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  1. #1
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    Host "loses" all files, database

    Last Tuesday I went on a net-free vacation, leaving a forum site with hundreds of members and thousands of genuinely high-quality posts that could have served as a first-rate knowledgebase for the particular niche. I returned late Saturday, discovered that the hosting company had unilaterally decided to change IPs for the domain and had lost all files and the database content (although they say "we'll do our best to replace them, but we need to contact higher support." Hopefully, they aren't referring to divine intervention).

    This is--or was--a forum using phpBB.
    Assuming that the hosting company even finds the files and the database, can they put Humpty Dumpty back together again, considering that the site was deleted from the original server?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Don't know why they 'couldn't' put it back together. Provided they find backups. From the wording of "we'll do our best to replace them, but we need to contact higher support." it sounds as though they may be resellers and need to contact server management.

    Hope they have a backup for you.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2000
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    Thanks.They're not resellers, but it appears the reason for the change was a data center change (not sure--they won't say directly). They advised me that the files had been found but that the database (member names, passwords, etc) was not--and that, moreover, it may be time-consuming because they have a "centralized backup system."

    I don't know about such things, but wouldn't they have found the MySQL db along with the files since they were on the same server?

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    Hope they have a backup for you.
    Where was your backup? Don't tell me that you just relied on them to backup your forum. It's your forum - take full responsibility for it and have local backups.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  5. #5
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    Thanks, Bob. I forgot to add that. And I always add that.
    You are correct. I could never be too angry with a host because I didn't back up my site. We'd both be at fault.

    Depending on how much I pay him for backups, may determine my feelings of fault though.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    Thanks, Bob. I forgot to add that. And I always add that.
    No worries.
    You are correct.
    I am always right, except when my wife says I am wrong.
    I could never be too angry with a host because I didn't back up my site. We'd both be at fault.

    Depending on how much I pay him for backups, may determine my feelings of fault though.
    Clients need to watch their own backs and have their own backups, incase the worst happens. We should all take measures should the worst happen etc...
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Second lesson [after learning first lesson = turn PC 'on' Grasshopper]
    BACK UP
    HOSTPac Web Solutions
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  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Aussie Bob

    Where was your backup? Don't tell me that you just relied on them to backup your forum. It's your forum - take full responsibility for it and have local backups.
    Unfortunately, I didn't back the data up. And you're right--I should have. But since "weekly backups" are a bargained-for part of the service for which I pay, I think it's reasonable for me to expect exactly that. It was stupid of me to not make back-ups, but I certainly don't bear "full" responsibility. Hosting companies should at least share in providing such insurance, especially if they make a promise to do so, on which a client may rely.

    Assuming you, for example, have a hosting company, and have promised regular back-ups: Upon your accidentally deleting my site, would you then tell me to take "full responsibility" for having back-ups?

    Then again, I wasn't asking about "who's responsible" here.
    Last edited by tfc; 08-04-2002 at 10:48 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    The best way I feel to backup databases for things like forums etc. and this is what I do personally. I have a PHP script set which dumps the MySQL database into /home/user/databases on the server. This then FTPs the dumped file off the server to another server. This is in addition to the server backups, just encase they fail. I can then set the PHP file on a cron to run whenever I want, e.g. every 24 hours.

    As Rob said, most hosts do make backups and most hosts will do their best to restore any lost data, however at the end of the day no matter how many backups your host makes, it's your data and you should take some responsibility for it.

    Anyway, I hope your host can retrieve your DB from the backups, keep us posted
    Chris Adams - CEO - Rochen Ltd. - chris (at) rochen (dot) com

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  10. #10
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    Sep 2000
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    Originally posted by rochen
    however at the end of the day no matter how many backups your host makes, it's your data and you should take some responsibility for it.

    I agree, Rochen. It's a simple common-sense thing I just didn't do.
    Site (apparently) wiped out; lesson learned: Take hosting "services" with a grain of salt; be prepared to get by on your own to the extent that you can.

    (I'm just glad my flight wasn't piloted by a hosting company )

  11. #11
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    Nov 2001
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    if you value your files you will back them up. Hard drives fail, backups fail etc, no host is exempt from this.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by goodness0001
    if you value your files you will back them up. Hard drives fail, backups fail etc, no host is exempt from this.
    So I've heard.

    In this particular case, there was no equipment failure: The host unilaterally changed IPs for the domain (please see opening msg), deleting all files in the process. Since I was specifically advised that no IP change would affect my domain, I didn't anticipate any problems at all, much less total erasure and downtime that began on the 30th and continues til today. But I think the host could have known better.

    But again, I accept my part in not habitually backing up everything.
    Last edited by tfc; 08-04-2002 at 06:05 PM.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the tip, Ace. Yep, for me the problem would be the database itself.

  14. #14
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    OK--Sounds easy enough. Thanks again.

    I didn't know about their lack of back-up until it was too late, of course. How do you determine something like that beforehand? I relied on their promise to do what my payment stood as consideration for. In fact, in two years I've had only minor problems with them, nothing to steer me away.

