Chat Topic: Live Chat on Offine Files
Date: Thursday, July 20, 2006


Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Welcome to today’s chat with the Windows Core File Services Team on Offline Files.  We will try to answer as many questions as we can today. Participants should type their questions, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.” Those posts will go into a private queue, from which our experts will draft answers and repost questions in the upper window with their answers. (To confirm: if you selected the “Ask the experts” check box when you posted, you don’t need to resubmit.             

 

At this time, I’ll let the experts introduce themselves.


Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Howdy all!  My name is Wendy and I’ll be your host today.  Emergency exits are located at the rear and over the wings.  Let’s see some questions!

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Hi! I am Navjot Virk. I am the Program Manager in the Remote File Systems team. I specifically work on Offline Files, SMB and WebDAV redirector.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
My name is Brian Aust.

 

I am a development lead for Offline Files.  I have been involved with the feature since its inception in Windows 2000.  In Vista I am responsible for the Offline Files service, public API, and all user interface elements including integration with the Windows Shell.


Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
My name is Shubhankar. I am a tester with the offline files team.

Matt [MSFT] (Expert):
Hi, I'm Matt.  I am a Software Development Engineer in Test for the Offline Files team.

Patrick Elliott [MS] (Expert):
Hi, I'm Patrick Elliott -- I'm sure most of you all know me already   -- I am on the Windows Beta Triage team -- and I'm here today to learn and ask questions myself

Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Hi, we'll have members of the Offline Files team using this laptop because we're having some connection problems with a few laptops :-)

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Why there is reliability problem with offline folders?
A: Could you be a little more specific? What exact problems are you seeing?

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are machine-based certs still used for EFS encryption?
A: Offline Files in Vista use the local certificate of the user to encrypt the offline files cache.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: " The user is working in offline mode when they are not connected to the  server and all file requests are satisfied from the Offline Files cache." So, if the files are in a "cache" then aren't the files local, hidden in the  temporary files area?
A: Yes, copies of the remote files are stored (cached) on a local volume.  By default, this is under the %systemroot%\csc directory.  Access to that directory is restricted to LocalSystem.  The files are accessed directly only by the Offline Files (CSC) driver.   Applications issue normal remote file system requests through Windows.  The CSC driver is integrated with the SMB redirector to intercept those READ/WRITE requests and service them from the local cache. 

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
For those just joining us, today’s chat is about Offline files.  To post a question, please type your question, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.”

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Would new online folders work when computer is used by several users (different user accounts)?
A: Yes they would. If your offline cached files are encrypted though, there could be issues with using the same offline files while offline. This is due to the files being encrypted in a particular user's context


Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What *are* offline files?
A: Offline Files is a feature of Windows Vista that enables access to files on

an SMB server even when the client is not connected to the server. Offline

Files was first introduced in Windows 2000 and then revised in Windows XP.

Offline Files in Windows Vista has been completely redesigned based on the

feedback we received from our customers. Offline Files in Windows Vista has

many new features, such as seamless transitions and better synchronization,

both of which I'll describe below.

 

We have more details on its benefits at

<https://blogs.technet.com/filecab/archive/2006/07/11/441131.aspx>. Plus, take

a look at the Offline Files LiveMeeting at

<http://connect.microsoft.com/windows/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=1857>

 

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I haven't had much success getting offline files to work consistently with previous buildss, what improvements have been made in the recent builds?
A: As with any release, the feature is improving with every week.  Can you be more specific in describing the problems you have encountered?  Please post as another question and I'll pick it up.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: Can someone summarize the changes between XP Pro and Vista and Longhorn regarding this feature?
A: Can you be more specific in what you're looking for?

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: A common pronlem with offline is when a computer domain member change, the offline cant be access - is the new Offline folder would address this issue?
A: If you mean the computer changing domains, this shouldn't be an issue with offline files. You might however have to reenter your credentials to the shares made available offline in the previous domain, to gain access to those files again

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: In reading some documentation today, I read that offline files FOR VISTA are always READ locally, and then lazy written to the server (if available.) However, isn't that a server-side setting (which goes back as far as 2000) which dictates the client?
A: Where did you read this documentation? This is not correct. Whether Offline Files will cache files from a share is a server side setting, share on the server can be set for "manual caching", "auto caching" or "no caching". By default on Windows servers the share is set for "manual caching". manual caching means that only files you specify on the client will be cached. Auto caching means that any file that client accesses will be cached and "no caching" means that files will not be cached.

