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I've been having problems with syncing errors with MobileMe for a few weeks. I finally gave in and started to use Omni Sync server this morning.

However MobileMe is still trying to sync the OmniFocus database and throwing the error "OmniFocus.ofocus" was modified in both locations.

Even if I remove the idisk location from the OmniFocus preferences it somehow finds the https: address for idisk and continues to try and sync with idisk along side the OmniSync server.

How can I remove the idisk setting completely?

It sounds like you've fallen victim to some unfortunate terminology overlap.

There is MobileMe, Apple's "cloud" service, which offers as one of its components syncing of files stored on your "iDisk". MobileMe also offers WebDAV access to files stored on your "iDisk", and that's where the trouble starts. OmniFocus does network syncing of OmniFocus.ofocus via the WebDAV protocol, and MobileMe is one of the suggested providers of such service. However, if you have MobileMe set to sync files on your "iDisk", it does so via its own means, and has no understanding of the interrelationships between the many small files that make up the OmniFocus.ofocus "package" file (it looks like a file, but really, it is a directory full of files). Further adding to the trouble is that "iDisk" syncing happens after a delay; your Mac writes changes to files on the "iDisk" to a disk image on your disk, and only periodically sends those changes off to MobileMe (and gets changes from MobileMe that might have been made elsewhere). OmniFocus, on the other hand, writes out its changes to its database immediately via WebDAV. Couple that with the lack of understanding by the MobileMe sync software of how an OmniFocus database works, and it is just a matter of time before something breaks.

What to do? Well, I think you've already settled on the best solution for most peopleóuse the Omni Sync Server instead. The errors you are getting now from MobileMe are complaints that it doesn't know how to reconcile the changes in the OmniFocus.ofocus file on your MobileMe "iDisk" storage, and they will continue until you remove the file. You are no longer using it, so that is what you should do. It is in the Documents folder in your "iDisk".

If you want to continue to use MobileMe to store your OmniFocus database, there are two options:

  1. Turn off MobileMe "iDisk" syncing
  2. Store your OmniFocus.ofocus database elsewhere on your MobileMe "iDisk"

Option 1 is done by going to the MobileMe preferences in System Preferences, the iDisk section, and clicking the button to turn off iDisk Sync. This means that you will no longer have access to files stored on your "iDisk" when your computer is not connected to the Internet. This is less likely to be an issue with a desktop machine, but might be for a portable. Personally, I've never found the MobileMe-provided file sync to be very reliable, and use Dropbox for such purposes now, with much better results. I guess the novelty of the MobileMe service wore off for Steve before he'd spurred the troops on to make it something really great.

Option 2 is done by configuring OmniFocus to use MobileMe sync (which to be clear, is WebDAV syncing using MobileMe as the storage) but instead of storing the database in the default location, instead storing it in the Backup folder of MobileMe, which is not synced by the MobileMe disk sync software. That eliminates the "too many cooks" problem, leaving only the application which understands how to manipulate OmniFocus databases properly (that would OmniFocus, of course) doing so. If this isn't a sufficient description of how to do it, that's probably an indication that the Omni Sync Server is the best way to go, or ask the Omni support ninjas for help in setting it up.
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
The errors you are getting now from MobileMe are complaints that it doesn't know how to reconcile the changes in the OmniFocus.ofocus file on your MobileMe "iDisk" storage, and they will continue until you remove the file. You are no longer using it, so that is what you should do. It is in the Documents folder in your "iDisk".
Thanks, but I removed the file from my MobileMe storage as soon as I switched to the Omni Sync server. OmniFocus still continues to try and sync to MobileMe.
If you open up OmniFocus' Sync preferences on all your devices, and none of them have the "MobileMe" sync type active, or a MobileMe address entered in the "Advanced" tab, then OmniFocus isn't using your iDisk to sync.

Since this is still happening, though, I'd open System Preferences on your Mac, open up the MobileMe pane, and then click into the iDisk tab. If the 'iDisk Sync' option is enabled on any of your Macs, that's likely what's causing the messages you're seeing.

With that option enabled, your Macs each keep their own copy of the contents of your iDisk on their hard drives. The intent here is that you can work with the files on your iDisk even if you don't have a network available; any changes you make will be synced back to Apple the next time you've got an internet connection.

Deleting a file from the iDisk servers removes the copy on Apple's end, but doesn't immediately remove those additional copies on your Macs. In the ideal case, the next MobileMe sync on each of your Macs sees that you deleted the OmniFocus file from the iDisk server, then turns around and does the same on each of your Macs.

That doesn't always happen, though; if MobileMe sync gets confused, it'll instead see that the file exists on one of your Macs, doesn't exist on the server, and resolve that by trying to copy the file back up to the iDisk server.

If more than one Mac gets confused in the same way, you could end up in a situation where different versions of that file are being uploaded to the iDisk server, producing the 'changed on both sides' error message you're seeing.

I'd suggest using MobileMe preferences to temporarily turn off iDisk sync on all your Macs, and then delete any OmniFocus databases you find on the iDisk. At that point, you should be able to turn iDisk sync back on in System Preferences.

(At no point in this process do you need to mess with OmniFocus' sync settings; leave your devices set to sync with our server.)

Does that help at all?

Last edited by Brian; 2011-04-06 at 10:54 AM.. Reason: 'temporaril' -> 'temporarily'. I hate typos.
Hi Brian

Thanks! Looks like that fixed it.

Many thanks,

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