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I installed Google Drive and want to use it in order to backup some data scattered across my HDD.

I cannot get it to use these different directories because I can set only one folder in Google apps. I tried to create junctions and hard links to the outer directories, however it does not work ... any ideas how to correctly set it?

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do you see the hardlinked folders in the options? –  jay May 4 '12 at 0:58
I cannot see them –  Darqer May 4 '12 at 7:10
@jay - Those aren't hardlinked folders. Those are just subfolders under the Google Drive directory. –  Howiecamp Sep 28 '12 at 22:49

6 Answers 6

up vote 12 down vote accepted

You could use what I used when I had the same issue with Dropbox. And that's to use: NTFS Junction Points like you said.

It's pretty much a worm hole in the file system that makes a shortcut without appearing like one to applications. There are downsides to using these as an antivirus would scan both folders (despite physically being the same), amongst other things.

Try something like Junction Link Magic instead of command lines if it helps.

Update: it appears JLM does not create junction points the way we wanted. Instead use Junction Master which creates hard links, and that will lie to applications the way we need it to. You can read more here.

Junction Master at work

Creating a link in Junction Master will allow Google Drive to see it in the options.

options window for google drive

If we look at it in terms of shortcuts, consider a Junction Link as the shortcut file, and Destination as the original location.

And consider looking at tutorials to do this for Dropbox, as Google Drive similarly has only a single sync folder.

Oh and I'd avoid juntion points between drives!

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I tried and GoogleDrive application does not recognize it –  Darqer May 4 '12 at 0:52
Did you only try Junction Link Magic? Maybe try Junction Master? Strange, I'll have to go home and try this myself. –  jay May 4 '12 at 0:56
Application can recognize junctions so I think that google does not synchronize with it. –  Darqer May 4 '12 at 9:37
@Darqer: just tried JLM and confirmed it doesn't work. Tested Junction Master and it works fine with Gdrive. Updated answer –  jay May 7 '12 at 13:11
@jay - It just occurred to me that the actual files are residing in the Google Drive directory - you move them there from their original location - and then create a hard link (using junctionmaster or otherwise) in the original location to point to the directory under the Google Drive. I thought it was the other way around which is why I couldn't get it working. Any idea why putting the hard link inside the Google Drive which points to the directory in it's original location? –  Howiecamp Sep 29 '12 at 2:02

You could drag the actual folder to the Google Drive folder. Then create a shortcut to it where you originally had the folder.

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I have significant experience with Junction Points and Symlinks and note the following results:

  • Junctions & SymLinks inside the Google Drive directory did NOT sync

  • Hardlinks offered no direct solution

  • Moving the actual director to the Google Drive and creating the Junction from the ORIGINAL location TO the NEW (Google Drive) location DID sync (probably this would work for SymLinks as well)

Also: I have seen a problem with having junctions cross (LOCAL) drive boundaries (C: -> F:) and have done this extensively over the years). SymLinks are required to cross MACHINE boundaries (C: -> NetworkShare).

It's a PITA to move the directory and then link (and feels 'unnatural') it but it works fine that way.

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insync application for Windows, Mac and Linux supports aliases, shortcuts and ntfs junctions

Download from insynchq.com for 2 week trial, then 10$ one-off payment thereafter.

NOTE: I do NOT work for them

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Use Existing Folder for Google Drive I find it a bit annoying that my Google Drive folder has to be named "Google Drive". It is possible to place the Google Drive folder wherever you like if you go into Advanced configuration before you start using it, however no matter where you locate it it creates a Google Drive directory for storage of the files. I wanted to use an existing folder for Google Drive. I have a folder that I use with Live Mesh and Dropbox that I like to use for files synchronized to the cloud. I figured there would be a registry key or configuration file somewhere that would allow me to change the Google Drive location, but I could not find either. I decided to try something different. I used a symlink to point my Google Drive folder at my existing synchronized folder. Google Drive insists on being configured with an empty folder at the start (at least that is what I have read), so I temporarily removed the data from my synchronized folder, created the symlink, started Google Drive and then moved the data back.

Here are the steps you should follow.

  1. Temporarily remove data from the existing folder you want to use. In my case I have a folder located at C:\Users\user\Documents Synchronize that I use for data synced to the "cloud". I removed data from that folder and put it somewhere else temporarily.

  2. Create the symlink Run Command Prompt as Administrator and then create the symlink. My command looked like this:

mklink /J "C:\Users\user\Google Drive" C:\Users\user\Documents\Synchronize

The quotes are necessary since there is a space in Google Drive. The location I used for the symbolic Google Drive is the default location that the Google Drive installer will use. You can put it wherever you like, but since it is a symbolic link it isn't really going to take up any space, so it doesn't matter. The /J switch makes it a hard link. (C:\Users\"your username"\Google Drive is the default location for Google Drive)

If you want more information about symbolic links look here: howtogeek

  1. Install and configure Google Drive You can just use the default configuration unless you created the symlink folder in a weird location.

  2. Move data back to your existing folder I put my data back in C:\Users\user\Documents Synchronize and it immediately started to sync to my Google Drive in the "cloud".

  3. Hurray!

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/J switch creates a directory junction, not a hard link –  fnt Dec 18 '14 at 0:07

You can use symlinks if you reverse the process. I've written an article with video that you can find here. Takes 3 minutes to setup. http://bittechie.com/backup-files-and-folders-outside-of-google-drive-folder/

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posting vague answers with external links is a no, no. Post your full answer here without any links. –  Sickest Sep 10 '14 at 0:25

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