Download (direct link):
Finally, you can go back at any time and modify your settings with something that Microsoft calls Synchronization Manager. Get there one of two ways: Open My Computer or Explorer and choose Tools?Synchronize, or choose Start?All Programs?Accessories?Synchronize. From the Items to Synchronize dialog box that appears, you can manually synchronize any offline files or folders, change certain of their synchronization settings by clicking the Properties button, or click Setup to display the Synchronization Settings dialog box shown in Figure 12-6.
Figure 12-6: Still more synchronization settings.
Here are a few notes regarding the Synchronization Settings dialog box:
* The Logon/Logoff tab lets you control which items synchronize at logon and/or logoff, and whether the user gets prompted before synchronizing. The behavior must be the same for any single network connection (LAN or dial-up).
* The On Idle tab lets you specify that Windows should synchronize offline files and folders after a period of inactivity, which you can define. You can also specify the synchronization repeat frequency for continued idle states, and whether to disable synchronization if your machine's running off a battery.
* The Scheduled tab lets you add or edit schedules for synchronization events ('sync this network connection every Friday at 1:00 am'). Scheduled jobs appear in the Control Panel's Scheduled Tasks folder.
Offline in practice: A mixed blessing
The first drawback to using offline files and folders is that they can dramatically increase network congestion. I've heard from a few corporate IS managers that the additional traffic from frequent offline file synchronization can bring a busy network to its little silicon knees.
The next drawback has to do with ease of use. The concept is that the offline files and folders feature works transparently. However
* Someone has to set up the feature on each network server that shares folders containing files to be cached, as I explain in the previous section.
* Cases can often crop up in which the user must resolve a conflict and perform file reconciliation manually.
Remember That last item deserves attention, as it may well appear on the exam. Suppose, for example, that Forsberg has designated a shared network file as cached, and Roy has done so, too. Forsberg undocks his notebook computer, goes on a trip, and makes some changes to the file. Roy undocks his notebook, also goes on a trip, and makes some changes of his own. Forsberg gets back to the office first, and hooks up to the LAN. Windows XP sees that his cached (local) copy is newer than the network copy, so it synchronizes by copying the cached copy to the server. Roy then arrives at the office, docks his notebook, and - sacr?. Bleu, a dilemma! If Windows XP copies Roy's version to the server, it will overwrite Forsberg's changes. But if it doesn't copy Roy's version, then Roy's work never gets put onto the server.
What happens in this situation is that Windows XP asks Roy to decide whether to nuke Forsberg's file, save Roy's file to the server under a different name, or do nothing. The second choice is usually the safest, but someone must then manually merge Forsberg's changes with Roy's to create a properly updated file that reflects both their work. Not exactly transparent.
Clearly, the offline files and folders feature works best if each user has his or her own data area on the server and only makes those files available offline. And yes, such an arrangement defeats the purpose of network file sharing to some extent! So the offline files and folders feature isn't as cool as it seems at first glance. (Learn it anyway.)
Warning One final drawback: The offline files and folders feature only works on Microsoft networks, so Novell shops can't use it.
Windows Installer Service
Microsoft's published exam objectives specify that you be able to install applications onto a Windows XP Professional machine by using the Windows Installer service. Happily, that's about the easiest objective in the entire list! In general, all you need to do is double-click an MSI file - it doesn't get much simpler than that! (MSI files are associated in the Registry with MSIEXEC.EXE.) Alternatively, you can right-click an MSI file and choose Install from the context menu.
Another alternative if you need more control is to invoke the Microsoft Software Installer Executive, or MSIEXEC.EXE, at a command prompt or Run dialog box. For example, if H: is your local CD-ROM drive containing the Windows XP Professional CD, then this command installs the Windows XP Resource Kit Support Tools onto your machine:
MSIEXEC /I H:\SUPPORT\TOOLS\SUPTOOLS.MSI
Instant Answer You may need to know some of the other MSIEXEC command-line qualifiers, so here are a few besides /I for Install:
* /F means 'Fix' and has several variations, which you don't need to memorize. MSIEXEC will need to see the original MSI file to complete this operation, which also goes by the name Repair in the user interface (for example, on the context menu of an MSI file). That may mean that you have to provide the original setup CD-ROM, or make available the network distribution point from which the program was originally installed.