Connecting to SBS 2003 R2 with a VPN conection - are users supposed to need to sync to see the network?

I'm new to this.  When a user connnects via the SBS VPN back to the sbs 2003 R2 server / domain, they can't browse the network.  If they type \\server, all they see is the users share with their offline files.  They need to find the sync button and run a sync manually before they can browse the network.  Is that by design / the way its supposed to be?  Is there a way to automate that?  Is there a reason why that is or something wrong in my setup of the laptop or network?  

I'm thinking - why would a user want to connect to the network and NOT access files / just use offline files?

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Sounds like your Kerberos tickets are out of date. Are these laptops? If so try booting them up while connected to the network in the main office, log on, log off and go offsite and it should work fine.
Also check your DNS settings in the dial up connection you are using.
Yes, it is by design (if I understand your scenario properly.). Basically, if the laptop has files on Server A that are offline, if it is out of synch, and working offline, it has no reason to even attempt a netbios connection to the server because it thinks it is offline, thereby defaulting to the Offline Files, and not generating traffic across the network. However, if you use either the \\FQDNofServer\share, or \\IPofServer\share, you should be able to see the live network shares with no problem.

You have to remember, synching not only synchs the shares, but also causes a reconnection to the network/servers.....

If you want to be able to always use the live network, and not only Offline Files, then see the KB article below, noting the section titled...

"Forced silent auto reconnection "

Files that you add to the Offline Files folder on a Windows XP-based computer are synchronized when another person uses the computer

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babaganooshAuthor Commented:
I am trying to / expect the system to automaticallty synch when they boot the PC when in the office.  offline files is set to 'synch at logon / logoff', but I guess it's not?

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