Backup Sob Stories (18 posts)

  1. Lorelle
    Posted 9 years ago #

    July 23-30, 2005, will be WordPress Backup Week here in the forum and on the WordPress Codex. Support Volunteers will be helping users backup their WordPress site and databases on a variety of operating systems and server software platforms, and encouraging everyone to backup your software, even if it isn't WordPress.

    To get started, we're inviting everyone to share their backup sob stories. If you don't have one, we recommend you read these, because these sob stories may be in your future and we all can learn from the woes of others to protect ourselves from such suffering.

    So share your backup woes and sob stories here and tell us what you learned from the suffering, and how you will NOT endure the pain and agony of lost data every again...or at least, how the pain won't be quite as bad next time.

  2. Ryan Duff
    Posted 9 years ago #

  3. Lorelle
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I have so many sob stories related to loss of data, I don't know where to begin. A while ago a lightning strike came in through the cable modem. I didn't know that was even possible. I had my computer turned off, unplugged and the telephone line disconnected. I didn't think about the TV cable coming into the cable modem and connecting to my WIFI router.

    Blew out the cable modem and WIFI, which was connected to my unplugged computer. Took out the parallel printer port and screwed up my hard drive, which I didn't realize until errors started showing up over the next week. I had to save what I could, but lost a lot of the new Theme I was working on for my site and a week's worth of writing saved but not posted on WordPress.

    You never know where the trauma may come from. And when it comes, it can do damage. Live and learn and backup.

  4. notthatugly
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I am too paranoid about losing data to have any sob stories of my own, but one of my online friends lost all blog entries from her first year of college when her database got hosed. We were able to recover most of them from the bloglines archive, but nonetheless it sucked.

  5. Lorelle
    Posted 9 years ago #

    For the bloglines archive???? HOW??

  6. Firas
    Posted 9 years ago #

    (a) Log into bloglines.
    (b) Subscribe to the feed (or somehow access it to the point where you can execute the next step).
    (c) Choose 'show all items'.

    This assumes that bloglines was checking your feed, of course...

  7. Joni
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I have one from awhile back, but it does have a happy ending. My hard drive which was less than a year old at the time, had been making these pitiful noises, and I knew it wasn't long for this earth. I didn't have any Zip disks cleaned up and I had no idea what was on the myriad TR4 backup tapes I had. Finally, one day when I turned the computer on, it made a shriek. Then it stopped. I turned it off, heartsick, and turned it back on. I then slapped a tape in the drive and launched Veritas Backup (this was back in the days of Win98). Fortunately, it was able to capture the entire disk before the disk went belly up. I took the machine in to the Compaq Authorized Repair Center where they put in a new hard drive. I was able to restore my backup from the tape. Also fortunately, that was way back when I wasn't doing anything but playing games, chatting and writing some correspondence, so the loss wouldn't have been that great.

    Now, there's more at stake. I have client files on the computer and a large image and music collection.

    I backup my MySQL databases regularly and burn my stuff (most of it in a /downloads directory) to CD and if it's really important, I make two CD copies. Stuff is scattered on jump drives and memory sticks. But as I said, the important stuff finds its way to alternative media muy pronto.

    As I once read in a PC Troubleshooting book, "Would you trust your data to a rusty old pie plate?" Because when you think about it, that's basically what your hard drive is.

    Scary thought.

    And tonight, I think I'll whip up some buttons and banners for WP Backup week!

  8. Lorelle
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Buttons and banners!!! That would be great.

    And I love the "rust old pie plate". EXCELLENT.

  9. Joni
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Grab some buttons and banners here. I'll be adding to them, so check back tomorrow!


  10. stubie
    Posted 9 years ago #

    D. Keith Robinson just published a backup sob story over at To-Done. Here's the link: http://www.to-done.com/2005/07/back-your-files-up

  11. Kassad
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Redundancy should be our magic word :)

    It seems like trend to give out storage space all over the world now.
    I know, there have already been online-backup services.
    Most of us have data not more than 1 or 2 MBs.
    You can even use your gmail account to save your data.
    And there are plugins to automate the backup process if I am right.
    And our immortal digital souls will live in the Matrix for the eternity :D

  12. You can even use your gmail account to save your data.

    That is especially true when using Podz' new Nightly Backup Cron script. The cron script will generate full database backups every night and send them to an email address of your choice. This means that you can setup your own Gmail account as a trendy and large-capactiy remote backup storage system.


