Is there an issue that keeps coming up, regardless of what you try to do to stop it? Share it with the TR members.


Over the years of providing support for a small office, an issue that’s always been a recurring one is the mysteriously disappearing folder. In my case, for a variety of reasons, the data files and folders have always been made available for all employees with full read and write permissions, so everyone had the ability to create, delete, rename, move, or whatever all files and folders on the data server. Of course, I’ve always maintained multiple iterations of data backups to cover myself in case of error or disaster, but those have never been accessible to anyone but me.

Almost on a monthly basis someone has come to me asking about a project folder that’s suddenly disappeared. It’s not likely that someone deleted it, either accidentally or intentionally (although that has happened), but, as the plea might go, “It was there yesterday, and today it’s gone.” Almost without exception, I do a search of the data server and find that the folder has been moved into another project folder, where it then resided as a subfolder. It’s pretty simple to move it back to where it belongs.

I would suspect that someone had somehow unintentionally highlighted the folder — or sometimes multiple folders — and with a quick flick and click of the mouse, something was suddenly moved into another folder. Trying to recreate exactly how that might happen accidentally is something that’s been somewhat elusive. I suppose it’s because I’m paying attention, and it’s not really possible to force an accident. I would guess that paying attention are the key words here.

Numerous warnings over the years have possibly resulted in it happening less frequently, but that would be something I couldn’t possibly measure. However, the warnings have not resulted in it never happening again. Moreover, every time I’ve mentioned the issue, I’ve always followed up with an illustration and explanation on how to use the search function, find the disappearing folder, and move it back to where it belongs.

That’s certainly not a huge thing, and it’s a simple one to solve. But I guess what makes it one of my pet peeve issues is that it’s such a recurring one, regardless of what I might say or do.

Sure, it could be worse, but I thought it might be a good illustration and lead-in to the question, what’s your pet peeve user-support issue?