Christmas came early for a Dunedin student reunited with her stolen hard drive containing two years of research.
Last week, the Otago Daily Times reported on the plight of University of Otago marine science master's student Jordan Housiaux, who appealed for the return of a stolen hard drive.
The hard drive, which contained family photos and two years worth of research for a thesis due in April, was taken along with her only backup - a laptop and a USB key - in a burglary of her Maitland St flat earlier this month.
Also stolen were two other laptops, two iPods, speakers, keys and a wallet.
Her story was shared more than 10,000 times on Facebook, prompting dozens of calls and messages of support, including a text by a person claiming to know who had the hard drive.
The person, who had read the article, texted her this week to say his friend had her hard drive and ''I really want you to get your life back''.
The return of the hard drive was made on payment of the $300 reward ''because he knew how badly I wanted it back ... The end result is I have my hard drive back''.
The reward transaction was made via a third party, she said.
''When my hard drive was stolen it was just awful and I couldn't believe it had happened. But the silver lining in it all is that my faith in humanity has been restored.''
''Without that article and the [Facebook] shares I would not have got my hard drive/life back.''
She would now back up her research online, Miss Housiaux said.
Police inquiries into the burglary were continuing.