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Old February 19, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Default Everyone, I need your opinion, please read...

I have a client who uses a piece of software designed for their specific industry. The other day I was called over there, one of the computers would not boot, can't find ntldr error. Turned out the hard drive was fine, all the root files had been deleted. I restored them from the xp cd and away they went. turned out not to be the end of it though.

The assistant blamed the software techs who were remoted in the day before. The software techs had a log file that recorded everything and showed the assistant deleting the files. The assistant was frantic over this , said she'd never go into the root and delete files. Her expertise is none, strictly a user. I got her to show me what she does and discovered this:

The software has a document viewer, this viewer has a 'Directory' button on it. Clicking this button opens the standard browse window alowing you to change directories. Yuo click on a folder, click open and now you are in that folder and can use the next and previous arrows to view the documents in that folder.

However, if you click on the root of a drive or a mapped network drive, click open, the window closes normally but the directory does not change and the next and previous arrows are still browsing the last folder you were in. There is nothing on screen to indicate the current active directory or no message indicating the directory button did not change folders. If you click on a file in a root folder or mapped network drive, you will in fact change to that drive it works as you would expect.

Now, the assistant opened the document viewer, for some reason it was currently on the root of c: (they are still arguing wether she went there or the techs who were logged in previously had left it there) navigated to her scanned docs folder (all scanned docs go here where she then puts them in the patients folder) this is a folder on the server mapped as the r: drive. Was using the next and previous buttons to try and navigate/view the documents. Of course unbeknownst to her she was still in the root folder, all she saw was a blank white screen with the words 'unsupported image format' across it, the current file name actually did show in the upper left corner but she was unaware of it and it is way too easy to miss. She deleted these files (ntldr, ntdetect.ini, pagefile.sys etc... you get it) as she has been doing for years, there is some crap that does wind up in the scanned docs folder (thumbs.db etc..)

That's gist of it. I thought it was a bug but the tech from the software outfit said to me this morning they coded that feature in to prevent people from going to the root and messing with files.

So, if you are a programmer, pro or dabbler, what do you think of the functionality of that directory button?

If you are a user, what do you think of what happened?

Everyones thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks a bunch.
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Old February 19, 2009, 02:15 PM
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3.0 "I kill SR2's" Charlie
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User couldn't have noticed where she was navigating, since all she's looking for are files.

Techs? Meh... but I don't understand why access to root isn't Admin. locked.
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Old February 19, 2009, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.0charlie View Post
Techs? Meh... but I don't understand why access to root isn't Admin. locked.




Classic amateur mistake.
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Old February 19, 2009, 03:51 PM
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I agree compleatly as well ! but then again i understand as you guys do the dir structure and def what are windows files and not , NTDLR , WIN.exe etc etc

Seems to me they would password the root dir !!!!!!!!
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Old February 19, 2009, 04:01 PM
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There is tons wrong with the way they are setup, this is my first trip there.

The Devs seem to think there is nothing wrong with the functionality of that 'directory' button though, and I beg to differ.
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Old February 19, 2009, 04:15 PM
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Is the software very old?
As an amateur programmer I think the directory button is there because the program looks at the files at one directory at a time, and the button is there just to say which one directory to look at. This is really a wild guess, but the program probably indexes each file in the directory it's pointing at, and pressing the previous and next buttons switch between the files in that index (like the Windows XP / Vista photo viewer, but apparently much dumber as it tries to open anything). Assuming those files that the user works on HAVE file extensions, a simple check for the file extension would have prevented all this; the C:\ would have shown up in the program as completely empty.
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Old February 19, 2009, 04:33 PM
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As a user and fairly new to computers, the same kind of thing happened at work to me. Changing a sort file wanted only even lengths so I deleted the odds, which deleted all the odds from all sort files. Now who would have thought that? Needless couple of hours spent putting them all back. So I have to think that "ASSUME" is being used to freely.
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Old February 19, 2009, 04:39 PM
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That's why I call it an amateur mistake for such things to possible...there are TONS of people who use PCs daily at work that don't really know how to use them, other than in specifics they have been trained in. There are literally 1000's of people still using monochrome boxes at work...and expecting them to know how to use a pc is foolish. A pc is a tool you use to do your work, for many people. Like any other tool, like a skill saw, if you are not properly trained to use it, you can end up causing disaster!


So, the only assuming that should take place, is that every user barely knows how to turn a pc on, and to take it from there. There are many "older" ladies in admin positions that still finger type, becuase when they started in thier positions, they used a typewriter. PCs were forced on them, and are always overwhelming for first-time users.
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Old February 21, 2009, 10:06 PM
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Just give her a warning and tell her to not delete the root if she sees these files. Judging by the text you've written I don't think she intentionally did it. Ignorance but heh you could always print out and laminate a couple of numbered steps on which files not to delete or modify on a 8.5x11 to prevent this from happening again.
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