back to article Microsoft OneDrive for Windows 7 drives off a cliff for business users

Multiple customers have told The Register that OneDrive for Business on Windows 7 is falling over for them, with one reporting that Microsoft has quietly pulled the plug on support. Free support for Windows 7 itself ended more than a year ago, but the company is still looking after deep-pocketed enterprises unwilling or unable …

  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    What's going to cost more?

    Upgrading to Windows 10 for free, or buying support for Windows 7? The problem is that Windows 7 extended support is limited, although that does means that your operating system "features" don't keep changing, so applications normally keep working.

    "The big difference between software for money and software for free is that software for money usually costs a lot less." - Brendan Behan (updated for the modern world).

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: What's going to cost more?

      I don't think you are officially able to upgrade from 7 to 10 now, though a Windows 7 serial number will still activate Windows 10.

      1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: What's going to cost more?

        At this point anybody upgrading from 7 to 10 had better use a DIY plan. A broken OneDrive under 7 would have "unpredictable" consequences for the data during the upgrade. MS has form for just deleting the files...

        1. martyn.hare

          Windows Backup

          Who needs DIY or even OneDrive when Windows 7 backups are fully supported?

      2. hoola Silver badge

        Re: What's going to cost more?

        The online activation servers are still there, I did an upgrade for a friend who was still on 7.

        It completed but ran like an utter turkey so I restored the disk image and they went to buy a new computer.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: What's going to cost more?

          I would strongly recommend a clean install. When asked for your serial number, enter the Windows 7 serial. It should work. On an i7-3770 with an SSD, it runs at a very useable speed, and when paired with a semi-decent modern graphics card, for example the RX 5700XT, modern games are reasonably playable.

          Anything with a mechanical hard drive is going to run like treacle.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's going to cost more?

      Depends if you're factoring in the £10's of thousands of pounds it's gonna cost to replace the legacy ERP system that needs the Virtual XP VM you get a license for under Windows 7 Pro....

    3. J27

      Re: What's going to cost more?

      Unlike Windows XP to Windows 7, application compatibility isn't a big issue so this isn't a huge deal.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is good news. I use Windows 7 to make sure that shite like OneDrive doesn't work ;)

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge

      A subtle hint that it is time to move..

      .. away from OneDrive??

      Syncthing-over-Wireguard works wonders !

      > I use Windows 7 to make sure that shite like OneDrive doesn't work ;)

      I use Linux to make sure that shite like Windows doesn't work ;)

    2. J27

      You can uninstall OneDrive. It's right there in "Add or Remove Programs"

    3. Smartypantz


      If you need a flexible way to share files and know hos to deploy a simple Tomcat server, look at linshare:

      I'm not affiliated with the project, but it looks very polished, and is under a license that respects your freedom (AGPL).

      Going to deploy in our org. very soon.

      1. cyberdemon Silver badge

        Re: linshare

        Interesting, never heard of it. But the website gives me odd feelings..

        It indeed "looks" very polished, especially the design of their front page. But little details like the spelling of things like "In LinShare every actions and user activity is recorded within the plateform"

        and "If confidentiality and traceability are paramount for your business file transfert, the LinShare is your solution and better yet it’s free ! We also offer high quality support services provided by our IT teams to suit your network at best."

        just make me not want to go near it with a barge pole.

  3. Shadow Systems

    Is Win10 stable yet?

    Since MS doesn't bother to even look sideways at due dilligence nor quality assurance testing, it's an utter crapshoot if your machine will continue to work between reboots.

    Every time ElReg posts about Patch Tuesday's updates it's usually followed a few days later by another article about what MS broke & how badly. It's almost as if MS is trying to see how much shite the customers will put up with before they form an angry mob.

    I need stability, I need reliability. I need my OS to just work & keep working. I can't fix issues myself any longer & can't afford to pay BestBuy GeekSquad to fix them on my behalf, certainly not with the frequency that MS inflicts on Win10 users.

    "A not-so-subtle hint that it really is time to move on?" only holds true if the "upgrade" is better than what I'm already running, & Win10 isn't in any way, shape, nor form.

    Win7 may be an old lumbering dinosaur, but at least it's not so "agile" that it trips over it's own feet & slams face-first into the mud every time it tries to get anything done.

    1. Dr. Vagmeister

      Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

      It has been 5+ years since Windows 10, and i am surprised that they have not started to request a subscription. Then again, with so many issues appearing, they perhaps realised that they couldn't really charge for it.

      They have a captive audience, so they don't really need to try too hard.

      1. Keven E

        Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

        Remove One Drive immediately upon arrival.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

          One who?

