If Your Internet Connection is Lost



If Your Internet Connection is Lost

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NetDocuments is a global document service that is available to you anywhere an Internet connection is available.  But what if you suddenly lose that connection or your computer crashes?  Have you lost everything?  Can you still work with documents?

No, you have not lost everything, and yes, you can continue to work with your documents.  If your computer crashes and all of your documents have been stored on NetDocuments, nothing will be lost.

If the Internet is not available for a short temporary time period, the access is different depending on whether you have Echoing enabled and whether you have any application add-ins for Microsoft Office installed.  Several scenarios are described below.  The important thing to remember is that there is a way to get started again and it can be relatively painless if you understand how NetDocuments works in these scenarios.

Preventative Disaster Measures - Read this first
Before you run into a situation where your Internet connection is down, take time to go through this checklist to ensure confidence in restoring your access if the situation occurs.
1.   To maximize your access without an Internet connection, we highly recommend that you have Echoing enabled. 
To enable Echoing, when you login to NetDocuments, go to Settings > Workstation Settings and enable the Echoing feature. 
The best way to access your Echo Directory is to open the NetDocuments – Check-In List from the Windows Start > Programs menu and click View Echo Folder.
You can change the Echo folder to be any existing path on your hard drive, however we recommend you use the default settings.  Remember, Echo preferences must be set at each computer you work at – for security reasons this preference does not move with you.  We default 14 days for your Echo setting, which is the retention time of documents in your Echo folder.  You can increase the number of days, if you choose.
2.  Verify your Echo settings with your Cabinet Administrator.  An administrator can disable echoing at the Cabinet level also.  In this case, you will not have the Echo benefits when the Internet is down.
A Cabinet Administrator can allow Echoing within a firm, but he or she can disable it when you work from outside the office, even if you have enabled Echoing in Settings.      
3.   Cultivate the habit of saving your document edits often.
Clicking Ctrl+S in most applications takes a second but ensures your latest edits are saved locally. 

Now that you have taken preventative measures, you are ready for an Internet failure or a computer crash.  Let's walk through how you work when Echoing is enabled or disabled:
Editing Existing Documents When Echoing is Enabled   
First, make sure that there is no connectivity problem with your computer and that there are Internet services available to you at that location.  If you are working in your office, remember that it is always an option to go to another location with Internet access, such as your home to work on NetDocuments.  If it is not your specific computer and the Internet access has been interrupted at your office, then continue with the steps below.
Normally, anytime you login to NetDocuments and open documents, each document is also downloaded directly to your Echo folder.  For the purpose of this scenario, let's suppose your Echo location is c:\netdocuments\echo.  When opening the document, your document's native application, such as Microsoft Word, is automatically invoked and the document is opened from the Echo location.  You are working off of your hard drive at this point.   
As you work on each opened document, clicking the save button in the document's application actually writes the changes to the document in the Echo location, not to NetDocuments.  That is why it is easy to save your work often as you type.  NetDocuments waits for you to check each open document back in.  If you open one or multiple documents, NetDocuments remains at the list view page from which you started.  After you have saved and closed the document in its application, you return to the List View page and click the Check-In button next to the document name.  This check in process uploads and ensures synchronization of the document on the NetDocuments servers with the document recently saved in your Echo location. 
When you open multiple documents, the green Check In button appears on your Browser at the top right of the page.  The Check In dialog shows all documents that you have opened for editing, but have not checked back in to NetDocuments.  Any document displayed in the check in list must be checked in for the changes to be stored in NetDocuments. 
Suddenly, your Internet connection is dropped for a short period of time.  Here are your working steps:
1.   Continue to work on your documents in the respective application and save them as often as you normally would.  Remember that these documents are in the Echo folder locally, so you can continue working on them there as long as the Internet is down.  (Note that this is the way you work anyway, even when the Internet is working and whether or not you use NetDocuments.) 
2.   When you are done with your edits, save and close the documents as you would normally.  When the Internet is back up, follow these simple steps:
3.   Go to your most Recently Opened Documents list and check in those documents which have been automatically check out by you. This will upload any changes that you made to the documents. (of course you have to be on the same PC where the edits were made.)
After an Internet interruption, you should always "check in" any documents which you were working on that were inadvertently left checked out.

