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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    I lost everything on 29 websites - how was YOUR day?
    Some days you feel like the Big Dog -- some days you feel like the hydrant.

    This was a hydrant day for me, which started out badly yesterday (Sunday) morning and only got worse.

    I got an email from my webhost early yesterday morning that they had a catastrophic failure of 1) the server my VPS with 29 domains/websites was hosted, and, 2) most of the backup array for that server.

    I went blissfully through Sunday, expecting to get up this morning and find the sites back up on a replacement server.

    HAH!

    Seems that when the backup data array (I'm not sure what it means, either) failed, it corrupted most of the data files on the entire server. Hence, my VPS was probably toast.

    I've been working via email with the support people all day long. They finally rebuilt a VPS for me on a new server, and they are trying now to recover what data they can -- after I just spent an hour re-creating the accounts for each of the 29 domains through my restored WHM panel.

    SO, with the steadfast faith and encouragement of my Good Wife Shirley, I am sitting here waiting to hear from the webhost guys with some positive news -- "oh, yeah, we were able to get all your data back after all," or, "well, at least we got your two blogs back," or "..."

    I had two blogs on there I was doing especially well with via PayPerPost. In fact, I'd earned something near $400 in the last month blogging on those two blogs. Alas, I already lost payment for 2 posts today because they couldn't locate the posts -- since my sites were vanished, vamoosed, kaput, etc.

    The good news is: Once I get those two blogs back up, even if the databases are gone (they're both WordPress blogs), I have most of the posts I can copy-and-paste back into place.

    But, in the long run, I expect I'll be putting in some long hours for the next week restoring and rebuilding websites. Because, naturally, I did a proper job of backing everything up -- NOOOOOOOOTTT!!

    Let this all serve as a lesson for you, boys and gullls:

    1. Never assume your webhost has good backups. I've been with these guys more than 2 years and they're terrific. But ...

    2. BACK UP YOUR WEBSITES/BLOGS DAILY.

    3. Never assume your webhost has good backups.

    4. BACK UP YOUR WEBSITES/BLOGS DAILY.

    Oh, yeah, we covered that twice didn't we? Well, let me tell you the most important part as far as I can tell: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITES/BLOGS DAILY!
    Generate more fake news.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    OMG, that's horrible! At least you can tell people that now your company is so big you shut down Christmas week for maintenence.

    Sending positive energy your way! Hopefully your host can find some before you get it all recreated.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Man, sorry to hear this Gary... Can you say BUMMER? Now for the upside of all this.....

    It's a pain in the patoot, but as you reconstruct, think of it as an opportunity to re-read and update your blogs, sites etc etc... :-) And it's just in time for the new year!!

    Keep your chin up and hang in there - and oh, remember to back up daily.
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  4. #4
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    Wow - I am so sorry to hear that you lost all your data, I like the idea of closed for Christmas that was good Judi!

    So I guess for the Holidays you will be asking for a back up drive????

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    This sucks

    Try to split up your risk some more. Between servers. Between Datacenters, etc. More cost - definitely. More peace of mind - definitely.

    This sucks
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  6. #6
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    What's good Gary is that you still sound sane. If it was me I would be too freaking nuts to post.


  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpaw
    What's good Gary is that you still sound sane. If it was me I would be too freaking nuts to post.


    Actually, I went through the too freaking nuts stage hours ago. I'm almost into "I don't really give a flip" at this point.

    And thanks so much to all of you guys for the encouragement!

    And, yes, I had already thought about some changes I definitely want to make on several sites since I'll probably have to do at least something to all of 'em to get back to work.

    Yeah, also thought a lot about splitting up sites between webhosts/datacenters, whatever. It probably would be a little more expensive, but certainly not a lot. Just think of how nice it would've been to have had those two money-making blogs on different servers.

    Must ... not ... let ... mind ... go ... there.
    Generate more fake news.

  8. #8
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpaw
    What's good Gary is that you still sound sane. If it was me I would be too freaking nuts to post.
    Exactly. I also could not sound nearly as rational, or give out good advice to the rest of us.

