Laptop synchronizes successfully but “Offline Files” folder remains empty

Active Directory
Microsoft Windows
SQL Server
Hi, We have an AD (Windows Server 2003)with a number of laptops using offline folders for off-site work and generally this works flawlessly. However, one user has a problem, whenever she's on-site everything works as it should. She has access to her desktop and the "My Documents" folder but as soon as she either logs off and leaves for home or just disconnects from the network everything disappears. When she reconnects there's a short delay while the laptop's getting an address from the DHCP server and then she's got access to all her files again. I have tried to run mobsync.exe a number of times and it just flies through the synchronization without problem (but too fast to actually copy anything) and reports no failures, but when I look at her "Offline Files" folder it's empty. Her desktop icons are also missing the blue/white arrow icon-overlay i.e. that seems to signify synchronized(-ing) files. Once just before this weekend after a number of reboots and mobsyncs it out of the blue started doing a "real" synchronization, i.e. the sync. took quite som time while it copied her files back and forth between the laptop and the server, and she got the sync-overlay back on her desktop-icons and files. Now, she's back from the weekend and the overlay's missing again and she can't leave the network without losing her files again. It seems to be tied to this specific user as I've tried to log her onto another identically configured laptop and the same error occurs. She's in the same OU as a number of other users who have no problems and her laptop is identical to 70+ other laptops on-site. Any suggestions are appreciated. /KLL

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As this problem is relaetd only to this user on a number of different laptops, it may well be profile related. I gather you are using global profiles. Have you tried recreating her global profile, and doing so from one of the other identically configured laptops? (Make sure the global and all local profiles are renamed to do this).


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  • Dnlhaller
    I cannot say for certain without more information, but my guess is that the user is not exiting properly. Please instruct the user to log off of any application that they are in. Also, if there is no log off, but a File > Exit -this should always be used. Then of course, to log off the laptop properly. You may want to check system logs as well. Other than that, I would try to get more information as to what actions take place which cause the unwanted result. Since it is one machine - it is either User related, or Machine related ...not server or server application or service.
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  • Dnlhaller
    Sorry... Missed the same occurance on a different laptop with same user. Profile issue would appear to be correct then.
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  • DGLaage
    Hello again, I haven't yet tried nuking her profile, I'll probably test that as my next step. It seems as if friday is a good day for syncing!? Because the user in question came to me today and said that now the overlay on the folders on her desktop was back and the folders were available once disconnected. However, the files in the folders were not available on disconnect. I then forced a mobsync which is running as I'm writing this and it seems to be working as it's supposed to, i.e. each file seems to be synced both to the server and the "Offline Files" folder. My impression of the problem is that once the machine returns to the domain after being worked on off-site, it synchronizes with the server and empties the "Offline Files" folder (removing the sync-overlay on the file and folder icons). It will then only work in on-line mode and any loss of contact with the network will lead to the loss of access to personal files and folders. I've applied disk quotas to the users on the domain, so one of my first thoughts were that the user had exceeded the quota while off-site (she has a lot of photos on the desktop which she'd added while off-site), but she's still within her limit. Besides I've other users who have exceeded their quota without similar effects. Random thoughts on the matter: The user in question is a "recovering" Mac user, so she's storing everything in a couple of folders on the desktop, is it possible that it somehow chokes on loading, displaying and syncing the desktop that it only goes as far as using the redirected Desktop in an on-line only mode? (I admit I find this unlikely, but I'm basically grasping at straws now.) In my initial post I forgot to give some specs of the machine(s) in question, in case that might be relevant. The machines are 1yo mobile workstations (FSC H230) with Windows XP Pro SP2 and fully patched, Symantec AV Corp is installed and updated from the server. And I'm redirecting "My Documents", "Desktop" and "Start Menu" to a share on a Windows Server 2003 which is also the first DC of the domain.
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