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wraeth

Lost over 75,000 articles

Good morning


The thread title's self-explanatory. We had somewhere in the region of 122,000 articles and suddenly we now have less than 50,000. This must have happened last night or the early hours of this morning. The board owner noticed it but is based abroad so on a different time-frame and not available at the moment.

I'm an admin on the board. To the best of my knowledge, we haven't been doing any work to the board structure e.g. templates.

There seems to be no clear pattern to what we've lost e.g. it doesn't seem to be everything before a certain date or the loss of a particular forum/s.

Has something happened at myfreeforums end?

Can anyone help with suggestions about what to do next?

Thank you in advance.

Bravo

In your admin panel>General Configuration>Enable Forum Pruning...

Is that set to yes, or no?
wraeth

Bravo wrote:
In your admin panel>General Configuration>Enable Forum Pruning...

Is that set to yes, or no?


It's set to 'yes'.
Bravo

Then it looks like your forum has been pruned.

If you don't want old posts removing, you should set that to a no.
wraeth

Bravo wrote:
Then it looks like your forum has been pruned.

If you don't want old posts removing, you should set that to a no.


Thanks for your reply Bravo. I'll set it to 'no' now.

The thing is, there are only 5 people with admin rights and we know each other personally. I can't see why any of us would prune the forum, we've put too much time and effort into what's on there - radio shows and the like.

Is this something that can happen without anyone doing anything actively - like an automatic pruning function or something like that?

The other aspect is that there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to the articles that have disappeared - it seems to be at random across the various forums on the board.

Is there anyway of getting the articles back other than a board restore, do you know?
Bravo

If you hang on, Admin should be on fairly soon, he will be able to answer about restoring your board.

As far as I know, it has to be one of your admins that has set it to prune. Certainly no automation process does that.
wraeth

Bravo wrote:
If you hang on, Admin should be on fairly soon, he will be able to answer about restoring your board.

As far as I know, it has to be one of your admins that has set it to prune. Certainly no automation process does that.


Cheers Bravo, I'll stay logged in for a while then.

Thanks for your help.
myff admin

I would guess someone in your admin team set it without realising what it did.
wraeth

admin (no pm's please) wrote:
I would guess someone in your admin team set it without realising what it did.


Good morning admin


I'll ask to see if anyone's set it/changed it.

But what does it do exactly? Because some of the original posts/articles are still there - right back from when the board was set up.

And what are our options for recovering what has been lost?

Thanks
myff admin

The only option is a $10 restore of the whole forum from yesterdays backup, which would lose posts made after the backup was made. e.g. potentially quite a bit.

Frankly I never use pruning and don't know the exact criteria it uses. Though I do know that it does make it pretty plain it "prunes" and so is not something anyone should casually play with!
wraeth

admin (no pm's please) wrote:
The only option is a $10 restore of the whole forum from yesterdays backup, which would lose posts made after the backup was made. e.g. potentially quite a bit.

Frankly I never use pruning and don't know the exact criteria it uses. Though I do know that it does make it pretty plain it "prunes" and so is not something anyone should casually play with!


Thanks admin - I had a feeling that would be our only option. I'll let ninja (the board owner) know and he'll get back to you once he's back on-line.

Once again - thanks for the help here.

Hopefully this thread will be helpful as a warning about the prune function, for other forum owners and admins.
Louise

Sorry to hijack the thread but our place has accidentally had a huge prune too, from 28,000 down to 9000+ posts - will get back to you if we want to do the same...How long would it take to sort after payment is made?
myff admin

Normally within a few hours, it is not a trivial operation as the backup system is geared more to system integrity than the individual forum.
wraeth

Incidentally - one of our mods just supplied us with this link http://www.phpbb.com/support/documentation/2.0/#section3_1_3

Lots of information about pruning and auto-pruning there.
Louise

If we were to remove the post count from the template, would the control panel still have a record of the posts so that we could update it manually ?
ninja

hi

i'm the owner of TheCoolestThingEver

we are still trying to workout what happened. but we will have to take a restore. for some reason our log doesn't show anything out of the ordinary happening in the last week

so what is the next step for a restore?
symon

A restore can be done via the shop link or by pal pal direct.

paypal[at]myfreeforum.org

Cahnge [at] for @

In the notes please state reason like restore then the full form address
Louise

But if we wanted to, could we update it manually?
If we removed the post count from the template would the control panel still have the post count for us to update, say weekly?
ninja

Symon wrote:
A restore can be done via the shop link or by pal pal direct.

paypal[at]myfreeforum.org

Cahnge [at] for @

In the notes please state reason like restore then the full form address


thanks
wraeth

I presume we can choose which back-up to restore?

Because we don't know whether the back-up happened before or after the forum was pruned. It's best for us to have Tuesday night's - and we can tell posters to save any important threads from after then.
wraeth

*polite bump*
symon

I,m sure once Admin sees this he will advise you better than i can.
wraeth

Thanks Symon. We're obviously starting to be very concerned that the back-up may have over-written the prune.
myff admin

Bumping a question in less than an hour is rather rude!

