Hotly Spiced in Free-Fall

On Friday night I posted Egg Baskets and…the Sleepover.  Two of you managed to comment on that post before it disappeared.  That post and all my posts written from February until June 21 disappeared.  Poof, they were gone.  Celia and Lorraine started sending me urgent texts.  With minimal IT knowledge I didn’t know what to do other than email my web host and ask if she knew what had happened.  She sent back an email saying the missing posts had disappeared at her end too and that the situation was ‘very concerning’.  Not exactly the words of comfort or reassurance I was hoping to hear.

Very early Saturday morning I had to take Alfie to rugby but before we left I checked the site and it was the same.  No posts from February 2013 with the latest post being Alfie at his swimming carnival.  I drove Alfie to rugby feeling sick inside.  I had previously asked my host if it is possible to lose a blog, to have it disappear – poof and it’s gone, but had been reassured that that can’t happen because it’s always backed up at her end.

I started to think about all those missing posts and the ripple effect like the images that are on my Pinterest site that now no longer link back to a blog post and the images on FoodGawker and Tastespotting that no longer link to a recipe and how I have all my images safely backed up but I had no back-up copy or hard copy of my writing.

The rugby was horrendous.  Standing on the sidelines in a couple of inches of water with boots sinking into the mud during driving sheet rain and little boys all covered in dirt, shivering and soaked through to the bone.  The whistle blew early to end the misery and I was able to hurry home to check on the IT situation.

No change.

Lorraine and Maureen were now offering me their IT husbands for assistance.

One bit of enjoyment this weekend has been my new outdoor heater

One bit of enjoyment this weekend has been my new outdoor heater

But then I checked my email account and found a lovely note from CPoo, Jasmin’s husband.  I don’t know Jasmine very well as she is a fairly new blogger and we have only just started following each others blogs.  You absolutely must visit Absolutely Jas as she tells a good story and shares great recipes while also being a lawyer and while you’re there, do thank her for helping me in my hour of need.

I asked Jasmine if I could share with you CPoo’s email and she said, ‘Absolutely’.  I hope none of you are ever in the situation I have been in but if you are, here’s what you can immediately do to recover your content…

‘Hi Charlie,

CPoo here, Jasmin’s husband.  If you are quick, you can recover some of your content via Archive.org and Google cached pages.  It’s a bit of a tedious process, but better than nothing.
You can view an archived copy of your home page here:
If you put the title of the posts into a google search enclosed in quotes, e.g.:
You should see your post come up in Google, if you then click on the small green arrow at the end of the second line in the search result, you will be able to selected “Cached”.
This will allow you to view a copy of the content at the point that Google last crawled your site, from here you can grab the content and re-post it if you wanted to. You must do this as quickly as possible, however, because as soon as Google realises that that content is no longer on your website, it may remove the cached files.
As a web developer, in my view it would seem that one of two things has happened:
1: Your database has been corrupted somehow.
2: Your hosting company has had a failure and has restored a copy of your database from 6 months ago.
I’d get in touch with them this morning and find out if they have had any problems.  If you have suffered a database corruption, I’d be happy to see if I would be able to recover any of it, although I would need a copy of the database however and understand if you don’t feel comfortable with that.
At any rate, good luck with the recovery efforts and if you need any help please sing out.’
Isn’t that nice!  People I don’t even know happy to help me.  That’s one of the things I love about the blogging community – it’s full of virtual strangers who are not only friendly but caring.
Amazing how it was 12C outside yet I was perfectly warm working on my lap top

It was 12C (53F) outside yet I was perfectly warm with my new heater and able to work on my lap top

CPoo’s instructions were so clear and easy to understand.  I started doing what he suggested and retrieved all 41 of my posts, except for the latest post that wasn’t up for long enough before it disappeared.

