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Windows Thread, Offline Files Not Switching Over in Technical; We have Redirected Folders setup for My Documents, Desktop, and Application Data to a DFS share on our file server. ...
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    Offline Files Not Switching Over

    We have Redirected Folders setup for My Documents, Desktop, and Application Data to a DFS share on our file server. Offline Files is setup to cache these and kick in whenever a user goes 'offline'. Sync also happens on logoff. It's a standard configuration from Microsoft from everything I've read. It's even been working fine for about 1.5-2 years. Just recently we've had reports where some users desktops just go 'blank'.

    After toying with it for a while, we can reproduce the issue.

    If a notebook loses it's connection after successfully logging on the network:
    The offline files sync manager notifies you that you've went offline, but the desktop goes blank and gives you a 'server is not available' error if you F5/refresh the desktop.

    If you reboot the notebook, have NO network connectivity at startup, and logon under cached credentials:
    Offline files works as expected and My Documents/Desktop displays files with no issues. Reconnecting to the network while still logged in allows for a successful synchronization and the offline files goes back online.

    Previously if you lost your connection, the desktop would usually go blank for 3-5 seconds and come back, or a F5/refresh of the desktop would bring it back after losing network connectivity. The CSC cache for Offline Files is correctly being populated.

    My hypothesis is that there was a change in SP3 that causes Offline Files to behave differently now. We don't have many notebooks running SP3 so that would explain the lack of reports about disappearing desktop icons. I've played with all of the group policy settings for offline files and haven't been able to change the behavior. I'm going to put our old SP2 image on my test machine and see what happens, if the SP2 image still works!

    Has anyone experienced this? Thanks!

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    I verified that SP2 does not exhibit this issue.

    It was a default load of SP2, I'm running ALL of the updates for SP2 (without upgrading to SP3) to see if the issue resurfaces. If it's still okay, I will manually run the SP3 upgrade.

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    I'm digging this post out from the past as I believe we might possibly be having a similar problem at our school.

    We run a Server 2003 with XP SP3 enviroment. Laptops with offline files enabled. On our main data server has a shared folder where all staff share resources and store shared data. This area does not sync but when connectivity is lost and then regained the drive is appearing as blank and offline files is still reporting the server as offline, dispite having a working connection to the network. I'm even able to ping the data server.

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by MaxBerzon; 21st April 2010 at 01:13 PM.

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    jonathanhaddock's Avatar
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    @MaxBerzon

    You can tell the share not to allow synchronisation - I'm assuming that's the desired affect anyway?

    * RDP into the server in question
    * Open computer management (start > run > compmgmt.msc)
    * Expand the Shared Folders node
    * Click Shares
    * Right click the share in question and click properties
    * On the General tab click the Offline settings button
    * To prevent files syncronising completely, select Files or programs from the share will not be available offline

    Then when users are offline they'll see nothing but when their connectivity works they should see what they expect...

    Let me know if that helps,
    Jony

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    Yes the files & programs are not available offline, this is how it is already configured and is working as intended. The trouble is that after connectivity is regained after any outage the drive's data does not reappear and offline files reports the whole file server as being offline.

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    @MaxBerzon

    Do these symptoms persist even with the share setup as described (I think that's what you've just said but for confirmation)?
    I'm surprised the laptop doesn't just "try again" after the outage and suddenly work. Is this the only machine with the problem?

    Jonathan

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    It's happening on several computers throughout the school, even a couple of wired desktops. The share is setup exactly how you mentioned above. Offline files refuses to see that the file server is online.

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    Hmmm, the only suggestion I can make then is that on one of the affected machines you check it's synchronised correctly (I presume there are files that get used offline) and then re-initialise the client side cache:

    * Open My Computer
    * Click Tools > Folder Options > Offline Files
    * Hold CTRL + SHIFT and click Delete Files.

    Allow the re-initialisation (can't remember exactly what the prompts say) and restart.

    See if that solves the issue on one PC perhaps?



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