Windows CSC (Offline files).........HELP!!!!!!!!!!

By ThumbsUp2 ·
Hi all. I need to ask for your help once again. I don't know how these strange ones find me, but I've got another one. ***sigh***

One of our field offices has a computer (WinXP Pro SP3) which, until a few months ago, was connected to their local domain and working fine. The person who used it found a job elsewhere and vacated the position, so the office was shut down and things put in storage until the position could be filled. Prior to shutting down the computer, he copied all of the data files and transported them to our office so some of the normal duties of the position could be carried out from here. Still following me? At this point, we thought everything was fine.

Two weeks ago, we finally assigned someone to the position, so I drove down to get the 'new digs' set back up again. After moving furniture and going through boxes for hours to locate all the danged cables, I booted the computer and tried to log into the domain. The old logon wouldn't work. A few phone calls later, I found out that while the position was vacant, the domain the computer had previously been connected to had been re-done. They had changed the domain name and structure along with all the user names and passwords, but hadn't set up an account for this particular office, computer or user, since they didn't know when the position would be filled. I had to wait for their IT people to come over last week (contracted services, they come over once a week) and put the computer back onto their domain. I didn't arrive back at the field office until after they had been there in the morning and set the computer up, so I didn't get to talk to them.

When I booted the computer, I noticed it was terribly slow, so I started fishing around. I found the hard drive was nearly completely full (2% free space). Frankly, I don't know how their IT people even got a new user setup, it was THAT full. After cleaning temp files and moving everything I could find over to the domain servers for temp storage until I cleaned up the drive and uninstalling nearly everything (Office, ArcGIS, everything except anti-virus) and every other trick I had up my sleeve to make space on the drive (Ccleaner, etc...), I was finally able to at least run ScanDisk and Defrag, neither of which would complete because of unmovable files. Note, at this point I really wanted to just re-image the drive and start over, but the PTB's didn't want that done. They wanted the mess cleaned up. So, I started looking deeper to find what was filling about 2/3 of an 80GB drive after I had moved data and uninstalled almost everything, and especially what exactly was unmovable.

I found the Windows folder was over 37GB in size (normal is 5-7GB), but the real culprit was the CSC folder (Client Side Cache) which itself was 32GB and which contained the unmovable files (green in color and inaccessible). Knowing the CSC folder was where offline files are stored until they can be synchronized next time you log onto the domain, I thought... well, I'll just clean it, reset it and let it resynchronize for the new user per MS KB article 230738 Fancy my surprise when I found the options in the Offline Files tab (folder options) was grayed out. I couldn't turn it off under that domain user account nor from any other local user account left on the machine, including the local Administrator. Note, I said any user account left on the machine. The IT people had removed all of the local user accounts which were previously on the machine and had even changed my local Administrator password. They had set up a new user account, both local and on the domain. Yeah, I got in, but I wasn't happy with what I found. Oh well, at least the files were backed up! Right?

I called the local domain IT people once again and they said, then double checked to make sure, but 'said' they didn't have a GPO set to turn on the offline synchronization nor did they have anything set which would prevent me from being able to change the options, especially not anything which would prevent the local Administrator from turning off. They had me check all local policies and none were configured. They even had me run gpupdate /force from the command line while logged into the domain, just to make sure their GPO's were actually up to date. And, of course, we rebooted numerous times with no luck.

I wasn't there to watch, but I suspect that when the machine was shut down months ago and put into storage, they didn't remove it from the domain first. Everyone probably thought that the next person would just log into that account when they finally arrived and turned it back on. Whatever the reason that it wasn't 'unplugged' properly, those CSC files were left behind. Since the domain changed while the computer was turned off and the IT people have since deleted all of the old user accounts, there's probably no way to ever access the CSC files to delete them. I've even tried recreating one of the old local user accounts to see if I could get to the CSC files that way, or at least change the folder options to turn off the offline synchronization, but it still wouldn't let me get to the offline folder settings.

