So after tearing my hair out for the last week with Vista â€“ almost to the point when I was going to put Windows XP back on â€“ I have finally got Vista Offline files working with my Samba sharesâ€¦
I like to move the My Documents folder on each of my machines from the C: drive to a network share that lives on my Linux file server â€“ on my laptop I make that available offline â€“ in case I am away from home etc. On Windows XP this was fine and worked pretty well. I recently upgraded to Vista and mapped the drive for my home directory â€“ all good made it available offline (or â€œAlways available offlineâ€ as Vista now calls it). It did its initial sync and all was good.
Next time I logon (and after making sure I am connected to the network) I go back to my network drive to make sure its working online â€“ and nope it isnâ€™t! I make sure I can ping the machine â€“ thats okay and I can access the share online if I access the machine by its ip â€“ \\192.168.1.4\share. Very weird and very frustrating!
Whilst searching for the solution I came across some useful info on making sure Samba is setup correctly for offline files (mainly to do with oplocks â€“ see below for a useful link).
Anyway tonight I have a brain wave whilst looking at Vistaâ€™s user management stuff and reading some more stuff on the net. It turns out that Vistaâ€™s offline files works per user rather than per share and as a result is more reliant on usernames and passwords. My Samba share uses a different password to my vista login. So I made them the same â€“ and hey presto it works!
So in summary if using offline files in Vista make sure your usernames and passwords match. I also think Iâ€™ve seen something under the user accounts section that lets you link in different user account details â€“ but I havenâ€™t tried that yet. Here is a screenshot.
Vista Offline Files Samba Settings Link Broken as of June 08 ;-(