Update staff MyFiles service, 27 March


[27 March 2014]

Update 27 March: As of 2am all staff now have access to their MyFiles data.

Additional work will be necessary to improve and sustain filestore provision in the future. This will include further back-end infrastructure, policies to ensure people are storing data appropriately, and planned downtime for necessary maintenance, flagged to staff and students in advance. A brief chronology of events is outlined in the recent IT bulletin and a more comprehensive report on the incident will be available soon.

As you can appreciate staff in IT Services have worked very hard to recover the service as quickly as possible. We would like to thank all staff and students for your patience and words of support over the past week.  


Update, 10:30, 26 March: 98% of staff now have access to their MyFiles. It may take several days for all staff to have access. Those remaining have been contacted request that they contact the IT Service Desk if they need access to any documents on their MyFiles.

Update, 09:50, 25 March: 95% of staff now have access to MyFiles and will have received an email informing them that they can connect. For most staff this is simply logging off and back on.

We still have a number of staff without access.  These are staff with larger amounts of data who are still being copied over. This is obviously taking longer due to the amount of data.  Any staff who still cannot access MyFiles and needs urgent access to documents in that location should contact the IT Service Desk.

We would like to thank staff for their patience at this difficult time.

Update, 20:50, 24 March: 700 additional staff now have access to their MyFiles service.  This includes laptop users and many of those with large files. A number of staff with very large amounts of data are still being copied over. This now means that 90% of staff have access to their MyFiles. Instructions on reconnecting to the MyFiles service has been sent out to staff. In most cases this will requires them to log off and back on again.

Update 15:00, 24 March: Around 80% of staff now have access to their MyFiles in the new location.

We have particular concerns with laptop users where they may have locally stored documents that have not synced with the MyFiles service. We are working on the process to give them access as soon as possible whilst protecting unsynced data.

We still have a number of staff with large amounts of data which will take a little longer to copy over. We are communicating with those staff and advising them to contact the IT Service Desk by email - service-desk@bristol.ac.uk - if they have an urgent need to access any material in their MyFiles.


Update 09:10, 24 March: We have currently completed the transfer of staff MyFiles data for 65% of staff and made it available to staff.  Unfortunately, we have not been able to complete the transfer of all staff data by this morning but this process is continuing.

Please remember that you will receive an email informing you that all your MyFiles data has been copied over. Until you receive that email you may see some files in that location, but it will not be a complete copy.


Update 15:45, 21 March: The maintenance work to correct errors in the staff MyFiles service has completed and we are beginning to copy files over to the new MyFiles location. The transfer of all the data will take some time but some staff will complete before others.

We anticipate the total transfer should be completed by Monday. Once staff data is in place we will send an email to confirm this. Staff are asked to wait until they have received this confirmation email before checking their files and if any problems are identified please contact the IT Service Desk.

We would like to thank staff and students for their patience during this difficult time and our apologies for the inconvenience this incident has caused.


Update 15:00, 21 March: The student MyFiles service is now available again and students should be able to access existing files and save new files as normal. If students are currently logged on to a study space PC or the Remote Desktop please log off and on again in order to access MyFiles. We apologise for the obvious extreme disruption caused by this work.

If students identify any problems with the contents in their MyFiles please contact the IT Service Desk.

Update 10:10, 21 March: The maintenance taking place on both the Staff and Student MyFiles services is a programme that scans and corrects errors in the filestore. It is very important for the integrity of data that it completes, the work is progressing well but unfortunately we can’t provide a precise time for completion.

When it is complete we will let staff and students know.

On the Staff MyFiles once the maintenance is complete we will copy over the old data as soon as possible and contact staff directly to let them know.

Action for staff: If you have not logged out of your computer since 3.30pm yesterday, please log off and log on now. This is important to ensure your computer is working properly.

Information for staff

  • When logging on you will find that some desktop icons are missing from your computer. Your applications are still available: Click the Start menu, and choose your app from the list or type it in the Search box.
  • After logging off and logging on most people will see that a new MyFiles location is already available, but currently without your files. This is an interim measure so that you can save new files. We will start to copy your old data to this location when the maintenance is complete, you might see files appearing, but we will notify you directly when all your files are available. So do not be concerned that all the information is not visible until after you have been contacted.
  • There are a small number of staff whose data in MyFiles is quite large. Those staff will be contacted separately as copying their files will take longer.
  • We will also contact Windows laptop users separately as some additional information applies to them.

We apologise for the significant disruption this has caused. After services have been restored an investigation will be carried out and additional measures taken to ensure this incident is not repeated.

Update 08:36, 21 March: The work on the student MyFiles service is taking significantly longer than anticipated and hence the service is not yet available. It is possible it could be unavailable for the rest of the day. It is however essential that we allow this disk check to complete. We have emailed all students and will send an update later today on progress.

Update, 19:00, 20 March: The new infrastructure for staff has now been set up and we have moved the vast majority of staff homepaths to point to it. Obviously, while maintenance work is running we cannot move data from the old location to the new staff location, but as soon as that is complete we will start the copy process. In other words staff O drive are currently empty.

If staff are having problems with running applications that would have relied on their old MyFiles in some way (eg Office) please make sure you have logged off and back on again in order for the new homepath to be picked up.

Once the integrity check is complete on the student MyFiles it will be made available to students again and they should see no further interruption.


Original news item posted on 20 March: Over the past few days we have seen continuing problems with the staff MyFiles service. We have now identified that problems have also arisen with the student MyFiles service. The problem has the potential to lead to permanent corruption of data. To prevent this immediate action is needed to perform maintenance on both services in order to restore access to files. To perform that maintenance and stop further potential corruption we need to shut down the MyFiles service:

When will this happen

  • The Student MyFiles service will be turned off around 2.00pm, 20 March.

We estimate that the Student MyFiles service will be available again by 8am tomorrow morning. Obviously we will restore the service earlier than this if possible.

  • The Staff My Files Services will be turned off around 3.30pm, 20 March.

Maintenance of the Staff MyFiles service will take longer due to the complexity and size of the data stored. Data for staff will be available starting from lunchtime tomorrow and we will contact staff individually to let them know when their data is available. We will provide further information on this process to staff tomorrow morning.

What will happen during the downtime

  • During this period you will not be able to access documents stored on MyFiles (Drive O:).
  •  PCs may take longer than usual to log on, but should operate during this period. Please allow up to 10 minutes for PCs to log on.

Where can you store / save files during this period

Students and staff can create new files in alternative locations during the period when MyFiles is unavailable. Both staff and students have access to Google Drive to create and store documents.

Most staff should have access to a blank filestore location. This will be put in place once the existing MyFiles service is made unavailable this afternoon. The new, unpopulated filestore will allow you to store newly created and moved documents. From tomorrow we will be moving over your data from the old MyFiles service to this new location. The new filestore location will be automatically mapped once you log off and log back in.

We appreciate that this will cause severe disruption to teaching, research and other activities and are only taking these steps due to the severe and urgent nature of the incident.