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Sharing a drive or folder

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Sharing a drive or folder

You can share a folder on your computer with other users on the network. When you share a folder, you can decide the permissions that other users will be allowed or denied when they access the files and programs in that folder over the network. You can also specify whether other users will be able to make the shared folder available offline. For more information, see Share a folder or drive.

To make shared network files and programs available offline, Offline Files stores a version of them in a cache. The computer can access this cache while disconnected from the network. There are three caching options to choose from when sharing files:

  • Only the files and programs that users specify will be available offline

    This caching option provides offline access to only those files and programs that someone using your shared folder specifically identifies. This caching option is ideal for a shared network folder containing files and programs that are to be accessed and modified by several people. This is the default option when you set up a shared folder to be used offline.

  • All files and programs that users open from the shared folder will automatically be available offline

    This caching option makes every file and program opened from your shared folder automatically available offline. Files and programs that are not opened are not available offline. This caching option is ideal for making files and programs available offline that are read, referenced, or run, but not changed in the process.

    Automatic caching for files and programs provides offline access to shared folders containing files and programs that are not to be changed. Automatic caching for programs reduces network traffic because offline files are opened directly, without accessing the network versions in any way, and generally start and run faster than the network versions. To provide automatic caching for files only, clear the Optimized for Performance check box.

    When you use automatic caching for files and programs, be sure to restrict permissions on the files and programs contained in the shared folder to read-only access.

  • Files or programs from the shared folder will not be available offline

    All files or programs in the selected shared folder will not be available offline.

Notes

  • Sharing folders and drives requires special security consideration. For more information, see Securing shared resources.

  • The default cache size is set to 10 percent of available drive space. You can modify this setting in the Offline Files tab in Folder Options. Cache size settings affect only the autocached files. Manually cached files and programs using the Only the files and programs that users specify will be available offline option are restricted only by actual disk space available to the user. For more information, see Related Topics.

  • By default, Offline Files stores shared network files and programs in the systemroot\CSC directory on the user's hard drive. For example, if your system directory is C:\WINDOWS, your cache is C:\WINDOWS\CSC.

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