Retrieving Lost Files by Using the Client Side Cache (CSC) and the Windows Previous Versions Feature

We had a problem with users losing files after setting up new profile redirection GPOs with Offline Files accidentally enabled. The lost files on the client machine can possibly be retrieved by utilizing two features in Windows: the CSC and Previous Versions.

Initially, you can check the C:\Windows\CSC directory for the files that have disappeared, but since only SYSTEM has read permission there, you either need to take ownership, or preferablly, use robocopy to copy the contents to somewhere else:

mkdir c:\restores  robocopy c:\windows\csc  c:\restores\current /zb /mir

If the missing files aren't in the current CSC, you may find them in the previous version history.

View the properties for drive c, and click on the 'Previous Versions' tab.


Choose the date as you see appropriate, but if you're unsure of when they disappeared, proceed down the list from new to old. Open the history for the date you'd like and copy the location from the URL bar:

Head to  your command window again, and copy the CSC folder from the previous version:

robocopy [URL from above]\windows\csc C:\restores\[date] /zb /mir

With some luck, you may find the files you are looking for in one of those previous versions.