See you in September (we hope not)

It's upgrade time at this school -- OK, it's long past upgrade time, because the upgrade is from Windows XP to Windows 7, says a pilot fish in the middle of it all.

"As part of the process, all users who are having their computers reinstalled need to sign a wipe form saying they've got all their data," fish says.

"As these forms go out, we're getting queries asking about what to do with various files, shortcuts, etc., which we answer. However, a couple users managed to leave us all slightly stunned."

One user just doesn't seem to grasp the concept of a network -- even though the wipe form clearly states that only data stored on the computer will be erased, and not network storage.

"Where do I store my data?" user asks. You need to store it in the shared areas or your private home area on the network, which is mapped as the U: drive, fish explains.

"But the U: drive is on my computer," user says. "Won't that get wiped as well?"

It takes 15 minutes for fish to convince the user that backing up everything to a removable USB thumb drive isn't necessary because the U: drive really isn't part of the physical computer.

A second user understands that the U: drive is on the network, and that's the problem -- she insists it's too slow ("Her office has gigabit networking," fish points out) so she'll have to use her desktop to store the files.

Another round of user education later, she gets the message -- then complains, "But there are hundreds of files, and I have to copy them one at a time."

Yet another education session ensues, this time a detailed explanation by fish of the process for multi-selecting, right-clicking and copying and moving as appropriate.

But even after that, she insists that it will have to be done one file at a time.

"I asked her to show me why," says fish, "at which point she opened Microsoft Word, went to the Open File dialog, changed the filter to All files, and then began to copy files.

"In the end I asked one of my colleagues to go help her out.

"And I'm still betting that we've got users who will sign the form without having backed anything up, and it'll be our fault in September when they come back."

Sharky needs stories all summer. So don't wait -- send me your true tale of IT life right now at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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