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Windows Thread, teacher's laptops offline files in Technical; Sorry if this in the wrong area, or has been discussed before. Most of our teachers now have laptops which ...
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    chrbb's Avatar
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    teacher's laptops offline files

    Sorry if this in the wrong area, or has been discussed before.

    Most of our teachers now have laptops which are networked with a local admin account to access at home if necessary. However, until now I have stressed that it is their responsibility to save work they can't afford to lose to the appropriate place on the server. Ha ha!
    I haven't set offline caching because
    a) don't really know enough about it, but have read articles that there are probs if the laptop is used by various users - ours are.
    b) don't want teachers to be faced with this file is newer which do you want
    c) Don't want all the crap from my docs on the server - hol snaps etc

    So I thought maybe a folder in their my docs that they save can't lose work to, then a batch file to copy that to their home drive, either scheduled or they click on and it runs.

    What do other schools do?

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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    a) If more than one user logs onto a laptop CSC will try and syncronise all the different users home folders on reconnection to the network and will fail with them except for the current user.

    b) You will get asked which file they want to keep if there are differences and you need to educate the users on what to do.

    c) I don't think you can be selective about what it syncs so you get the lot minus any filetypes that can be made available offline such as database files.

    Ben

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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    a) no it wont fail. It's not subject to the same permissions restrictions as the current user. You can set an 'owner' for a machine with a registry key that'll only keep their files synced off line too.

    b) over ride with GPO's if you prefer.

    c) you can filter by path and or file extension. You can over ride the defaults with GPO's if you prefer. You can suppress the errors/warnings if you want it to be a little more quiet too.

    Alternatively, what might be simpler in the OP's case, is to just buy USB sticks for staff and tell them to use that. The size of the USB stick helpfully limits them to only transfering a sane amount of data and it's their own fault if they forget things.

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    They all have memory sticks, but as most of pcs (until the new year) are w98 transferring via memory stick is more trouble than it's worth. I'm looking to make their 'backups' as effortless as possible which is why I thought of the backup batch file, they connect to the network all day at school to enable them to print, which they do in vast quantities
    If the offline files cache for the current user I could see a situation where the teacher isn't the last person to logon to the network on that laptop before they take it home for the night, or have I got the wrong end of the stick with offline caching?

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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    but as most of pcs are w98
    Get rid of your Win98 PCs.

    If the offline files cache for the current user I could see a situation where the teacher isn't the last person to logon to the network on that laptop before they take it home for the night, or have I got the wrong end of the stick with offline caching?
    It depends how you set it up. The defaults will work for this situation fine.

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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    Well - I set up teacher's laptops with a folder in 'my docs' called backup, an equilalent folder in their home drive on the server, a batch file to click on their desktop, very easy to understand instructions. Any work they don't want to lose save to the backup folder, no music or hol snaps.

    The result? Moans and groans akin to making a 6 year old eat a brussel sprout, all but one teacher made me feel a pain in the a**e. No thankyous and definately no xmas pressies unlike the TA's who went home more wine than someone who had ram raided the local off licence!

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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    The result? Moans and groans akin to making a 6 year old eat a brussel sprout, all but one teacher made me feel a pain in the a**e. No thankyous and definately no xmas pressies unlike the TA's who went home more wine than someone who had ram raided the local off licence!
    Normal day in the life of an IT tech then...

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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    With my teachers I have set up like that (i don't give admin access any more). I setup a desktop shortcut to their system account and tell them to put stuff there they want backed up.

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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    We originally had our windows XP loan laptops configured to use staff's own accounts off domain with cached files. It quickly became obvious after users having to log in multiple times to get files/authentication cached offline that it was more trouble than it was worth. That and it wouldn't sync up shared areas cleanly when multiple users started logging onto the same laptop. As a result staff got confused what to expect and where to find things when the logged on them.
    Then came the showstopper when one teacher deleted all of their files on the laptop and it would have deleted all of their files on the network server then next time they sync'd if we hadn't realised what had happened! Admittedly you can stop this by changing the sync policy.
    We've ended up going back to just setting up local accounts on the laptops and disabling network access on them so they are only ever used as standalone computers. Staff then transfer files via USB sticks as others have suggested.
    Hopefully MS will put some more thought into how offline files and laptops work when Vista's released. Setting it up in XP using network files/accounts feels like it was an afterthough on Microsoft's part.

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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    There are alternatives to MS offline files. Rsync (for windows) can be scripted to syncronise directories, it is fast incremental and doesn't delete files -unless you tell it to. http://samba.anu.edu.au/rsync/

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    Re: teacher's laptops offline files

    I decided to use xcopy rather than offline and synchronising files because it seemed simpler, also if a teacher has personal letters etc on their laptop they have the choice of not backing them up to the file server but keeping them in 'my docs'.
    I'm going to implement it at the other primary that I work at when I feel mentally strong enough!

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