So, my question is, I've found MS KB811660 at, which applies a hotfix, but I'm afraid to try it?. Is this what I need or is there something else that will fix this problem? I would really like to be able to turn OFF the offline caching, but I can't get to the options. And, of course, my ultimate goal is to free up the 32GB of HDD space that's being used and is inaccessible even to Defrag. The HDD is a mess. There's not even enough unfragmented space left to have a good sized page file.

(edited: danged ? in place of appostrophe!)

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All Answers

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It's never a "normal" problem, is it?

by seanferd In reply to Windows CSC (Offline file ...
I don't suppose that one would be of any use? Doesn't really sound like it.

Would there be any problem with simply deleting the folder and its contents? Perhaps with the OS offline? Anything that can read and delete from an NTFS partition should work. Knoppix will. Maybe the UBCD, or even a DOS boot disk with Avira NTFS4DOS on it.

(Sorry, I don't know any really good tricks for anything involving domain-connected boxes.)

Good luck with it. Hope you find a workable solution in line with the wishes of the PTB.

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I saw that one too...

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to It's never a "normal" pr ...

... I even downloaded the hotfix which I have not applied because the fix is for SP2 and this computer has SP3 already on it, so it should already have the patch applied. I might be able to edit the registry keys that it talks about though and see if that at least turns on the danged grayed out offline files tab settings so I can get to the delete button.

***sigh*** Why me? You're correct! I never have 'normal' problems! After all, I can handle those!

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I'm with you

by Jacky Howe In reply to Windows CSC (Offline file ...

on this one and it should have been rebuilt or re-imaged. Go with Sean's suggestion or try the Hotfix. If it buggers up rebuild or re-image.

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Thanks for the vote of confidence Jacky!

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to I'm with you

I might have to throw my fat old lady's weight around a bit to convince the PTB's that this computer is beyond help. Maybe I'll even stomp my feet and throw a tantrum! ***giggles***

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If the

by Jacky Howe In reply to Thanks for the vote of co ...

registry fix helps or Sean's suggestion and it has at least 2GB of RAM turn off the PageFile and then Defrag. Turn it back on when it is finished.

I don't know if it will help but you could try this for the registry permissions.

Reset the Registry and the File Permissions in Windows XP

I've all the confidence in the world in your capable hands. LOL I couldn't imagine you throwing a tantrum.

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Tried most of that already.......

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to If the

I didn't try to reset permissions yet. I'll save that for after I talk to the domain people again tomorrow.

I've already turned off the page file and defragged in safe mode, but those unmovable files won't defrag, so the drive's a mess.

I just tried something else though. In this KB article, Method 2, it mentions registry keys. I manually created the DWORD key and rebooted once. It deleted the key as the article states it would, but it didn't reset the CSC folders. So, I fished around some more and found that one of the files that is green (unmovable) had properties indicating it was encrypted and owned by a user named 'manage' under the old domain name. That user doesn't exist in the users. I found an old profile when I right clicked My Computer and went to Properties/Security by that name, which was probably left over from not being removed from the old domain properly. I deleted the profile and then went to the CSC folder and took ownership of the files and then rebooted. The registry key was again deleted indicating the database should have been reset according to the article, but the files didn't disappear.

No, I probably won't throw a tantrum. My weight should be sufficient! I'm not a small person!

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by Jacky Howe In reply to Tried most of that alread ...

I'm learning more about you every day and I believe that you are going to be a Granny. Congratulations.

Can you recheck and make sure that the System has full control over that Folder or is that only for 2000.

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rather than a tantrum

by .Martin. In reply to Thanks for the vote of co ...

'accidentally' infect the computer with hundreds of viruses or 'accidentally' delete a ton of system critical components

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by ThumbsUp2 In reply to rather than a tantrum

I was just remoted into the system a few minutes ago. While I was fishing around in the registry, I had this nearly uncontrolable urge to just delete the entire HKLM/SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion folder and reboot! But, I controlled my trigger finger and didn't do it!

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thats no fun (NT)

by .Martin. In reply to Hehehehehe!!!!!
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