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OneNote hell

OK – lesson learned.

I restored my PC from an old image, and in the process, lost my OneNote settings. “That’s fine”, I thought, “I can just re-sync back to my Skydrive cloud store”.

WRONG

For a start, since I only use Skydrive for background OneNote sync, I’d forgotten the username and password. I usually store these in 1password… but realised that I couldn’t see what my ID was from the OneNote app. From OneNote shared to my wife’s laptop, to the iPhone, to the iPad, all displayed my name, but none my ID!

I guessed my ID as my usual email address, and tried resetting my password again and again online. It kept failing… I could reset it, but the new password didn’t let me log in. I’m still not sure what happened – either my ‘guessed’ ID does exist, and there’s something wrong with the system, or my guessed ID doesn’t exist, and MS Live was confused enough to let me generate a password reset for an account that didn’t exist. More on that another time.

Eventually, by accident, I discovered the rather obfuscated username/email/password that my Skydrive account was actually under.

Phew! I thought. I went into OneNote, to sync to the account.

Nothing doing. You can’t “Open a Skydrive workbook” in OneNote.

OK – let’s try the other way. I logged into Skydrive through a web browser, clicked on the workbook, and “open in OneNote” (ie. Open in Desktop).

In Chrome? Fail. OK, try IE.

In IE: “Sorry, you are not using Office 2013” [it’s not even released yet – I’m using 2010]; we cannot open this file in OneNote Desktop. WHAT?

It suggested downloading the notebook as a zipfile, and opening manually. OK – try that. OneNote uses a system of a file for a notebook, and a Table of Contents file.

It turned out the TOC files were unreadable in OneNote 2010. Also, some of the workbooks were also “in a later version / corrupt”, although most could be opened independantly. I couldn’t just open the entire workbook, or reset, though.

In the end, I’m doing this:
– Create a brand new notebook, and set up Sync on that
– Open the individual notebooks in Onenote Desktop (double-click)
– Inside OneNote, drag the section groups/sections into the new notebook
– Check everything looks OK
– Close the old workbook
– For the corrupt/incompatible workbooks, copy/paste manually the contents of the document from OneNote Web to the Desktop App (you can’t move them within the Web App)

IT IS A MESS!

Bloody hell, Microsoft.

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  1. Valentin
    October 28, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Ahah, crazy ! I got exactly the same issue today (4 days after you) … But I don’t want to recreate everything!

    • damo
      October 28, 2012 at 3:00 am

      Yeah, I’ve not figured this out yet.

  1. October 28, 2012 at 11:10 pm
  2. October 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm

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