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Dal_1978

Atari Forum restore options

How desperate are you to have Atari Forum back online?  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Please indicate which of the following stratergies we should move forward with:

    • Sit tight and give 250host another week to appear online.
      15
    • Restore the old backup and get it online asap.
      11
    • Restore the old backup but set all users to read only so that the forum can be harvested for information.
      11


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Sorry guys, I've had a busy schedule:

Was in the Netherlands on business from Sunday to Tuesday night,

At a customer yesterday and will be again all day today (over 200 mile round trip)

 

Add to this, my 'trusty' MacBook pro has suffered a hard disk failure (happened Sunday evening). For this reason alone, I have not been able to update the blog on the current landing page. I simply haven't had the opportunity to buy a replacement drive and restore my Time Machine backup to it.

 

I have received an email from the new host (they got back to me well within their 48 hour response time). They were unable to restore the backup. This is because, 250host used a different hosting platform (250host used DirectAdmin while hostpapa uses Cpanel). This leaves me having to do the process by hand after I understand the structure of the backup. Just before I went to bed, I wrote a small script on my NAS drive and cron'd it for the middle of the night when I have little else on the go. it will grab the backup archive from the backend, check it's integrity and also unpack it. I'm waiting for the job to finish (it will email me when it's done).

Edited by Dal_1978

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“Everyone, please READ this. Brian did not pay his bill for 6 months, in other words he pocketed our money. Liquid web is who leased to Brian, and from what I have learned he did

not pay his bill for the last 6 months, they went to court because they

legally couldn't just shut it down because of all the websites

involved. The courts issued the shut down. The only recourse to get

your money back is to sue right now.

Good digging! Maybe Liquid Web would be willing to provide a backup image if they have one (which they almost certainly do), on the grounds that the courts ruled in favour of them to shut down that tosser's operation? They're obviously aware that there are many people whose sites have been destroyed by this, through no fault of their own whatsoever, and that it's their data and not Brian's, who no longer has access to it in any case.

 

I'm sure if we could get one of them on the phone they'd be decent about it.

 

You've got to feel for the people with business sites who lost domain names (and worse, their own customers) because of all this.

 

Add to this, my 'trusty' MacBook pro has suffered a hard disk failure (happened Sunday evening). For this reason alone, I have not been able to update the blog on the current landing page. I simply haven't had the opportunity to buy a replacement drive and restore my Time Machine backup to it.

Sucks. My Macbook's hard disk died last year and took out some non-backed-up baby photos and videos. I knew one day I'd learn the hard way that backing up regularly is a good idea :D

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Sucks. My Macbook's hard disk died last year and took out some non-backed-up baby photos and videos. I knew one day I'd learn the hard way that backing up regularly is a good idea :D

 

I'm going to backup my Disney vacation photos & videos when i get home tonight. ;)

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UPDATE!!!

 

Right, i'm unrolling the backup archive. gunzip generated an unexpected End of File error so there maybe something missing - at this point I don't know what. I am extracting the TAR now and then I will have a better idea of what is/isn't there.

 

I have been doing some further digging and I have found this:

 

http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1013310&page=2

 

I wish I had seen this in December as I would have got this moving straight away.

Brian's last post was yesterday. We just need to hope someone takes the plunge and purchases 250free/250host and settles with LiquidWeb to get the data back...

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UPDATE!!!

 

Right, i'm unrolling the backup archive. gunzip generated an unexpected End of File error so there maybe something missing - at this point I don't know what. I am extracting the TAR now and then I will have a better idea of what is/isn't there.

 

I have been doing some further digging and I have found this:

 

http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1013310&page=2

 

I wish I had seen this in December as I would have got this moving straight away.

Brian's last post was yesterday. We just need to hope someone takes the plunge and purchases 250free/250host and settles with LiquidWeb to get the data back...

 

 

But doesn't he say somewhere on that page that the servers were virtual - and therefore there's no way to get your data back?

