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Recover Offline Files

Here's what happened:  I had to reinstall the SBS2003 OS. All local devices (PCs and laptops) all had a local copy of their my documents and favorites (offline files) stored on their systems. When the server came back online and I recreated the users the computers auto synced with the server and since the server folders were empty erased all of the my documents folder contents on the local machines and the offline files folder is empty now. First off why did this happen? I thought it was supposed to be 2 way synchronization not from the server down only. Second is there anyway to recover this? I tried System Restore but I later found out that does not cover files in the My Documents folder.

Matt
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MDauphinais1
Asked:
MDauphinais1
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5 Solutions
 
haim96Commented:
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haim96Commented:
note that the offline file are stored in one cach file
so you can't restore the files because they not realy exist.
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MDauphinais1Author Commented:
Can I recover the cach file with a file recovery utility?
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haim96Commented:
never tried it before and i'am not sure whare to find it.
 i guess it some whare under the user profile....
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Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
Check this MS-KB
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;884739
Try the above command,, If not' then you don't have other way because since you connected the server to the clients, the server will automatically remove the offline files, I don't think there's away to recover them.

It's like deleting files munally over a network, the file never backed up on recycle bin folder or cached...
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jalalmegadethCommented:
if you have two hard drives, or any space where you can recover .. then YES
you can probably use EasyRecovery, but this takes time depending the size of data that you want to recover

GL
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Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
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MDauphinais1Author Commented:
so how to I figure out what cache file the offline files are stored in?
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Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
Hello MDauphinais1..
Check each local machine separately, at least try to do this on 2 or 3 machines, if you didn't find any try to goto the server, i doubt it but it might be there.

Good Luck.
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MDauphinais1Author Commented:
Inorder to run a file recovery program, what file name should I look for for the cache file?
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Mohammed HamadaSenior IT ConsultantCommented:
Try using extentions instead on file names, for example you can use "*.doc" or "xml" excluding the quotes, i donno if the program supports using this feature or not, but usually it does as it's not that big thing to add to such a famous program such as the undelete.. and others.. I hope it'll work anywayz.

Good luck
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scrathcyboyCommented:
use getbdataback from www.runtime.org BEFORE any data is written to the laptops !!
If the data has not been overwritten by new files, getdataback will be able to find and restore it.

The problem came from a fundamental failing of microsoft products, when you install the OS anew it is as dumb as a 1 year old child, and will do everything stupid, and everything wrong, until you train the beast.
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haim96Commented:
MDauphinais1 ,since the last synchronoze was to empty folder
restore the cache file won't do any good.
because the cashe  file himself was not deleted only his content.
i think this is a lost battle ..... sorry.

for the next time,try to have a backup in the server side.
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venom96737Commented:
ok what you have done here is rewrote the files stored on each local directory. once you synced the folders they will read one way and then read the other this is true.  But if the folder dont match the latest folder created will over write the older folder which has cause the subsequent erasure of all the files previously stored on the local machines.  Since the machines are looking toward the network for data and all that NO there is no recovery.
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MereteCommented:
you could try the internet explorer index.dat file, these can be opened with notepad.
Index.dat files are used by Internet Explorer and Windows to store history, Internet cache, cookies, UserData records and other information about what you have done in Internet or in your PC.

Example: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\HISTORY"
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files"
"C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files" index.dat

What are Index.dat files?
Where are located Index.dat files?
What is in Index.dat files?
How to erase or clean Index.dat files?
http://www.milincorporated.com/a_indexdat.html#ch2

Good luck hope it helps you
Merete
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m_wolf1Commented:
dude, if you are running server 2003 I had the same happen to me - I think it was one of the updates.

-v
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5t0rmUKCommented:
Make sure now SBS is back up and running that you are not logging into a domain profile instead of a local profile.  You will probably find that all of your documents are still there.
Look into your local drive and browse to the local profiles.  I bet the stuff is still there.

This happened to me once and I was sweating bullets !!
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MDauphinais1Author Commented:
Thanks everybody for the help. I ended up running a program on the client machines called Recover My Files which worked really well. It recovered deleted files from eons ago along with the files that were erased from the offline files cache. I also has the ability to find files on a hard drive that has been formatted which I tried to run on the server but it froze halfway through the search (the search itself took a really long time). As for backups... I have many now.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Recover my files is from who?
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MDauphinais1Author Commented:
Recover My Files is by Get Data Software Development Company. http://www.recovermyfiles.com/

The only down side to the recovery program is that the file names of the "lost files" as it calls the recovered deleted files are all (Recovered Data_1.doc, Recovered Data_2.doc, etc.). But there is a preview window that actually lets you see the contents of the file such as a word document and a properties window to let you see the author, created date, etc. if the information is available.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Thank you, that is good info.  getdataback from www.runtime.org is excellent recovery program too, but you have to piece fragmented files together from various clusters, so it can be a long laborious process.  Does this RMF program get the entire file, or did you have to splice them together from file fragments?
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