Questions

Offline Files in Windows 2003 Server

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Offline Files in Windows 2003 Server

jayobu
We have been using Windows 2003 Server (with only 5 computers in the domain) for a while, about a year now.. with no problems.. until we recently added 3 new dell laptops to the domain.. and the problems started. We keep getting this balloon messages "Offline Files - Working offline, You are no longer connected to 'OurServer') and the shared folders keep disappearing... Anyone know what the problem is?
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    AnnVV

    I get the same issue for some HP laptop users who work through a VPN. I note when they sync their files, the connection comes back, and while "dropped" they are still on the VPN, but the directory mappings go dumb, and don't see all the files they should. I, too, am interested in anything anybody has to say of how to solve this.

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    benjamin.bone

    Open windows explorer, tools > Folder Options > Offline Files Tab > Remove the check from the "Enable Offiline Files" Box.

    May require a reboot.

    Also, make sure (if you are using GPO's) that your GPO is not configured for offline files!

    Hope this helps.
    Ben

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    AnnVV

    My goal is to get it to work, not to disable the use of it. The users I have are on the road, and sometimes can't connect - they want their files available on or off line. Disabling Offline files is not a viable option.

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    Hmm

    benjamin.bone

    Then why have a domain? If you have 5 users that are always on the road, then why manage user accounts?

    You need to configure your GPO settings for offline files if you really want to use them.

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    AnnVV

    The industry is one where the files potentially have confidental information must be protected. To accomplish this, along with the user's need to have files available when they can't connect, we use offline files and encrypt them on the laptops and require dual authentication (biometric and strong passwords). It is also a requirement to limit what they can do to change their own configurations. If I could simply force them to be domain clients, period, I would. The settings are configured via the GPO, including redirecting their home directory to a network share, but with some allowance to choose exactly how and when they sync.

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    syxys

    I would try to increase the number of licence. The default for windows 2003 is 5. We are using offline files caching and redirected ?My Documents folder? with no problems for 2 years now.

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    gfougere

    I would like to know if you have had any success with this issue. I have been trying to resolve the same issue.

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    rpr.nospam

    I realized that the LicenseService (License Logging) was not started on the Windows Server 2003 that shares the files. After starting it, I added licenses according to purchased MS Windows Server CALs for that Windows domain (licensing per device or per user):

    Administrative Tools -> Licensing -> License -> New License -> Product: Windows Server

    After that the problem disappeared.

    It's strange that Windows Server does not write any records about this problem in its Event Log.

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    0 Votes
    AnnVV

    We are working effectively with just some understanding on the part of the enduser, and their being mindful to watch the folders. I found the disappearing folders and "no longer online" problem documented (can't remember where right now) and seems to be a Microsoft limitation. Forcing a sync brings it back, and is easy enough for the enduser to do. We have had some issues where folders simply would not create as synced folders, even within the synced structure, and workaround that by recreating them, and making sure they show as synced.

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    gfougere

    I have been having the same problems with offline folders going offline and then all shares from that server disappearing when the server went "offline" even though it was still working perfectly fine. We recently discovered and resolved a problem with the reverse DNS entries. The problems I was having do not occur now. I have been working several weeks now with no issues.

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    syxys

    Could you be more specific about the problem with DNS? As I said previously, everything was running fine until I try to switch folder redirection to a DFS share. In fact changing folder redirection to a new drive letter mapping is a nightmare. I keep getting disconnected message and cannot get rid of the old cached files. I have been deleting the files, reinitialising the cache and still I got issue. So any information could be helpful. Thanks in advance

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    gfougere

    Our reverse DNS was not working on our windows 2003 DNS servers. Once we made the correction to the DHCP server to properly register the reverse DNS entries of all the computers on our domain, the problems i was having with offline folders went away.


    http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/179d4f6c-9482-4dac-8f03-74bd78b7d2631033.mspx?mfr=true

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    0 Votes
    syxys

    Thank you for the info. It ain't the source of my problem but thank you for responding.

