Support for DFS-based shares for Offline Files

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This article was previously published under Q262845
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Placing offline files on a Distributed File System (DFS) path that is accessed by Windows 2000-based clients is not supported because Windows 2000-based clients cannot maintain the correct path for mapped or Universal Naming Convention (UNC) network paths.
The use of offline files that are located on DFS targets is not supported on Windows 2000-based client computers. If you use a Windows 2000-based client computer to put shares that are configured for offline use in a DFS tree, you may receive "Access denied" error messages and experience other unexpected behavior when you move from an offline state to an online state.

The following scenario is an example of the unexpected behavior that may occur:
  1. You start the client computer offline by removing the network cable.
  2. You map a home drive to a folder that is across a DFS link when it is online.
  3. When the computer is offline, the drive is owned by the client-side cache (CSC).

    The offline operation proceeds as expected.
  4. When you bring the computer back online by plugging in the network cable, when you try to perform a synchronization, the drive must be migrated back to DFS. However, this process does not occur and the computer stops responding (hang).
To prevent Windows 2000-based clients from being able to make a DFS share available offline, use one of the following methods:
  • If the DFS share is on a Windows 2000-based server:
    1. Right-click the folder that is shared, click Properties, and then click the Sharing tab.
    2. Click Caching, and then click to clear the Allow caching of files in this shared folder check box.
  • If the DFS share is on a Windows NT 4.0-based server, apply the hotfix that is described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
    302934 Disabling the 'Make Available Offline' Functionality for DFS Shares
Windows XP Professional-based and Windows Vista-based clients fully support the placement of offline files on DFS targets that are hosted on Windows 2000-based or Windows Server 2003-based server computers. Because of the nature of the problem, Microsoft cannot provide a fix in a Windows 2000 service pack that provides the same functionality for Windows 2000 client computers.

For more information about this behavior, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Article ID: 262845 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 20:14:30 - Revision: 3.1

Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Ultimate

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