In the meantime, my web host had made contact with the company she leases space from.  They had a back-up copy until June 16 however by late yesterday everything had been restored.  This morning I received an email advising what had happened and I’ll share this with you just so you are aware that even when you’ve been told there’s no way you can lose your blog content, it can actually happen.
Here’s what my host said…
‘You’ve been pretty lucky, they thought we’d lost content between 16 and 21st [June]. But it looks now as if all the data is there including today’s post.  I am sorry this happened. There is no web host who is infallible, and it’s a strange quirk of events that meant yours was the only one affected in today’s move.  I have to keep asking myself, why does it keep happening to you?’
Here’s the explanation my host received…
‘The following happened.
a. Your reseller account was previously hosted in server “A”
b. Your accounts were moved to server “B” some time back
c. Yesterday we performed reseller account migration of all accounts from server “A” to another server “C”.
d. After your account was moved to server “B”, they were not deleted in the old server “A” by mistake. The following accounts were still present.hotlyspiced. Hence these accounts got migrated to new server “C” as well
f. Since the domain “hotlyspiced.com” was using our clustered DNS, the IP address of the domain got changed to XYZ which is that of new server “C”.
g. I have checked and confirmed that other accounts under the reseller account present in “A” were not using clustered DNS and hence their IP address is not changed. They all are pointing to your existing server “B”
h. I have deleted the accounts from old server “A” and new server “C” by preserving only the DNS zone for “hotlyspiced.com” in clustered DNS
i. Currently your reseller account and accounts under it exist only in server “B”I understand how this has impacted “hotlyspiced.com” domain, this shouldn’t have happened in the first place if the migrated accounts from your old server “A” were immediately deleted after being migrated to “B”.  My team and I understand the importance of this issue and we deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused.I also agree that support failed to identify the issue with DNS before suggesting restoration from backups. If the exact issue was identified, then we could have saved the data for “hotlyspiced.com” between June 16th and June 22nd.Please accept our sincere apologies for the problems caused and we assure you that this won’t happen again.’
So there you have it.  That is how you can lose your content and although a rare series of events, losing your blog can actually happen.  I’m very fortunate and extremely grateful beyond belief that despite my blog being there one minute and poof, gone the next, that all content was restored.
A lesson learned is that my blog is too precious to me to leave entirely in the hands of a second or third party.  I will be taking steps to sort out what I can do to protect my virtual property.
I would also like to thank all my readers who sent me positive vibes and offers of assistance during this time that was a harrowing 24 hours where without you, I was feeling completely helpless.
If you liked this post you’re welcome to share it.

Comments

  1. Congratulations on averting total disaster, Charlie. I can only imagine how sick you must have felt and it has me wondering if it could happen to me and what I can do to prevent it.

  2. That is some story, I couldn’t imagine how horrible it was for you. In this selfish world of ours it’s so lovely to hear of these selfless acts of kindness by virtual strangers. I’m very glad your issues worked out, now I need to figure out how to back up my blog! Thank you for pointing it out to us.

  3. Phew!! could’ve been a complete disaster, thank goodness you managed to get it back Charlie and thanks so much for posting, it’s great to know what to do just in case it ever happens

  4. Yes! I found them all on the archive.org “wayback machine” too. I knew you’d be okay. I must have gotten in when they were doing their thing because all I could get this morning was your cpanel page. Nothing doing but cpanel but you could see your site. I figured if you could see it, then it had to be a DNS issue that would resolve itself over the next few hours – and it did. When I got home tonight it was all perfect again.

    Poor you!

  5. I can imagine what you were going through-we had a meltdown where our server died a few years ago and hubby spent the whole Easter long weekend glued to the computer trying to fix it! I’m just glad that you got it all sorted and Jas and her husband are complete darlings!

  6. I’m so happy you were able to get everything straightened out! I would have been very sad without your blog posts. What a scary nightmare. I keep saying I’m going to print all of my recipes off my blog and put them in a binder, but I keep procrastinating. I’m going to focus on doing it this week!

    Here’s to a nice, relaxing, stress free week for you!! ~ April

  7. Dear Charlie, I’m glad everything is fine now. I visited your blog last night (actually this morning) and read your post about egg baskets without knowing all that had happened before… I always save a copy of my posts on word and the images are in a external hard drive, but it would be so tedious to repost all of those posts… Luckily you have good friends with the knowledge and disposition to help you :)

  8. Wow, what a horrible chain of events Charlie! I am so glad that you were able to get it sorted out :) I am very fortunate to have a son that works for my host company, so he can watch over my site and control what happens with it and how it is stored. I would go completely ballistic if that happened to me! The internet is an awesome thing, but unfortunately it has it’s quirks as well. Take a deep breath, have a glass of wine, and know that we are all sending you happy thoughts :)

  9. Oh you poor dear. I’ve been so busy with Life! Life! of late that I haven’t been in touch with the blogworld as daily as usual, so I didn’t even know this was going on. You may remember that, late last year (or was it the beginning of this year?) my entire blog was hacked, disappeared, and it took a few days for BlueHost to figure out how to restore it, which they could only do by transferring it to a new theme/server and losing all my widget/plugins/data yadda yadda. It’s such a sick feeling. So glad everything is back to rights for you. xo

  10. I’m glad you were able to get all that help and a sort-of explanation from your web host. Your heater looks space age modern.

  11. What a mess! I would have been sick too – it’s horrifying to think all that work was lost! Glad everything turned out OK.

  12. All that A, B and C stuff is making my head spin! Thank goodness for kind and generous techy friends/blogger spouses! And so glad you didn’t lose a thing!

  13. Yikes! This is frightening Charlie. I am so glad you had so much help. And thank you for sharing the steps to recovery. Knock on wood that we ever have to use them.