    2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

      To be fair, Windows 10 has been stable for quite some time. After the second major update all the dodgy suspend issues on my work laptop fixed themselves.

      The key is : always run the Professional or Enterprise version. With Pro updates can be delayed for a few months, so the guinea pigs on Home can find all the issues.

      It does, however, occasionally break some software on upgrades (a random person on Twitter found an old Virtualbox suddenly stopped working), and I've found on my gaming system that the quite legacy Soundblaster X-Fi only works if installed on a clean Windows 10 system with no updates, which is then updated.

      If you're running a standard configuration with modern hardware you're likely to be fine. Work in a non standard way or use unusual or legacy hardware and the situation may be more problematic.

      1. Shadow Systems

        Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

        I'm glad you have so little issues with Win10 that your use has been rather smooth. Unfortunately that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

        *Hands you a pint*

        Drink up in hopes your issues remain few & far between, because the rest of society seems to be desiring said drink in which to drown their MS-induced sorrows. =-/

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: use unusual ... hardware and the situation may be more problematic.

        Are printers unusual?

      3. Smartypantz

        Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

        With the policy of "rolling feature upgrades" there is no such thing as a stable OS.

        "always run Professional or Enterprise" version"... Reeeally??!? So average Joe just has to design the right GPO hierarchy to be "stable"? You are astroturfing, and is probably a payed MS shill!

    3. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

      I need stability, I need reliability. I need my OS to just work & keep working.

      Sounds to me like you are a 19th century man somehow trapped in a 21st century world.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: Sounds to me like you are a 19th century man somehow trapped in a 21st century world.

        IIRC Shadow Systems is not able to utilise many of the features of a computer that most of us take for granted.

      2. Shadow Systems

        At vtcodger, re: 19th century.

        I am totally blind trying to live in a world that seems to be disinterested at best, apathetic most of the time, or actively hostile against anyone with less than perfect audio-visual perception.

        Websites that use mouse tracking to determine with what part of the site a visitor is interacting & ignoring that not everyone uses a pointing device. Sites that use CAPTCHA's that proclaim I'm not Human because I can neither see the visual image to figure out what it might be nor hear the audio clip well enough to suss out the required bits. Sites designed only for mobile devices with touch screens & ignoring the fact that not everyone is using such an interface.

        Desktop software that isn't accessible from the installer onwards, or if it can be installed then finds some other hurdle to throw in my way that a sighted person doesn't even bat an eye over, or software contract agreements that take *hours* to be read to me by my screen reader, or any number of other little headaches that cause the UX of anyone not gifted with said perfect audio-visual perceptions to become a right massive migraine.

        Windows 10 is a perfect example of this. MS moves things around so that, even if we can figure out where something might be this time, one reboot later & it's no longer there. Controls we struggle to find & learn suddenly become some other combination of keystrokes from reboot to reboot. It's difficult enough to try & figure out something as "simple" as the "ribbon" when you can see to navigate it, so imagine how much "fun" it becomes when you can't use muscle memory to do a common task from program launch to program launch.

        MS updates the OS, seems to randomize everything to pretend it's something other than rearranging the deck chairs on a s(t)inking ship, and expects folks using assistive technology like screen readers not to notice that $Menu>$Option4>$SubOption3 no longer goes to $Task1, it now launches $Task7 & then refuses to go Back because MS has redefined the UI again so that the Back button now reformats your HDD.


        *Hands you a pint*

        If I seem to be stuck in the past it's because it Just Bloody Works. That lumbering dinosaur of an OS that is Win7Pro64 Just Keeps Working as expected. Win10 on the other hand seems hell bent on shooting itself in the feet, hands, hips, shoulders, knees, elbows, ears, nostrils, eyebrows, nipples, and then demand I start shooting myself for good measure. =-j

      3. Smartypantz

        Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

        So, to want stability, and productivity (like with, for example Windows XP) you have to have lived in the Victorian era in the 1800's?.

        You sound like an ignoramus (ie. Windows 10 user)

    4. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Is Windows in a stable yet?

      I think you missed a beat there... Is Windows in a Stable yet? Wooo Wilbur!

    5. J27

      Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

      It's like Linux, just use the LTS releases.

    6. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Is Win10 stable yet?

      Yes, but unless you are paying for support there are no updates.

  4. MatthewSt

    TLS 1.2

    My money is on that now being a firm requirement, and while Windows 7 does support it, it's not enabled by default out of the box

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TLS 1.2

      Unfortunately adding the TLS 1.2 registry key doesn't solve it...

      1. hutchism

        Re: TLS 1.2

        Can confirm TLS 1.2 was enabled and issue remained.