  • +
    0 Votes
    AnnVV

    I get the same issue for some HP laptop users who work through a VPN. I note when they sync their files, the connection comes back, and while "dropped" they are still on the VPN, but the directory mappings go dumb, and don't see all the files they should. I, too, am interested in anything anybody has to say of how to solve this.

    +
    0 Votes
    benjamin.bone

    Open windows explorer, tools > Folder Options > Offline Files Tab > Remove the check from the "Enable Offiline Files" Box.

    May require a reboot.

    Also, make sure (if you are using GPO's) that your GPO is not configured for offline files!

    Hope this helps.
    Ben

    +
    0 Votes
    AnnVV

    My goal is to get it to work, not to disable the use of it. The users I have are on the road, and sometimes can't connect - they want their files available on or off line. Disabling Offline files is not a viable option.

    +
    0 Votes

    Hmm

    benjamin.bone

    Then why have a domain? If you have 5 users that are always on the road, then why manage user accounts?

    You need to configure your GPO settings for offline files if you really want to use them.

    +
    0 Votes
    AnnVV

    The industry is one where the files potentially have confidental information must be protected. To accomplish this, along with the user's need to have files available when they can't connect, we use offline files and encrypt them on the laptops and require dual authentication (biometric and strong passwords). It is also a requirement to limit what they can do to change their own configurations. If I could simply force them to be domain clients, period, I would. The settings are configured via the GPO, including redirecting their home directory to a network share, but with some allowance to choose exactly how and when they sync.

    +
    0 Votes
    syxys

    I would try to increase the number of licence. The default for windows 2003 is 5. We are using offline files caching and redirected ?My Documents folder? with no problems for 2 years now.

    +
    0 Votes
    gfougere

    I would like to know if you have had any success with this issue. I have been trying to resolve the same issue.

    +
    0 Votes
    rpr.nospam

    I realized that the LicenseService (License Logging) was not started on the Windows Server 2003 that shares the files. After starting it, I added licenses according to purchased MS Windows Server CALs for that Windows domain (licensing per device or per user):

    Administrative Tools -> Licensing -> License -> New License -> Product: Windows Server

    After that the problem disappeared.

    It's strange that Windows Server does not write any records about this problem in its Event Log.

    +
    0 Votes
    AnnVV

    We are working effectively with just some understanding on the part of the enduser, and their being mindful to watch the folders. I found the disappearing folders and "no longer online" problem documented (can't remember where right now) and seems to be a Microsoft limitation. Forcing a sync brings it back, and is easy enough for the enduser to do. We have had some issues where folders simply would not create as synced folders, even within the synced structure, and workaround that by recreating them, and making sure they show as synced.

    +
    0 Votes
    gfougere

    I have been having the same problems with offline folders going offline and then all shares from that server disappearing when the server went "offline" even though it was still working perfectly fine. We recently discovered and resolved a problem with the reverse DNS entries. The problems I was having do not occur now. I have been working several weeks now with no issues.

    +
    0 Votes
    syxys

    Could you be more specific about the problem with DNS? As I said previously, everything was running fine until I try to switch folder redirection to a DFS share. In fact changing folder redirection to a new drive letter mapping is a nightmare. I keep getting disconnected message and cannot get rid of the old cached files. I have been deleting the files, reinitialising the cache and still I got issue. So any information could be helpful. Thanks in advance

    +
    0 Votes
    gfougere

    Our reverse DNS was not working on our windows 2003 DNS servers. Once we made the correction to the DHCP server to properly register the reverse DNS entries of all the computers on our domain, the problems i was having with offline folders went away.


    http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/179d4f6c-9482-4dac-8f03-74bd78b7d2631033.mspx?mfr=true

    +
    0 Votes
    syxys

    Thank you for the info. It ain't the source of my problem but thank you for responding.