  14. How wonderful of Jas and her husband to help. I’d be more than upset if it happened to me and I’m not sure I’d understand the instructions for trying to retrieve the data. Back up, back up I’m saying to myself, off to find the spare external hard drive. And pop over to Jas’ blog. GG

  15. Thank goodness it all came back my friend, you are so lucky to have so many wonderful bloggers willing to assist you!

    Cheers
    CCU

  16. So glad your backlog was able to be retrieved. I can’t imagine how you must’ve felt. But at least now you can take precautions from here on in. So glad everything is ok now xo

  17. You poor darling Charlie! How horrible, I would have gone to bed with a migraine for sure! How wonderful that Jas was able to help, and that others jumped to offer as well. I hope it stays sorted now, and definitely keep us up to date on what you can do to protect it. Id be so lonely without you sweetie xox

  18. Well done, I had also wondered what had happened, but when I checked later all was good. Think I will back up all my posts now just in case :)

  19. Thank you for your kind words :) I don’t think I’m alone in being horrified at the thought of losing your fabulous blog due to a ridiculous technical glitch (the set of events that caused the glitch and the fact that your site was the only one affected is almost beyond belief!) so penning a quick email with a potential fix was the least we could do. So glad that you were able to track down all your posts and that everything was restored, and even better that you didn’t have to re-post everything – that would have been a complete pain! You’ve definitely had your fair share of internet and technical issues this year – hopefully this is the end of it!

  20. Oh my goodness, this sounds incredibly stressful my friend! I am sorry you had to go through all of this. Something similar happened to me several months ago, and I felt sick for days until I figured out what was going on. Backup backup backup!!!

  21. Thank goodness you were able to retrieve all your hard work! I think I would have cried in frustration! Sometimes you never know who will cross your path, virtually or otherwise, but gosh, how fantastic when someone takes the extra step to help! Happy dance :)

  22. That’s a great relief, Charlie. Having said that, I told Pete last night, and he said, “Google backs up the whole internet”. It’s a somewhat scary thought! :)

  23. Glad that everything is fine now Charlie, true!
    Isn’t it great that so many people genuinely cared and wanted to help you out too?
    Computers and technology are good when they work, but cause lots of stress at the same time…
    Am tired today, so hope you enjoy my rhyme! :)

  24. :) ! Hmm, now I know one of the reasons I don’t have my own blog! Have just read every one of the comments and the more I read the more ‘Double Dutch’ it became . . . don’t have a loving husband or significant other into IT either :D !

  25. Oh my goodness Charlie you poor thing that’s horrendous. I’m glad you sorted it out. All that info would have gone totally over my head!

  26. Wow. What a scarey moment. Btw I am able to back up my blog on blogger and there should be a way to do it on WordPress to. Otherwise it may be a good idea to copy an HTML version of your post and file it each time you write one. A hassle but at least it would be there for your use if it ever happened again.
    Carolyn

  27. Oh jeeeezzz! I think I feel a little queasy at the thought of it all. Every bloggers worst nightmare surely!
    Glad all is back where it should be now.

  28. Oh my goodness how awful! I would be totally lost if this happened to me – what a nightmare – thank goodness for Jas. Love that new heater!

  29. Having spent a good portion of my professional life in IT and related fields, your situation is far from atypical, Charlie. It’s rarely a single error but, rather, usually a series of highly improbable acts that team up to create a perfect storm type of thing. Sorry you were the victim and am glad you connected with people who could help. Thank you for documenting the steps you took to resolve the problem. I knew nothing of Archive.org. Like Eva, I need to find a way to back up the Kitchens.

  30. Urgh, IT is like a swearword to me with a bit of double Dutch thrown in for good measure – never know what’s cutting so how incredibly awesome for Jasmines hubby to come to your rescue – awesome stuff!
    I nearly sent you an email too about the missing post but thought it might even have been something I did.
    So pleased all is back to normal.
    Have an awesome week ahead and I LOVE your outside patio area.
    :-) Mandy xo

  31. I have no idea what all that well intended help means and I hope I never have to work it out. One things for sure, I’d have had a glass of wine sitting next to me while I was trying to translate it.
    Your heater looks space age and very cosy – what a lovely spot to write your blog.

  32. Thank goodness you received such good help! What a horrible story before then though – I’m sure many of us worry about losing our blogs but also don’t do anything sensible to prevent it – so this is a bit of a warning to many I suspect. It’s certainly a warning to me! I have my own IT husband but I think he’d struggle if my whole blog disappeared too, so I shall be tucking this post away as a reference that I hope I never need.

    I’m glad you’re back, too :)

  33. JO BABY says:

    A timely reminder to hard copy important documents. I spent 4 weekends and many week nights banging out school reports once and lost it all in a computer bungle. I couldn’t stop crying. I now save report comments everywhere- google docs, dropbox, etc etc.