        Weirdly we're using Cisco Umbrella for DNS it was broken and pointing DNS back to a DC seemed to fix issue.

        Thankfully we're so close to saying goodbye to the last of our win7 machines it's probably given it the final shunt it was crying out for....

        1. TiredNConfused80

          Re: TLS 1.2

          That is odd. We don't use any security software like that (just standard AV - ESET) we do use a cisco firepower but it still didn't work when I brought one of the affected laptops home so bypassed that completely...

          It's definitely lit a fire under our windows 10 roll out, part of me wonders if that was the plan!

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: TLS 1.2

        For Win7 multiple keys are involved.

        Update to enable TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 as default secure protocols in WinHTTP in Windows Server 2008, 2012 & Windows 7

        A manual walk thru of the necessary registry edits is also available here: Enabling TLS 1.2 on Windows 7

        1. TiredNConfused80

          Re: TLS 1.2

          This sorted it! No idea how long it will stay sorted though....

    2. J27

      Re: TLS 1.2

      Amazon, Google and Microsoft are all basically forcing anyone who uses their cloud platforms to disable TLS < 1.2 for everything. Onedrive uses Azure Storage in the backend, so this is necessitated by that.

  5. WolfFan


    So the web browser version still works, eh? No problem.

    1. Move everything out of OneDrive using the web browser version.

    2. Evaluate whether or not we actually need cloudy crap. If we do, get cloudy crap from DropBox or Apple or Google or… there’s a long, long list. Oh. Wait. We already have cloudy crap from two other vendors, explicitly to have multiple site backups so that one service going down doesn’t screw us over. And we have our own cloudy NAS.

    3. Close down OneDrive on our systems.

    4. Contact our lawyers to have a word with the Beast of Redmond re getting a refund for our not being able to use a part of our Office365 services. What’s that you say? Redmond won’t let go of the cash? Get stand-alone Office, cancel O365. Or just get a different office suite and live with the round trip issues. Tell the spreadsheet jockeys that they’re just going to have to suck it up and live without Excel. (Invest in lots of cattle prods and quicklime.)

    5. Put serious thought into scrapping all Windows installs and going to just Linux and Apple. After all, we already have substantial numbers of both Linux (mostly Ubuntu) and Apple systems.

    1. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Ok

      On point 4, tell the spreadsheet jockeys to learn how to do things correctly and not abuse spreadsheets. <snark>For those who refuse, executions will start at dawn.</snark>

  6. Binraider Silver badge

    We inherited an awful package management system from DXC in our organisation. DXC's support contract is long gone, but their legacy still makes a mark, for all the wrong reasons.

    One result of the awful package manager is that there are there are large numbers applications with only a few users lurking. As they were never catalogued or supported correctly (because of stupidly expensive package-management costs; cue local-admin bodge being the default answer, in violation of all of our security policies), these packages were missed from subsequent migrations from Win7 to Win 10.

    Quite a few users hanging onto 7 for specific cases only. The kind of thing a VM would be good at hosting, actually. Or maybe, we should sack off the DXC garbage legacy and get a package manager worthy of the name. Oh, yes, that thing that MS still hasn't worked out how to do itself... And could make a killing on if they did it right.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      DXCer here

      I'm so sorry. Us grunts try do the right thing but ... well, I'm sure you can guess ...

  7. bombastic bob Silver badge

    "from one of its social media orifices"

    (from the article)

    good one. heh.

  8. Roland6 Silver badge

    End of Support for OneDrive on Windows Server 2012 R2 to follow shortly?

    Given MS have already withdrawn support for WS2012 integration with some of its cloud services and WS2012 isn't due to go EOL until 2023, it would not surprise me if MS further depreciates its 'legacy' on-premise product integrations with its cloud services.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: End of Support for OneDrive on Windows Server 2012 R2 to follow shortly?

      Microsoft is doing everything possible to make "on-prem" difficult. There goal is for everything to be on a subscription in Azure or M365.

      This way they have you nicely locked in coughing up the £££££. Even at an enterprise level more and more is needing connections to the Internet to get packages or some function. Office pretty much forces OneDrive all the time with local storage an inconvenient number of clicks away.

      The only thing OneDrive protects you against is loss of the device or drive failure, both things that can be easily covered with a sensible backup. Even device loss is not brilliant because if the password is broken they can still delete everything.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's Win10?

    When they stopped supporting USB 2 and the Win7 install iso stopped working on new machines I just installed the Windows ADK and started rolling my own Win 7 install images with the relevant drivers added. Works a charm. Just baked a new iso for my almost new laptop. Wiped the Win 10 partitions and installed a nice fresh Win7.

    This should keep me going another 5 or 10 years.

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