Yes you can choose a backup from any day in the last week.
wraeth

Thank you for your reply admin.
Louise

Can i ask if you could just give me a quick yes or no to my question earlier in the thread too please...then i'll be on my way.Thank you.x
myff admin

Louise wrote:
But if we wanted to, could we update it manually?
If we removed the post count from the template would the control panel still have the post count for us to update, say weekly?


There is no way to manually alter the post count.
Louise

So i couldn't then take out the post count hack, then manually type in Our users have posted a total of blah blah posts...and calculate the difference daily and edit the number ..i tried it on a test template and it worked...it would just need for the post count to still be counted in the status part of control panel, and i could add on the difference every few days or so...would still be more accurate than what we have now.
myff admin

You could do that, but why? what matters is quality not quantity.
Louise

I understand that...but a forum count of 900+ posts when the 2 Admins have that between them makes no sense...it also doesn't reflect the amount of work put in to the forum over the last 10 months when we know we have had 28000 posts, it's a little disheartening to say the least....All i needed to know was that you would still have the record in the control panel...Thanks.
myff admin

Have you tried resync post counts? though I think that might just effect the individuals post count
Louise

That's exactly why we didn't want to do that...It's not fair when our dedicated members have done so well to buildup their ranks.
wraeth

Incidentally - funnily enough, our postcounts haven't been affected by the prune.
myff admin

But that's the flaw really, posts count what? well posts! They don't count anyone real contribution. A lot of forums have gone so far as to remove post counts from displaying at the individual level. I don't believe in going so far myself, but people making a real contribution can actually get quite narked by spam posters "outranking" them.

Even here, ask yourself if the list of top posters reflects the people who contribute most positively?
ninja

admin (no pm's please) wrote:
Bumping a question in less than an hour is rather rude!

Yes you can choose a backup from any day in the last week.


ok, we have got a paypal sorted, do we do it via donate? i can only see 'donate' and 'buy a tshirt'
Nick(NR)

Symon wrote:
A restore can be done via the shop link or by pal pal direct.

paypal[at]myfreeforum.org

Cahnge [at] for @

In the notes please state reason like restore then the full form address


hiccup

Hi, I'm a poster/mod on http://thecoolesthingever.myfreeforum.org

I'm planning on sending a Paypal payment to request a restore for this forum. I just wanted to check a couple of things:

* Is the cost ten US dollars, rather than ten UK pounds?

*Is it OK if the payment and request comes from me, rather than the forum owner?

Thanks
myff admin

We don't care where the money comes from but the request should be by the forum owner in this thread.

It will not be done until tomorrow morning now. It is a delicate process requiring detailed attention.
hiccup

OK, cool, I'll send the cash tonight, and get the owner to make a request on this thread.

Cheers for the help
ninja

hello

i am the forum owner, and i would like to make the request and endorse hiccup's payment

if possible, could you let me know what time you will be doing it? i understand that it is impossible to keep all of the posts after the reset, but we would like to save some of them on our computers...
wraeth

Teamwork
myff admin

Tuesdays backup shows under 50,000 posts, so I am going back to Monday
myff admin

Mondays backup is smaller than Tuesdays. So I have not restored from it. Makes me wonder how long it took you to notice the posts were missing?
I can see that overall on the system a lot of posts went missing between the backup for Saturday and the backup for Sunday....
myff admin

Actually forget that, I remember I did do some "house work" Saturday.

Each time I look at a backup, the server slows for everyone for about 30 minutes, so I want some more idea when the prune actually did happen.
wraeth

Good morning.

I see that our restore must have been done this morning - but it hasn't restored our missing articles.

So the prune must have been on an earlier date.

Is there any way of telling when the last back-up of the larger database was done?

Thanks in advance.





Edit to add: oops, admin I see there's several posts above this, I'll read them then post again. Sorry.
wraeth

OK - our threads from yesterday have disappeared. Plus I notice that PMs of mine that I looked at and responded to at 4am have gone as well.

I assumed from that, that a restore had been done.

Now I'm not sure. Can you shed any light, admin?

Ninja (site owner) will not be on-line until lunchtime. He has more detailed info about visitors, threads etc I believe.

In the meantime, I'll ask the other admins and mods and see if anyone else has more information.

The size of the larger database was around 60% larger than the current one, if that helps.
myff admin

I restored to Tuesday as asked. I have to extract your data from the overall backup, which is long winded, hence I can't really guess until I have the data ready what the data will be.
You need to know when the restore really needs to be from.
wraeth

OK admin, many thanks for this.

I'll try and see if we can pinpoint when the prune took place more accurately, and will get back to you.
ninja

i've gone back through the logfile for a month and there are no clues

i can't say for definite when the posts were lost, but i'm pretty sure it was under a week ago. i noticed it on wednesday evening but i can't say when they disappeared for sure
myff admin

Each time I do this is takes me considerable time and gives the servers a beating. I can't practically go back day by day 3 more times. I have tried twice so far.
Note the available dates left are Sun/Sat/Fri, before that it would jump to the Sat before and be more of a pain to get anyway.
ninja

if we had massively pruned our forum accidentally, would that not show up in our logfile?

or would there be another way to find out? since it is over half of our board, and a considerable amount of posts, would it not show somewhere on your admin panel when they disappeared?

to be honest i'm not sure that the data was lost due to pruning and i'm not that confident that rolling back our forum even further would work
myff admin

The admin log does not show pruning, but it will show any other kind of deletion.

