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Does unchecking "make files available offline" delete any version of the file saved locally?

Posted on 2009-06-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Here is the situation,

The user in question has a Windows 2008 SBS and several Windows XP laptops/desktops.  The user was using a shared directory on the server to hold all data.  Each laptop has offline files enabled and it sync's evertime.  The user was getting an error message when syncing, apparatnly 3 files kept showing that the file could not be found.  I'm guessing because it was deleted from one side?  Either way, they decided to start using terminal services and they stopped using offline files.  They unchcked the "make files available offline" box.  The question is, now they seem to think there was some files that were made and saved in that shared folder while "offline" and they don't see them anymore when they are in the office and browsing the data folder on the server.  Would unchecking the "make files available offline" box in My Computer-Folder Options automatically delete any files that were not yet synced when you uncheck that box?  It doesn't seem like it to me, but I wanted to ask the experts!  If so, is there anyway to retrieve them?

I tried checking the "Offline Files" area on the laptop in question and it now shows nothing.  I assume this is because they unchecked "make files available offline" ?

Thanks!
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Question by:Jsmply
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Glen Knight earned 500 total points
ID: 24750010
We get this quite a lot, it doesn't remove it from the computer, you can access the offline file cache using the csccmd tool available in the Windows 2003 resource kit: http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9d467a69-57ff-4ae7-96ee-b18c4790cffd&displaylang=en

Which you then run on the XP client to access the files, there is a document explaining the command lines.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24750025
also see here for the commands: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884739
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by:Jsmply
ID: 24750034
Thanks.  However, when I did an EE Search I found the posts on the CSCCMD tool, but it said that the files must show up in "Offline Files" within Windows XP and then I can use the command line CSCCMD tool to extract them.  I see nothing at all in "Offline files" when browsing Windows XP.   Am I incorrect?  Is there somewhere else they could be stored?
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24750046
can you see them when you disconnect from the network?
The tool may still be worth a try.
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by:Jsmply
ID: 24750081
Well just to clarify, should the files be deleted or moved from that area when you uncheck "Make files avaialble offline" ?

What should happen to files that were saved in that offline folder, but never sycronized?  
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24750098
I have experienced the "Make files available offline" being unchecked whilst off-line and the files being in the off-line cache but I have also experienced it where they have not.

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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 24750107
Well what if it was unchecked while they were "online" ?  Basically, they were on the network but sychronization kept faiing due to a few select files.  They are able to get back into the folder now when they are online, the question is what happended to files that were not synced?  
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24750128
Honestly, I have been working with this sort of setup for around 4 years and the results can be very hit and miss, the CSCCMD is your best bet and definately worth a try.
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 24750186
I've installed the resource kit.  Can you by chance point me towards the right command to check for any stored files?  Thanks
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24750231
All the commands are here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884739

You will use the /EXTRACT switch to extract the file once you know the path
to find the path use the and the /ENUM command to see what shares/files are available for extraction.

You must be logged onto the computer as an administrator to use the enum and extract functions as NTFS permissions still apply.
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by:Jsmply
ID: 24751309
Thanks, so I just go to a Command Prompt and type in /enum or is there a machine name that needs to be included?
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24751514
no, you need to use the CSCCMD /ENUM: \\servername\servershare (this is where the offline files come from.

All the command lines with explenatios are listed here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884739
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by:Jsmply
ID: 24751547
Would the \\servername be the DC server name or the workstation in question name?  I'm assuming not the server but the workstation name as that's where the offline files would be since it never synced with the server?  Also, how do I know what the "servershare" name is?  Or do I literaly type //whatever_the_machine_name_is/servershare ?
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24751561
the \\servername will be the name of the server where the share is that should have been synced.
If it synced at some stage then this is what the reference in the cache will be.
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 24751605
Thanks, so it's the server name but on the workstation, got it.  And what about the servershare?  or is that not variable?

Say the server was called officeserver

\\officeserver\servershare  ?
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by:Jsmply
ID: 24751613
Oh wait, brain wasn't firing right away.  I just realized after I hit post that the server share is probably the name of the share on the server.  

What's the easiest way to find the dos name of the share?  Login to the server and go to properties?  
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 24751619
Also one last question, when the "sync" fails because it says some files or fodlers could not be found, does the rest of the sync go through?  For example, the user states they were getting the message that sync failed and when clicking details it says that a handful of files were not found.  Would the rest of the folder sync succesfully?  If so they are probably only missing a few files.  I just want to make sure it doesn't abort the whole sync at that point.

Forgive me I don't use Windows sync folders very often.  I'm assuming ANY new folders, subfolders, or files that were made in the offline version of the share should be uploaded to the master once back online?  If so I'm not sure why they would have gotten a message that a file or folder could not be found for certain files on sync?  

Just trying to get an idea of how much is missing.

Thanks
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24751627
The sync should continue with the rest of the files upon any error messages other than things like server not available.

if you click start then run and type \\servername (where servername is the name of the server that holds the share) it will show you the share names.
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 24751752
Thanks!  Well I did some more reading and it looks like unchecking the "enable offline files" does not delete the files, so I think we are definitely on the right track.

But I keep trying to do the enum option with the format you told me and I verified it on other sites (CSCCMD /ENUM: \\MyServer\MyShare) and I keep getting the following message.

Unrecognized option "ENUM:"
System Error 87 has occured
The paramater is incorrect

I've tried googling the error but I don't get much help.  When I just type CSCCMD by itself on the command line, it shows a list of avaialable options (enable, disable, resid, disconnect, moveshare) but nothing about enum.

Thanks!

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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24751793
Download version 1.1 from here: http://stingr.net/ftp/pub/csccmdv1.1.zip
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by:Jsmply
ID: 24752068
Thanks.  Where do I extract the .exe so it overwrites the original?  I tried just dumping it in a random folder and running the exe from that folder, but I guess it's still picking up version 1.0 because it says ENUM not found.
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24752080
I will check with my guys who use this regularly when I get into the office
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 24752098
Okay I figured that part out, but now when using the

CSCCMD /ENUM: \\MyServer\MyShare

With my servername and share I get

"missing requried parameter for "\enum:"
System Error 87 has occured
The paramater is incorrect
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by:Glen Knight
ID: 24753024
You need to remove the space so it would be: CSCCMD /ENUM:\\USERSERVER\USERSHARE
Lets assume the sharename is USERSHARE and the Server is USERSERVER for the sake of the command below, I have just run this on one of our systems and it extracted the whole of the offline folder cache, if you know the path you can obviously add it to the extract command

CSCCMD /EXTRACT:\\USERSERVER\USERSHARE /TARGET:C:\OFFLINERECOVERYFOLDER

So for example when you run the ENUM command if it gives you a different path then replace \\USERSERVER\USERSHARE with that path, and if you know what files are missing you can add the full path to the file onto the command and it will extract the file you want.
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 24753915
Thanks. I'm going to be at the office soon (posting via mobile) and will try it again. Would you say its safe to extract the cache on all workstations to be safe?  In case they had something there? How long would this typically be saved?
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 31598556
I kept getting errors when using csccmd, even once I got past all the problems we were troubleshooting here, it was then saying a device is unavailable.  Very strange.  Either way, the user does not seem to be missing any important files, so I guess this is resolved.  Thanks!
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