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Windows My Documents Sync

Posted on 2008-06-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
I am constantly having the same problem with my remote users. We are running 1 Win 2003 SBS and configured the "my documents" from the XP Pro machines to sync with the server. When my remote users come back into the office after a week or so out and try to sync it constantly fails with an "unauthorized or don't have permission" error. If I remove the Offline Files, then it will sync perfectly. My local users sync just fine. Any ideas?
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Question by:cnmgt
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authen-tech earned 250 total points
ID: 21775942
This is a tool that is separate from offline files...but works great.  Check out Microsofts new SyncToy 2.0.  It can be run manually or scheduled as a task to run automatically.  

Get it here:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=c26efa36-98e0-4ee9-a7c5-98d0592d8c52&displaylang=en 

This seems to work better than offline files.  

Otherwise...are the computers members of the domain or a workgroup?  If a workgroup...have they authenticated with the server by attempting to go to a server share manually...then entering username and password...then syncing?  Or are they trying to sync before authenticating to the server?

Hope this helps!
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by:cnmgt
ID: 21776038
Will the sync still work if I uncheck "Offline Files"?
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by:CorpComp
ID: 21776120
Certainly will.
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by:cnmgt
ID: 21776125
If I have files currently offline will I still be able to access them?
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by:CorpComp
ID: 21776139
SyncToy doesn't look at folders in an online/offline sense.  

You tell it to sync folder 1 with folder 2 and it will do so.
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Author Comment

by:cnmgt
ID: 21776148
I appreciate your help. What is the purpose of "offline" files?
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by:CorpComp
CorpComp earned 250 total points
ID: 21776166
Offline files designed for people who work away from the office.  They can sync their files to their local machine, and access them as if they were on the local network when they are away from the office.  Then when they are back in the office, the files are synced back to their network location. It is a great theory, but I have never found microsofts built in function for this to be very reliable.

SyncToy is definately more reliable.
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Author Comment

by:cnmgt
ID: 21776177
Hmmm. Yeah, everytime my people come back into the office It fails to sync because of offline files not having permission or access denied. If I remove the failed files then it will sync. Does SyncToy run on the server or workstation?
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Expert Comment

by:CorpComp
ID: 21776240
SyncToy runs on the workstation.

Do you know why you get "access denied" problems?
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Author Comment

by:cnmgt
ID: 21776261
No I can't find any reason. After I get it working again. It will fail the next time the user comes in. It's all remote users. local users sync just fine.
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Expert Comment

by:CorpComp
ID: 21776267
Why do you have local users syncing?
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Author Comment

by:cnmgt
ID: 21776274
It was that way before I got there. I plan to just redirect their My Document folder.
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by:CorpComp
ID: 21776278
Sounds like the setup is not the best.

I would try to get to the root cause of the error, but if you just looking to solve the problem and move on with a view to making major changes later, try the SyncToy.
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Author Comment

by:cnmgt
ID: 21778103
It is a single server environment and I plan to reinstall the server eventually.
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Expert Comment

by:authen-tech
ID: 21779519
I'm glad CorpComp agrees that my solution would work.  Offline files is buggy and yes, it's important to find out why they are not authenticating.  My initial question was whether or not the computers were a part of the domain or just on a workgroup.  If on a workgroup, they need to authenticate to a server before they are allowed to access its resources.  

Synctoy lets you basically make a copy of the files in a specific location on the remote users computer and sort of back them up onto the server.  You can configure it to either mirror the source drive exactly, or copy any changes to files that are made...with the exeption of deleted files.  This protects you if you accidentally delete a file you later realize you needed....it will still be on the server.  

Glad to help!
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