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Due to maintenance a usually read-writeable network share is currently available as read-only. I did mark it to be made available offline and the synchronization was successful. Now I would like to have offline write access which after maintenance shall be synchronized back, but cutting the network won't do since I need online access to our server. Any chances to do this? Basically:

Can Windows be told to write changes on a currently read-only synchronized folder to the offline version and synchronize the changes later on?

edit: Now the drive is entirely offline, and I can read the offline version. However, I still don't have any write access. So what's going on? Isn't the offline mode supposed to store changes locally and resynchronize them when going online again?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The problem with this scenario is that you are going to create a conflict. If the file is read-only online, it's because someone or something else has the file open for edit. By also opening your offline copy for edit when you already know the online version is in the same state, you are guaranteeing that you will end up with two conflicting versions of the file.

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so it's not possible to tell windows to use my modified (obviously newer) offline copy when synchronizing? – Tobias Kienzler Dec 17 '10 at 10:38
@Tobias - the problem is that even though your copy is newer, windows doesn't know whether you are the only person who has made changes since you checked it out. You might over-write changes made from another place and destroy someone else's work. – Joel Coehoorn Dec 17 '10 at 16:35
that makes sense. Oh well, I have write access again now, so next time I'll manually synchronize – Tobias Kienzler Dec 20 '10 at 12:50

It sounds like others are having similar issues as I do a browse on the web. Although I've never used "offline" files, here are some suggestions that I can think of:

Take Ownership/Change Access Rights:

  1. Copy the files to a another folder on your computer.
  2. Take ownership of the files, and change the "attributes" to not be read-only (right click on the file(s) and make sure the box "ready-only" is unchecked)

You might only need to change the attributes of the files but just in case I included taking ownership

Use something other than "offline" files:

Ya microsoft does have some "cool" features but in reality they are "ok" at best. I would highly suggest using a third party software to synchronize files. Some suggestions that I use regularly are:

  1. DropBox: A simple program that is free for a small amount of storage space. You can get more space by inviting other friends. (I've also heard that sending in error report can increase the size) You can also purchase and increase of space as well. The great thing about dropbox is you can install it on as many PC's, MAC's, Linux's and even Mobiles as you want. There is an online copy stored as well. Sharing files/folders with others is a breeze as well.

  2. Syncplicity: You might also consider using Syncplicity a pretty competitive alternative to dropbox. (I actually use both) Similar to dropbox, syncplicity has free options, and the paid increased space options. Files are available online, and you can install on as many PC's and MAC's as you want. A unique thing about syncplicity is that you can link your syncplicity folders to your google docs. Finally with the "buisiness" option you can it with file servers as well. (I have not tried/tested this)

These options (unless syncplicity does work with file servers) may not suit your needs if the network share is a server. However if it's a workstation that you or a co-worker are sharing with each other, these may be alternatives for you.

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