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Dreamhost wipes out my website and says they can't restore it (5 posts)

  1. eyeswoon
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Last Sunday (Jan 27th) a little after 4pm, my website disappeared. Dreamhost
    did something which wiped out ALL the files on my website.

    After 16 hours (and me submitting several support requests) DH tech support finally contacted me. They said there were no files in my directories anymore, and no trace (logs) of anything being deleted/moved. They apologized and said they could not restore
    ANYTHING.

    Now 2.5 days later (only after my posting on THIS forum) they have restored a text-only-version of my site. It is a SKELETON of the site I have spend the past 2+ years building. My site had 1291 posts, each containing approx 5 images. That's at least 6455 LOST images.

    My site is an ART/DESIGN website. It is USELESS without the images. My site gets
    15,000 hits per month. It is my FULL-TIME job. Now it is GONE?????

    It wasn't like I was tweaking my site and accidentally wiped all the files out. For
    some reason, THEY (dreamhost) wiped out my entire site.

    This is the latest explanation they gave me:
    ===
    Our admins have made an exhaustive effort to recover any of your data
    from the old server or our our backup drives. Unfortunately their
    efforts were unsuccessful. We have an admin currently looking into one
    last attempt, but it is very unlikely this will result in any success.
    If any files are able to be restored, I will send you another email to
    notify you. Otherwise, the website files your website is using now are
    the only files we have, and the missing images and other media uploaded
    in WordPress are not restorable. Please accept my sincerest apologies
    for this failure of our server move process and backups to retain your
    website files.
    ====

    I am not sure they are making every effort to
    remedy this problem. Just getting them to restore
    the text only version was very difficult. At
    first they claimed they did not have the text only version either!
    I suspect that they do not have the staff
    or processes in place to do adequate technical
    support.

    PLEASE... any suggestions for what I can do is greatly appreciated.

  2. catacaustic
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    You DID take your own backups didnd't you? If the site is so important to you, that's the first thing that anyone would do, so you did, right?

    Trying to rely on anyone else doing that ofr you is OK, but it's never going to give you the confidence that it's done correctly. Problems happen, and things like this happen. That's why every hosting company has all sorts of disclaimers built into their terms and conditions.

    I would be sure that they are doing everything that they can to restore your site, but what you've done is highlite a problem with their own backup systems. There is a very good chance that they don't have backups, but if it was me I'd find it very hard ot be upset with them for not having backups if I didn't keep my own backups...

    As for what you can do, have a look at http://www.archive.org and see what is sotred there. You might get lucky and find something useful to you. Again, you might not.

    And, let this be a very big lesson... Always perform your own backups and keep them where you will always have access to them. Don't rely on another company to do that for you unless you are paying them do do exactly that service.

  3. eyeswoon
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I used a wordpress plugin which only backed up
    the sql entries which includes the text-only.

    I did not back up the images which are the bulk
    of the website. In the future, I definitely will,
    but that is NOT the point.

    If I were to have made a big change in my site, I would have backed the entire site up.

    I made no admin changes to my site. DH made a change and accidentally
    wiped everything out. They should be responsible for restoring it.

  4. catacaustic
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Yes, "should be". But, have you read their terms and conditions? I'll guarantee that there's a caluse in there that stats that they are not responsible for their customers data and it's up to the customer to make their own backups.

    It sucks and it's bad, but I don't know what else can be done. If there's no backups, there's no backups. Nothing is going to change that. Getting upset is only going to make things worse.

    This is also not about making "admin changes" or anything else to your site. You should be doing your own backups of everything. Your hosting comapny should be too, but theirs failed. Mistakes do happen. I've seen the backup systems of some hosting companies, and they actually frightened me with jsut how bad they were. In this case you were the unlucky one that it happened to affect so badly. There's most likely a lot of other customers that have had the same thing happen, so I don't think that you'd be alone.

  5. Ipstenu-DH
    DreamHost Rep
    Posted 1 year ago #

    For what it's worth, we've been talking about this on the dreamhost forums, as well as in tickets.

    Yes, there was a problem with our backups not backup-ing, and we have a couple theories as to why this happened in this way to eyeswoon. It's very much not normal, and many of us (including me) scoured the servers to see if we had anything from the previous server.

    I reinstalled WP and rebuilt the wp-config.php file, plus restored the theme and what altered images I could from web-archive, but no one was able to find the backup of the files. We DID have the DB (it's on another server).

    Other people have had missing backups, but not to this level of severity, and we do have an internal ticket looking into how this happened and how we can prevent it from happening again.

    But. I host on DreamHost, and I still make my own backups regularly. It's not that I don't trust ours, it's just that I know how imperfect computers are, and how likely it is that something may go wrong. Blame my dad, he's a Risk Analyst so I grew up with this stuff. My sites are backed up once on the server, once on another server, once on my PC, and once on Time Capsule.

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