I am hoping that someone may be able to help shed some light on a peculiar situation we have with our Moodle installation and submitted files to the Assignment activities. Our Moodle is version 3.0, running on Windows Server 2008R2 (Virtual server), IIS 7.5/SQLServer (not entirely sure which version of SQL Server we’re running… but it lives on a different server to IIS), using PHP 5.4 (I believe, though may have been changed to 5.6… I can find out if needed).
The problem started a couple of weeks ago when one student reported an issue with not being able to access their files that they have submitted so far towards a draft submission. The learner is not able to Edit Submission and can only access the first two documents (there are seven in total). I am also not able to access the files. There are about 50 students enrolled onto this course and all but two are able to use the draft submission as expected.
The second reported problem is with another Moodle page (in the same Moodle site), the tutor or students are unable to access their files once submitted, though this is only happening to two or three learners from the group, however it is consistently happening to these learners for several of the assignment submissions on the course… all other learners are able to use the assignment activity as expected.
The third problem is with submitted files not showing in the grading window, even though the student is showing as having submitted (the submission is time/date stamped, but there are no files). The tutor for this course is also not able to Download All Submissions (though I personally think this may be because each of the submitted files are about 250MB and the operation is timing out).
Now I’m not sure if these occurrences are related, but they need investigating and sorting quickly...
I have access to the moodledata folder and the moodle database, so I can perform simple queries on the data in the database if this will help. My main question is how do I determine WHERE the files are in the moodledata folder? I’ve had a look, but there are a lot of files in there and I don’t know where or how to start looking for these files… if they can be found here at all!
Also, in the temp folder in the moodledata folder there are 33 temp files, some as large as 1.6GB… could these have anything to do with the Download All Submissions failing, or are these just files that will disappear over time?
Sorry for the long post, if any further information is needed I’ll be happy to provide it – any help, suggestions or ideas at all would be appreciated J
Thanks in advance!
I would start by looking at the permissions for the individual students that are having issues. Perhaps something in their permissions have changed so that they cannot access files/assignments. You might see if they have a different role in the course or if they are in a different group. If it is specific to certain students, that is where the problem must be. Also, check how they are accessing Moodle - could it be that they are just using a non-compatible browser?
The large tmp files are probably course backups and they should disappear automatically.
The submitted files not being visible issue - is that for every student? If you log in as student, can you see that they submitted a file?
Thanks for your reply!
All learners have the Student role and there are no groups involved... as far as I'm aware, but will double check just to be sure!
I've just checked two of the learners permissions (against other student users on the course) and one learner (Learner A) has the capability for View and Submit assignment set to No, so this is possibly the reason for her... but the other learner has these set to Yes (Learner B). I checked a couple of other students' permissions on the course, and they have these capabilities set to Yes.
Logged in as Learner B to see if they can edit their draft submission, and I get the following error when I click Edit Submission:
This learner has 10 files already submitted (the assignment allows 20) and I can only access 3 of the documents (two word docs, one PDF) when logged in as her... same too for when I log into my own admin account. I've tried on Internet Explorer v11 and Chrome v49 (can't check with Mozilla at present). When I try to download the files in Chrome, I get a message telling me...
This site can’t be reached
And that the files may have been moved...
I am now wondering why the permissions for Learner A may have changed ... and why Learner B still can't edit their submission... and why the uploaded files, which I can see, aren't available to download...
Anyway, I thought that would be the case with the backups, so I won't worry about those...
And the submitted files not being visible is (as far as I am aware), for particular Students/Teachers. I am waiting for further information about this error, as so far I haven't been told which users this is affecting, though I know which Teachers have reported it, so may investigate further over the weekend.
Thanks for your suggestions, I'll keep digging!
Just a thought, as I've had the 'can't be reached' message before:
Check the file names of the submissions. If they include any special characters then sometimes the browser will not open them as the url for the file cannot be interpreted by the browser. This is certainly a possibility if the one student can access some of their submission files but not others.
The files have sensible filenames, in fact as the image below shows, the files are all called (more or less) the same. The highlighted file is the one that doesn't download, or gives an error, depending on the browser used.
Strangely, if I try to open the file using Edge, it does nothing. If I use Mozilla, it gives me a File cannot be found page and Internet explorer gives the following dialog window:
With the options to Open, Save or Save As... but none of these work. It all just seems a little peculiar!
The other option I have used previously when Ive had problems like this, is to enable portfolios and use the 'Export to portfolio' option to download the file.
Other than that, ask the student to delete the file and re-upload it to see if there is a problem with the file having been corrupted during the upload.
Thanks for your suggestions.
The assignment isn't due until May and the settings of the Assignment require learners to submit their work, so they can amend and edit the files right up until the assignment is due. As far as I know, the Edit Submission button wouldn't be available if the student wasn't able to edit their draft submission and the student has not yet submitted their work, neither have the other 39 students.
No, the tutor hasn't changed the assignment settings. It's very strange, I'm guessing if the files are corrupted though for some reason, it probably wouldn't let you view/amend them via Edit Submission.
Seeing as there is a permissions problem for the one student leads me to suspect that maybe the permissions were wrong at some point for the other student. I would check and see who has the permission to change their permissions.
It sound like this one file may be corrupted for some reason. It might take a database fix of deleting the reference to it so a new one can be uploaded.
Yes, I will check who has permissions... My team took over our Moodle last September, so we're still working the whole thing out
As for the database fix, this is the bit I'm slightly confused about... The database is quite large and I've never directly edited the data... Could you point me in the direction of how to delete the learner files... Do I need to delete anything from the moodledata folder also?
I haven't actually had this issue so haven't done this but if you are able to find the reference to the file (look at the tables for assign_submission and the files one), then you should be able to remove it and I would think that would get your course back to normal. The file sitting somewhere in moodledata shouldn't cause any problems.
Of course, backup your database before you make any changes!
Thanks for your reply Emma, I will do a few tests first on my Moodle prior to trying it on Live Moodle and of course, a database backup is essential!!