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Disabled offline files in they are gone!

By k.jacko
Nov 28, 2007
  1. God i hope someone can help me out of a pickle here.

    One of our users has a laptop running xp pro sp2, that had a syncronised folder on it linked to our win server 2003. Since april he has been nowhere near the network so the amount of data he has on his laptop will no longer resemble what was on the server. Plus i deleted the share off the server ages ago. (basically he'd moved offices and wasn't expected to come back).
    Since he'd moved he'd carried on using the same 'offline' folders etc.
    Yesterday i had to do some major maintenance on his laptop and i disabled offline files.
    Today having now realised that was the way he was still accessing his data, he now obviously cannot access his data, as i switched offline files off.

    Question: How in the blue hell do i get his data back? He didn't back any of it up onto dvd or whatever. Re-enabling offline files does nothing.
    I can access C:\windows\csc but it just shows folders titled d1, d2, d3 etc and a few temp files.
    I can't believe by just disabling it that he has lost everything. Say it aint so....or i'll cry! :(

    Any help please.....i'm desparate
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,856   +901

    it's far more likely that Disk Cleanup or Delete Temporary Files is the culprit here.

    restore points will not help, as they only capture the registry data, not the file data.

    looks like you're going to be crying today --- sorry.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    No server backup tapes? If you haven't its time to start.

    A 72Gb tape drive and a box of ten tapes is enough for me to be able to completely restore any day for the last 2 years....weekly full backups of live data about 5Gb, daily incremental about 1.5Gb. Full archive data 25Gb every few months.

    Just one point (I don't really know what I am talking about here though). Is the data still present on the laptop, but considered hidden/system data? If so, you might be able to get at it, or try a Linux boot CD. Also this sounds like something MS ought to be able to help out with.
  4. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 493

    Thanks for the replies guys,
    i DID perform a chkdsk and defrag on the laptop, but NOT disk celanup or delete temp files.
    I was kinda pinning some hope on system restore as its a windows setting that was altered. i.e. 'Offline Files'

    As for server backups. Dude i have data totalling 500GB that gets backed up weekly on a 2 weekly rotating basis, with daily incrementals.
    Problem is, this user hasn't been on the domain/network since April as he left to work in a different office, so his 'copy' of offline files were all he had. He should have backed up his data himself as well.
    I wasn't really aware he was still using his old 'offline' files. And i disabled offline files cos its a pain in the a*se, little knowing the trouble it would cause.
    But surely just disabling it shouldn't lose them permanently?!
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