    But this...I honestly think they don't know what to do.

  15. #15
    Originally posted by AceWeb
    It really depends; if they backed up things the way they are suppose to, I do not see any reasons for not being able to retrieve it back.

    It is time consuming, yes, but possible.
    I am sorry to here of your misfortune but, No there not responable for back up you are. Host back up for free your fooling yourself. We back the server not its content unless a cutomer pays for it . The old saying goes you get what you pay for. we charge $1.50 per 100mb back up per month and then thats backed up to 2 servers off the net also we take mission critical seriously

  16. #16
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    If they changed your IP address and your data is gone it sounds like a server change and your data is on the old server....

  17. #17
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    Yet another host (Smokie) who says that the customer assumes all responsibility for backing up the files. Is that the industry standard? If so, I'm sure it'll be of more than passing interest to many hosting customers--or at least it ought to be.

    My host advertises, under Services and Payment, weekly back-ups. I didn't think it far-fetched to assume that they actually performed that for each customer's benefit, since it's a selling point.

    Some eye-opening messages here. Appreciate it.

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by goodness0001
    If they changed your IP address and your data is gone it sounds like a server change and your data is on the old server....
    Right, that's what it was. Unfortunately, they can't seem to get the back-ups from the other server or just don't have them.

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by tfc
    Yet another host (Smokie) who says that the customer assumes all responsibility for backing up the files. Is that the industry standard? . . . . . . . . . . . .
    I don't think that's what most of us are saying. Not that it's the customers' responsibility. But, that accidents, whether it's human error or equipment failure, happen. You must prepare for that. And, if you don't, then you must 'share' in the blame should you lose data.
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  20. #20
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    whoops

    delete this please

  21. #21
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    Yes what everyone is saying is that if you lose your data, you and the host is responsible.

  22. #22
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    just a chance

    We do weekly backups also.
    The problem may have been that the last backup was done a day or so before you asked and then the old backup was replaced.

    Then if the data was lost just before that backup they can't get a backup with the data you need.
    Or you didn't know it was lost, and the backup script ran again since, they cannot get a backup. Just an idea from experience.... we still tell customers they should run backups in our support section because the backup we have may not be enough.

    AH

  23. #23
    That's incredible. You really should switch hosts. That host was completely unprofessional
    ____________
    Jared C
    Host-Grid.com

  24. #24
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    I guess the most important thing here is that you'll learn from your mistakes and so you'll probably be making backups all the time of any type of date, let it be web server data, or just some work done offline. But yes, your host should have made backups for you if they say that they offer it.

    Alan
    Alan Ho
    Former Systems Administrator

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by SoftWareRevue
    Don't know why they 'couldn't' put it back together. Provided they find backups. From the wording of "we'll do our best to replace them, but we need to contact higher support." it sounds as though they may be resellers and need to contact server management.

    Hope they have a backup for you.
    Actually that line sounds like something you would hear from out-sourced support.
    Greg Landis | Founder Jaguarpc - Keeping websites happy since 1998
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  26. #26
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    just a question for the hosts that read this, but when doing the backups, do you rotate through a set of media so that you have the backups from the last few backup sessions, or just a backup of the most recent? I currently rotate through 5 different disks just to ensure that if something does go awry, we can go back in time farther if we dont discover the problem till after another backup has been completed.
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  27. #27
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    We backup to a remote server on a daily basis, but then every two days we copy everything on the first hard disk to a second hard disk in the backup server for additional protection. We don't use any compression software to do backups, we use rsync which copies files as they are. This seems like a slight ad for our hosting company to me, so I do apologize for that if it does.

    Alan
    Alan Ho
    Former Systems Administrator

  28. #28
    NEVER, EVER RELY ON YOUR HOST FOR BACKUPS, no matter how honest they are, or you believe them to be.

    Here is a basic, if unfortunate, lesson I learned with my first host. He, and many, many others you will read about here and at other forums and newsgroups, *claim* to have adequate backup protocols in place when in fact they do not. If you need a backup they tell you, "Sorry, it's corrupted." For this reason, even if your host *claims* to be following some kind of backup protocol, you should never rely on them to be your only source for a backup.

    And of course another reason is that databases *do* get corrupted, and it will do you no good to get a backup from your honest host if that's corrupted too. Happened to a friend's forum, he lost his entire message base. So you should keep several generations of your database backups stored on your home PC or on a remote server.
    Deb Suran
    Musical Instrument Makers Forum - http://www.mimf.com

  29. #29
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    Sep 2000
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    Right: I don't think (now) that "back the data up yourself" can be said too much. I do keep copies of my work on CDs, but until this incident (obviously) didn't seriously consider doing so for web stuff. In hindsight, I looked at the host-customer relationship as one of bailment where the data is concerned.

    (I can hear the shuffling as many webhosting customers quickly back their data up)

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    852
    No host wants to lose data on purpose because if a hard drive goes and the host doesnt have backups, think about how long they have to sit there and re-load all those domains into the server software.

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