Learning experience

Pilot fish gets a call from a user saying he can't find one of the main shared folders that contains production and quality documents.

"Thinking this user was confused where the documents were located, I remoted into his computer," says fish. "Nothing there. While I was looking, I received another call saying the folder was missing. Now things were looking more serious.

"I checked on my computer with admin privileges and confirmed the folder was not to be found. This being a Novell network, I fired up NWAdmin and ran salvage on the volume with the missing folder. Sure enough, it was deleted, but I was able to restore all of the missing folders and files in just a minute, without having to pull out the backup tapes."

Fish now also knows who deleted the folder -- the supervisor of the company's quality department -- so he goes to have a chat with her. Seems she was tidying up her drive and removing files she didn't use, and somehow thought the folder containing dozens of folders and thousands of files was just hers.

Fish explains that it's a shared folder on the network that many people used to store their documents, not just hers. Case closed.

A few months later, fish gets a familiar-sounding call: The same folder is missing again.

"I confirmed the folder was not where it belonged," fish says. "Thinking it was deleted again, I tried to salvage the files. No joy -- the folder did not show as deleted."

Now fish's phone is ringing off the hook with users complaining about the missing folder and files. He pulls the backup tape and restores the missing folder.

But a few hours later he gets yet another call from a user asking why there are two copies of the folder that went missing -- one where it's supposed to be, and the other inside a different folder.

Fish checks the properties on the folder-in-a-folder and determines who moved it there: the same supervisor who deleted the folder before.

"After talking with the quality supervisor, I was able to reconstruct what happened," says fish. "She was trying to double-click the folder but on the second click she moved the mouse slightly. This moved the folder she was trying to open into the folder below it.

"About six months later, the exact same click-drag thing happened again. This time I knew what to look for and was able to find the 'missing' folder easily enough and move it back without needing to salvage or restore. Total time to correct the problem this time: about five minutes."

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