The Offline Files feature in Windows Vista is fantastic! It truly solves the problems that Offline Files had in Windows XP. I have run across one problem though. Twice now, I’ve had to move all of my files to another server, necessitating clearing out my old offline files and enabling them at the new location. This tends to be an issue when you’re toting 25GB of Offline Files. So what I’ve found is that it’s easier to just completely reset Offline Files and have Windows Vista build it up from scratch. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding this procedure, so here it is, in hopes that it helps someone who’s looking for it.

To reinitialize the Offline Files cache, create the following DWORD registry value with a value of 1 and restart the system.

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\CSC\Parameters\FormatDatabase

Note that any unsynchronized changes will be lost. In addition, any files and folders pinned by means other than Folder Redirection or Group Policy will no longer be pinned on that client.

The setting of this registry value may be automated using REG.EXE.

REG ADD "HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\CSC\Parameters" /v FormatDatabase /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f