What happened

This is a discussion on What happened within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; On Friday evening, I discovered that the site was offline and inaccessible. I tried restarting the server, but it couldn't ...

  1. #1
    Administrator webmaster's Avatar
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    Unhappy What happened

    On Friday evening, I discovered that the site was offline and inaccessible. I tried restarting the server, but it couldn't boot. The hosting company installed a new HD and put the old HD in to alow any data recovery. Unfortunately, all the home directories and backups on the drive appeared to be gone. Simultaneously, I began the slow process of uploading the rather large backup of the site and restoring it from backup.

    That backup appears to have been a late January backup, unfortunately. I thought I had a backup created after restoring from the earlire attack, but it looks like I don't. I'm going to double-check when I get home--I am out of town over the weekend (Great time for the site to go down, eh?!)--but I suspect this is it. Mea culpa!

    Things like this aren't all bad. It provides a strong incentive to have an off-site backup strategy (daily backups are kept on the server, and I periodically download a daily backup to my desktop machine), and that's something I will be thinking more about in the coming days, probably automating some kind of FTP backup. I'll also be re-upgrading the BB to the latest vBulletin version when I get home.

    Sorry for your lost posts (or accounts, for those of you who recently registered) and the confusion that this has caused by my absence when the site came back online.

  2. #2
    Its hard... But im here swgh's Avatar
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    Thank you for the explanation webmaster. I did wonder what happended. Thank you for restoring it to it's formar glory.

    Is there any chance this may happen again? And if so, is there only possible way to prevent it? I know all programs crash, but I am only wondering thats all.
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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    I thought you were dead

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    For Narnia! Sentral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swgh
    Thank you for the explanation webmaster. I did wonder what happended. Thank you for restoring it to it's formar glory.

    Is there any chance this may happen again? And if so, is there only possible way to prevent it? I know all programs crash, but I am only wondering thats all.
    It's partially the webmaster's fault and the hosting company. The webmaster doesn't have control over what the hosting company does. So yes, it could happen again. However, the webmaster didn't have an offline backup (on his local HD, not the server's HD). Yes, it could have been prevented.
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    Frequently Quite Prolix dwks's Avatar
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    Is there any way to automatically save all of google's cached pages? If you did so you could update the database to reflect all of the posts and threads etc . . .
    dwk

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    Lean Mean Coding Machine KONI's Avatar
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    Even if that would be possible, you'd have to write a script that parses the threads, extracts the information and creates SQL queries. The whole thing gets a lot more complicated because the user ID's are the same anymore, there might be posts from users who don't exist anymore etc ...

    If the host doesn't have a more recent backup then the posts are gone ... and even if he would have and we could use it, then we might risk to lose the posts that have been made today and in the near future.

  7. #7
    Frequently Quite Prolix dwks's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know, it was just wishful thinking.

    You could get a page of 100 search results and look for the url before "Cached</a>" and use wget (under Linux) to get it . . . well, you could if you were using Linux, which I'm not at the moment.
    dwk

    Seek and ye shall find. quaere et invenies.

    "Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it." -- Alan Perlis
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  8. #8
    int x = *((int *) NULL); Cactus_Hugger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwks
    and use wget (under Linux)
    wget is available under windows. Great little tool.

    I've always thought backups on the same media as the original were fairly worthless. Then again, I don't backup much, so I probably don't have the right to speak. Not sure if I'd worry about trying to restore the loss- people have already started posting again, and interleaving the gap in might be... interesting. (Clashing IDs and such.) Or we'd lose our giant speculation thread, and hey - there'll be this interesting gap of no posts for a whole month. ^_^ In a few months/a year, only a few will know why. (If anyone cares...) That, or we saved CBoard some disk space for the month of Febuary.
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  9. #9
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
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    I had the same little idea about just using pages that might have been cached...so i went to the Coral website

    Coral Content Distribution Network

    Coral's whole job is to take webcaches and use them as back ups to other sites when other sites go down, people can come to Coral and look at what was cached.

    Didn't seem to work....Coral had cached the site, like expected, but it didnt have any of the old posts. I guess either it had done a really recent cache, and so the older cache wasn't there anymore, or it had downloaded the actual PHP files and sent real queries to the server....instead of caching previous results...

    Oh well.
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