 

Also seems a piddly-small amount of money to let it go down over - 2 grand - he could have borrowed that from a bank and been free & clear within a few months if this business was generating $1,000 per month. Or failing that, repaying $2,000 over a longer period would have cost him less than $50 per month.

Edited by Grunaki

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What Brian was saying was that because the servers aren't physical, he has no access to them. The virtual servers would have been taken offline - liquid web can get to them through the account but only Brian has the password and they'll probably want the debt settled first.

 

Two grand may sound cheap, but don't forget that is for the business (including debts). So even at $1000 revenue per month, only Brian knows how many months you'd need to survive in order to be at 0 again...

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Regardless of the state of Brian's business (250host), it is much appreciated that Dal is trying his best to get Atari Forum back online.

If the December 4th backup is incomplete, or not usable, or indeed even if it is okay, lets hope that someone does indeed take on Brian's business (250host). Then at least a new backup of the data can be made.

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Well, if $2K is a true number, I can't imagine it would be that difficult to get up and running. Sadly I suspect that a lot of that $1K month;y income has already been paid.

 

However, if $2K is accurate, perhaps someone could step up.

I have no interest in running a hosting company, but I wouldn't mind buying a share if someone wanted to run with it.

You wouldn't need too many people to throw $50, $100 or more into the pot to get $2K.

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Should do a tar tvf on the file at the host, or on the best known copy; maybe it got truncated during moving it around? Hope you native copy is good :) Otherwise.. get what we can!

 

archive.org has a snapshot from 2008, but be impossible to fetch it back :/

 

jeff

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What Brian was saying was that because the servers aren't physical, he has no access to them. The virtual servers would have been taken offline - liquid web can get to them through the account but only Brian has the password and they'll probably want the debt settled first.

 

Two grand may sound cheap, but don't forget that is for the business (including debts). So even at $1000 revenue per month, only Brian knows how many months you'd need to survive in order to be at 0 again...

That's a bit of a mess. I'd expect that nobody really wants to take on that business, and since hosting services are mostly interchangeable, what people want is just access to their hosted data so they can quickly make backups and move to greener pastures.

 

With that thread in mind, could we maybe open up another dialogue with Liquid Web and try to strike a deal just to get access to Brian's VMs and recover/archive/return each customer's data? It sounds a bit like extortion, so maybe LW will be more flexible given the situation. Or maybe they'll ask for the 4 months' backlog of Brian's fees before doing anything at all.

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Looks like I have the forum databases and 7533 files (attached to posts) along with most (if not all) avatars etc... that's the good news.

 

Annoyingly, no php files to be found so I will have to roll the data into a new instance of phpBB. I think the skin has gone too so may take a little while to get it looking as it was.

 

Real bad news is no Wiki :-(

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Form follows function GroovyBee ;-)

 

Agreed! But in my opinion don't waste time/resources trying to make it an exact visual duplicate when a revamp could be less stressful to implement.

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Right, i'm unrolling the backup archive. gunzip generated an unexpected End of File error so there maybe something missing - at this point I don't know what. I am extracting the TAR now and then I will have a better idea of what is/isn't there.

 

Ouch :( Is that the only backup that we have, or Silver has some another, older, backup? The problem of a truncated gzip file is not only that files would be missing, the main archive CRC and checksum is lost. So we don't know for sure if the internal files aren't corrupted :(

 

I agree with Jeff. First thing would be to ask Silver if the the (most) original version of this backup is truncated as well. You could use some tool like md5sum to verify that in wasn't truncated somewhere on transit. It is not that uncommon to have transmission problems in such huge files.

 

We all thank you for your effort, and let us know if you need any help.

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Already compared the file i have with Silver, it is exactly the same... He gets the same result when unpacking also. :(

Edited by Dal_1978

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At least the forum is safe :)

 

We could suck the 2008 wiki out of the wayback machine, at minimum; I could write a scraper for that maybe.