Presumably you could see that the forum was set to have pruning? Which would be a bit if a giveaway it had happened.


If I could tell you the date from my end, I would, but I can't.
ninja

i've just checked and pruning was enabled

we're completely gutted about this, nearly a years worth of posts gone, some of which people had put a lot of time into

i'm thinking that the best thing for us to do would be to roll back to friday and cross our fingers. is that what you would recommend?
myff admin

What I can do, is not roll you back to Friday, but extract the Friday backup, this would then tell me if the posts were there or not.

I will try that now.
ninja

thanks
myff admin

Friday does have the posts So just say the word.
myff admin

Oh and to state the obvious the backup will restore the prune setting, so it will self destruct very quickly unless you dive in and turn off pruning!
myff admin

Clock is ticking here, it has to be in the next 30 mins or it will be a few hours before I can do the restore...

I really do want you to confirm again that you want this.
ninja

sweet thanks

i'm just double checking with the admins etc

i'll get back to you in 30 minutes if that's ok?
ninja

hi

we would like the board restored to friday

sorry for the delay. we've saved everything important since then so whenever you're ready

thanks for your help
ninja

double post
ninja

oh bugger, i was 5 minutes too late

would it be possible to know the exact time it will take place before you do it? (so that i can do the pruning straight away and make sure it's not totally pointless
myff admin

I hung on as long as I could.

I can do it round about now!
ninja

sorry for the delay, i'm not used to internet people being so fast

i'm still online so i'll be refreshing until my forum starts up again
myff admin

touch wood 5 mins.
ninja

it worked!!!!

thank you so much

sorry if we were a bit flakey about the whole thing, it was a bit of a shock

thanks again. the whole myfreeforum thing has been great for us

nick
Bravo

Did you find out who it was that fiddled about and set it to prune?

I bet you could melt snow from his cheeks right about now Wink
ninja

Bravo wrote:
Did you find out who it was that fiddled about and set it to prune?

I bet you could melt snow from his cheeks right about now Wink


it's impossible to find out, i have my theories.......
wraeth

Many thanks admin. I was away for this evening but it was brilliant to come back on-line and find the forum restored.


I realise it's taken you a lot of time and effort, we really appreciate it.


myff admin

I'm glad it turned out okay in the end

One confession it should have probably been saturdays backup. if you go to the forums directory you can see your forum statistics, this quite clearlu shows you dropped posts between sat/sun. Given slight vagury of timings between when backups are done and when stats are collected it may have had to be Friday, but chances are it should have been Saturday.

Obviously this did not occur to me until late last night, no one before has not actually known the info, and it is only in the last few months that the forum stats have had the data.

On the plus side it does as ever show people that not only are backups daily, but multiple backups are there and they consistantly work a case recently occurred on a free forums system where loads of there forums lost 3 weeks of posts as they had not got more than monthly backups.

So all told I take the attitude that while $10 does not exactly cover the costs of incidents like this, it does double as both a healthy test procedure and good advertising that forums here are protected. All of these backups are not only stored locally on the server they are on, but also on other servers, so that even total hardware failure should not be a problem.
ninja

admin (no pm's please) wrote:
I'm glad it turned out okay in the end

One confession it should have probably been saturdays backup. if you go to the forums directory you can see your forum statistics, this quite clearlu shows you dropped posts between sat/sun. Given slight vagury of timings between when backups are done and when stats are collected it may have had to be Friday, but chances are it should have been Saturday.

Obviously this did not occur to me until late last night, no one before has not actually known the info, and it is only in the last few months that the forum stats have had the data.

On the plus side it does as ever show people that not only are backups daily, but multiple backups are there and they consistantly work a case recently occurred on a free forums system where loads of there forums lost 3 weeks of posts as they had not got more than monthly backups.

So all told I take the attitude that while $10 does not exactly cover the costs of incidents like this, it does double as both a healthy test procedure and good advertising that forums here are protected. All of these backups are not only stored locally on the server they are on, but also on other servers, so that even total hardware failure should not be a problem.


one days worth of posts doesn't really matter compared to the amount that you saved for us

and considering the amount of use we have had from the board, $10 dollars is nothing. i know that we are paying via google ads as well, but i would like to say again what an excellent service we are getting here. i did pick this site at random for hosting, but i am glad i did, this is the first big problem we have had in 20 months, and it was solved pretty quickly, with virtually no damage done to the forum
myff admin

Most people pick fairly at random. Any forum can and do put up a reasonable decent looking intro screen that says they are the best I don't know a way to beat that, except that eventually word of mouth will tell.
People just about always say good things about here and bad things about elsewhere
ninja

that's the problem with the internet, it takes literally years to build a reputation because it's so easy to be bad ime

i found this place by googling free forums, you guys are doing pretty well tho, all of the top 20 have posts every day so the hard work must be paying off

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