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Sync Offline Files with SBS 2008 at user logoff using a Group Policy

Posted on 2011-10-06
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Hello everyone, I am using an SBS 2008 server with Windows 7 clients attached. Folder redirection is working fine and users are able to sync themselves at any given point and time. I am trying to set up a group policy that activates a sync whenever a user logs off their workstation. This seemed to work fine when I've done it with SBS 2003 and XP clients, but I do not see any activity when deploying this through a GPO in the SBS2008/Win7 environment. Any direction on how this should be done "properly" with SBS 2008 and Windows 7 clients?

Thank you.
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Question by:ssmolenski
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by:Ackles
ID: 36932951
Hello,
The problem here is that XP by design syncs when you logoff & Vista + i.e. W7 also syncs while you are working.

Now, if you question is that W7 is not syncing, then actually it's doing what it's supposed to but you are not seeing it.

To be sure, you can just manipulate a file on W7 & see what happens? On XP you see because at the time of Logoff it shows you GUI & error if any.

Please tell if you need further clarification?

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by:ssmolenski
ID: 36933645
Thanks Ackles,

After doing some reading up, I discovered that was the case...unfortunate, as it was a nice function of XP to sync at log-off. Do you know of any easy way to force a profile to sync at log-off through a command line option or similar?

Thanks again.
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by:Ackles
ID: 36933845
So you want to change behavior of your W7 machines that they only sync at logoff?
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by:ssmolenski
ID: 36936329
Yes, the problem occurs with a couple machines where a few things do not fully sync during when Win7 is running. Especially the itunes library. So, my thought was to force a sync before logoff or before shutdown for everyone and this should solve the problem.
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by:Ackles
ID: 36938507
Hi,
Can you please have look at below:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc759721(WS.10).aspx

There are policies what you can use to achieve the desired behavior.
I am sure you can find all required policies here.

Now, you can either make a separate OU for W7 machines or if you want you can use WMI filters. Depending upon your need and situation you can make the best choice.

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by:ssmolenski
ID: 36938552
Thanks again for your quick reply, but these policies are for a SBS 2003 server. I've tried them on the SBS 2008 and they will not work with Win 7 clients. I tried various methods with the GP's and ran on a test machine and they will not sync, even after forcing a gpupdate.
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by:Ackles
ID: 36938561
Hi,
Can you please have a look, it seems you are running into the same issue:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-ZA/w7itproperf/thread/977b2332-4434-4a93-86b4-b6125cb0c0de

If you are running  Symantec Endpoint Protection then this is it, if not try disabling the Anti Virus & see.

Other option would be to try clean boot.

Let me know how it goes?

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by:ssmolenski
ID: 36938661
Hate to say it, but tried it. I don't have Symantec on the machine. The client is running MS Sec Essentials and the server is running Forefront. Offline Sync works just fine in general. I run into no sync issues through the normal use of the client machine. The only thing I'm trying to achieve is a sync before logoff and/or shutdown. I even tried the GP of the local machine and that doesn't seem to do it either.
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by:Ackles
ID: 36938691
The link I gave you is for 2003 Policies, can you please see if you find the same policies in SBS 2008?
Also can you please try to isolate one W7 machine in a Test OU & blocking inheritance & then applying polives one by one?
Make sure nothing is Enforced.

If we find the policy what is used fo make the desired effect we have to also make sure nothing is conflicting.

Let me know if you find policy otherwise I will look on one of machine to find Exact Policy.
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Author Comment

by:ssmolenski
ID: 36938712
I will try it again. Within SBS 2008 (not R2), there is a policy for Vista Machines. I have tried the default, XP, Vista, and the policies under my business. For each, I tried the policy under Admin Templates for both machine and user...all of which I did one by one and then forced an update under the local machine without success. Through reading articles, I think maybe because Win7 does not have that option as XP did that it may not work at all without writing a script?? I'm not well versed at scripts and prefer command line options instead.
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Ackles earned 1000 total points
ID: 36938752
Please read in the desceiption of policy for Vista if it applies to Vista+ then it should work foe W7 also
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by:ssmolenski
ID: 36959156
Hello Ackles,
 I agree that the Vista policy works with 7 machines. I think the offline sync is just not capable of running at the time of logoff and/or shutdown. On a separate note, do you know if 2008r2 GPO's can be imported into SBS 2008? I've read conflicting stories about it.
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by:Ackles
ID: 36959177
I wouldn't do it. Coz of the unexpected :(
You might things floating over the Internet that it works, but my personal way would be not to do it especially to avoid unexpected.

Did you try the Vista policy?
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by:Ackles
ID: 36959188
Thanks for the points, I saw it after I posted above. Let know if you need more assistance.
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Author Comment

by:ssmolenski
ID: 36959207
Anytime...you've been great. Yes, I tried the Vista Policy. I applied the policy to the client PC. I then took it offline and added about 1 GB worth of files and place it back online. You would think there would be some activity (syncing) at the time of logoff or shutdown, but it did it too quickly to have synced. I remember with XP it would at least show you the activity, but 7 does not unless you manually sync it. I tried this several times and still no luck. I don't think 7 is designed to do it, even the local GP won't work. I've read quite a bit about it and seems like no one has had any luck with it, but there are scripts out there to force a sync, but I don't know enough about editing/writing scripts yet to be able to implement it. Nonetheless, I appreciate everything.
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by:ssmolenski
ID: 36959216
Oh, and yes...I've read that sometimes they will work with 2008 and sometimes it can just garbage the GP system up. A couple of people suggested importing the GPO's but I was hesitant because of all the code changes between 2008 and 2008r2. I still have another unused copy of SBS 2008, wish I could get credit for it against SBS 2011...hehe.
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by:Ackles
ID: 36959231
Well the Kernel is different , but it's just the matter of preference.
See, what behavior you are seeing for W7 is by design, it's meant to work like that, it does sync in background to make logoff faster. The only hope was to see if GP could revert this behavior.
Do you mind giving ur email & I can see if I find something, I mean I will have to test it myself?
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by:ssmolenski
ID: 36959241
Absolutely...that would be great. Thank you again. My e-mail is ssmolenski@earthlink.net.
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by:Ackles
ID: 36959314
Cool, I will try to do it tomorrow , but depends on how many issues are waiting for me.
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by:ssmolenski
ID: 36959337
No worries....thank you again.
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