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System giving 'working offline' message while online

I set one of my users to synchronize her network files with her laptop. When the user is connected to the network and working online, the system keeps reminding her that she is working offline. This warning is very annoying, and forces the user to stop working every five minutes. How can I fix this?
Several possible problems may cause this. It basically means the user is losing a network connection. Your answer is to fix this issue, and or remove the annoying balloons. The first thing you might take a look at is actual domain logon. It is possible for the user to logon using cached credentials if there is some problem in accessing the domain controller. This can be caused because the DC is offline or otherwise inaccessible. Computer credentials can also be an issue. If the computer account for the laptop has changed its password but not synched.

This is a common problem when computers are off the network for a time. The computer account password is periodically reset unless it is configured not do so. (See the security option Domain member: disable machine account password age.) The problem can also be with the server where the files are stored. If it is not connected to the network or otherwise having its own domain logon issues. On the other hand, if you are if you are sure that offline files is working as expected and all files are synching properly. If the only problem is to remove the balloon reminders, you can prevent them by adding the "turn off reminder balloons" policy in Group Policy. You can find the setting at Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Network, and Offline Files. The setting is also available in Explorer on the Tools menu, folder options and offline files tab. However, if it is set in Group Policy you cannot adjust it in explorer.

This was first published in February 2004

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