Offline Files, Domain Removal and csccmd.exe

A client came to us with an interesting problem — his laptop was removed from his company’s domain and his documents were no longer available to him. He could see the mapped drive, and the folders and files, but when he tried to launch any of the files, he got an “Access Denied” error.

So, offline files had his documents stored locally, but his lack of network credentials was keeping us from them.

While massively inconvenient, this is how it should be. No credentials, no files. Downside, of course, was I couldn’t get the documents copied to the local drive.

Windows 2003 Resource Kit to the rescue!

There’s a utility, csccmd.exe which, as the name imples, allows you to work with the “client side cache” (the pre-release name for Offline Files). The most recent version of the csccmd.exe has an option to EXTRACT files from the client side cache and put them on the local drive somewhere.

So, I grabbed the Windows 2003 Resource Kit, downloaded it, installed it,and ran csccmd.exe and it didn’t work.


Seems there is a NEWER version of csccmd.exe that is only available (officially) from MS Product Support Services (PSS). (Unofficially, use bing to google csccmd.exe 1.1) which does the job. I downloaded it and copied it into c:\windows (just to avoid path issues).

(I assume it’s only available from PSS because it totally bypasses the security issue.)

So, logged in as an administrator, I created a temporary folderand opened a command prompt (do I show my age by insisting on calling it a DOS window?) and typed:

csccmd.exe /extract:\\server\share /target:c:\temp\user /recurse


The files copied, rights of the folder they were copied into prevails (which is to say that the ACL information was not extracted as well) and he’s happy because he has his documents back.

2 thoughts on “Offline Files, Domain Removal and csccmd.exe”

  1. Challenge Question…
    I have a system where the server/domain no longer exists but I have a full backup of the windows\csc folder. I can run the CSCCMD utility but it complains that the CSC is not enabled, which it is not. Another wrinkle is that the computer is Win7. Any follow on suggestions?


    1. Well, I would think that if the machine was still in the domain, even if the domain was erased out from under it, then CSCCMD would still work. This is, esentially what happened in my situation. The laptop had no way of ever communicating with the domain controller again, so it was orphaned. However, it still had credentials cached and was keeping track of the offline files cache, in the hopes of one day reconnecting with the DC.

      In your instance, it seems you just have the CSC folder, orphaned from its workstation. In this case, I would suspect you’re outta luck, but I am far from a CSC authority. A little Googling turned this up, hopefully it helps.

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