Off-line files are a wonderful thing. The fact that my users can synchronize the files from a central server (where they are backed up) to their laptop is great. But what happens when things get out of hand? In theory, users can save a lot more onto a file server than they can their local machine. In practice, when the folder is set to synchronize in full to the local hard drive can cause headaches… like waking up one day and realizing that they have 0kb free on their C drive.
Okay, you go to the server and move the offending files to another location. You log into the affected computer… and nothing doing, still zeroed out.
The problem is that there is a folder called the Client Side Cache (or Offline Files Cache). It is stored under the SystemRoot – i.e., it is (by default) c:\Windows\CSC. Now, this folder can be moved, but it is not a simple process, and I will cover it in a later article. The issue is that the CSC directory sits on the C Drive, and is completely secured against reasonable attempts to modify it manually… which is good, because trying to do so will cause some pretty serious issues.
So we have fixed the problem on the back-end, and now we have to fix it on the front-end, which means cleaning out the Client-Side Cache. We can’t simply do this manually, we have to actually clean out the CSC database. How do we do this: Here you go:
**VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
The Windows Registry is not meant to be touched by anyone who does not have a very thorough understanding of how it works, and can cause serious and irrecoverable damage to your Windows installation if handled improperly. I strongly recommend that you do not do this if you are not extremely comfortable with it.
1. Open the Registry Editor (regedit.msc)
2. Navigate to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Csc\Parameters
3. If there is no Parameters key under CSC then you have to create it.
4. Under Parameters create a new DWord 32-bit value called FormatDatabase.
5. Set the value to FormatDatabase to 1.
6. Close the registry editor and reboot your computer.
Okay, that is the long way around, but it is also the ‘fewer chances for error’ way. If you are not afraid of typos, you can do the following:
1. Open a command prompt with elevated privileges.
2. Type: reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Csc\Parameters /v FormatDatabase /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
(Where /v is the value, /t is the data type, /d is the data, and /f is force overwrite.)
3. Close the command prompt and reboot your computer.
Once your computer reboots you should be alright. You shouldn’t even have to enter your Recycle Bin, the disk space should just be there
Good luck, and remember to back it up before you hork it up!