Windows 7 Local copies of offline files


New Member
May 31, 2013
Hello all,

Perhaps you can help me with a tricky windows 7 issue.
I have a user with a laptop, they have been set up for offline files with their data being stored on a network drive. They've been using it away happily for several months then suddenly in the last few days their offline data has vanished.
They report that several vital folders are missing from their laptop.

So I checked the network versions of their data and checked through several weeks of data looking for those folders. No joy, can't find a shred of them.
So I checked the laptop itself, checking the local library, no sign of the files. I checked the offline files area, no data. I ran a disk checking tool looking for the most recently changed files on the system in case they saved it to the wrong folder. Nothing.

I can open the application that made the files they need, and it clearly indicates the files it was working on were saved to the network version of their files. Yet I can't find it anywhere.

Anyone have any suggestions?
I've changed nothing on the server share, or the laptop in case I lose something but I just can't find this data.

Hope you can help,
Thanks patcooke, will try that. Super fast response too.

Thing is I just don't understand how the library system works in Win 7.
So I don't know where it keeps its local files.
It looks like the silly thing hasn't been synching properly for some time but not flagging an alert.
When Pat comes back, he will probably tell you the same thing, but the Library folders are just conduits to the actual folders included in that library. There are no separate files, so no syncing actually needs to happen.

For instance, a default install includes in the Documents Library two folders. The User and Public versions of the Users Documents folders (Users\Public and Users\YourUser). There are no other files or file location associated with those two folders.

I am not clear exactly on how you set up the offline folder location, but maybe you could show an example of the path used.

Is the network location still available?
The Library is set up to send all data to the users homefolder on the network.
This is mapped to U on every user profile. I only have a small number of laptop users to support and most of those use XP which is fine. But the few that user Windows 7 are confusing me.
I would have thought that a laptop would be configured to save locally and then synch with the network when online.
However when I check the synch centre, there are no offline files on that system. The folder on the network share that holds the users profile and data is configured to allow the user to have offline copies of the data.

Will run recuva on the laptop and see if that retrieves anything but I'm a little confused as to why a system that was supposedly happily working without complaint would suddenly eat data and not leave a trace of it on the network system.
In answer to your question, the network location remains available and the user can still access it. Just that any work they were doing while offline doesn't appear to be stored on their laptop anymore.
Am I making any sense?
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Since I have had no prior experience with the Sync Center, I have gone through setting it up. I will make note of some things in case it might address a relevant subject.

In order to set up the Offline files, I right clicked on the folder I wanted and selected Always Available Offline. When that action was taken, the files in that folder were copied to the Windows\CSC\v2.0.6\ folder. The first time I did this, I used a NAS and one folder on it. It appeared the files were copied over, but the system was unable to sync. Future attempts resulted in failed Sync attempts due to "Access Denied" errors. I still have to check to see if the files were actually transferred, and I will get back if I can get access to the storage folder location on my system.

The next attempt was on another computer and that Offline setup worked as it should. I can sync and see the files. I added the folder with the Green Sync designator to my library and can see the files with the other computer offline, as expected.

Anyway, if I understand, the data on the network location is gone. I suppose no other computer can still sync with that same data?

If the network location is on a Windows 7 computer, have you tried making new folders with the same name and then see it you could "restore previous". You might need to be careful in case the original laptop might try syncing with the new folders and remove the data on it.

Next I will try deleting the synced folder to see what effect it has on the accessing system. Then I will see if any files still remain in the referenced folder that can be salvaged.. I will post back if I learn anything new.
I was able to recover the files from the location on the system. Using Ubuntu (v 13.04 in this case) and the Try without installing option, I was able to open the file location and copy them to a flash drive. I did have some problem initially with Ubuntu accessing the Windows 7 drive, but I unmounted the Window partition and remounted and it work then. It might take some time for the system to be active after selecting the Windows partition, so give it some time..

Again, the location is the following folder followed by the path to the folder on the networked location.

Saltgrass, you are a genius.
I followed your advice and problem solved.
A big thank you for your advice, and for the very helpful responses I got from everyone.
You're all amazing, and I'm very grateful for your assistance.
Glad it worked out... and I learned something also. A win-win so it seems. :)
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