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Author Topic: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes  (Read 3797 times)

nudone

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Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« on: July 14, 2011, 06:28:29 AM »
Well, I was having such a good day today (posted elsewhere on the form about receiving a full refund for a pc I had to return), but I've just discovered that I've lost several years of important notes I was recording in Surfulator.

I'm still a bit shocked by this as I *thought* I was backing up the Surfulator database along with everything else I continuously backup with MirrorFolder. Seems at some point I decided to stop backing it up - or, maybe, I've just gone and manually deleted the backup whilst half asleep.

This massive error has only happened because the Surfalator database was on a RAID 0 drive, which died when the machine it was inside died. And I thought I had the database mirrored to another drive - so, yep, I thought I could format the drives in the RAID 0 setup, which I did. Now I've discovered there isn't any mirrored backup.

So, I've lost lots of little technical notes that I referred to on a weekly basis. Probably more stuff than I realise. I'm sure I'll rediscover the most important ones online again - but it will take hours of searching at the very least.

I really thought I'd got this kind of data loss covered. Seems I'm just so dumb I wasn't even monitoring it - the worst kind of backup method you can imagine. Incredible.




40hz

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 06:45:13 AM »
Wiw! You just can't catch a break from it these last few days, can you? That truly rots! :(

I'm not partial to swearing...

But right now I think you're well within your rights to fire off a good Saxon cuss word or two. (Maybe you'd better make it a baker's dozen while you're at it.)
 :o

cranioscopical

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 06:49:25 AM »
Bad luck, what a royal pain!

So many of us have been bitten by something like this at some time or another. I can sympathize with the sense of astonishment and loss. At least, by posting, you've probably caused a review of practices that might help others.

As you say, you will get back most of the information in some form or another. The real pain will come from not knowing ahead of time all that is missing. That means having to scramble for information at the moment of maximum inconvenience.

You don't have any of the info on something like a spare drive that you might have pulled from an old machine?

mouser

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 06:51:02 AM »
What happened to you happens to most of us.. we *think* we are backing up stuff but we're never called to test our recovery systems until it is too late.
This is one of the reasons it's useful to occasionally migrate from one machine to another, just to force yourself to find and copy all of your important data.

nudone

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 06:57:12 AM »
If I could reach my head with my foot, I'd give myself a thoroughly good kicking. I have been monitoring all important files and folders for years using MirrorFolder and always noticed that "databases" were backed up. Seems I was hallucinating.

I honestly think I've just been too clever and too quick to tidy things up after moving all my hard drives around across all these old and new machines. At some point I've decided to delete a few backup folders thinking they weren't required.

Have I got them stored elsewhere? Good question. I know I've transferred things to other drives occasionally so will start hunting.

Quite honestly. I think I should just stop using the computer until I've worked out a reliable idiot proof backup system. I'm obviously not going to stop making idiotic mistakes in the future so need protecting from myself.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 07:03:46 AM »
This massive error has only happened because the Surfalator database was on a RAID 0 drive, which died when the machine it was inside died.

Ouch! Been there, Dead board kills RAID 0 contents. It went poof in the middle of a defrag. Sorry to hear that man.

And I thought I had the database mirrored to another drive - so, yep, I thought I could format the drives in the RAID 0 setup, which I did. Now I've discovered there isn't any mirrored backup.

FWIW, data recovery from proprietary RAID arrays is iffy at best ... So the format wasn't really that damning. RunTime Software's GetDataBack has a RAID Reconstructor that does well to rebuild an image of the old array. But the end results weren't stellar as most of the data was unusable. I probably only recovered 60% after months of scouring the different alignment options. And still to this day (years later) have a folder of recovery fragments I dig through from time to time because I can't bring myself to just cut-my-losses and delete it.

nosh

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 07:04:42 AM »
Try running a deleted file recovery software on the mirror drive... you just might hit the jackpot.  :)

nudone

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2011, 07:23:05 AM »
Yeah, thought it would be futile trying to recover the RAID 0 drive. Maybe the dumb thing I did was split this RAID 0 drive up into 3 partitions and that's why I just forgot about where things where kept and whether they were safely backed up.

I will give the undelete a go. Maybe it will be my lucky day...

capitalH

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2011, 08:13:51 AM »
My backup claim to fame is when I tried to restore the backup.

By force of habit I ran the batch file that backs up my data.

Which then proceeded and deleted the backup!

nudone

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2011, 09:01:13 AM »
Ouch. I do believe all this accidental deletion of backups shows that it's a good idea to have several backups of the same stuff - on different drives and at different locations.

It also seems like a good idea to include several versions of the backups. Then when you believe you are doing the right thing by deleting something that's superfluous, you can always recover an older version of it that you were keeping safe when you realise you've deleted the wrong thing.



Anyway, it is my super lucky day.

I have found a backup of a backup of a backup on an old IDE drive that I'd store things on just for the hell of it. Which means I can get some of the Surfulator data back. I'm just not sure how recent this backup will be. If it's only a month old I'm very lucky indeed.

nudone

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2011, 09:17:52 AM »
Oh well. The Surfulater backup was 3 years old. So, not that useful really.

I'll just accept I need to start creating new notes to replace what's lost. And back them up properly.

barney

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2011, 09:22:06 AM »
Oy, vey!

Recently went through something similar, so sympathy (same pain) can truly be offered  :'(.

Recalls the old days of DOS, 2.x methinks, where the backup worked perfectly, but the restore was a flop  ;D.

If you - or anyone, for that matter - come up with a foolproof system, please publish it - this fool would be very interested  :P.

rgdot

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Re: Dumb backup method - lost several years of notes
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 09:52:12 AM »
I had been playing with a XAMPP install for some sites and had the (idiotic) idea of storing some notes in a local MySQL database. One day I emptied the databases because the so-called testing was finished and guess what I deleted with them?
Can never be too careful and too lucky!