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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, Offline Files some synchronised but some deleted in Technical; ...
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    tazz's Avatar
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    Offline Files some synchronised but some deleted

    Our file server went down spectacularly at Christmas, all staff data has since been held since in their offline cache on their laptops.

    I did advise staff that they would need to back up their data until the server was replaced, but few have done this.

    Replaced the server with a new one, same name and IP, recreated the user shares and the laptops were appearing to synchronise.

    However, it became apparent that not all files and folder were being synced across and that many files were completely vanishing.

    As soon as I became aware of the problem I disconnected the server from the network to prevent more data loss.

    A few users have reported lots of files and folders missing from their documents folder, with one having folders but they are empty. (yet to check what’s on the server)

    Used the CSCCMD.exe tool to pull data from a users offline files cache, but it just matches what now remains in the documents folder, not everything that was there before.

    I went to the server and checked the shares. They were all set not to allow offline files as default so I have set each one to “all files and programs that users open from the share will be available offline”
    I also found “subfolders always available offline” was not enabled in group policy so I have enabled that.

    I don’t know if it is just sync-ing files that have changed since it last sync-ed and ignoring files that haven’t changed or are new.

    I just thought once “the server” was back everything would copy across.

    My only thought at the moment is use CSCCMD.exe for each user first and manually copy the work to their documents folder. Hope someone can help.

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    I would use the tool above to do the copy just to make sure as offline files are tricky and fragile in a non-standard situation.

    If this affects lots of users I would probably look at adding it to the logon script (after testing) for the users so that it did it when they hit the network. You could add a different share name (and stop the original one temporarily) on the server to backup to so that the offline files app still thought the server was offline. You could also have it pointing to a different server if you have one. Whether it copies using the sync method relies on the user telling it to copy the files up to the server instead of delete them to match whats already there and the GP settings which you have already discovered and implemented. Because of the uncertain user element the tool is probably the best way foward.

    This will hopefully allow for data recovery from all of the still unaffected laptops which gets the data safe and you can perfect the new server settings once its safety is assured.

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    tazz (8th March 2010)

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