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General Chat Thread, "Sir, All my work's vanished!" in General; After one of the pupils came to see me because all they had of their work was a blank document ...
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    "Sir, All my work's vanished!"

    After one of the pupils came to see me because all they had of their work was a blank document and not the letter of appoligy they claimed they had written I go to thinking...

    If you assume that pupils are not lying or massivley techno-incompitent (crazy I know but go with me here) and that they have not:
    • just not saved the document
    • not typed anything,
    • not saved a blank document over the top with the same name
    • not let given their password to 12 of their frinds one of whom has deleted the important document they had to hand in...

    Is there a way in which the could suddenly find that the document was blank when previously it had lots of text in it? (other than those listed above)

    I am obviously strongly inclined to say "no" but as I am not all-knowing (last time I checked) I thought I might ask.

  2. #2


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    Their mate turned all the text white when they left the machine unattended?

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Any chance of Volume Shadow copy being used to see what's in the said document soon after the claimed time it was saved?

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    t4ll1f3r's Avatar
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    Cool

    BOFH overwritten with a blank document. ;-/

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    amvc's Avatar
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    It was a freak solar flare that reversed the polarity on the power supply for an instant and deleted all his 'work'. we get this alot

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    The "Blank document Fairy" called through the night!.

    But had also called every single night before that too.........................................Ooh Dear where's me work Sir!!

    Lazy kids I find get to this time of the year and try to blame technology for their failure to do the prescribed assignments. Teachers unassumingly trust them without a shadow of a doubt and also blame the technology for the students loss.

    Summary........................................... ....Ask them when they last had the said document and if they say ages ago, get them to give you a roundabout date and take the backups to before that date and run through them week by week after that date with the teacher, see what the student has to say then.

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    We are getting this more and more, and I had started thinking the same thing. But then I reassure myself by checking the backups and seeing that it's either not there, or it's still a blank document.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I've seen this happen to, and no, I can't think of any plausible reason for it.

    The best one is where you get a child come to you and say 'sir, all my work's gone!' then asking them when they last saw it they reply 'I dunno, couple of weeks ago?'. How is that even possible? They have at least 1 lesson in a computer room every week, so what've they been doing?!

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    frosty's Avatar
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    It must be that time of year when Exam coursework is due in! I have had several students ask if I can restore missing work from two years ago!

  10. #10

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    Tachyon storm.

    If you're in a school which doesn't have comprehensive backups (and as much as we say that's an insane situation, it's quite common when money is tight), there is another trick you could use, which I found very useful in my previous school. I wrote a short program that would run each night and add up the size of each pupil's files on the network, and log it to a database. This was primarily used to spot large changes (e.g. when a student decided to backup his iPod to the network), but it was also invaluable for those times when entire projects suddenly 'vanished' the day before the deadline, yet the total number of bytes in their network share didn't change...

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    36Degrees's Avatar
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    "It was definitely there 2 days ago" - no, the backup clearly shows that it hasn't existed for about 3 weeks so let's restore it and have a look.

    *5 minutes later* It's obvious you created a document with that name during the lesson and did no work on it. Then it somehow (according to you) disappeared the day before it was due for submission. What an amazing coincidence...

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    maniac's Avatar
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    We used to get that here, but since the students have realised we have a very good backup system that works, as well as Shadow Copies running twice a day word's got round and they don't tend to try it now.

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    amvc's Avatar
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    of course, it could be zinc whiskers...

    Zinc Whiskers
    Last edited by amvc; 30th April 2010 at 10:32 AM. Reason: added link

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    We have had a few instances where a near complete piece of work has been overwritten with a blank document, with similar circumstances. When I've checked the backups, it was there the day before. Seems to be an occasional quirk of going from Office 2000 to 2007 across different machines.

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    korifugi's Avatar
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    I remember my collegue once being asked by a student to recover a document they'd just closed without bothering to save it...

    The loud 'thud' of my collegue's head hitting the desk made the student realise this wasn't their finest hour.

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