 

On Vista, if a file is cached then when working online Offline Files will try to staisfy all read requests from the cache. The write requests will still flow to the server. While offline all read/write requests are satisfied from the offline files cache.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Not really a question.. just a 4th request from an MVP (me) with a feature request: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider having an icon change when files are set to be offline. The little clock icon is great -- for those files which are ghosted. ...
A: CSC has always presented an icon overlay when an item is "pinned" (always available offline) in the CSC cache.  That's the overlay with the two blue arrows.  We do not display an overlay for items that are cached but not pinned.  Are you requesting an overlay for that scenario as well?  Note that in Vista the shell displays the item's "offline status" and "offline availability" in the preview pane and as item properties.  The availability property will indicate if the item is not available offline, available offline or always avaialble offline (pinned).

 

Let  me know if that does not answer your question. 

 

Note that we are currently working through issues with the "ghost" overlay and trying to come up with a solution that is effective for HSM, CSC, an DFSR ghosts.

Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: SO maybe we could get and or test a tool for Vista and or Longhorn to test the offline files are "good" or would the Syncronize folders have this option?
A: For Vista, Offline Files will be able to display properties directly in the Explorer window.  This means that, for example, you will be able to see at-a-glance whether or not your Offline Files have any unsynchronized changes, whether or not there are any conflicts, etc...  Does this answer your question?

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: ...and arrows for "always available offline". But you're missing the fundimental piece: icons for files which *ARE* available offline. PLEASE PLEASE consider this for final vista! (I'm begging here!)
A: Have you tried adding the explorer columns, "offline availability" and "offline status"?

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there a test server where those of us that do not have a resident file server can take files offline and run the scenarios etc.
A: You don't need server operating system to test offline files. You can try this against any client OS too.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Could I ask whether there is a simple way yet to delete old stale offline files? I have had particular issues, when the user no longer has permissions to a certain folder, who then receives erros every time they synchronise (every log off in this case)
A: Admin can delete Offline Files that the user has lost access to by going to the Offline Files control panel applet and clicking on View Your Offline Files. In this viewer you can right click on a file and delete it from the cache.

Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: If I have a large PST in the 4GB range, and I change a large portion of that file; say ~1GB of Junk Mail or Sent items. - With the differencing technology in the Offline folder sync only send 1B & not whole file ? - Would a 1GB deletion send nothing ?
A: Only the modified 1GB of the file would be sent back to the server in this case.  Delete operations don't need to contain any additional data other than the file to delete, so they're very small.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: - do you have a problem working with offline Files  with wireless laptops
A: No, there are no issues when using offline files on wireless laptops. offline files is a very useful functionality for mobile laptop users.

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I see offline files as a security risk, unless the CSC driver is extremely secure ....
A: We do provide the option to encrypt your offline files. Could you elaborate on your concern about security?

Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can the "home" for offline files be another P2P machine, e.g. WXP, on the 'Home" network (as ssems to be the current slang)?
A: The cached files must be located on the system volume of the client machine that is doing the caching.  They can't be located on, for example, another machine, a removable drive like a firewire drive or keychain drive.

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: The CSC driver, does it allow for other computers to access the offline files cache on another system?
A: Files in cache are local to the machine and cannot be access from other system. But that said as the files are on local file system, you can “access” them if you have access to it. Does this answer your question?

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can the "home" for offline files be another P2P machine, e.g. WXP, on the 'Home" network (as ssems to be the current slang)?
A: No, the Offline Files cache needs to live on the machine. You cannot redirect the cache to another machine.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Brian: Yes.. You nailed it. I want an icon change (single arrow?) when my file is "temporarily available offline". SOmething.. anything !
A: There are a couple of problems with that.  First, it is difficult to come up with suitable images that represent the concepts.  It's important to identify "always available offline" so we'd need two overlays.  We can't use color to differentiate as that is an accessibilty problem.  Also, the shell's icon overlay manager does not allow an overlay extension to say "display THIS overlay image".  It only supports an extension to say "show MY overlay" image.  Therefore, to display two images (one for each state), we would need to register two overlay extensions and each would need to query the CSC cache for the state of that item.  That would effectively double our perf cost on opening a shell folder.  Ideally the overlay extension mechanism would allow us to specify the overlay image but it doesn't work that way today.

 

Another consideration is that the most common CSC scenario is the redirected folder case where all items are under a cached folder are pinned and receive the "pinned" overlay.

Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there any known issues sync'ing files back to a Windows 2000-style (not R2-style) DFS?
A: Nope.  No problems.  And as a tester of the feature, I can assure you that this is part of our standard test matrix.  I myself have redirected documents here at MS which are backed by a Win2K DFS setup.

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will there be a "cachmov.exe" equivilant for Vista? If so, in what form?
A: There probably won't be that executable. However there will be scripts telling you how to do it, as well as a KB article


Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Does "previous versions" work with offline files ... ? (I'm sure it does.. but haven't tested it.)
A: It should work with "previous versions", while online

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Does "previous versions" work with offline files ... ? (I'm sure it does.. but haven't tested it.)
A: No.  CSC does not currently integrate with the Volume Shadow Service. 

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Rob: So for Dave Stafford questons answer a 1 Gig delete of info from within a 4Gig file would sent 1 Gig over the wire
A: If the modifications were made on the client then yes, instead of sending the entire 4 GB again, the client will send only approximately 1GB.

Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Has anything changed in the "conflict resolution manager" is two users change a file and they a sync happens?
A: In Vista, the Sync Center is the user interface for resolving conflicts created through Offline Files.  We plug into their UI along with other devices that are capable of synchronization (cell phones, PDA's, etc).  The actual conflict resolution dialog itself has been greatly debated and reworked to provide a much smoother user experience.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will this be fix soon: "there could be issues with using the same offline files while offline"
A: I don't understand the question.  Can you elaborate on what you mean by "using the same files"?  Please repost.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
For those just joining us, today’s chat is about Offline files.  To post a question, please type your question, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.”

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: In a domain envrionment, is there a way for admins to delete caches for certain users, if they have left for instance, or if the computer has moved to another department?
A: Offline files will (though it is not present in current builds) to handle profile notifications. So when user account is deleted and the client system is notified about the account deletion (I am not an expert on profile notification though), we will delete cache for that user.


Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q:23 My concern has to do with what is going on with stolen notebooks recently. With offline files stored locally, this could be a major problem. I feel there has to be a better way to do this, such as a driver that would only allow the correct user
A: Didn't get your complete question I'm afraid, however for the stolen-laptop scenario we would recommend encrypting the cache (done through the Offline Files control panel).

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Re No 6 Whilst "offline" I open a file and modify it, when I next go online I would expect that the modified offline file would sync with the original on the server, a few times I have gotten a conflict error message that the modified file already exists.
A: if the file was not modified on the server or from another client then you should not see a conflict when you transition back to online mode. if you are seeing this issue consistently then please open a bug with exact repro steps. We would like to get to the bottom of this.

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q:23 My concern has to do with what is going on with stolen notebooks recently. With offline files stored locally, this could be a major problem. I feel there has to be a better way to do this, such as a driver that would only allow the correct user
A: One major change is the way we encrypt the cache. While earlier we would encrypt the cache in system context, we now do it in the context of the user who requested the encryption. I know there is hardware level encryption (for Vista in general), but I am not familiar with it. You might want to post that question in the newsgroups.

Matt [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What will be the default OF state in Vista and Longhorn, domain and non-domain (i.e. enabled by default on all shares)??
A: The default state of Offline Files in Vista will be enabled for any share on all client SKUs where it is present.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: @Wendy - FAQ opened here w/ error "Revision data removed 1" - that may be something with the timezone bug.
A: I just posted a revised version:   http://connect.microsoft.com/windows/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=2377.  Can you let me know if this resolved the problem?


Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How about having a limited lifetime of offline files?  Say, 15 minutest to .... whatever?
A: Can you elaborate what you mean by that?

Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What will be the default OF state in Vista and Longhorn, domain and non-domain (i.e. enabled by default on all shares)??
A: The default for shares is for Offline Files to be under the control of the user--that is, they must explicitly make a share available offline through Explorer.  The creator of the share also has the ability to request that the share's contents be automatically cached.  The only other situation to be aware of is Folder Redirection--redirected folders in Vista are all automatically cached by Offline Files.

