Server crash

Three days ago, the hard disk of my web host got damaged beyond repair, resulting in a system format. It took almost 2 days to get the whole server back up and running, from the format to restoring all users and domains on it from backups.

However, the hard disk didn’t just crash, it got corrupted. Data corruption is a process that happens gradually. As a result, the backup files were also useless (from the host’s point of view, who has backups per server not per user). So the backup they decided to restore was one of somewhere at the end of January!

So what did the crash had as a result? I lost days of work, 8 posts, 48hrs of e-mail,…

Now, luckily I don’t really trust a host completely when they say, we have daily/weekly backups. So I take my own, which were from 5 days ago. So after restoring those, the damage was reduced to a few hours of work lost, only 1 post and well still 48 hours of e-mail.

What is the lesson learned from all this?

  • Even though you didn’t get e-mails for 2 days and keep wondering what you missed, you still live (so e-mail isn’t everything).
  • Don’t trust hosts when they say they have backups. Most of them allow you to download the daily backups yourself. Actually do this! Maybe not daily, but at least once a week or when you do major changes/updates
  • Don’t forget to backup your databases. Files are just not enough in the day and age of dynamic websites and web applications.

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