Issue with Google Drive - can I disconnect and reconnect Paperpile to test?


I am having an issue with Google Drive on my iMac, which means it no longer syncs with my computer. I am using the latest version of OS X Yosemite and Google Drive Version 1.31.2755.2156. Please give me a second to explain the possible connection to Paperpile of my issue.

I have tracked the issue through a number of different possible causes and eliminated the following:

  1. Software issue with Google Drive Version 1.31.2755.2156
  2. Issue with Google software update and Application support files in the iMac ~Library folder.

I’ve concluded by testing with an empty Google Drive account that I have a stable copy of Google Drive installed. The issue appears to be with some of the data I have stored on my Google Drive account. Currently the main thing stored on my Google Drive account is the Paperpile folder. Apart from that I have a few Google docs files.

I am open minded it is completely possible this is not an issue created by data in the Paperpile folder, but I’d like to eliminate this possibility.

Please could you help me by telling me whether there is a way to do the following

  1. Disconnect Google Drive from Paperpile
  2. Delete the Paperpile folder on Google Drive (so I can test my theory and eliminate the data in the Paperpile folder from my list of possible causes of this issue)
  3. Reconnect to Paperpile without ending up with two copies of all my pdfs on Paperpile or losing the connection between my pdf files and the Paperpile database entries?

I can do the first two easily, but I wanted to find out from you whether the third is possible as it would be a real headache to have to sort all the syncing and pdf file connections all over again. My Paperpile folder on Google Drive is currently 4.45GB - which as you know is a lot of pdfs!

The ability to sync with Google Drive is a key feature for me. I use files sync’d with Paperpile directly on Google Drive regularly as I like to find pdfs by first author using Spotlight on my Mac.

Thanks - any help or advice you can give me would be much appreciated.


I’m not from Paperpile but I had a similar issue when I finally started using a Mac some months ago. Do you get a message saying something like “google drive needs to quit… encoded string without NULL byes, not unicode…”? If so, the error was finally tracked down to a strange character that somehow appeared in the name of a pdf file that I had included in Paperpile. As soon as it was discovered and the file renamed the problem was solved, but I wasted several days deleting and reinstalling Google Drive before discovering the cause. In my case the strange character was a black diamond with a white question mark inside it.

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Thank you jmw! What you described was indeed the issue. I had a file with ‘incomplete’ data uploaded to Paperpile called ‘THE�CELLULAR�SOURCE�OF�CYTOKINES�THA… - #AROLINE�, �3OKOL �’REGORY�-�’ARTON �!NDREW�’�&ARR��2USLAN�-EDZHITOV (1).pdf’

Once I completed the data on Paperpile the Black diamond with a white question mark in the middle characters were removed. I also deleted copies of this file from my computer and checked they were gone from the Paperpile ‘Other’ folder on Drive and Drive now syncs again.

Strangely this file was last edited in April 2015 so it would seem to be due to a change that Google have made to Drive regarding support for this character.

Genius thank you very much!

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