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Offline Caching of roaming profiles

Discussion in 'Software' started by nugget, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    Hi all

    I have a problem with our users logging on, in that it takes a long time to log on or the log on process doesn't find their profile. Looking in the event logs I see a report that mentions that I should disable offline caching on the share where the profiles are kept.

    So, now I've gone to the respective share, selected the sharing option, clicked the Caching button and now see some options for configuring the caching options. I take it that if I select the "Files or programs from the share will not be available offline" option that the offline caching will be disabled.

    The big question is, what effect will this have for laptop users? Will this stop them from being able to log on to their laptops when they are at home or abroad?
     
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  2. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    It shouldn't stop laptop users using their laptops when away from the office (when not connected to the domain). It will just use a local copy of their roaming profile until next syncronised.

    A breakdown of the Offline Files caching options:-

    In the Windows Server 2003 family, Offline Files is, by default, not enabled. When enabled, the following three types of Offline Files caching are available:

    • Only the files that users specify will be available offline (previously called Manual Caching for Documents). Provides offline access to only those files on a network share that have been manually selected. Manual caching for documents is the default option when you set up a shared folder to use offline.

    • All files and programs that users open from the share will be automatically available offline (previously called Automatic Caching for Documents and Automatic Caching for Programs). Selecting this option makes every file that someone opens from your shared folder available offline. However, only those files that have been opened are available offline.
    • Files or programs from the share will not be available offline. Selecting this option prevents users from storing files offline.


    Reference - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc778661.aspx if you need additional information.

    Hope this helps matey. :)

    Qs
     
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  3. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    That's just the point though. If you disable caching for the profiles share then theoretically the users don't have a local (and cached) copy of their profile and therefore can't log on when away.

    I might have it all ass backward but to me that's the logical result of selecting the Files or programs from the share will not be available offline option. The profiles will not be cached therefore they will not be able to log on.
     
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  4. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Disabling the caching will make it so that any new file found on a share won't be available when not connected to the domain.

    It's entirely dependant upon what you want to do I suppose... My point was that disabling the caching won't delete any old locally stored profiles on the respective people's laptops - so there will still be a copy to load when not connected to the domain, whatever you choose.

    The only change will be any new files that haven't previously been locally stored will not be available when not connected to the domain OR any new laptop users with no local copy.

    See what I'm getting at?

    Your original question was - Will this stop them from being able to log on to their laptops when they are at home or abroad?

    In layman's terms - No (so long as they have a local copy of their roaming profile on their laptop)

    Best thing to do is to check that your network connectivity is fine and to reduce the size of the roaming profiles (Microsoft Outlook archives are usually the main culprit) as this is more than likely what is causing your long load times.

    Something else to note - Any users who do not have a copy of their roaming profile on a machine (they've never logged onto it before for instance)will have an increased load time as it needs to 'pull' all of the information from said profile down to the local machine.

    Qs
     
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  5. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    I'm not trying to be picky but to me the definition of caching is something like the local storage of remote data to reduce network transfers.

    Won't disabling caching of the profiles result in the deletion of the local copy when the user logs off?

    When the user logs on for the first time a new profile is created. When they log off the profile is copied to the server to be pulled down at the time of next log on. Any changes to the profile will be syncronised in either direction when the user logs on/off etc.

    So, to me it means that when you disable caching of data from the profile share, when the user logs on he will pull down his profile from the profiles share and when he logs off the changes will be copied to the profile in the profiles share and then the local copy of the profile will be removed (no caching allowed of data from the profiles share).

    :confused2:hhhmmm:scratch
     
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  6. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cache :p

    You're pretty much on the ball. As there is a local copy of the roaming profile on the user's machine it uses this locally stored copy as a comparitive base (it means that a user doesn't have to pull down all of their data every time they log on).

    No.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roaming_user_profile


    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb776892.aspx

    Read the aforementioned articles.

    Basically - A roaming profile is a copy of the local profile that is copied to (and stored on) a server share. This profile is downloaded to each computer when a user logs onto on a network. Changes made to a roaming profile are synchronized with the server copy of the profile when the user logs off.

    Once there is a locally stored copy then it doesn't matter if you disable caching. If a user wants to log on when not connected to the domain then they can. It's not the best scenario, but it should work.

    Read what I've stated about roaming profiles. It shouldn't delete a locally stored copy of the profile. The user may get some sync errors if the local machine is still set to sync, but they should be able to log on.

    Suffice it to say - it's not an ideal way to resolve your problem.

    Do what I've previously suggested - Best thing to do is to check that your network connectivity is fine and to reduce the size of the roaming profiles (Microsoft Outlook archives are usually the main culprit) as this is more than likely what is causing your long load times.



    Qs
     
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