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Q: Win2000SP1: Offline folder synchronization error ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Win2000SP1: Offline folder synchronization error
Category: Computers > Operating Systems
Asked by: aviv-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 05 Nov 2002 15:57 PST
Expires: 05 Dec 2002 15:57 PST
Question ID: 99831
Windows 2000 professional, SP2.
Have an offline synchronized folder. However - at some point, I
started to get the following error -

"Synchronizing error- Network version of file missing"
"Error: you have a version of this file available for 
offline use, however the network version has been deleted."

I have tried both options: delete or sync, and none had solved the

How does one cleanup this problem. I also removed all 
offline sychronized folder and this does not work.


Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 05 Nov 2002 17:29 PST
Can you please try this:

If you use the Synchronization Manager to schedule a file or folder
for synchronization, and that file or folder is then deleted from the
server, the file or folder may still be displayed in the
Synchronization Manager on the client computer.

This behavior can occur because the files or folders are cached on the
client computer, and they are not automatically removed when a shared
file or folder is deleted from a server.

To work around this behavior, remove the deleted file or folder from
the Offline Files Folder on the client computer:

1. Double-click My Computer, click Folder Options on the Tools menu,
and then click the Offline Files tab.

2. Click View Files, click the name of the file or folder you want to
delete, click Edit, and then click Delete.

Please let me know if this works for you or not. Thanks!!


Clarification of Question by aviv-ga on 05 Nov 2002 18:52 PST

Well I tried what you described: seems like the right direction since
the offending files are really found in the offline folder.

BUT - trying to delete them, I got an error message saying that the
files are being used, and cannot be deleted.

I tried also to be offline (just disconnected), and also rebooted my
machine without the network connection: all with the same result, and
the same error message.
I should add that, comparing to other offline files, were access to
them was relatively quick, when I try to access these files in the
offline folder (even select them using the mouse) - it is VERY slow.
VERY VERY slow. Also HD works much harder. All the computer seems to
be frozen (or - shall I call it - in slow motion? ;) ).
I do defrag on a regular basis, while last one was just about a week
ago, so I doubt. Files are also quite small (few Ks).

Any further idea?
Could it be a HD problem that is just manifesting itself as a
synchronization error? I wonder.

Thanks, Aviv.

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 05 Nov 2002 19:21 PST
Have you tried disabling Offline files altogether (same place as above
instructions) to see if it clears the problem? I'm not sure if it will
completely reset the offline file list or just simply "turn it off".
When you enable it again, it might remember all of the files that are
in there now. Of course, you may not want to lose all of these
settings either, so that may not be an option. These files that it
says are in use, is there anything special about them? Are they
Windows system files? Have you tried booting into Safe Mode and then
trying the above instructions? That might just work.

Of course, you might be right about the HD. The configuration or
pointers for these files may be damaged or corrupted and that's what
is causing the strange delay in accessing them and the problem with
deleting them. If that's the case, we may have to find a registry hack
or way to reset the entire offline config to correct it. Just let me
know how you want to proceed. Thanks!


Clarification of Question by aviv-ga on 05 Nov 2002 20:36 PST

I would backup my offline files before trying what you suggest.
These are regaulr files, not something special, just from a folder I
deleted while probably sync was going on, or when I was offline.
Something got garbled there.

I will let you know what I find out.



Clarification of Question by aviv-ga on 05 Nov 2002 21:41 PST

Ok - tried it ...

I backed up all, of course. Interesting enough, the copy contained the
4 offending files!!??

Making them offline did clear the file list, but when I enabled synch
again - the files were there ..
When going to safe mode - I cannot login as the regular user, since it
is a domain user, and I tried safe with no networking; I had to create
a local admin on the machine (which was easy, since as domain user I
was admin on my machine, this is the practice here).

I also looked up in my \winnt\csc folder, which contains a LOT of
files (I have ~2000+).

So, what would you suggest next?

Is it a problem with the copy which resides on the server? what shall
I ask our admin to do?

Quite helpless at this stage ...

Thanks, Aviv.

Request for Question Clarification by pwizard-ga on 06 Nov 2002 06:53 PST
OK, I found the following article at TechNet:;EN-US;Q230738&

It looks like this may be your only option at this point. If you can't
delete these entries individually in any way (from the CSC folder or
from the Offline File Manager), then the database is probably corrupt
and needs to be re-initialized. Just follow the steps outlined in this
article. Make sure you sync everything to the network before doing so.
You will have to go abck through and re-setup all fo the files/folders
for offline synchronization, but at least your problem should be

One other possibility would be to have your network admin actually
restore the missing network files from backup tape or try and mimic
the missing files/location with bogus files just to see if it will let
you remove them if those files truly do exist on the server in some
form. That's a long-shot, but might be worth trying.

Let me know how it turns out. I'd like to turn this into an offical
answer so that I can get credit for helping you with the problem, but
I want to make sure you're happy with the response before doing so.
I'll wait to hear back before proceeding. Thanks.


Clarification of Question by aviv-ga on 06 Nov 2002 14:17 PST
PWizard - 

This is it! :)

Worked like a charm, although required some reboots on the way, and
long synchronization session (multiple, since first one failed, but -
I don't care - it works now!).

Interestingly, our admin also found this KB this morning, but you
actually sent it before I got it from him, so - I do regard your help
as "the official answer".

