All we need from you is one little thing...

Flashback to the late 1990s, when this pilot fish is administering a group of servers for a company with 1,100 desktops spread through three buildings.

"One afternoon I received a call," fish says. "User asked, 'Can you restore a directory for me? It's server X, drive Y, and the directory is maint\fac\wally\Doom. Can you get it restored?'

"I said, 'Let me check on it for you. Can I call you back?' User replied, sure."

Fish is a little suspicious, because he's just been doing some management-directed file system cleanup. The task was to delete non-business-related files from servers -- including personal photo collections, music collections and games -- in order to free up storage on servers that only have tens of gigabytes of disk space.

Sure enough, after fish restores the directory to a temp file space to check out the contents, it turns out the user had an extensive game subdirectory with multiple worlds, maps and scenarios taking up multiple gigabytes.

And according to the logs, this user had been holding game sessions that began during company hours and lasted long into the night.

Fish calls the user back: "I've located your directory in the backups. We'll be happy to restore it for you -- just have your manager send us an email requesting the restore. Make sure the restore request has the full file path in it, and we'll have it restored right away."

Reports fish, "I figured if the user was brazen enough to have his manager request the restore, I would happily do so.

"After five days and no restore request, I deleted the game files from the temp file space."

All Sharky needs from you is your true tale of IT life. Send it to me at You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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