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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, Cached Logins for Staff Laptops in Technical; I hate staff laptops. But this is a technical thread, not BTRD so I will attempt to stick to the ...
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    Tyiell's Avatar
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    Cached Logins for Staff Laptops

    I hate staff laptops. But this is a technical thread, not BTRD so I will attempt to stick to the point without just giving up and putting all the staff laptops on ebay...

    My problem is that we are attempting to put the staff laptops on the domain to increase our control over them - currently every member of staff has one and they are all local admins on the workgroup and are basically given free-reign to smash them to junk as they see fit.

    I have created an OU under which I have built a test laptop and I have set them to cache the last 2 logins. I have also set it to synchronise the Profile and App Data. All of this is fine.

    The staff logins on the domain map their home directories to N: when on the network. My trouble is, when off the domain it still does this, even though it can't access the server. Then if you whack in a file or edit something in there, it caches it and, whent he laptop does return to the network, it synchronises it. Now this is in direct contradiction to every setting I can find: I have tried to disable this and I just can't!!

    I have:

    - Set the "Administratively assigned offline files" GPO to sync only the Profile and App Data.
    - Disabled the "synchronise all offline folders before logging off (and on)" GPO
    - Enabled the "subfolders always available offline"
    - Set the "Allow or Disallow use of the offline files feature" to disallowed.
    - "Prohibit user configuration of Offline File" set to enabled.
    - Disabled Caching on the home folder on the server

    What else can I do?!?!?! Any ideas what I'm doing wrong, or does my server just hate me?

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    Why do you want to disable it. File sync is probably the best thing since sliced bread, staff can continue to work on their school file while at home. But if you really want to do it you need to delete the local cached copy and with your settings above it should not sync. I think there is also a setting in AD to delete cached copies at user logoff, if you don't want to go round every laptop deleting them manually.

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    Tyiell's Avatar
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    We have created a partition on the laptop for their documents that they can transfer to and from when on the network and use as offline storage when they are not - we are worried that they will mindlessly save a 10GB movie to their My Documents and then wonder why it takes a while to log in: "It said something about synchronising N: and sat there for 2 hours, until I got bored and ripped the battery out before plunging the laptop in a bucket of water. So can I have a new one please?". I know it will happen!!

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    We exclude My Music and My Video folders for exactly this reason. Itunes posed a problem for us with file sync and you can even ban file extensions from syncing, we ban all the usual types mp4, mp3, avi and so on. Oh and we also set limits on how much server space they can have, staff 2gb pupils 500mb y7-y9, 1gb y10-y11 but this strategy might not go down well in some schools.
    Last edited by jsnetman; 26th May 2010 at 02:17 PM.

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    Tyiell (26th May 2010)

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    Tyiell's Avatar
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    Wait, I lied. I have set the "allow use of the offline files feature" to enabled which according to the description means Offline Files are enabled and cannot be disabled.

    Except, if I turn this to Disabled, it stops the this problem but also rather annoying stops it from synching the few bits that I do want it to synchronise (set in the Administratively set offline files"). ARGH!

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    Tyiell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    We exclude My Music and My Video folders for exactly this reason. Itunes posed a problem for us with file sync and you can even ban file extensions from syncing, we ban all the usual types mp4, mp3, avi and so on. Oh and we also set limits on how much server space they can have, staff 2gb pupils 500mb y7-y9, 1gb y10-y11 but this startegy might not go down well in some schools.
    Does that work on the cache? If I set a 2 GB limit to their home drives on the network, will it set this to the cache as well? Trouble is, if it's mostly full, 2GB is still quite a lot to synchronise - does it only do the things that have changed, or does it do the lot?

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    No the limit does not work on the cache although you can set a seperate limit on the cache but I don't bother with that. And yes it only syncs changed files, staff here who are approachin the 2 gig limit don't have issues with it apart from if they have been away from the network for months then a hefty sync is due when back in school.
    Last edited by jsnetman; 26th May 2010 at 02:38 PM.

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    I have also thought about a draconian route, where you can specify which files to sync, say word docs excel and publisher only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    No the limit does not work on the cache although you can set a seperate limit on the cache but I don't bother with that. And yes it only syncs changed files, staff here who are approachin the 2 gig limit don't have issues with it.
    Hmm, thats pretty lame. So does it allow them to save music and videos in the cache (even if it is set not to on the GPO) and only stops them when they try to sync it to the server?

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    Yes thats right they can still save music and videos into the respective folders but they dont't sync. To be honest setting a limit on their cach might be a bit overboard especially these days with music and video files in such demand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    ...you can set a seperate limit on the cache but I don't bother with that...
    Is this the "Default cache size" policy? Because I set that to 150 - which I understand to be 1.5% of the disk (doesn't say whether that is the full disk, the C:, the system partition or the free space of the system disk ). Then I went on and put 4GB of files on there while offline. Now the hdd is a total of 250GB, so I can't see any way that it isn't ever the limit there. But it worked anyway. Ok, it didn't sync when I went back onto the network due to the server restrictions, but it tried, and therein lies the problem. It seems to just ignore what I tell it and try anyway. Soooo annoying.

    Maybe I'll give up and just give it to them as is, and warn them if they put a load of crap on the offline files they will have to sit and wait for it to try to sync for a few minutes, and then get the good news that it failed...

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