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Windows 7 Thread, Windows 7 Offline Files (I need to extract some!) in Technical; I use the evil technology that is offline files on staff laptops. One of my users did some work offline ...
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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Windows 7 Offline Files (I need to extract some!)

    I use the evil technology that is offline files on staff laptops. One of my users did some work offline over the summer and these files just flat out refuse to synchronise. Another user suffered a similar problem on Windows XP and I simply used CSCCMD 1.1 to extract the un-synchronised files and copied them.

    I'm guessing a similar fix woould work here but the CSCCMD tool doesn't work on Windows 7 (or Vista for that matter) so I'm a bit stuck.

    How do I extract these files from the offline files cache???

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Am I really the only person to have encountered a problem with Windows 7 offline files?!?

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    Domino's Avatar
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    you're the only person silly enough to use them :-p

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    john (11th February 2014), SimonD (11th February 2014)

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    AWicher's Avatar
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    Does seem very quiet in here!

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    I have to ask, but why does that person log on and just copy the files to a stick? .....

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    @ZeroHour: You would think that I would do that... Windows has decided to ferret the files away into the offline cache and has told them that they can't go out to play!

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    If the files are avalible offline but not online why not just logon to the station then go to the offending folder location and click the "Work Offline" option in the top bar of the folder. This will then allow you to grab any avalible offline files and copy them to the desktop/temp folder. Now click "Work Online" and copy them back.

    You should then reinitialize the offline files cache as the DB is obviouly corrupted:
    How to reset Offline Files in Windows Vista
    To reinitialize the Offline Files cache, create the following DWORD registry value with a value of 1 and restart the system.
    HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\CSC\Paramet ers\FormatDatabase
    Note that any unsynchronized changes will be lost. In addition, any files and folders pinned by means other than Folder Redirection or Group Policy will no longer be pinned on that client.
    I have only ever had this happen once when the machine ran out of allowed space for syncing of files on a couple of occasions with about 85GB of data synced.

    The other no-syncing files issue that I had was with teachers trying to sync 1.something GB video files which timed out and would not sync from the local copy back to the server, this was resolved by simply copying the files directly.

  9. Thanks to SYNACK from:

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    I just can't seem to get at the files... even in offline mode! I am attaching the screen that shows the fiels that are not synching.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Have you checked the perms on those files serverside, it looks like they are already up there in some form. I would look at taking ownership of them and changing the perms to everybody on the problem ones then give it another go. The file perms can get messy if there are a large number of files being pushed at once and the AV gets in the way.

    You can also run an NTFS - scandisk/checkdisk on the volume to make sure that the security descriptors are valid. Had this issue when a slightly older version of Symantec Endpoint protection got antsy.

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    I'm glad this thread is still alive or I would have missed it due to only skim-reading the forums these last few days. Getting to the offline files cache is actually quite simple once you know how, though it was easier in Vista than it is in 7.

    First off, you'll need either your Windows 7 setup disc or something like ERD Commander. If you're using whole-drive encryption with BitLocker (or something else), then you'll need to use whatever tools are available to you to decrypt the volume first. I don't use BitLocker precisely because it makes this sort of data recovery far more inconvenient than the protection is worth, so I can't help you with that step.

    Reboot your machine into whichever of the above you have, and launch a command prompt. To launch a command prompt from the Windows setup disc, wait until you're in the GUI and then hit Shift+F10

    cd to D:\Windows\CSC\v2.0.6\namespace

    It's D:\ and not C:\ because C: will have been assigned to the normally-hidden BitLocker partition while you're in this mode. This folder is well protected, with only the SYSTEM account having access. What's more, when Windows 7 is running, you cant access this folder or its content even if you use something like psexec -s cmd to run a command prompt under the SYSTEM account (and even if you stop the Offline Files service first). This is why we're using a separate environment.

    Now simply run dir

    You should see a list of directories corresponding to servers the machine has synchronised from. cd into one of them and you'll see share names. From there, you can cd to whatever folder is synchronised.

