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Missouri School of Education

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:45 pm
by Jay Cline
My niece works for the Missouri School of Education at MU in Columbia, MO, she called me this morning for because her boss was having a Mac crisis. University owned Macs are used by students on campus for research, etc. A script is run every night to wipe those Macs clean of browser history and other student created files. It appears that someone in campus IT ran that script on all Macs used by the school of education, including instructor's Macs. My niece's boss wasn't too happy that all her files were gone. She doesn't have a backup...

I suggested that she take the Mac to a reputable Mac store to see if the files can be recovered and to get a backup drive.

Re: Missouri School of Education

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:20 pm
by Stephen Hart
I suggested that she take the Mac to a reputable Mac store to see if the files can be recovered and to get a backup drive.
I used to do this every quarter on the Macs used by students in the journalism program at Peninsula College.

(If only Robbie weren't leaving for Nepal in a couple of weeks, he could drive to Columbia and help. :) )


Everything depends on what the script does. If it does an erase and install of OS X... :oops:

However, if the loss of these files is really important, I'd suggest paying what it costs to get the data back. Even if that works, you may end up with thousands and thousands of files with quasi-random alphanumerical names and no useful filetypes.

I realize this advice won't help now, but I can't help myself.
Here's a recipe for preventing such issues:

1. Hire competent IT personnel--no matter what it costs. It's amazing to me what financial and legal risks institutions take to save money on IT personnel. Some institutions leave backup entirely up to faculty members (or their spouses).
2. Buy each faculty member and admin person two compact external drives and set up Time Machine with both of them. Time Machine will alternate backups, a huge thing if there's a hardware failure of backup drives. The user will not even know Time Machine is working--until he or she loses a file. Every quarter (or year if you want to be cheap), swap out one of those drives and archive the other one.
There must be something similar in the Windows world. And if not, why not?