“Could not reconnect all network drives” after hibernating several times in windows 7

Disclaimer; this one is not a 100% sure fix, I had this problem in XP as well, but since I did not check the solution then, I cannot be sure it is the same DNA.

I do not shut down my windows every day, it takes time to boot & it is not really necessary to reboot your windows every day, once a week is highly sufficient. Instead I am hibernating it so the wake up is really fast, incidentally the new win 8 shut down is based exactly on the same scheme. For you information, the environment is win 7, win server 2003 SP2 and Active Dirs. For weeks now I had this problem, after 4 to 6 Hibernation cycles , on the wake up I get this infuriating message “Could not reconnect all network drives” and I have to reboot, nothing else help.

So I began monitoring the problem after the first case (I remembered I had the same problem In XP and I wanted to kill this one in the bud). I invested a few hours in really mining the web for answers, but did not find anything that closely resembles my problem. I though, and I am still thinking that it may be a server related issue, but I persevered on the workstation side.

I did remembered that a week before the first cases I accidentally set a small Dir to be available offline, so I disabled offline files to check the theory, since it happen only after a few hibernating circles I had to wait a week or until the next occurrence to be sure. To my surprise (I was sure I had nailed it) the dreaded message came 3 days later. I was quite sure I was on to something, so I persevered on this line of investigation. To make a long story short, those are the steps i took.

  • I re enabled the offline files & severed the sync tie. No go.
  • I deleted the offline temp files. No go. But on the next case of disconnected drives I could still see the files when I was offline. Ha ha, I was onto something, the offline files are still there, even after you stop the sync partnership! (see my blog about completely closing sync partnership)
  • I deleted all the offline files and tried again. Eureka!

A week and about 10 hibernation cycles latter, I am still working on the computer and on my server.

So it seems that working with offline files, preclude using hibernating too much, and vice-versa, I will have to check that with win server 2008 when I have time.

I hope this will be of use to anyone out there that had the same problem.

This post is not an official guide and all the usual precautions should be taken before implementing it. Backup your Data (see my blog about that), make a System Restore Point, create a system image or a system disk. In short take any precautions you deem necessary to save guard your work and your system.

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How to completely disconnect from an Offline Sync in Windows 7

When you need to access important files stored in a shared folder on your network but are offline and your laptop is disconnected from the network this is the time to use offline files.Your Offline files in Windows 7 are On by default.

All the system Offline Management is accessed from the Control Panel / Sync Center / Manage offline files.

In the Sync center interface you can see all your available Sync partners; it can be a PDA, a Win8 phone, or the Offline Folders.

You can see the states of your partnerships directly from the Sync Center, Conflicts, Results and setup. You can set up a new partnership as well.

You can also set up a partnership directly on the wanted network folder by right clicking on your mouse to obtain the drop down menu and clicking on the “always available offline” option. After clicking and syncing you will now have a “V” in front of the line.

The Offline Files system management is accessed from the “Manage offline files” link in the Sync Center or by typing “Manage offline files” from the search program files interface on the start menu.

In The offline files management center you can also tweak several parameters, the first tab deals with the amount of disk space required to cache your files. You can set the amount of disk space by entering the change limits button in the disk usage tab. It is always a good idea to do a little maintenance by deleting the offline temporary files.

In the Disk Usage button you can increase or decrease the maximum amount of disk space allocated to offline files and to the Temporary files used by the offline system. The default value is normally enough but you can always increase it if you have a lot of data.

Use encryption if you have highly confidential data that you want kept secret in case your Laptop is lost or stolen. Using encryption can always be a problem if you change domains or reverse to another local user, some time the data can be locked away and you might lose the disk space.  If that happen only a reformat of the disk will release the space.

The Network tab lets you fiddle with the Sync frequency on slow networks, i.e. in case you are able to access the server remotely VPN. No need to change this setting.

Until now we have talked about setting up new partnerships. Severing the tie can be a lot more difficult! You may have noticed that there is no where a button or a tab to stop a partnership.

Stopping a partnership

There is a way to do exactly that and this is the main reason I am posting this guide. After battling for a long time with this problem and not finding a detailed explanation on the net, I have made several attempts and by trial and error I did find a way to completely sever the Sync tie.

First you have to close the sync partnership by unchecking the “always available offline” option in the drop down menu on the top directory of your offline files on the network share. You may have to be online to do this, it sometime happen that the sync will not accept to be disconnection if you are not online.

At this stage and after a reboot the “always available offline” option should be of, but, and it is a big but, the files are still on your computer. You can see them if you go offline.

Now, you have to go to the Sync Center and manually delete all the data from the Offline Files folder, you have to dig down in all the sub folders and delete everything. Then go to the disk usage tab and delete the temporary offline files. After doing all that you will have to reboot.

Only then you will be free of the partnership. If you have more than one partnership you will have to be careful when deleting the data from Offline Files folders and leave the relevant files.

I hope this will be of use to any one out there that had the same problem.

This post is not an official guide and all the usual precautions should be taken before implementing it. Backup your Data (see my blog in htssb.worldpress.com), make a System Restore Point, create a system image or a system disk. In short take any precautions you deem necessary to save your work and your system.

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