Offline Files in Windows 2003 Server

By 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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Me, too...

by AnnVV In reply to Offline Files in Windows ...

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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Been there, Done that!

by benjamin.bone In reply to Offline Files in Windows ...

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.

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But I want offline files...

by AnnVV In reply to Been there, Done that!

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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by benjamin.bone In reply to But I want offline files. ...

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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It is a requirement

by AnnVV In reply to Hmm

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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Just an intution...

by syxys In reply to It is a requirement

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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I have the same problem

by gfougere In reply to Just an intution...

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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In my case problem solved by increasing licenses

by rpr.nospam In reply to Just an intution...

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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Working with workarounds, and understanding the limits

by AnnVV In reply to It is a requirement

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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Offline Folder issues resolve

by gfougere In reply to Working with workarounds, ...

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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