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Changes to a file on a Window network- trackable?

Posted on 2009-04-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Where I work we each have a folder on a shared drive.  I had a powerpoint file to which someone made some changes to and those changes (that no one will admit to)ruined a presentation.  Is there a way this can be tracked back to a windows user?  IS there a log somewhere that records who saves or edits files on a network?

We have XP clients, not sure what server software but I think Win Server 2003.

Thanks!
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Question by:snyperj
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7 Comments
 
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sjl1986 earned 1000 total points
ID: 24130745
I'm unaware of any such reporting tool. There's always the less honest way which is to announce that a copy of the original file has been recovered and whoever broke it needs to come forward for training so it doesn't happen again. Since you don't know if it was on purpose, can you really reprimand the employee for an accident? The best thing you can do is make sure your employees have the necessary skills to do their job and if your company offers it, have them trained so it doesn't happen again. Also, it's always a good idea to create incremental backups of all files located on workstations and servers for scenarios like this one.
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Author Comment

by:snyperj
ID: 24130766
Thanks- I'm not looking to reprimand, nor am i even in a postion to ... I just want to know for my own purposes...
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:sjl1986
ID: 24130856
Understood. The only thing I could think of would be to look into your server auditing and try to match up some sort of dates/times with the last modified date on the Powerpoint file. The chances of finding a conclusive comparison are probably slim to none. Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Author Comment

by:snyperj
ID: 24130870
I remember on our old Novell network it could tell you the last person to access and save a file.  I didn't realize windows didn't do that...
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Assisted Solution

by:Echo_S
Echo_S earned 1000 total points
ID: 24131395
If you open the PPT file, in the document properties there's a "last saved by" on the Statistics tab. The number of revisions and total editing time is not reliable*, but I would assume the "last saved by" is. Can't say for sure, though. Since I don't know the version of PPT you're using, I can't steer you to the document properties...care to share?

*at least, this was the case in versions of PPT prior to 2007. I'm not sure about it in 2007. And I think the longer the file's been around and the more versions of PPT it's been opened in, the less reliable it is.
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Expert Comment

by:sjl1986
ID: 24131558
Based off Echo's comment. I went into a Powerpoint file I had and clicked on Tools > Shared Workspace. On the right side a menu popped open and had some icons at the top. I clicked on the blue circle with the white "i" in it for information and it showed my first name and the date as the last modification. This appeared also to work in Excel in the same way. I have Office 2003 and am also unsure about 2007 but I imagine if you can find the menu it would be the same. Hope this helps. Thanks Echo for the info.
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Expert Comment

by:Echo_S
ID: 24131779
In 2007, turn on the developer tab by going to office button | ppt options and checking the option for the developer tab.

Then, on the Developer Tab, turn on Document Panel. Then choose Advanced and go to the Statistics tab.

In 2003, I think it's under File | Properties or some such.
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