 

Anyone have an old backup?

 

Jeffphone

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If you can get the Wiki in any state, then that would be a bonus. I'm doing some work on a customer's server today so apart from assessing the damage, I've done nothing else on AF. I'll get the backend up by the end of the weekend and see what's what...

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Here is a link (http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.atari-forum.com/wiki/*) to the files that the way back machine / http://web.archive.org has stored for the wiki section. Is this of any use?

 

I have a small number of files that I have downloaded in the last half of last year, most are zip files, but I have three pages from the wiki plus one page of the forum (saved by Firefox as htm files with folders for the associated files). Would these be of any help? Maybe other users will also have stored some as well? I know that trying to glue lots of fragments back together is a hell of a lot of work, but you never know, actually having some example pages may help.

 

Is Silver Surfer sure that he does not have any other back-ups?

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I'm a bit surprised that the way back machine (http://web.archive.org) only has data up to 22nd August 2008. Some other archived web pages for other web sites have data stored for 2009 at least. What happened to the Atari-forum site after 22nd August 2008?

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Silver Surfer reckons the only backup he has is the 4th December. He will have a dig around, but that may be it. In the meantime, I have established contact with the guy who is looking to buy 250host out... ;)

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Here's my email correspondence so far between myself and the guy who is looking to purchase 250host:

 

Hi Dennis,

 

I think an approach such as this is definitely a positive one.  As you say, there is an investment on both sides, but some 'real world' good comes from it also.

 

I really hope you can come to some arrangement. I run a technical forum for the Atari range of computers so there is a lot of information in there that a ton of users want to get back at.

 

Unfortunately the backup I have is truncated :-(

 

You have at least given a glimmer of hope that we'll be back online at some point.

 

If it helps your cause, I may be able to rally up the donations through my userbase?

 

Darren.

 

On 16 Jan 2011, at 06:02, Dennis wrote:

 

Hi Darren,

 

Apologies for the birthday-derived delay in response.

 

My cunning plan, as it were, doesn't really have anything to do with

getting the servers back online. That's a given, provided that I'm

able to acquire the right to do so from Brian. The invitation to the

other fellow was to discuss a thought that I have in terms of "making

things right" with the current 250host customers that have, for lack

of a better way to put it, been screwed here.

 

I'm still working on the proper way to go about it. I think I have an

idea that, while it costs both sides of the debate money, it also

provides a bit of benefit to the world at large. If you wouldn't mind

sharing your thoughts on it, I'd appreciate it. Basically, my initial

thoughts go something like this:

 

For any customer demanding some sort of recompense, provided that

proof is provided that no less than 10USD has been donated by said

customer to a charitable organization, preferably for the betterment

of child education, a full year of hosting services will be provided.

 

As a customer that's currently in need of his data, how would you feel

about such an arrangement?

 

Thanks for getting a hold of me.

 

Dennis

 

On Sat, Jan 15, 2011 at 6:45 AM, Darren wrote:

Hi,

 

I have been reading this thread with interest (http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1013310&page=3)

 

I am on the forum as Dal_AF and have a vested interest in any attempt to re-establish 250host in any way possible so that I can get back at data I have lost (despite my having a backup).

 

Please could you let me know your cunning plan and I will surely help in any way I can.

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brings me back to my first post

 

that says if you run the backup on a virtual server on a say quad core pc

 

first!!! then restore it as needed

 

this is the best approch

 

best forget the 19 or less days data

take it out the equassion

 

restore the backup in home on a simple pc

 

and draw it off {port it} to a different framework

 

rather than suffer

 

 

this way there is the option to restore each page panel and post

as needed etc...

 

super edit

 

afterall the forum was a bit of a mess anyway and like an old rose bush

needs a dam good prune this time of year...

to cut out the dead wood

 

it would be less hastle to set up a machine with the right components

than spend ages grasping at straws and a race to buy a host thats going on

held to ransom for data isnt worth it

Edited by simbo

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