    Good luck retrieving, and re-creating as needed, Gary.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  9. #9
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    And my website went live on Sunday.. so blame me? One birth, one.. uh death. Circle of life. Or blame Elton John!

    That definitely sucks though, good you haven't burned down your host or anything like that. Hopefully they can save something for ya.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    While we're on this rather grim subject -- anybody know right off hand whether there's an easy, useful way to do a website backup via cPanel?

    I think I tried using the cPanel "backup" button once and I couldn't figure out 1) where it was storing the backup, or, 2) how to utilize the backup which cPanel created.

    I know there are a couple of good WordPress plugins to backup WP daily, I just wasn't using them.

    Atfer alll waht cna og rwogn hte xnet tmei?
    Generate more fake news.

  11. #11
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    I lost everything on 29 websites
    Sorry to hear that bad news Gary,

    But, we know that you are a Go Getter kind of guy, so you'll by up and running in no time.

    As long as you still have your scripts on your HD, there should be no big problem updating the new pages, in case you can't recover the ones that were live.

    Let this all serve as a lesson for you, boys and gullls:
    1. Never assume your webhost has good backups. I've been with these guys more than 2 years and they're terrific. But ...
    2. BACK UP YOUR WEBSITES/BLOGS DAILY.
    3. Never assume your webhost has good backups.
    Backups are a must when dealing with data files that can disappear in a flash.

    But, since just a one big backup file with all the info in there can be lost too, I almost always have an exact duplicate on my HD file by file, of most things I upload to the net, that way if something hit the fan somewhere, I can always just re-upload only what was lost, and not deal with the whole big backup file unless I have to.

    I hope you are able to recover your websites soon, and remember, even if you don't have a copy on your HD, some times you can get some of it back from the wayback machine, unless you have blocked their bot.

  12. #12
    Visual Artist & ABW Ambassador lostdeviant's Avatar
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    Use Dreamweaver to download all your site files in the future. Make changes on your computer and upload. Backup your database files frequently.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    If you have a Reseller account and have access to Cpanel's WHM, I think there's a handy dandy function that lets you set up scheduled backups to whatever server you choose. I'll have to look into that, as I only used it once a long time ago... Though I'll probably start using it again now!!
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
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  14. #14
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    OMG - What a horrible experience. As bad as losing all your possessions in a fire or tornado. A veritable catastrophe.

    Can you get your pages online (maybe through the wayback machine) and copy/paste the source codes to recreate them easily?

    My site is on my computer - If my host dies, I can still upload the latest version to any other host. Don't you have a "local" copy of your site on your computer?

    Hang in there Gary. Have a glass of wine, chill out by a fire with the Mrs. and try to remember what's most important. Still, I'd be a freaking loon if that happened to me. You know we all understand and commiserate. :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Don't forget to check Google caches, Wayback Machine, etc. Sometimes they have copies that you can use.
    Michael Coley
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  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador IOWNIE's Avatar
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    Reading this scared the bajeebers out of me! I CAN'T IMAGINE your brain trying to rationalize what happened....

    Best of luck on this HORRIBLE situation.

  17. #17
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    I think I tried using the cPanel "backup" button once and I couldn't figure out 1) where it was storing the backup, or, 2) how to utilize the backup which cPanel created.
    When you go into the cPanel, go to the "backup" icon and click on it. You'll see the screen that says "Daily" then below it,
    "Full Backup
    Generate/Download a Full Backup
    Note: You cannot restore these backups, they can only be restored by your administrator."

    Click on "Generate/Download a Full Backup"

    The next page has any backups listed that you did in the past. (If you run into problems, I assume you have to then get your administrator to restore the last one.)

    To do a backup:
    I set the backup destination in the dropdown to: Home Directory
    Put in my email address.
    Go to the bottom and click: "Generate Backup".
    You'll receive an email when it's completed.

    To do another backup the next day, I just go to "Generate Backup" on the bottom of the same page. You don't have to reset anything because it defaults to your last settings.

    When you get the email showing the backup is completed, the second to last line also has the backup location in it. I just save the emails in a folder.

