May 11, 2011

Memopal - A Warning!

On April 4th I installed Memopal, an online cloud storage system. I included it in my comparison of cloud storage systems on April 6th.  I've had nothing but problems every since but it took me until earlier this week to figure out what was happening.

First thing I noticed was that my MacBook Air was running very slowly. There was an annoying lag between me typing and the actual text appearing on screen. Everything was sluggish.

Then a browser window began to open unexpectedly and without my doing anything. The window was at the Memopal website where a prominent notice announced I was out of space and needed to purchase more. That was puzzling since I'd set the Memopal options to download one small directory from my computer hard drive.

At first I ignored what was happening. But the Memopal browser window began opening several times daily. So I logged into the Memopal website and discovered that much of my hard drive had been uploaded to it. I was stunned. Everything was there, not just the folder I'd selected originally. Oddly enough the website also stated that of my specific amount of free storage, I'd used double that. Huh? How could I use twice what I was allowed?

I began deleting the files on the website. That wasn't as easy as it sounds. Then I found Memopal on my computer (did I mention I had to download a program to use Memopal? Big mistake on my part!) and shoved it into the Trash can. But it would not go and a message came up telling me Memopal could not be deleted because it was open. Hmm... I hadn't opened it, I just found the application on my hard drive and selected it for deletion.

So I opened the application and immediately saw that it was busy downloading my entire computer's hardrive! Another look showed me that it had been doing that for over a week, presumably running unnoticed in the background. No wonder my computer was so sluggish.


I was able to "pause" the download but I could not stop it permanently. Every time my computer was turned back on the download resumed. I could not cancel it. I could not delete Memopal no matter what I did as my Mac continued to inform me the program was open. A visit to the Memopal website revealed that all the files I'd deleted several hours earlier were back. I deleted those files a half dozen times over the next several hours and they still kept reappearing.

In the Memopal program on my computer I had 3 options - download my entire computer (recommended by Memopal!) or download one folder or one other choice. I could also limit the file size in MB. I reset the options to "one folder" chose the specific folder (a test folder with nothing of importance) and set the size to no file bigger than 1 MB.

I started the download process but instead of downloading the folder as instructed it began downloading all files on my hard drive.  I spent almost 4 hours trying to solve this problem before finally figuring out how to access the actual contents of the application that I'd installed on my computer. Even though I could not delete the application itself I was able to delete the contents, that is, the scripts that made the application run. That stopped the download and I went back to the website and once again deleted all the files from my computer that were there.

Then I cancelled my account - again, not a  simple task. It required an email to "support" and then a wait for a response. That took over 24 hours.

So - I recommend that you avoid Memopal! I am still worried about my files being downloaded to the website but that's done so all I can do is change all my passwords and hope that I did not have any sensitive information on my hard drive. A lesson learned.

13 comments:

Chris said...

That is a worthwhile warning!! Frightening to think that a seemingly trusted system could just arbitrarily start to download your hard drive contents!

Cloud computing is "the thing" that everyone is trying at the moment and like all new tech, it can be open to abuse or just plain sloppy programs as people try to jump on the bandwagon. Not suggesting Memopal is malicious but, by the sounds of your experience, it is certainly not user friendly!

The Grandmother Here said...

Now that's just plain scary. And infuriating.

Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

I've had Memopal installed for about a month. Today it said I was overcapacity and I could PURCHASE NOW. I checked and sure enough, it had downloaded a huge chunk of my hard drive that I never gave it permission to download. I had only a few things specified and I was shocked and somewhat alarmed at what I found they had uploaded. Would have been nice to have that space but I'm over it. I'll stick with Dropbox and SugarSync and if I decide I want more space I will purchase from Dropbox as I like it the best.

Genealogy Blogger said...

Absolutely agree Lisa! Memopal has seen my critical blog post warning about it, and tweeted me asking (get this) how they can help!! As if. I replied asking why the program d/l hard drive w/out permission. I love Dropbox, can't get used to SugarSync, but also use Amazon cloud services

Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

PS..I wonder if this is a recent glitch in the program. I checked all over and can find no bad reviews of Memopal. I haven't had problems with it before now. As I always do I went to geneabloggers and searched all blogs on Memopal and got your warning and was surprised to see it was dated today.

Regardless, I don't like any program that cannot be stopped or deleted. I have it suspended for now until I hear from support that my account has been deleted and they better tell me how to get this dang thing off my computer!

Lucia Bracci said...

Hi Lorin,

I'm afraid for this experience with us, we have a lots of customers that love Memopal.

In your case I think there was a misunderstanding during the configuration process.

Now your account has been deleted. If in the future you would like to try Memopal again please keep in touch with us and our customer support will be glad to answer to all your questions.

Thank you.
Lucia Bracci
Memopal Press Office

Genealogy Blogger said...

Thanks for your comment Memopal but it doesn't address my complaints and concerns.

Even if I had configured my account incorrectly on setup , the changes made by me as mentioned in my blog post were NEVER accepted by Memopal. It continued to d/l my entire hard drive.

I asked you on Twitter why I could not override this download by Memopal after I selected only ONE FOLDER to be downloaded, but you've not answered that question.

I'll stick with my warning to others to be very cautious about Memopal.

Genealogy Blogger said...

Lisa, I don't like to say anything negative about a company or program either but Memopal concerns me.

Perhaps it is a recent glitch but they've not given me a response I consider satisfactory or one that even addresses the problem I had.

Good luck getting the app uninstalled from your computer! I was never able to do that as my computer continued to tell me it could not be uninstalled as it was "open".

I did finally manage to delete the scripts that run the program but it took me hours

Marco Trombetti said...

Hi All,

My name is Marco trombetti and I am the co-founder of Memopal.

First I would like to say that I am really sorry for Memopal causing this problems and we are already working to fix this problems.

Second I would like to explain few causes that may had created the problem. Not that this exuse us, but just to clarify the situation:

Something went wrong with the folder configuration and Memopal started backing up the entire drive instead of the folders you selected. Probably a usability bug in the custom selection. I tried to reproduce the problem but I could not.

This caused your mac to go slow (a mac has 100 of thoussands of files) and you filled your free 3GB.

The fact that you were not able to uninstall Memopal was probably connected to the same problem, Memopal has 2 executables (the service and the UI) the service that run in the background was too busy for the worng configuration. Probably a "Force Quit" was necessary.


Sorry again, I hope this clarifies, at least.

Marco

Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

They did delete my account right away and once they did that I was able to move everything to the recycle bin.

They may be a legit company but that was a very bad experience and I will be changing some of my more important passwords just in case. I have not had any problems with the other two cloud sync programs I use and they are both more user friendly in my opinion.

I also use Amazon cloud services for those things like photos that I do not need to sync.

Bless you for a timely post! I'd still be in a panic if I hadn't seen it! :-D

Anonymous said...

In the PCWorld newsletter, I found an article that mentioned that some programs, even after their own installer had run, left misc driver bits behind that clogged or blocked other items.
So I cleaned up my machine with a free uninstaller, REVO. Referral link here --
http://blogs.pcworld.com/tipsandtweaks/archives/006797.html
Could the Memopal be doing something similar??

Andy Standish said...

AS a fellow Mac user, I'm tortured by Memopal. Although I've e-mailed them numerous times, I can't get Memopal to stop autoloading. Can you tell me how you removed the script? Thanks SO much!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Andy - it's been quite awhile since I did this so not sure I remember exactly. But I do know I found the Memopal program on my hard drive and OPENED it to delete everything inside - scripts etc.

So even tho the Memopal "icon" was still there it was empty.

Sorry I can't help more :-(