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Why MS doc files are hidden in server ? Urgent !!!

Posted on 2011-02-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,
We receive complaints from enduser stating that their files are hidden from the file server. In our first attempt, we scan for viruses but nothing unusual. Then we checked the folder one by one. Some files are there, but then we realised that all ms document files are missing, ie with extension .docx. This is very strange because it only hide docx file.

Another user try to open docx file, but can't find the file. Then she attempt to open "Recent document" and it succeeded. If we check the file thru file browser, it is not there. Then we ask her to save the file "without changing the filename", then it display "file already exist". Then she save with new filename. When we checked the folder directly from the server where she saved the file, same folder of her old doc file, we can see new file the one she saved.

Our server is using windows 2008. The folder are shared to all endusers and we had given them rw access to the folder.

I believe the docx file are still there, it is just hidden from us to see. Why ? How can we extract the files.

What we did now is to backup all folders and try to restore to w2003 server, if there is any luck to see all the files.
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Question by:KG1973
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15 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:youngstr11
ID: 34948257
Before you restore check the server as the admin to see if you can see the file. Make sure list folder contents security rights are given to the users.
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Author Comment

by:KG1973
ID: 34948518
we already checked that one. Myself as admin, cannot see the files.
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Expert Comment

by:DMTechGrooup
ID: 35020678
Use a command prompt and go to the directory and use the

dir /a and see if the files show up as hidden..
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Expert Comment

by:Rodney Barnhardt
ID: 35020690
Have you check the system, application, and security logs on the server to look for anything unusal? I am running Win 2008 and haven't seen this problem.
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Expert Comment

by:Rodney Barnhardt
ID: 35020850
Have you changed the folder options to show hidden files. If so, and they still do not show up, my guess is someone is deleting them.  
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Accepted Solution

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Delphineous Silverwing earned 400 total points
ID: 35021131
I have seen similar behavior when using an older version of Norton or Symantec Anti-virus with Office 2007.  The AV seems to be experiencing a technical failure while scanning the files and inadvertantly hides them.  If you are using Norton or Symantec AV, you may want to update the product - otherwise try disabling the Background Saving in Word.
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Author Comment

by:KG1973
ID: 35023585
when I create new document, it shows the file as usual. But other files are shown (greyout color) that it indicate it is hidden files. All hidden files are with attributes are 'HSA'. I can see all these files directly from server. Then I copy them to my pendrive, and all files are copied.

But when I open it in my computer, I can only see one file. During the copy process, I noticed that the file copy is not just one file, but all of them.

Delphineous,
What do you mean "disabling the Background Saving in Word" ? Do you mean change the setting of all client PC or just at server? We don't install any application in the server. It is a file server only.

thanks
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Expert Comment

by:DMTechGrooup
ID: 35023594
I agree.. either AV is causing the issue or you should audit to see what's going on.

http://www.techotopia.com/index.php/Auditing_Windows_Server_2008_File_and_Folder_Access
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Assisted Solution

by:cblapp
cblapp earned 100 total points
ID: 35027525
Background saving is a setting in MS Word options.  This would be set on the individual PCs.  Generally, background saving slows the system when it does an autosave, but should not cause this problem.  I think the concern with background saving is that is may be setting the saved document to a hidden file.  This setting in Word 2007 is on the Advanced Options page under Save.  In previous versions it's on the Save tab of Word options.

I agree with the suggestion to check the folder properties, as List folder contents may not allow users to see the files, even though they have the authority to read and write to them.  If they can type the path and file name in the Open dialog to retrieve the files, this is likely your answer.
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Expert Comment

by:Delphineous Silverwing
ID: 35028120

If the users have insufficient rights to the folder, Word cannot delete the temporary files as part of the save operation.  Make sure the users have at least Modify access at the folder and share levels.
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Author Comment

by:KG1973
ID: 35075299
Delphineous,

>I have seen similar behavior when using an older version of Norton or Symantec Anti-virus with
>Office 2007.  The AV seems to be experiencing a technical failure while scanning the files and
>inadvertantly hides them.  If you are using Norton or Symantec AV, you may want to update the
>product - otherwise try disabling the Background Saving in Word.

I think you are right.

Now, we are able to unhide all documents by changing removing file attribute HSA. But we also believe that this might happen again due to probably antivirus problem. Currently we are using Symantec.

>>try disabling the Background Saving in Word.
what do you mean by this ? Disabling it in all PC installed with word ?



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Author Comment

by:KG1973
ID: 35124489
This problem remain unsolved even though we can unhide the file. The server will somehow hide the file again and again, about 2 or days after we unhide. At this stage we believed that we are been attack by a virus and our antivirus (symantec) is unable to give any error of what sort of virus it mide be.

Also when I see through some folder, I found [Autorun] folder which seems to be familiar, trojan virus.
 
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Expert Comment

by:DMTechGrooup
ID: 35124833
Turn on auditing.
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Author Closing Comment

by:KG1973
ID: 35177408
The solution given was not completely solve the problem. However, it gives us a clue on how to tackle it.

I believe the problem will be solved if we are able to clean the virus.
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