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Why do Shared OneNote notebooks seems to get frequently corrupted?

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2016-05-20
Microsoft OneNote has a fantastic way of sharing information. You put a notebook in a shared directory, open if from various clients, make changes, and watch the notebooks sync automagically. When it works, it works great. But I find that notebooks I share are regularly corrupted. OneNote will say something like, "This section is corrupted. Click here to try to repair." When you click (which mainly looks like reloading the section from the shared source) the notebook may initially seem to be fine (sometimes with data missing), but will often have the same problem the next day.

I understand that corruption can happen, but I'm trying to figure out the drivers of the corruption to reduce occurrence. Typically, I'm using the notebook on a laptop and I'm guessing the corruption is correlated in some way to disconnecting my laptop from the network. I don't disconnect DURING a sync, but there still seems to be correlation.

Our setup is simple today: 4 or 5 system on a LAN where a notebook is on a NAS drive with multiple laptops sharing the notebook. My future plan is to share notebooks more widely via internet connection or on a cloud-based storage device, so I figure I need to understand better how to make it work predictably on a small scale before spreading the sharing outside the LAN. Thanks for any insights.
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Question by:swreck
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Author Comment

by:swreck
ID: 22673144
Uh, any OneNote experts out there? Thanks....
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Accepted Solution

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Jeffrey Coachman earned 500 total points
ID: 22694804
swreck,

  "Uh, any OneNote experts out there?"
Well you posted this a mere 2 hours after your initial post.
Can you give us some time?
;-)

I will presume you have looked through these links?
(First few hits in Google on this matter):
http://blogs.msdn.com/descapa/archive/2007/08/17/onenote-and-windows-offline-files-fix-for-corruption-bug-in-vista.aspx
http://blogs.gotdotnet.com/david_rasmussen/archive/2007/12/10/onenote-shared-notebooks-options-and-troubleshooting-part-1-windows-file-shares.aspx
http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssuggestions/thread/948d7851-2856-4796-b790-8f13d6e02e48/

JeffCoachman
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Expert Comment

by:redrumkev
ID: 22698130
swreck,

How are you doing?

I would recommend that you setup and utilze sharepoint (MOSS), see this link for a free 180-day trial:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=2e6e5a9c-ebf6-4f7f-8467-f4de6bd6b831&displaylang=en

Here is a great read about the advantages of MOSS and onenote, and the fact that MOSS can do so many things "better" than the way you are probably doing them, because it allows you to easily "share" files, collaborate, etc. My company often passes files from user to user, sends e-mails with attachments etc. Now you just "publish" to your point and the file is there. Update the file and when a user goes to it, it is updated. Plus you can post reports and graphs that the user can "use", by moving bars, changing settings, etc., all on the fly and in real time:

http://planetmoss.blogspot.com/2007/10/onenote-and-sharepoint-better-together.html

Hope this helps,
Kevin
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Author Comment

by:swreck
ID: 22698574
Kevin: Well...I'd really not like to think about administering sharepoint. The nice thing about OneNote is that it is designed to do its magic from any shared directory. We may get to this, but I hope not....

Jeff: I had not seen all those links. Thanks. I'm particularly intrigued by Rasmussen's blog (http://blogs.gotdotnet.com/david_rasmussen/archive/2007/12/10/onenote-shared-notebooks-options-and-troubleshooting-part-1-windows-file-shares.aspx#SAMBAissues). I've read his blog before, but not on this topic.

I'm using a Drobo over Droboshare, which seems to definitely be SAMBA-based--exactly what Rasmussen says won't work well! It sounds like I need to move the shared notebooks to a location on one of our LAN-connected computers rather than a SAMBA-based NAS. It's unfortunate, since Drobo is keeping the shared notebooks safe. But since OneNote has auto-backup, I suppose I can just share the version on one of the computers (without protected storage) and then set OneNote's autobackup target as the Drobo. Does that make sense to you given your read of Rasmussen's warning? Thanks.....

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