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Very simple AD2003, only few XP Clients, no Roaming, Folder Redirection Issue: deletion of files over a strange chain of events and hope for recovery

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Old June 8th 10, 01:37 AM posted to microsoft.public.windowsxp.network_web
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Default Very simple AD2003, only few XP Clients, no Roaming, Folder Redirection Issue: deletion of files over a strange chain of events and hope for recovery


I ended up struggling with an incredible situation and i hope i'll find
some help here.

Did a complete install from scratch of a Windows 2003 Enterprise and
set up of a very simple and small Active Directory to serve few clients
(about 20), even fewer users, with file server, print server, dns, dhcp
kind of services: a really basic architecture and topology.

The previous situation was pretty much the same, we decided to go from
scratch primarily beacuase of hard-drive failure in the previous system.

It's an educational facilty that has a computer room for students.
About 12 PC's that must be in the AD domain, basically intended to be
used with just one user of the domain for all the stations, no roaming
profile, only a folder redirection of "My Documents" towards a shared
folder on the file server, few GPO restrictions for almost a kiosk-like
station for the generic "student" user to avoid malware, unwanted
"toolbars", crap software and to reduce maintenance.

Those PC's were logged in as the student user still authenticated in
the previous domain that was going to be replaced by the new one while
we were working on reinstalling the server and bring up all the
services and configuration again. We didn't think about that as an
issue or worry about consequences, since we were going to clean up
those stations by deleting unused old profiles, rejoin the new domain
and setup a clean and brand new "student" profile on client computers.
We got to the final client PC of the computer room, a student was
working on that PC, in the same session that was opened within the
previous domain that didn't exist anymore (at that moment, the new
domain was already setup and everything server-side was up and running
again): the student was working with a bunch of .doc files, so i asked
if those were the only copies she had of those word files. She said yes
and those 4 files were very important to her and since she couldn't
send those files over webmail as her attempt to keep the files safe,
she made a new folder, rename it and move those files in this folder
she just created in order to let me deal with it before pruning the
profile. I witnessed her actions but i didn't pay attention to the fact
that she just created a new folder, rename it and moved files over
while being in the my documents directory of the "student" user
profile, in the session that was already opened before the new domain
was built and the previous was taken over, working in a folder (my
documents) that was intended to be redirected to a share that didn't
extist anymore for that client. All those operations seemed to be
successful: no warnings, no errors, nothing.

Than she left the station to let me do my job, i logged off and logged
back in using the local Administrator account (not AD Administrator)
and found out that that folder we created was no more in the client
filesystem, neither the server (that would be even more obvious because
the folder redirection could not work at the time those operations were
made) and i lost 4 precious .doc files at the end of a long day which
had progressed pretty well till that moment.

Now i wonder how that was made possible, without any error or any
exception from the client. Is there a chance to get those files back?
With a filesystem recovery utility or something? Would be logical to
think that those files were written somewere when doing those actions.
I could think about reproducing the issue on a similar test situation
using VM's.

Hope anyone can help, i would appreciate a lot.

Thanks for reading so far


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