  34. So glad you were able to get your blog up and running again – it must have been a horrible experience thinking all that hard work of yours had just disappeared! Its times like this that I am truly grateful for IT minded friends!!

  35. This scares the heck out of me to think of losing four years of work. Could you update with a post on what actions you take to back up your material on your own? Would love to know what we bloggers should do.

  36. I probably would have had to be hospitalized if that happened! I’m so glad it was all sorted out!

  37. glad all is well Charlie. I was trying to comment and thought it was just me. Only a person with a blog could fully understand the complete panic of loosing so much of themselves and the feeling this gives you. Glad you were able to recoop. Sure hope I dot have the same host server??. Take a breath, ill have to go check out your saviours blogx

  38. So glad you were able to resolve this and what a nightmare! It had never occurred to me that something like this could happen, and now I, too, will be trying to back up my blog…if I can figure it out. The reason they gave you for this happening made no sense to me. I’m just glad it can be done. :)

  39. I’m so sorry this happened to you but glad it worked out!! Now you got me thinking!!!

  40. I accidentally deleted my database once – oops – I had to do the same thing as you… getting my most recent post back from Google’s cache. Luckily I had a backup of the rest of the database. I’d recommend a WordPress plugin called “BackWPup” by the way. It will make backups of your database at an interval of your choice – I set it to back up twice a day – and you can have it save the backups to an external source… delivered to your by email, or uploaded to Dropbox for example!

  41. Yeah for good blogging buddies! That is all so great to hear! Your new outlook heter is looking cool & hot.

  42. So sweet of blogger friends to help you out! I would have been stressed out of my mind. Glad everything was restored :)

  43. I’m so glad it’s all good now! I remember seeing something on Facebook and wish I could’ve offered some help but I myself am totally computer illiterate so I wouldn’t have been much help.

    But I totally agree with you the blogging community is a great space and we’re all here to support and help each other out :) I might not be able to help with your computer issues but if you have any other issues please let me know xox

  44. What an awful feeling that must’ve been but I am glad all is well. I love Jasmine and her blog and so glad her hubby was able to help. I need to double check to see if my back ups are actually done xx

    Nazneen

  45. Oh no Charlie, how terrible! I think I’d cry if I faced a situation like that. Great to hear that things are okay now though :)

  46. That is absolutely terrifying!!
    There is so much work involved in each and every story! I can’t imagine how sick you must have felt.

    I am so pleased you were able to get the help you needed. I actually need some website help too so I will be in contact with your lifesaver :)

  47. Charlie, I’m just now returning to blog world and was horrified to read about your posts disappearing due to a “glitch” transferring info from server A to B to C to XYZ — or at least that was my conclusion of the series of events. Thank heavens a cyber angel came to the rescue (will check out Absolutely Jas right after this!) and that you were able to get everything restored. I print out a hard copy of my posts for my Mom (who doesn’t have a computer) so I at least have a file full of them four states away, if things go awry. Still, like you said, all the links were AWOL, etc. and it must have been extremely upsetting. I’m glad your new heater has been a source of comfort! xo

  48. I’m glad to find out that everything is back, yet I can imagine your feelings when this happened! I could nearly go to a bathroom or eat when some technical issues happened to the blog in the past. And it’s very true that food blogging is an amazing community. This is a big love community of sincere people.

  49. That’s really annoying Charlie.
    I admire your sense of humor, this , as the french say, “catastrophe “:), resumed in such a graceful and funny title.
    It’s the loss of all of us, now I can’t rummage in your blog as I used to do often.
    Anyhow,looking forward to your next post :)

  50. i too have no IT knowledge, i think i should find an IT niffy guy too!

  51. So glad that it all worked out for you. Good grief! Horray for people who know how to help out in such situations!!! Truly glad for you.

  52. Oh my goodness Charlie! How stressful. I am delighted you were able to get your content back. I am also glad I did not read this post before I had my hosting company move my website to a VPS this last week. I would have been a nervous wreck. Hugs coming your way and that it never, ever happens again. Take Care, BAM

  53. Oh my how scary!
    That is one of the major reasons that stop me from shifting to self hosting. I am really glad you managed to get all your posts back

  54. I was wondering what had happened. I assumed it was something on my end – usually is. ;) I’m so glad you got it all sorted out. I can only imagine how stressed you were. I would have been at wits end. And you’re right – that is what is wonderful about the blogging community. So many of us have never might and may not ever meet, yet there are so many willing to help each other out and share kindness. I love it. Glad this one has a happy ending!

  55. How awful. I was travelling the week this happened and then came down with the flu and then had a horrible week at work with lots of backed up stuff, so I haven’t had time to catch up on all my reading until now. So sorry you had to go through this, but happy all is back to normal now.

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