Subject: Re: Win2000SP1: Offline folder synchronization error
Answered By: pwizard-ga on 06 Nov 2002 14:24 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent... I'm glad, through persistent troubleshooting, that we
were able to find at least a working solution to your problem. I wish
we could have found a better one, but I guess once the database
becomes corrupted, this was the only way to repair it. Searching
through USENET while researching the problem, I did find that several
others have run into this same error in the past - but none of them
actually found a solution - not even the one we were able to come up
with. So, I'm happy to officially close this question out and I'll
file it away in case someone else comes across this same problem in
the future. I appreciate you allowing me to work with you on this
question and all your patience through the troubleshooting process.

Just to sum up:

In order to correct the problem outlined by the question, Microsoft
suggests that the database files that contain the cache and
information for Offline Files be reset so that the database is
re-built. This results in losing all of your offline file settings,
but you shouldn't lose any actual files or data as long as
synchronization occurs before following the instructions. The article
with instructions can be found here:;EN-US;Q230738&

Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance on this
question. Thanks again!


Request for Answer Clarification by aviv-ga on 07 Nov 2002 04:44 PST

Well ... seems like the administration blues never end :(

Now, when I am offline, I can access all of my offline folder files,
BUT - I cannot save or create a new file or folder. When I am online -
no problem at all. (I will try again tomorrow, when I am in the
I get a message like: "cannot access file", "not a valid file name" -
depending on the application that tries to save the file (either
office apps or file explorer).

Any idea what went wrong when I re-initiated the synchronization?

Thanks, Aviv.

Clarification of Answer by pwizard-ga on 07 Nov 2002 08:30 PST
You say when you are offline you cannot save a file or document
anywhere on your hard drive? or just trying to save documents back to
the offline files folder?

Request for Answer Clarification by aviv-ga on 07 Nov 2002 11:00 PST
When online - I can save / create files in the offline folder.
When I am offline, I can fully access the offline folders, but -
cannot create or save a file. The exact error message depends how I
try to do that (file explorer, office app, whatever). No problems with
saving to other (non-synched) folders.

Any idea what happened?

Clarification of Answer by pwizard-ga on 08 Nov 2002 06:53 PST
I searched through Technet further and through the newsgroups, but
didn't find anything that mentioned this new problem specifically.
There were a couple of similar items, one which stated was fixed with
Windows 2000 SP3 and the other mentioned not using long file names on
the files or folders that you're trying to save/access while offline.

The one about SP3 is here:;EN-US;Q303339&

As I said, neither of these mention your errors exactly, but it's
always possible that they could be related. You might try SP3 if
that's an option for you as it might clear up the problem.

You could also try re-initializing the offline database again,
deleting the CSC folder altogether and allowing it to be re-created. 
Then maybe add your offline files/folders back a little at a time (and
going offline to test) to see if maybe it's a particular folder or
path that is causing your problems.

That's about the best advice I can offer. I do wish you the best of
luck in getting the problem resolved. Please let me know if I can be
of any further assistance. I've enjoyed working with you on this
question. I think we've both learned a lot about the Windows
Synchronization process.

aviv-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
The answer was tricky to find, since it seems like an undocumented
feature of offline folders: you can reset the database if its
corrupted, and then rebuild it again after setting again the
synchronization parameters. When you have a corrupted database, this
is a very reasonable solution.

Subject: Re: Win2000SP1: Offline folder synchronization error
From: rkba-ga on 05 Nov 2002 16:49 PST
Delete everything in the "%SystemRoot%\Offline Web Pages" directory.
Note: "%SystemRoot% is the path to your Windows 2000 directory and is
most likely "C:\WINNT".

So assuming the Windows 2000 root directory is "C:\WINNT", then you
would delete everything in the folder "C:\WINNT\Offline Web Pages". In
order to view this directory, you may also need to change your Windows
Explorer settings so that Windows Explorer shows all hidden and system
files. You can do this by opening Windows Explorer and clicking the
toolbar item "Tools", then select "FolderOptions->View", and finally
check "Show hidden files and folders", and uncheck "Hide file
extensions for known file types" and "Hide protected operating system

You should also delete the link to the "synchronized" web page from
your favorites folder.

-- Ron
Subject: Re: Win2000SP1: Offline folder synchronization error
From: aviv-ga on 05 Nov 2002 17:17 PST

You refer to offline web pages synchronization, while the problem is
with offline file system folder sycnhronization. Though name might be
similar, functions are quite different. I do not use offline web pages
synchronization at all.

Subject: Re: Win2000SP1: Offline folder synchronization error
From: rkba-ga on 05 Nov 2002 17:47 PST
It sounds like PWizard has already answered your question, but in case
he hasn't here are another couple of possibilities:

If you have:

1. Mapped a network path to a drive letter on your computer?
2. Mapped a Web Folder or FTP site to a folder on your computer?
3. None of the above?

In the first case you can select the mapped drive and from the Windows
Explorer toolbar, choose "Tools" from the toolbar, and then select
"Disconnect Mapped Network Drive." In the second case you should be
able to delete the mapped folder simply by right clicking it and
selecting "Delete." If the third case is true, I'm obviously still not
understanding you correctly! :-o

-- Ron

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