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Managing Files, Folders, and Search Methods

There are several different options you can use to delete files and folders no longer needed for offline use. It is important to understand how, where, and when to delete files, so that no changes are lost and files needed offline are still available.

Deleting Files and Folders

It is very important that nothing is deleted or moved directly from the %systemroot%\CSC folder. When you need to remove all the files in the folder, see Deleting All the Offline Files and Folders in the Cache later in this chapter.

Remember, if you are working with files in the Offline Files Folder when the network resource is online , you are working directly on the network computer. When you rename or modify files from this location, the changes are immediately saved both in the Offline Files Folder and on the network resource.

There are two methods for safely removing offline files from the cache without affecting network files or folders. You can choose to delete files from the Offline Files Folder or click the Delete Files button on the Offline Files tab of the Folder Options dialog box (accessed by clicking Folder Options on the Tools menu).

Deleting Files from the Offline Files Folder

You can open the Offline Files Folder and delete files directly from the list of offline files. This allows you to delete individual files regardless of where they are located on the network or which folder they are contained in. When you delete a file this way, the file is removed from the cache regardless of whether it was manually cached (pinned) or whether it was automatically cached.

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Note

Deleting files and folders from the cache does not delete the network copy of the file or folder.

If an offline folder is manually cached and you delete any or all offline files in the folder, the folder remains pinned and all files in the folder are cached the next time a full synchronization occurs.

To delete files from the cache using the Offline Files Folder

  1. Click a folder, and on the Tools menu, click Folder Options .

  2. On the Offline Files tab, click View Files .

  3. Click the file you want to delete and on the File menu, click Delete .

Using the Delete Files Function

You can delete all files on a network share using the Delete Files button on the Offline Files tab of the Folder Options dialog box (accessed by clicking Folder Options on the Tools menu). This method allows you to delete every file in a network share and to distinguish between automatically cached files (temporarily available offline) and manually cached files (always available offline).

If you delete manually cached folders this way, the folders and the files in them are no longer pinned. To make those files or folders available offline again, you need to pin the files or folders. When you delete automatically cached files this way, you only need to open the files to make them temporarily available offline.

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Note

Deleting files and folders from the cache does not delete the network copy of the file or folder.

To delete files from the cache on a network share

  1. Click a shared network folder and then on the Tools menu, click Folder Options .

  2. On the Offline Files tab, click Delete Files .

  3. In the Confirm File Delete dialog box, select the shared folders containing the offline files you want to delete.

  4. Click Delete only the temporary offline versions if you want to delete files that have been automatically cached. Click Delete both the temporary offline versions and the versions that are always available offline if you want to delete files that have been automatically cached and files that have been manually cached (pinned).

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Note

Files are also deleted from the cache whenever an offline file is deleted through any usual user path, such as Windows Explorer, My Computer, the Run dialog box, or the Command Prompt. When users verify that they want to delete a file, the file is removed from the cache. This is not an effective way to clean up the cache because it also deletes files in the shared network folder.

Deleting All the Offline Files and Folders in the Cache

You can delete all the offline files stored in the %systemroot%\CSC folder by using a process known as reinitializing the cache. This method deletes all offline files from the Offline Files Folder and resets the Offline Files database. If any files in the cache have changed and have not been synchronized with the network versions, the changes are lost when the cache is reinitialized. You must restart the computer after the cache is reinitialized.

To reinitialize the Offline Files cache

  1. Click a folder, and then on the Tools menu, click Folder Options .

  2. Click the Offline Files tab.

  3. Press CTRL+SHIFT, and then click Delete Files .

  4. Restart the computer.

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Caution

You cannot undo the effects of reinitialization. After the cache is reinitialized all offline files are permanently removed from the computer.

Moving the Cache

The only way to safely move the hidden system folder (%systemroot%\CSC) is by using the Offline Files Cache Mover (Cachemov.exe) tool available on the Windows 2000 Resource Kit companion CD. You can move the cache database to another location on a fixed disk only.