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q15: when more then one user login to the same pc and have offline files from the same share, only one of them can access them right ?? because of encryption
A: If users share same files then only one of them will be able to access the encrypted file while offline. While other users will access the file online.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: When PC-to-PC sync comes back to life... will it have ANYTHING to do with the CSC engine? ie: Are those two technologies related in any way?
A: PC-to-PC sync will not be shipped in Vista. Subsequent versions of Windows may have similar functionality but we don't know in what form or using what technology.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Could we have a description of the evolution of Offline Files from W2K to Vista please.
A: I have room here only for a brief summary.  CSC was introduced in Win2000.  The idea of caching remote items seemlessly was new both at the file system level as well the user experience level.  We learned a lot about the space during and following that effort.  Windows XP is essentially the same implementation with added support for encryption and DFS.  Otherwise, there are no feature changes.  The version in Vista is a complete redesign and rewrite.  For this release we have the advantage of several years of experience and customer comments.  We've invested a lot of effort in removing the significant pain points in prior releases.  The changes are too numerous to describe here but a summary would include a) seemless transitions online and offline, b) improved sync engine, c) deeper integration with the Windows Shell, and API support (both C++ and scripting) for cache management tasks such as enumerating, synchronizing, deleting, renaming etc.

 

I hope that is a sufficient summary for you.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: what is the added benefit of using Offline Files in a Windows Vista and Longhorn Server environment over say -- using it in a Vista / Server 2003 Environment?
A: Currently there are no differences in using Offline Files on Vista against a Longhorn server vs. any other Windows server. However, moving forward in Vista SP1 we might add support for bitmap differential transfer when synchronizing changes from Longhorn server to Vista SP1 client.

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Does the Versions Tab on a file's properties work with offline files too?
A: If you mean "previous versions", it should work while online. It will not work while offline.

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q15: when more then one user login to the same pc and have offline files from the same share, only one of them can access them right ?? because of encryption
A: If users share files then only one of them will be able to access the encrypted file while offline. While other users will access the file online.

 

But if the users don't share files then they will alll be able to access them offline.


Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I was looking for quick summarization of the changes (i.e. benefits of Vista and Longhorn's version over XP). If that was provided in one of the previous links mentioned before, I'll find it there.
A: Posting Brian's answer:

 

I have room here only for a brief summary.  CSC was introduced in Win2000.  The idea of caching remote items seemlessly was new both at the file system level as well the user experience level.  We learned a lot about the space during and following that effort.  Windows XP is essentially the same implementation with added support for encryption and DFS.  Otherwise, there are no feature changes.  The version in Vista is a complete redesign and rewrite.  For this release we have the advantage of several years of experience and customer comments.  We've invested a lot of effort in removing the significant pain points in prior releases.  The changes are too numerous to describe here but a summary would include a) seemless transitions online and offline, b) improved sync engine, c) deeper integration with the Windows Shell, and API support (both C++ and scripting) for cache management tasks such as enumerating, synchronizing, deleting, renaming etc.

 

I hope that is a sufficient summary for

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: To be clear... (followup tp Brian A's response): I cannot use Previous Versions if the file is also pinned (or temporarily available offline). Do I have that right?
A: I should clarify.  While online you can certainly use "Previous Versions".  It's only while offline you cannot see your previous versions.  CSC caches only one version of a flie.  Does that help?

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: ANOTHER HUUUGE WISH from an MVP: Please please please.. MOVE the Group Policy setting from PER USER to PER COMPUTER. Think about it: you want to TURN ON CSC for some COMPUTERS and OFF for OTHER computers. Right now, it's impossible to do this via GPOs.
A: Which group policy setting are you refering to? Offline Files has many GP settings some are per machine and some are per user.

Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Does offline file synchronization in Vista hog resources the way it does in XP?
A: Offline Files in Vista has been completely re-written, and is careful about limiting its usage of system resources (CPU, network, etc).  One thing to be aware of is that, rather than forcing synchronizations to happen at logon/logoff or only by the user's manual actions, Offline Files in Vista also performs intelligent synchronization in the background.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: @Wendy - New version w/ Guide in filename, opens cleanly in W03
A: Hmmm.....according to Connect this is impossible as it's still distributing....

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: can we get a admin option to "release" offline files there has not been access by the user for xx time, this is becuase we se users make whole share offline and only use 1% of the data on the share
A: There is no way to "release" one or more cached items but you can explicitly remove them using the CSC API (C++ or WMI Script).  Note that when a user's profile is remove from the local machine or domain, the user profile service will load and execute a CSC extension to remove from the cache files cached only for that user.  Also, if items were automatically cached (i.e. not pinned), the driver will automatically evict them as the cache comes under space pressure.  However, if you explicitly want to remove items from the cache, the way to do that is through the Offline Files folder or through the API. 

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q39 and at least one other in today's chat seem to have different answers from the experts. When one expert contradicts another, can one of them or Wendy step in to clarify?
A: There seems to be some confusion.

