OneNote 2007: Connection Drop Results in Closed Notebooks

I found some baffling behavior in my OneNote 2007 recently. I’m using the excellent new functionality that lets me store notebooks on my file server and open them on more than one machine. OneNote 2007 keeps automatic offline copies of these notebooks in this case, synchronizing offline changes back into the server side versions when the connection to the file server becomes available again. Really great stuff.

Problem is, it has stopped working. Well, not completely – it just started behaving completely irrationally. I have one notebook that is stored on a remote server, accessed via VPN, and that notebooks still behaves just like it should. But for a whole bunch of notebooks that are stored on my local file server (with two exceptions, see below), the mechanism doesn’t work at all any longer. As soon as my connection (to the file server) goes away, OneNote closes these notebooks (if it’s running). If OneNote is started up while the connection is down, the notebooks are immediately closed as well. There seems to be no way to get them back without reconnecting to the server. As long as I stay connected to the server (or don’t run OneNote while I’m not connected) everything is absolutely fine. The synchronization dialog in OneNote shows me green check marks everywhere and the sync runs every minute.

I tried removing the cache for offline data (C:\Documents and Settings\Oliver\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\OneNote12.0) and it was recreated without any problems the next time I ran OneNote (with all the notebooks open). Looking at my “normal” Offline Files window, I can see two files there that are marked as Temporarily available offline – they have the extension .onetoc2, and the two notebooks that these files belong to are not closed completely together with all others. Instead they lose all their content (I can see the notebook “tab” on the left hand side of the window, but there are no section tabs at the top). I tried removing these two files from the Offline store, but they were recreated when I reran OneNote. Interestingly, no such entries seem to be created for any of the other notebooks I have.

Originally I thought that maybe all the section files were supposed to show up in my Offline Files window, but then there’s no entry at all for the one remote notebook that works alright. So I really have no idea what that is about – OneNote seems to use Offline File technology to work its magic, but the way it is integrated into this mechanism is not obvious to me. Any help appreciated – I have already posted this to Microsoft’s Send a Smile feedback program, but I’m going to send them another frown now with this URL, maybe I’ll get some feedback.

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