    Now, if you have any sense whatsoever you will have configured Windows to encrypt the offline files cache (which is what I do instead of using BitLocker), so even though you can see these files as SYSTEM, you can't access them directly because they are encrypted with the user's EFS certificate. The first step to having the files themselves is to use robocopy with the /EFSRAW switch to copy whatever you need to a folder elsewhere on the disc.

    Once you have all the files you need, reboot into Windows proper and find the folder you copied stuff to. You still won't have immediate access to the files because they are still encrypted with the user's EFS certificate, so you'll need to make these files available to the user (or steal their EFS certificate and load into into your own certificate store) and have them copy them back to wherever they are needed.



    You're welcome.


    AT's final thought: If the Offline Files cache has shafted itself for some reason, none of the above may work. You're on your own.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 10th September 2010 at 10:25 PM.

  13. Thanks to AngryTechnician from:

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    Cheers angryTechnician... I shall attempt that on Monday. XP was definitely easier to fix

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    Cheers angryTechnician... I shall attempt that on Monday. XP was definitely easier to fix
    It also broke far more often in my experience. We would generally have to un-bork about 1 laptop per month with XP due to Offline Files, but after switching to Vista we only had 1 down in 2 years. I think the trade-off was worth it.

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    I know this reply is a little old but I thought I'd add my solution to this problem.

    I moved user's home drives, their my documents were re-directed to h: drive setup for offline sync via Group Policy, with encryption enabled.

    the solutions above did not work for me and took and very long time (particularly trying to take ownership of the files).

    As is turns out, none of that is necessary.

    To access the offline files from the 'old' network location...

    Open the currently Offline Files location and click into any sub-folder.

    Then in the address bar of explorer where is says...

    e.g. "Libraries\Documents\Folder Name"
    - click in the white space next to it and it will resolve to the Offline UNC path

    eg. "\\Servername\Sharename\username\Folder Name"

    For me this was now pointing to the new offline file location of their home drive on the new server.

    To access the Offline Files of the Old offline location all I needed to do was Manually edit that UNC path.

    e.g "\\OLDServername\OLDSharename\username\Folder Name"

    Once there you should now be looking at the offline version of the old server/folder path. you can now edit the folder to the Highest Parent Folder and ALL the offline files are now visisble.

    This allows FULL access to all the Files and they can be copied, moved and edited from here...

    I then use a simple Robocopy script to move those files to a new location (it will copy files that in the DB but Synced ad 0 space files, Offline that that have not been synced will copy in full, no problem)

    e.g.

    robocopy Source Destination /MIR /W:0 /R:0

    /MIR - be careful this will do a mirror copy - any files in the destination folder that don't match will be permanently lost. so recover to a clean new empty Folder.

    /W:0 /R:0 = don't wait and don't retry - without this the process will take forever on 0KB file links and wait 30 seconds for a retry.

    robocopy "\\OLDServername\OLDSharename\username\" "c:\recovered" /MIR /W:0 /R:0

    once that is finished do a search in the destination folder for any/all files that are empty and Delete them.

    What you will have is the offline files you need (there will be some legacy 0kb files that search does not pickup, so if merging with a destination folder be careful of the warning of overwriting any distination files, if you're not sure choose the Keep both option when copying/moving...

    that's it.

    Hope it helps.
    Last edited by InsaneHomer; 25th May 2013 at 10:05 AM.

  17. Thanks to InsaneHomer from:

    Mr_J (27th June 2013)

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    I know this is almost a year old, but thought I'd shared my 2cents.

    We had a customer who could no longer access offline files, even while on the network, taking the PC off the network still unable to. No admin account could access the C:\Windows\CSC\v2.0.6 folder, taking ownership did not work, chkdsk /x /r said nothing was wrong. Booting off a Windows installation CD would also not allow us access to the folder... So what's the best way to rip through NTFS permissions? A bootable Linux USB stick!

    I downloaded the latest Ubuntu distro, made a bootable USB stuck with Universal USB Installer, booted the PC in question and could access the files without a problem, so copied them to a folder in C: - booted the PC back into Windows, showed him where the files were, et voila, we had one happy customer.

    I hope that helps someone else who has the same issue we did.

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