Whether Offline Files are enabled or not is a client side setting. Offline Files are only available on Vista professional and higher SKUs. On all client SKUs where Offlibe Files are avaiable they are turned on by default. On server SKUs, Offline Files are turned off by default.

 

Whether a particular share allows caching is a server side share setting. Only if the share on the server allows caching (either "manual caching" or "automatic caching") will Offline Files be able to cache files on the client.

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q:41   Have the data expire and be erased using Governement standards for the erasure of sensitive materials if the data is not accessed in the specified amount of time?  That way if some steals your notebook/hard-drive etc....  no sensistive will remain?
A: So you mean offline files that haven't been accessed for a while be erased? If I understand correctly, you would need it for all data on the laptop. I think "bitlocker" would address a lot of your scurity concerns. The Security newsgroup would be a good place to post questions about it.

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is the CSC using Remote Differential Compression to sync files, if so should the amount of data transfered be less than the actual file size, so in the 1G example of deletes within a 4G file do we really think its a one-to-one ratio of deleted content to s
A: CSC in Vista does not use Remote Differential Compression to sync files but uses different kind of differential transfer which will be useful if the files is modified in place.


Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
We will need to wrap up this chat in about 20 minutes. Please post any other questions (select the “Ask the experts” check box) that you would like us to answer. Thanks!

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Why is it that "make redirected folders available offline" is enabled by default? In most non-mobile scenarios this is unwanted.
A: We had to pick a default setting.  The decision was made because the majority of our users are mobile users and we wanted to have an out-of-box experience that targets the majority of users.  This policy is now a Folder Redirection policy.  It may be configured to not pin the redirected folders.  Note that if the desktop is redirected and not cached, losing the network connection can produce a poor experience.  I believe the Folder Redirection policy does not provide a per-folder setting.

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What is this technology called CSC in Vista does not use Remote Differential Compression to sync files but uses different kind of differential transfer which will be useful if the files is modified in place.
A: CSC is the internal name for Offline Files.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: In Vista versions until 5456 the GPO setting "Do not automatically make redirected folders available offline" is ignored from the XP/2003 policy. Is this behaviour "by design"?
A: That policy has moved under Folder Redirection policy.  The Offline Files version is non-operational and will soon be removed.

See my response to Q55 for details.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: If I remember correctly, for Offlinefiles to work on WS03 server, Remote Desktop Connections needs to be DISABLED. Why is that? (I know.. not a Vista question.. but still curious.)
A: Offline Files in XP did not have a per-user notification infrastructure. Therefore XP did not have a way to decide which user to show synchronization errors and other notification messages. This has been fixed for Vista so that Remote desktop and offline Files can both be enabled at the same time.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Before you leave the chat, don’t forget to let us know how we’re doing!  To the right of your emoticon pull-down box is a “Chat Feedback” option.  If you don’t feel the chat was helpful, please ensure that you provide verbose comments on why you didn’t feel it was helpful and what we can do to improve the experience for you!!  If you would like to provide more feedback than the 1000 characters will allow, feel free to eMail us at LHBeta@microsoft.com.

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: if a server has a very big share and alot of users are having offline files from it and we need to move the share to a new server, Can we turn offline option off for the share and then the Client pc's release the offline files for that share ?
A: Changing server setting will not make offline files on client. You could rename the server on client so that clients can continue to access the files on new server.


Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: AHAH! That's it.. The setting I want moved from USER side to COMPUTER side is: "Do not Automatically make redirected folders available offline." That way, I can EASILY leave it ON for laptops and turn it OFF for desktops. Right now, it's almost impossible!
A: That's a good question.  I will follow up with the Folder Redirection team and post to the newsgroup. 

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Sigh, no the question is if we do not use Remote Differential Compression to sync files what is the name of the technology we do use!
A: Offline Files uses a much simpler client only algorithm to determine what parts of the file have been modified while offline. This algorith keeps track of the blocks that are dirty and during synchronization we only transfer the dirty blocks of the file.

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are JET/Access MDB files handled by OF in Vista?
A: Yes. They can be cached and modified offline.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: So based on Q20 and the follow up answwer, how does the underlying tech know how to send the incmental changes?
A: Please see the answer to Q68.

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Shubhankar: Didn't know they existed. However, that means "regular users" won't know they exist either. Good tip though.. (but not a substitute for a real icon change.)
A: The same information for a particular file is also available on the explorer preview pane, if the file is selected.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I deny that most Vista users are mobile users. In most migrations I support the majority of business systems consist of non-mobile computers. Default settings should reflect non-mobile use in my opinion. See Q55
A: That will certainly vary from customer to customer and from site to site.  We have some very large customers who use Offline Files primarily on mobile computers. 

