We had a Windows Domain with a SBS 2003 as a server. The server crashed. We used the Windows Vista client in offline mode for a few months.

We had My Documents synchronized with the SBS 2003.

Now two months later we installed a new Windows SBS 2008. On some clients did I copy all contents in My Documents to a USB stick. Then connected the computer to the SBS 2008 using a new user account. That worked fine.

Now on this Vista client, I copied the hole C:\Users\username\ directory to the USB stick. And then connected the computer to the SBS 2008 using a new user account. But when I copy back the content of the directory to C:\Users\NEWDOMAIN.username\ there is no directory My Documents. Windows seem to not include these files or it seem to delete these files when connecting to a new Domain Controller.

Now I try to recover these files using NTFS Undelete but nothing of these files can be found either on the USB stick or on the computer. Are they stored in a different directory when synchronized to the SBS 2003?

I can recover them from the crashed SBS 2003 server, but these files will be two months old.

Any ideas?


Assuming the files are still in the offline files folder, can you not simply open the offline files folder and copy the files from here back on to the network?

Windows doesn't store offline copies of files within the user profile, they are stored in the Client Side Cache, which is actually a directory (usually) located in c:\windows\csc.

Depending on the state of the Vista machine, you might find this resource useful.

By the way, I don't mean to sound off hand (and please don't take offense), but looking at your recent posts, alarm bells are ringing in my head, because it seems like there are many deficiencies on your network (single domain controller, no backups). If this is a corporate network, you really should get help from an IT support company.

  • Yes, I'm not a pro sys admin. We were moving from stand alone clients to using a SBS 2003 (now SBS 2008) for two reasons: 1) a central place to backup user documents and 2) we use a multi-user application that needs a server part. Yes, administrating SBS haven't been that easy but we are learning. The alternative isn't a IT support company, but an alternative to our setup is to use something like DropBox for client backups, and finding a SaaS alternative to our multi-user application. We have already moved from Exchange to Google Apps for e-mail, that was great. – Jonas Mar 6 '11 at 21:24
  • And when moving from stand alone clients to a SBS network, buying two servers isn't really the first thing you do (I thought that was the next step, not required?). The server isn't very critical, but we do use UPS and backups at least. Do you mean that there is never an alternative to only use a single SBS 2008 as Domain Controller? – Jonas Mar 6 '11 at 21:28
  • Two servers aren't required, but it's good practise. – Bryan Mar 7 '11 at 8:36

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