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Redirected My Documents disappeared?

Posted on 2006-07-18
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
Hi - I have an odd situation, and I'mnot sure what the cause is: I use folder redirection in my 2003/xp network, and one of my users recently reported an issue where *ALL* of their data "disappeared". This is all data that's stored within the "My Documents" folder, which is redirected onto the server. I have just had a look in there, and there's nothing except for the default my ebooks, my pics & my music folders. Nothing else! And this user insists that there was a whole load of data in there, hundreds of files & folders... They haven't logged in for about 2 weeks, and now all the data seems to be gone!

The only thing I can think is that the person logged into a different computer somewhere, and the contents of that (empty) My Documents was written to the server... possible? If so, what can I do to prevent this happening, and try to recover the data. Shadow copy is off on that volume, and my backup doesn't go back to a point where there was data in there...
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Question by:budchawla
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13 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kevin Hays
ID: 17131196
That's strange for sure.

Do you have roaming profiles with the redirection of my documents?  Did you look into the folder where it gets redirected or just on the persons computer when they were logged in.  It just doesn't make sense why that would happen without someone actually deleting the stuff.

Have you checked the documents folder on the local workstation or other workstations if they logged onto more than 1.  That's just a longshot that for some odd reason it was stored locally and not being redirected.

kshays
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LVL 10

Author Comment

by:budchawla
ID: 17131336
I know... although I *think* I've even seen this happen before, I wanted to check if anyone else had come across anything like it. I checked on the server itself, in the destination folder, so there's definitely no data there.
As for workstations, there's no way I can get the user to jog their memory to go back to which workstation they logged on from, so no, I can't really try that without disconnecting the network cable & logging in to all 80 workstations...
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kevin Hays
ID: 17131390
Ouch, 80 workstations would take some time even if you remotely checked their \\workstation\c$\documents and settings\%username% for their login name from your computer.

Not had it to happen to me, but i'll keep looking though.



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Author Comment

by:budchawla
ID: 17131418
Add to that the fact that it's boiling hot and my VPN is acting the b*ll*x today... I think I still might try it though, since there was quite a lot of data...
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LVL 10

Author Comment

by:budchawla
ID: 17131477
kshays, where would I find the local cached copy of the docs anyway? I can't recall there being a my documents folder under c:\doc&set\username if the policy is in effect... Just checked.. there isn't one under the profile, so where are the docs stored locally?
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LVL 16

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by:Kevin Hays
ID: 17131831
c:\documents and settings\logon name of person\logon name of person's documents

example

c:\documents and settings\kevin\kevins documents OR "my documents"

I think there should still be one there locally, but nothing should be in there due to it's being redirected.

kshays

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LVL 10

Author Comment

by:budchawla
ID: 17132034
Right, now that's odd... just checked under several computers... it seems that all users *except* the one in question have a C:\documents & settings\username\My Documents...
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kevin Hays
ID: 17132058
Now that's strange, my first guess was that somebody deleted the stuff somehow.
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LVL 74

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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17280970
Don't know if you ever found the answer to this, but if you had Volume Snapshot Service running (part of Volume Shadow Copy) it would normally take a snapshot of the User's share twice a day and you can restore any one of those.  From the client workstation, just click on the My Documents folder and select Previous Versions.  Copy the folder that you want to recover to a new location though... just to be safe.  Usually, VSS will store about the last 3 or 4 weeks worth of snapshots.

FYI, this is enabled by default on SBS 2003, but would have to be manually configured on a Standard Server 2003.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Comment

by:budchawla
ID: 17286067
Thanks for your comments kshays & Jeff - I was unable to figure this one out, even though I actually went thru the folders on a lot of the 80 possible workstations! I couldn't find any of the missing data in any of the folders, so this is probably just going to be one of the ones that got away...

Kshays: the funny thing is that even if someone had deleted the data, I would still expect to find a cached copy of it on one workstation? Maybe I just haven't found the right one, maybe it's not there at all!

Jeff: thanks for the info on the shadow copy bits, I tend to use the shadow copy service everywhere I think it may be useful, but unfortunately this is a setup / volume where the amount of data is prohibitive & the fact that 75% of the data is not mission-critical. I might think of moving the more important users folders to a separate volume where I would then turn on shadow copies.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kevin Hays
ID: 17300296
It does sound like this will probably be one of those things that just goes away without any resolution.  I guess the main point here is to step back and see if the data does need the vsc service running or not.  It is a bummer that we didn't get anything resolved though.  It is just one of those things that make you go "hmmmm" and really have no reason to why it's that way.  I've had a few of those in the past.

Regards,

Kevin
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