 

I have sent a query to the Folder Redirection team asking if this policy can be deployed on a per-machine basis.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Before you leave the chat, don’t forget to let us know how we’re doing!  To the right of your emoticon pull-down box is a “Chat Feedback” option.  If you don’t feel the chat was helpful, please ensure that you provide verbose comments on why you didn’t feel it was helpful and what we can do to improve the experience for you!!  If you would like to provide more feedback than the 1000 characters will allow, feel free to eMail us at LHBeta@microsoft.com.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Re Q68: I searched MSDN for this technology called "a much simpler client only algorithm to determine what parts of the file have been modified while offline" -- no returned hits, might there be a more official name than that ?
A: There is no "official name" for this technology. It is an internal alogorthm used by Offline Files feature only.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can I get clarification on Q39, where the two experts contradicted each other?
A: Please see the answer to Q50.

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q15/Q38: will this be fix !! so both users can share pc's and have both access the same files offline
A: If when cache is encrypted, files are encrypted in user context. And so when second user tries to open the file it will fail with access denied.

 

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I found it in the guide: "WindowsVistaProductGuide(60MB).doc" Give me a minute and I'll dig up the exact paragraph.
A: If you send me the exact paragraph then we could review the guide to make sure that it is accurate.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: I take it back... I see now (after sobering up) that the "Allow or Disallow Use of the Offline FIles Feature" is indeed, Comptuer side. Mea culpa.
A: Don't drink and test. <g>

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Brian: Exactly.. primarily on mobile computers. Hence the need to turn if OFF easily for DESKTOPS (hint, hint.. wish wish.. :-)
A: Understood.  I just received a reply from the Folder Redirection team and they said it is unlikely this will be a per-machine policy in Vista RTM.  I will try to re-emphasize the need.  However, teams are locking down on all changes at this point so the probability of success here is low.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Before you leave the chat, don’t forget to let us know how we’re doing!  To the right of your emoticon pull-down box is a “Chat Feedback” option.  If you don’t feel the chat was helpful, please ensure that you provide verbose comments on why you didn’t feel it was helpful and what we can do to improve the experience for you!!  If you would like to provide more feedback than the 1000 characters will allow, feel free to eMail us at LHBeta@microsoft.com.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Brian: You can tell them I wished for it more than 2 years ago if that helps.. :-)
A: Will do.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q66 "The Offline Files version is non-operational and will soon be removed." How will you remove the setting from XP/2003? Why not just follow this policy in Vista?
A: The setting will still apply to XP and 2003. Only the Vista setting has moved. This setting is specific to Folder Redirection and therefore has been moved to the appropriate location.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Navjot: Look for the following sentance: "With Windows Vista FR with local caching, you perform writes to the server copy but all reads are satisfied out of the local cache, even when you are connected to the server."
A: Thanks, I'll follow up on this.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Thank you for joining us today to talk about Offline Files.  We will have the transcript posted shortly on Connect. 

 

Before you leave the chat, don’t forget to let us know how we’re doing!  To the right of your emoticon pull-down box is a “Chat Feedback” option.  If you don’t feel the chat was helpful, please ensure that you provide verbose comments on why you didn’t feel it was helpful and what we can do to improve the experience for you!!  If you would like to provide more feedback than the 1000 characters will allow, feel free to eMail us at LHBeta@microsoft.com

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Signing off. Thanks all for the questions.

Brian Aust [MSFT] (Expert):
Thanks for all the great questions.   Please post any questions to the newsgroups and we'll get to them as quickly as possible.

Offlines Files[MSFT] (Expert):
Thanks everyone.  Good questions today.  Keep on caching!

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Where is the best place to post followup questions to the CSC/offlinefiles/folder redir teams?
A: Offline Files- Use the networking.systems newsgroup

Shubhankar [MSFT] (Expert):
A: Sorry that networking.filesystems

Sriram [MSFT] (Expert):
Thanks everyone. Please post questions/issues to the newsgroup.

Navjot [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Q[53/Q15/Q38: why is this a isues as EFS encryptied files can be encrypted for more then one user ?
A: Yes, EFS supports encryping files for more than one users. However, the user has to explicitly add another user's certificate to the file. Since offline files is encrypting the file on behalf of the user and the user cannot directly access the file in the offline Files cache, there is no way in Vista for the user to add another user's certificate to the file.