help would be very much appreciated.

  76. Can i make a new Class in Visual Basic to Acces on my SkyDrive Acount??

  77. Raj says:

    thanks for the detailed tutorial… this one comes very handy and I am highly reliable on Microsoft now..

  78. Amit says:

    Thanks a lot! it worked even today :D

  79. Amit says:

    BTW, I found out about this by office 2010 as well :p Then I googled about how to map it to skydrive.

    Thanks again! :D

  80. parry says:

    Thanks for this, I used the Office 2010 method, works flawlessly and at a very good speed as well!

  81. zaadu says:

    Thanks for the how-to guide.It worked like a charm for me

  82. Alessandro says:

    Hi, don’t know if you can help me….

    I’m trying your “Simple Viewer”, but I’m getting a [Stream was not readable] error….

    I strongly suspect this is related with me being behind a company proxy server, but I don’t know how I can have the tool work with the proxy set up.

    Thanks a lot in advance
    Alessandro

  83. Hans Henrik says:

    this still works!
    now its basically just called https://d.docs.live.net/ instead.
    made a working url fetcher 23.06.2012
    live demo here: http://codepad.viper-7.com/ydnpu7
    (dunno how long that demo will work though, the code is below)

    login->navigate to SkyDrive->any public folder->press “Share Folder”->press “Get a link”->copy the “View only” link, and paste it in this php script.

    confirmed working 23.06.2012
    */
    /*
    Code gets whatever is between “resid=” and the closest “!”
    then:
    echo ‘https://d.docs.live.net/’.$WHATEVER_WAS_BETWEEN;

    its not optimized.
    */
    ////header(‘Content-type: text/plain’);
    $public_url=’https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=57E3744FD8F7B369!138&authkey=!ALIEiRRX26XuIOk’;//example valid url..
    $start=stripos($public_url,’resid=’);
    if($start===false){die(‘ERROR1: could not find resid=’);}
    $start+=strlen(‘resid=’);//feel free to hardcode 6 :p
    $end=stripos(substr($public_url,$start),’!');
    if($end===false){die(‘ERROR2: could not find end “!” of resid’);}
    $yourID=substr($public_url,$start,$end);
    $base=’https://d.docs.live.net/’;
    $WebDAVaddress=$base.$yourID;
    echo $WebDAVaddress;

    ?>

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