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Last Updated December 10, 2003

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Offline Folders

Offline Folders allow laptop and mobile users to take the contents of specific network drives with them as they travel (provided they have enough disk space). Although this feature can be very useful, there are a few pitfalls that need to be taken in consideration before enabling this feature on your network.
Where to Start...
Offline Folders
A quick primer on Offline Folders from Windows 2000 Magazine

HOW TO: Implement Share Caching Options in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 214738 - Windows 2000 includes a feature called "Offline Files." You can use Offline Files to cache files that you commonly use from a file share. There are three different share caching modes:

Troubleshooting Offline Folders: Known Bugs and Issues

Cannot Make NetWare Server Folders Available Offline
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 227993 - When you select a folder on the network that is located on a Windows-based computer, the Make Available Offline command appears on the File menu in Windows Explorer. However, when you select a folder on the network that is located on a NetWare Server

Contents of the Offline Files Folder Do Not Maintain Compression on NTFS Partitions
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 227332 - Manually compressing the Offline Files cache\database (the %SystemRoot%\CSC folder) works, and files currently stored in the cache are compressed, but newly cached files are not stored in compressed format and previously compressed files become uncompressed after synchronization.

CSC Does Not Synchronize Files But Reports That Synchronization Was Successful
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 257839 - Users may experience a problem when they attempt to synchronize changes made to files while working offline. Synchronization Manager reports that the synchronization finished successfully, but the files on the server do not reflect the changes made. If a user views the files in the Offline Files Folder on the workstation, the files no longer reflect the changes. The Synchronization Manager icon on the taskbar continues to report that changes made while offline have not been synchronized. If the user goes offline, the changes made to the files reappear when viewed from the Offline Files Folder.

Data May Be Damaged When You Use Offline Folders
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 273245 - When you use offline folders, a null value may be placed in the file instead of the correct character.

Error Message When You Save Files to an Offline Folder
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 303339 -
When you save a new file in an offline folder (with client-side caching), you may receive the following error message: An error occurred while reconnecting (drive letter) to \\ computer name \\ share name Microsoft Windows Network: The local device name is already in use. This connection has not been restored. Note that the file is saved and this error message is incorrect

Files or Folders May Not Appear in Offline Mode
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 226446 - When you view or use a folder that has been made available offline while it is in Offline mode, some or all of the files or folders it contains may be missing. However, all of the files and folders appear when the folder is online.

How to Restart the Offline Files Cache/Database
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 230738 - The Offline Files (CSC or Client Side Caching) cache and database has a built-in capability to restart if its contents are suspected of being corrupt.

Offline File Synchronization Does Not Distinguish Between Different LANs
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 231468 - When you are using client-side caching and attempting to synchronize offline data, you may receive the following error message:

Policy Based Offline Files May Not Be Available Offline
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 296068 - When you log on to your Windows 2000-based computer while it is disconnected from the network, some or all of your offline files may be missing or unavailable.

Security Permissions Are Not Maintained When Making Files Available Offline on a FAT or FAT32 Drive
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 271830 - When you use Windows 2000, you can define access controls for a file on a network share, which make the file available for use on a client computer when the client is not connected to the local area network where the file is maintained.

Synchronizing Offline Folders Does Not Synchronize Subfolders
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 262090 - In Windows 2000, Offline Files does not automatically synchronize subfolders by default.

Transition of Offline Files to Online Only Occurs Over Fast Link
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 263097 - Offline files can be utilized by mobile users to appear as though a connection to the network is still present. Files are cached on the disconnected remote computer until connectivity to the network is available. If the user loses a connection to the network, or the mobile computer is not connected, the view of shared network items that have been made available offline remains just as if the computer is still connected. Offline files continue to perform as offline even if connected to the network over a slow connection (link).

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