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We use roaming profiles on our Server 2008 R2 domain, with folder redirection for 'desktop', 'my documents' and 'application data'.

But as our network is split across two sites, we have one file server at each site, which are configured to use domain based DFS namespaces and DFS replication to keep things in sync.

The DFS path for the replication folder is as follows:

\\domain\folderredirection$\<username>\<redirected-folder-name>

The real paths are

\\site-1-server\folderredirection$\<username>\<redirected-folder-name>

and

\\site-2-server\folderredirection$\<username>\<redirected-folder-name>

As our users all switch between sites (sometimes several time per day), our folder redirection policy has to redirect to the DFS roots rather than hardcoded to a specific server.

Both DFS and DFS-R have been proven to be working perfectly.

On our laptops, we use offline files for the redirected folders, and this also works fine, however the problem is as follows:

When conflicts occur in offline files, it is impossible to resolve the conflicts.

I'm given the usual conflict resolution options (i.e. 'Ignore', 'Keep Both', 'Keep network' and 'Keep local'), however, not one of these options will resolve any conflict, yet no error is produced.

We only use offline files on laptops, which have either Windows XP Professional or Windows 7 Professional installed.

The problem is not specific to any one laptop, it affects every laptop and every conflicting file in exactly the same way.

I would have thought the set up we have is common for companies that have multiple sites, so I'm hoping someone will have seen this before?

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I've run into the exact same thing. I was not able to resolve the issue. We switched to roaming profiles, which seem to work a bit better, though there's other issues with them. I'll be interested in any other solutions. –  Chris S Apr 2 '10 at 12:49
    
Thanks Chris. We already use roaming profiles. Are you using roaming profiles without folder redirection? We can't turn off folder redirection otherwise we would have users with very large profiles. –  Bryan Apr 2 '10 at 13:23
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1 Answer

How are these conflicts occurring? Some kind of simultaneous access by more than one user, or by more than one machine logged on at the same time?

If so, see this note on DFS being incompatible with concurrent offline files usage: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773238%28WS.10%29.aspx#BKMK_005

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I'm specifically looking at 'Desktop', 'My Documents' and 'Application Data', which are definitely only accessible by a single user. It is possible (even probable) that the users take their laptops 'offline' and then use a desktop PC before re-connecting and syncing their laptop. So that would explain the conflicts, but surely the conflict resolution of offline files should deal with this? contd... –  Bryan Apr 2 '10 at 12:55
    
I'm fully aware of the issues with conflicting files with DFS-R (I've had more than my fair share of issue with it, as we have been using it for several years), and I can appreciate why offline files is bad in this situation, but I can't understand why it the conflict resolution appears to do nothing. –  Bryan Apr 2 '10 at 12:56
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