Victoria University of Wellington accidentally deletes all files stored on desktop computers

The mistake has impacted a "significant number" of staff members.
The mistake has impacted a "significant number" of staff members. Photo credit: File

Victoria University of Wellington has accidentally deleted all files stored on its desktop computers affecting a "significant" number of staff members - as well as some students.

A spokesperson for the University confirmed to Newshub on Thursday that an unexpected issue wiped all files saved on the desktops.

"The University's Digital Solutions team continues to work with all affected staff and students to recover access to files and in many cases the issues have been resolved," they said.

"There are however, some affected staff and students who have not been able to recover access to files."

The spokesperson did not answer questions related to grade compensation, and would not say how many people were affected.

The aim of the data wipe was to clear inactive users' data by getting rid of profiles of students who no longer studied, reports student magazine Critic. 

Critic spoke to one Masters student who had heard of PHD students losing an entire year's worth of data.

"My whole computer had been reset too so I had to download a whole bunch of program information again," Critic quotes the woman as saying.

"I was able to call digital solutions and get a job request placed on Sunday before people knew, they only sent out an email about it on Sunday night."

Professor Joanna Kidman posted about the issue on Twitter on Friday, saying she "didn't want to panic anyone" but had arrived at the University to find all her files wiped.

"IT is telling me it's a university-wide problem and it may not be fixed before Monday. Have a nice day."

The university spokesperson said they apologised for the inconvenience caused and is investigating the issue to ensure it doesn't happen again.

"There has been regular communication to affected staff and students."