2.9 Windows Live Services SkyDrive and Mesh

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2.9 Windows Live Services SkyDrive and Mesh

Windows Live

If you are looking to store and share documents and files with friends/co-workers/fellow students. Free Tools within Windows Live Services may be of particular interest to you. Windows Live Services have went through several major improvements in the last couple of years.

Note: SkyDrive for Windows is out. Need to update the wiki.

Windows Live SkyDrive

Windows Live SkyDrive offers 25 GB of free online storage space which is absolutely free and providing that you abide by copyright laws, no strings are attached.

Windows Live Skydrive can be found here: https://skydrive.live.com/. Sign in if you already have a Hotmail/Windows Live ID or make a free ID. Once you are logged in you will get to the SkyDrive.

Windows Live Skydrive

From here you may access your own folders. Note it shows who you are sharing these folders with "Just you", "People with a link" or "Everyone (Public)". Sharing can be very useful if collaborating on a group project for example.

I use my SkyDrive frequently and have a number of University related folders, likely you won't have as much as me if you are reading this wiki:

Windows Live Skydrive: Common Buttons

The first step is to click "Create Folder"

Windows Live Skydrive New Folder

Once you are in your folder you may add files by clicking Add Files, simply select the files you want to add. You can select multiple files by holding down the left click and dragging over them as you would normally do. Then click open and it will begin to upload. Just stay on the page till all your files are uploaded. Once files are added you will get a few options:

Windows Live SkyDrive Folder Options

From these options you may easily rename the folder, move its location, change who it is shared with or delete it. You may also open the folder by clicking open the folder or simply by left clicking on the folders name.

The download option is very useful by clicking this you may download the entire folder as a zip file. You may move the folder to a different location if you want.

This can of course be done for individual files simply by clicking on the individual file, for common file types such as pdf and images they will open up in the browser and the options will be displayed to the right. Placing a checkbox beside the file however will open the same options to the right.

When you are in a folder, and you have the folder options open to the right, if you click the information you will have folder options. There are two folder types, "pictures" and "documents".

Windows Live SkyDrive Document Folder

Windows Live SkyDrive Picture Folder

As you see the document folder type lists everything as a list in alphabetical order, folders first as it would in Windows Explorer. The pictures folder type is also useful if you want to quickly preview your pictures, you may also change the order your pictures are shown in. Both folder types are useful for different applications and you may switch the folder type to the other type at any time.

I should mention now that SkyDrive is very integrated into Microsoft Office so if you click on a Microsoft Word document, Microsoft Excel Document, Microsoft Powerpoint document you will get to view the file in your browser.

Microsoft Office Word Document

Here you will get a few options Open in Word, this will send the file to Microsoft Office 2010 where you will get full editing capabilities. Edit in browser where you will get basic editing capabilities, this is quite limited and any object such as an equation or table will become an [OLE object]. It can take a while to load up depending on the size of your document.

Microsoft Office Word Document: Basic Editing

Now for accessing other peoples folders, to the top left you will have a menu 

Windows Live SkyDrive: Menu Left

You have My Files then this is split into Documents and Photos, all your folders that are set as folder type documents will be found under documents and all the ones that are photo folder type will be found under photos.

You will also have Docs shared with you and you can access these. You may have editing capabilities depending on who set up the permissions on the other end. If the folder is set to public, you may have to navigate to the persons profile to access their files

Messenger: Contacts

If you have the person as a friend then you may go to Messenger > Contacts then click on their name and click SkyDrive.

Windows Live Mesh

A related service is called Windows Live Mesh, with this you may select a folder on your Office PC and Sync it with your Home PC. You may also remotely control your Home PC, providing it is powered up connected to the internet and the program is installed on both.

Windows Live Mesh

Okay I use this Service quite a lot, if you are starting out you will have no synced folders. To begin select sync a folder. Select the folder you wish to sync (you can create a new one wherever you want as desired), next press Sync. You will then be asked where you want to Sync your folder. I have 2 options/you will have 1 to begin with.

Where do you want to Sync

You will have only the SkyDrive synced storage. The SkyDrive Synced storage offers 5 GB free of synced storage space and can be synced in real time providing the file isn't open and the computer is connected to the internet, you can access this folder online via a web browser.

I may also pick my second computer, if I do this I get 40 GB synced storage but both computers must be on and connected to the internet at the same time.

You won't have the second computer option to begin with. To do this install Mesh on both computers and log in with the same account. The folder you made to the first computer will appear greyed out on at the bottom of the list on the second computer.

Windows Live Mesh Second Computer

Simply click sync this folder and select a suitable place to sync it with.

Note you may sync to another computer and to the SkyDrive. This means if computer 1 is powered on and connected to the internet and computer 2 is off and files are added via computer 1 the files will sync to the SkyDrive. When computer 2 is later powered on and connected to the internet and computer 1 is powered off the files will sync from the SkyDrive to computer 2.

Bear in mind however you are limited to 5 GB with the advantage that the computers can be on and off independently or 40 GB if they are turned on together and the SkyDrive synced space is not used.

This 5 GB synced folder can of course be found on the SkyDrive.

Windows Live SkyDrive View Synced Folders Link

You will then see all your synced folders.

Windows Live SkyDrive: Synced Folders

Note here you may share the folder and you may accept any invitations from friends who wish to share folders. You then go into the Mesh Program and select sync folder (it will be greyed out in a similar manner before with the option to sync).

Another good option with the Mesh program is the ability to remote control your second computer. You must first enable your computer to be remote controlled (the computer you wish to remote control, or both). Next both computers must be powered up and connected to the internet.

Windows Live Mesh Remote Control

Once this is set up you will get a green light such as mine beside my Optiplex 760. I can connect to this computer and use my mouse to control it

Windows Live Mesh Remote Control of Home Computer from the Office PC.

Additional note: Any ideas/suggestions for improvements are always welcome. If you have found my wikies useful please thank me by promoting my Ideas on Dell Idea Storm most of these are designed to make the installation of Windows easier/to improve Dells software services. Please promote them by logging in to IdeaStorm (using your same account as the community forums) and clicking on the promote button (please do not click demote in error).

• Better Quality Windows Vista/7 OEM Stickers - The quality of the Windows COA has went down from a plastic finish to a paper finish in going from XP to Vista/7. As a consequence they are becoming faded and illegible, this is unacceptable (some XP stickers are legible since 2001, some Vista/7 stickers are illegible in a few months. The idea suggest that a plastic/Metallic  sticker be used instead for the COA.

• Drivers and Downloads: Suggested Upgrades - Put everything together here, in the correct install order, fix the issues that crop up when inputting newer Service Tags.

• Print OEM Product Keys for Windows 7 and Office 2010 in the BIOs Setup (for new systems) - Would provide users a quick means of recovery should they lose their office product key card and reformat the system. This idea kind of links to Better Quality Windows Vista/7 OEM Stickers.

• Make Dell Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 .iso files available to Download - These should be available for free for all Dell users, include the latest Service Packs/Internet Explorer and would overcome the need for phone activation. Idea Under Review by Dell

• One Dell Quickset for All Dell Systems - Make one single file for Dell Quickset so all systems have the latest version for each OS.

Additionally if you have found this wiki useful, I would appreciate if you rate it, the top right (on each page)

If you are experiencing any further problems, post on the correct forum (ensure that you provide basic information such as what OS you are trying to install or have installed e.g. Windows 7 64 bit and the model of the Dell e.g. Dell XPS 8300).

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads

#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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