    I don't know if this will help you with your current situation or not. I think there is a way to ftp the backup to your harddrive but I'm not sure.

    Good luck with things. Maybe today will be better.
    Last edited by leeann; December 18th, 2007 at 06:49 AM.
    leeann


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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Wow, Gary, I'm so sorry to hear this. I create my files locally so in case of a hosting failure, and it's happened a couple times, I have everything local and could recreate the sites.

    I had a host that had a hot backup of all my sites. The problem was they didn't leave instructions with the data center so when the failure happened, the tech tried to use the hot backup drive to replace the server drive. BUT, before he used the hot backup drive he formatted it first. So the main drive was dead and the hot backup drive was formatted so that was the end of that.

    They asked if I was able to recreate my sites and I said "Yes, but not with you". The good news is it only cost me about 4 hours to get everything back up and working.

    I hope you can get everything running soon. If there's anything I can do, please don't hesitate to ask. Good luck.
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  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    Ouch, so sorry to hear that Gary. I have all my files backed up on my computer, so in case anything like that happens, I can get my sites back up pretty quick. Hopefully everything will get fixed soon for you.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all your helpful ideas and kind thoughts.

    I'm still struggling with the support folks. For 2 years, they've been the best webhosting company I've ever worked with. Now all at once it's as though they took tiny pills labelled = "These will make you dumb and unable to communicate with Old Bald Guys."

    It appears my websites are coming back. At least I can FTP to them and see most of the files present. BUT -- since they are mostly database driven (including the two most needed WP blogs), and the databases seem to be corrupted, I've got a long road ahead to rebuild.

    Mostly I'm just trying to get word from the support people this morning about why I'm having some bizarre things happen when I try to log into the VPS management panel and do anything with the sites' many databases.

    Yes, it should be a wonderful week. Now all I need is a dental crisis -- oh, yeah, I'm supposed to have a tooth extracted tomorrow. LOL!!!!
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  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    Something else I'd like to suggest for your and others out there:

    For backups look for an FTP only location. I don't have any off hand, but you can get 'FTP-Only' space for alot cheaper than a traditional hosting account. Then use the FTP-Only space for your backups.

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  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostdeviant
    Use Dreamweaver to download all your site files in the future. Make changes on your computer and upload. Backup your database files frequently.
    I concur. I do editing offline and upload so my site's files remain local (and published up to my host).

    To this scheme, add off site backup as well. Either get something like Mozy or burn CDs regularly and keepm them someplace else. Remote is in case of fire, flood, theft, computer/network/localdrive/virus/trojan failure events.

    Compare
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Carbonite
    Mozy Online
    XDrive
    Iron Mountain's Connected Backup/PC service
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/other...s-a-review.ars

    Glad to hear you're getting your sites back! Thanks for sharing, I know it's a tad embarassing, but you're doing a great service by telling others and letting it serve as a warning / reminder to have a plan in place before this happens.

  23. #23
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
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    Gary,

    That's horrible!

    It sounds like you are doing the best you can with what you've got, so keep pluggin'! Like Rexanne said, spend some time with the Mrs. and then put it behind you.

    Thanks for sharing and for reminding others to perform their backups.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
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  24. #24
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Hi Gary -

    I am so sorry to hear about the data loss problem. But it seems as though you know what you need to do. I am certain you will be back on line soon - and stronger than ever.

    I see that plenty of tips and advice have been offered so I'll not go that route. Just keep in mind that if you do decide to go with two different hosting companies (I actually use three) that you will then be able to back up your work on each of your two VPS units to the other. (I also have my "main" sites duplicated on my laptop and on an external hard drive.)

    Good luck with the rebuilding process.
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  25. #25
    Newbie fabeddie's Avatar
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    Smile Good Web Host
    WRITERGUY....Also sorry for your experience. My bit of advice is to make sure that your web host proves to you their back up ability. There are many good and inexpensive web hosts with 100% reliable back up, so you should never be in this situation. As I am new to the forum and have read the rules, I can't give advice in that direction, but they are there, just find a good one
    fabeddie

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