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Offline files for Windows 7

Random weird problem day - Tuesday.

We're trying to get offline files and folder redirection working through Group Policy (GP henceforth) for our Windows7 and/or Vista clients (ok, just 7, but we did have a random Vista desktop to test with). Our issues are that a) the settings that work for XP do not work for 7, and b) some settings show up in RSOP, but don't actually work.

Symptoms: Client refuses to synchronize, or even see that it should be synchronizing certain files that we've redirected from the file server. In GP we had the same settings used during the XP reign, located under the 'Computer Configuration' side of things.

Fix: In GP - User Configuration, set the 'Administratively assigned offline files' to Enabled and put in the Value Name field: \\server\usershare\%USERNAME%\

Ensure all your other settings make sense. For our part, we set this up under the user policy, and under the laptop or desktop policy, we enabled (laptop) or disabled (desktop) offline files.

In hindsight, it makes total sense: Your user specific settings, such as which folders to have offline, must be set in the User Configuration side of things, while other settings such as whether or not the computer itself uses offline files are set under the Computer Configuration. So simple!

We have the following settings in place:
Desktop policy
CompConfig\AdminTemp\Network\Offline Files\Allow/disallow use of offline files (disabled)

Laptop policy
CompConfig\AdminTemp\Network\Offline Files\Allow/disallow use of offline files (enabled)

User policy
UserConfig\AdminTemp\Network\Offline Files\Admin assigned offline files (enabled w. the above settings)

There are others, of course, but these are the ones that allow laptop users to have offline files and desktop users to not (awkward wording...yeesh), while still allowing us to only use one GP for our users, and not have to differentiate between the two. This is super-great, because users that have a desktop AND a laptop now don't have weirdness when moving between the two. Nice!


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