If Echoing is Disabled    
When Echoing is disabled, and you open a document from NetDocuments, the function is similar to when Echoing is enabled, except that the document does not remain on your hard drive after it is properly Checked In to NetDocuments.  At that point it is removed from your PC for security reasons. If Echoing is disabled, and there are documents that need to be checked in, DO NOT restart, reboot, or shut down the computer. 
If you have never enabled Echoing on that PC, the document is downloaded and opened from a temporary location, usually at C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp\ND.  If you are working on a document and saving your edits regularly in its native application, the changes are written back to the document in this temporary path.  If you have had Echoing enabled before, the temporary location is the old Echo path. 
When the Internet becomes unavailable, go to Step 2 of Editing Existing Documents When Echoing is Enabled.  As you follow the steps, simply replace the Echo location text with the temporary file path as shown above. 
Remember, however, that once the document is checked back in, NetDocuments removes it from the temporary folder. 

Recovering Recently Edited Documents Due to a Computer Failure   
If your computer freezes, there is one of two paths you can take.  If you had saved your most recent edits locally just prior to the computer crashing while you had the document open, then choose option 1.  If you had not saved your most recent edits locally just prior to your computer or application freezing, then follow option 2. 
Option #1 – You Saved Your Recent Edits Before the Application froze
1.    If possible, go to the Check In List.  Click on Start > Programs > NetDocuments Check In list
2.    Click File > Synchronize > OK
3.    Your document will appear in the list.  To save it back to NetDocuments, click File > Check In All Documents.  If you would prefer to continue editing the document, double click on it from the list.  This invokes its native application for editing. 
Option #2 – Your Recent Edits Were Not Saved Before the Application froze
1.    Reboot your computer
2.    Launch the application you were in at the time of the crash
3.    Applications such as Word or WordPerfect generally save recent edits automatically in their temporary locations in case of a crash.  The application will likely prompt you to recover the document with the most recent edits. 
Some possible locations for the temporary file on the computer are as follows:
  • Search in the Echo directory for a NetDocuments directory or Temp directory and see if the file is there.
  • Also, you can search in Windows for a rad* file and make sure that you enable hidden files so they are searched also.  Look for a file stamped with the date/time it was first created.
  • Also, you can search in document and settings\<user>\local settings\temp and look for a file that begins with nd, such as nd70558.doc. (Make sure in your searching that you look at the modified date/time around the time the file was created and include hidden files.)
The file name above is created by Windows and the number will not be the same as the one above, but it should be preceded by nd. 
Once recovered on your PC, the document can be uploaded as a new version of the online document OR you can choose to check it in and overwrite the existing online document. 

Creating New Documents Without An Internet Connection   
When you do not have an Internet connection, but you want to create documents that will later be saved to NetDocuments, you can use the Auto Import folder that you setup during the preventative measures task list above. 
1.    Open the application such as Microsoft Word and start a new document. 
2.    If you have Microsoft Office add-ins installed, click File > Save Local.  If you do not, simply click File > Save
3.    Save the document in the Auto Import folder you designated. 
When you again have an Internet connection, do the following:
1.    Invoke the Check In List.  Click on Start > Programs > NetDocuments – Check In List
2.    Click File > Synchronize > OK
3.    Your document will appear in the list.  Click OK.

Recovering documents from the Local Document Server
Most of the steps above are performed when the Service is inaccessible during a temporary time period.  Very seldom is the Service unavailable for longer periods of time.  If a document is not in your Echo Directory or you think that a document has been modified by someone else after you edited it, you may request from your Administrator a copy of the document from the Local Document Server.  Individual users do not have direct access to the Local Document Server.  The document will generally be emailed to you by the administrator, however it could also be put in another disk location where you can access it.  Remember documents that are on the Local Document Server also cease to be updated when an Internet connection is lost.

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