For more information about using the Offline Files Cache Mover tool, see Windows 2000 Resource Kit Tools Help on the Windows 2000 Resource Kit companion CD.

Policy Settings That Affect Offline Files

You can use a Group Policy setting or a combination of Group Policy settings to control the functionality of the Offline Files feature. For more information about using Group Policy with Windows 2000 Server, see Group Policy and Introduction to Desktop Management in the Distributed Systems Guide .

Table 9.8 lists some of the Group Policy settings that affect Offline Files and provides a brief description of each. Before you change a Group Policy setting, you should be familiar with using Group Policy and MMC snap-ins. To make changes to these settings, you must log on as a member of the Administrators group. You can find these Group Policy settings by using the Group Policy MMC snap-in and then following this path:

Local Computer Policy\User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline Files.

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Note

These Group Policy settings appear in the User Configuration folders. If Group Policy settings are also configured in the Computer Configuration folders, the setting in Computer Configuration takes precedence over the setting in User Configuration.

Table 9.8 Group Policy Settings in User Configuration That Affect Offline Files

Group Policy Setting

Description

Disable user configuration of Offline Files

Removes the Offline Files tab from the Folder Options dialog box. It also removes the Settings command from the Offline Files shortcut menu and disables the Settings button in the Offline Files Status dialog box. As a result, users cannot view or change the options on the Offline Files tab or in the Offline Files dialog box.

Synchronize all offline files before logging off

Determines whether offline files are fully synchronized when users log off. Disables the option on the Offline Files tab in the Folder Options dialog box.

Action on server disconnect

Determines whether network files remain available if the computer is suddenly disconnected from the server hosting the files. Also disables the When a network connection is lost option on the Offline Files tab in the Folder Options dialog box.

Nondefault server disconnect actions

Determines how computers respond when they are disconnected from particular offline file servers. This Group Policy setting overrides the default response, a user-specified response, and the response specified in the Action on server disconnect Group Policy setting.

Disable Make Available Offline

Removes the Make Available Offline command from the user interface.

Prevent use of Offline Files folder

Disables the View Files button on the Offline Files tab in the Folder Options dialog box.

Disable reminder balloons

Hides the reminder balloons that would appear above the Offline Files icon in the status area.

Reminder balloon frequency

Determines how often reminder balloons appear.

Initial reminder balloon lifetime

Determines how long the first reminder balloon for a network status change is displayed.

Reminder balloon lifetime

Determines how long updated reminder balloons are displayed.

Event logging level

Determines which events the Offline Files feature records in the event log.

All the Group Policy settings that are available in the User Configuration folder are also available in the Computer Configuration folder. The Group Policy settings listed in Table 9.9 are only used as Computer Configuration settings. You can find the Computer Configuration Group Policy settings by using the Group Policy snap-in and then following this path:

Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline Files.

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Note

If a Group Policy setting is configured in both locations, the Computer Configuration setting takes precedence.

Table 9.9 Group Policy Settings in Computer Configuration That Affect Offline Files

Group Policy Setting

Description

Default cache size

Limits the percentage of the computer's disk space that can be used to store automatically cached offline files.

Files not cached

Lets you exclude certain types of files from automatic and manual caching for offline use. Warning : See Making Files Available Offline earlier in this chapter.

Administratively assigned offline files

Lists network files and folders that are always available for offline use. Makes the specified files and folders available offline to users of the computer.

At logoff, delete local copy of user's offline files

Deletes local copies of the user's offline files when the user logs off. This Group Policy setting specifies that automatically and manually cached offline files are retained only while the user is logged on to the computer. When the user logs off, the system deletes all local copies of offline files.

For additional information about Group Policy settings, including a more complete description of each setting, right-click the Group Policy setting, click Properties , and then click the Explain tab, or refer to the Group Policy Reference on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit companion CD.

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