Windows – recovering unsynced files from Sync Center / delete profile and lost files

I ran into an unfortunate situation: I had a user on a machine that I removed from the domain. The domain was set-up to sync files to the server via Sync Center. Unfortunately the computer was no longer in the domain.

I removed the computer from the domain, which was fine. However, when I went to copy the files from the old user profile, they were not there.

So, where do the files go when they are unsynced, not on the server, but not in the user’s “Documents” directory?

The answer is quite simple. They are in:

C:\Windows\CSC

Once you get in that folder, you will find copies of any unsynced files, including files from a user that you may have removed and can no longer log-in as.

The only caveat is, you may have to grant yourself permission to see the folder and sub-folders. How to do this exactly is different in different versions of Windows, but generally speaking you need to:

1. Right-click “CSC” and click properties
2. Click the “Security” tab then “Advanced”
3. Click “Change” to change the owner
4. Assuming you are an Administrator on your computer, choose “Administrators” to make all Admins the Owner
5. Click “OK”, and if there is an option to “apply permissions to all subfolders” do this as well
6. Once you are the owner, you should be able to give yourself permissions to work with the files. Now, you can navigate into the CSC folder and find the appropriate user

iTunes – Change location of iTunes Library.xml

I saw many posts online about changing the location of your iTunes Library (Edit–>Preferences–>Advanced–>iTunes Music Folder Location). This is really quite simple. However, what’s annoying is, even if you change the location of your music, iTunes keeps the .xml and .itl library files in the original location (Windows “My Music” folder). I wanted the library stored in the same spot as my music–mainly for backup purposes. Seems logical, right? Well, in a Google search, it took me a while to find the answer.

The answer turned out to be incredibly simple. Simply hold down “Shift” when you launch iTunes and it will ask you to locate the libary file. I solved my problem in 2 steps. First, close iTunes, then:

1. Move the iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml files wherever you want them
2. Do the Shift-Start trick, and tell iTunes where the files are now located.

Why this blog?

As I’ve worked with Windows over the years, I’ve come across countless little tweaks, solutions, tips and answers to problems. These are usually disovered through a Google search, implemented, then forgotten. The problem is, these Google searches often take an inordinate amount of time, and I’m forced to wade through volumes of posts to find my answer (and inevitably finding numerous posts with the reply, “Hey, I have the same problem too!! Have you found an answer yet?”).

So, with this in mind, I decided to start a list of random fixes, tweaks and tips as I come across them. At first this list was just going to be on my computer. But, I figured it might be valuable as a publicly searchable blog–who knows what solutions might benefit you. So, this is my small contribution to the Windows Solutions universe.

I emphasize *random* and *simple* in the nature of these tips. I’ve done IT technical support for 10 years, and have worked with a wide array of Windows software and PC hardware. My solutions will cover anything from Windows clients (XP, Vista), Windows Server, and even 3rd party software apps. Also, I don’t seek to replace the countless technical explanations of things out there. I try to state things in layman terms and give quick, simple answers to questions.

If this is helpful to you, or you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me.