Cannot connect to file share after enabling offline files

For quite some time, I have been struggling with the problem that I could not connect to a network share, after having it enabled for Offline Files.
But: Solution has been found! :-)

Here’s the scenario I had to cope with:

  • User Jack logs on to Windows 7
  • Group Policy ensures that user gets a F:\ drive, that is mapped to a personal network share \\fileserver\userdocs\jack\
  • Group Policy sets the F:\ drive to be available when working offline (so all files should be cached during synchronization window)

The problem was I sometimes could not connect to \\fileserver\userdocs\jack anymore. Even \\fileserver\userdocs\ did not work, and returned an error that I did not have sufficient permissions (though I did!).
Funny part was: I did could connect to \\\userdocs\jack . So connecting to the FQDN worked. And so did connecting to the IP-address.

Cause: Since the problem was clearly related to the offline files settings, I think there must be been something wrong with the cache. Maybe it got corrupted somehow. The caching of Offline Files is done in C:\Windows\CSC .

Solution: I had to reset the cache of the offline files. Disconnecting the F:\ drive is not enough. Disabling the “Make this folder available offline” option neither. Instead, you have to create a registry key:

  1. Open your registry with administrative rights
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\CSC\Parameters
    If the key Parameters does not exist, create it. You can do this by right-clicking on the CSC key, and choose New –> Key
  3. In Parameters, create a new DWORD (32bits) with the name “ResetDatabase” and value “1
  4. Restart your computer. Your CSC database flushes during the startup of Windows 7.

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