  13. Lorelle
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Planning to take our life on the road full-time ten years ago, my husband, a structural engineer, and I did massive research and analysis on how to protect our desktop computer from the banging and smashing of travel. Laptops were VERY expensive at the time, so this is what we had. We ended up setting the computer inside a custom made desk with special supports, fans, and sitting on shock absorbers used by airplane manufacturers (military and commercial) to absorb the shocks and vibrations.

    It worked like a charm for the first six months on the road, banging back and forth across the states. I started doing frequent backups, but then got lazy with all of the stuff going on. One morning on the rim of the Grand Canyon, I flipped on the computer and it went BING BORK BONG and was dead. No warning. I was terrified that the banging of the hard drive had finally caught up with us.

    I called Gateway, the manufacturer, to try to trouble shoot it, and they told me that they had put out a recall notice on that particular hard drive, and had mailed us a notice months ago. Maxtor had sent them a bad batch of drives. Living on the road, mail takes ages to catch up with us, so we'd not received the notice.

    Whew! Lucky me. But it goes to show the different things that can go wrong that are beyond your control.

    Living on the road, backups to websites or online stuff, or even getting the backups by email, just don't work. Right now we have a stead Internet connection, but when we move, it's hit and miss. I have to backup while connected, or now with Skippy's new backup plugin, I can have the backup stored on the site and then while connected download it to my computer and then store it somewhere like on a CD.

    Life on the road may sound fun, but it is hard work and comes with a LOT of complications.

  14. Lorelle
    Posted 9 years ago #

    So it's WordPress Backup Week now. Anyone else got any good stories or solutions they came up with for backing up on a regular basis?

  15. bluegator
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Being slightly anal-retentive and hosting on my own server, I have a bash script scheduled as a cron job that runs nightly and does the following:

    • Tarball and Compress the entire directory structure of both of my wordpress blogs (Unhandled Exceptions and Deuce's Wild
    • Tarball and Compress the entire directory stucture of both my gallery installations
    • Tarball and Compress the entire directory structure of my Mambo Install
    • Perform SQL dumps (structure and data) on all databases on the server.
    • Using Samba, connects to my desktop and copies the backup files there, as well as keeping a copy on the server.

    It takes up some space, particularly the gallery backups, but it's well worth the piece of mind that I have knowing that my data is in two places.

    From time to time I'll make a CD of one of the backups so I have a reference point in case I lose both drives.

  16. Lorelle
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Okay, I give. Is Tarball and Compress the name of a program or utility? Do you have a link? Or is it something else?

  17. skippy
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Tarball is the colloqualism applied to archives created using the UNIX tar command. tar stands for tape archive, and was the tool originally used to write data to magnetic tapes. It works for writing to files on the disk just as well, and is now mostly used to bundle a bunch of files into one.

    There is a compress command, but it's not often used. My guess is that bluegator was describing what he did with his tarballs, as opposed to an actual command. Most tar implementations now support gzip and bzip2 compression, so you can concatenate and compress all your files with one command:

    gzip compressed tarball:
    tar zcvf /path/to/tarball.tar.gz /home/skippy/*

    bzip2 compressed tarball:
    tar jcvf /path/to/tarball.tar.bz2 /home/skippy/*

  18. bluegator
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Yea, sorry about that..

    the commands in the bash script are pretty much identical to those that skippy described.

    Since I host multiple applications on the server (Gallery, Gallery2, WordPress, Mambo, PhpMyAdmin, etc) I try to backup some of the Large apps seperately (like, just my wordpress directories), and then backup everything else (admin and stats applications) into one big tarball.

    While the SQL dump does backup some unneeded info, the automation of everything helps me out quite a bit. Eventually I plan to get a network storage drive and have automated backups to that, but my son has slowly eaten away at my monthly budget, so for now this solution will have to do.

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