I started a new blog entry last night. It concerned some kitchen knives and utensils that we’ve had for many years. I took some photos and inserted them into the entry, and wrote 3 or 4 paragraphs before saving the data and turning in for the night. I intended to finish the post this morning.
I got up this morning and tried to log into my blog. I saw a message when I tried to log in: “ERROR LOGGING INTO SERVER.”
That was scary, especially since I tried a dozen or so times to log in and continued to see the same message.
My Web hosting service is Siteground. I’ve been pretty well satisfied with Siteground’s service and prices, at least so far, and was surprised to see such a message.
I logged into Siteground’s customer service page and was taken immediately to a message:
Hello Bruce Weaver! Welcome to the SiteGround Helpdesk! You have 0 unread tickets
Please read the note below before posting a ticket:
This message was last updated on Mon 4th, 04:00:11 CST
After detecting that there is a problem with your host server we have run extensive verifications and checks to establish the nature and the severity of the issue. It turned out that the hard drive that hosts your account has failed, the damage was irreparable and we could not recover any data. Even though hardware issues like this are extremely rare and beyond anyone’s control, we have immediately taken measures to preserve your website.
With this message we would like to inform you how we will deal with the situation. In order to be able to always react quickly in critical situations, we keep spare hardware that has been previously tested and is ready-to-use at any time. Additionally, we keep backup copies of your accounts on a separate server. To make sure that your website remains intact and all information is preserved, we will take the following steps:
Replace the failed hard drive – we will replace the crashed hard drive with a brand new and extensively tested one.
Transfer data from the backup server – we will start transferring all websites from our backup server. We will also try to recover data from the damaged hard drive to make sure we restore as much data as possible.
At this time we cannot provide any problem resolution time frames, however, we expect to be able to start the restore process shortly. We would like to assure you that all measures to preserve your website have been taken and the following specialists are working on the issue:
The head system administrator of SiteGround;
An experienced technician from our datacenter, exclusively dealing with the affected server;
SiteGround support team representatives, entirely dedicated to this problem.
We would like to apologize for the inconvenience and hassle this may have caused and assure you that we will do everything possible to restore service as soon as possible. Please do not post tickets regarding your account via our HelpDesk. The SiteGround technical team will keep you updated on the progress of our work by posting regular messages in the Server Status Check section.
Once again, thank you for your cooperation!
The SiteGround Team
Needless to say, the message was unsettling. I wondered why a Web hosting service would allow any “down-time” at all. The message was posted at 4:00:11 a.m., CST. I’m in EDT, so it was posted at 5:00 a.m. where I am. My first attempt to log in was at 5:30, about a half hour after Siteground’s message was posted.
I tried logging in a number of times this morning. Finally, at about 8:15, I was able to bring up my Web page. Everything looked OK. Then I attempted to log into my site as administrator. I could not do so on the first attempt, but the second proved successful.
Almost everything looked OK on the inside, except that my work of last night was gone. Although I had saved the text and photos that I had posted on last night’s entry, for some reason that information was gone. I’m not really upset about that, because I wasn’t entirely pleased with what I had written. I might have trashed the effort and started over anyway. But it makes me wonder how often Siteground backs up data from their working servers to the backup servers.
When I first started blogging at earthdump, I prepared my text in word processing applications, saved the text, and copied it onto my Web pages. This method gave me a local backup of each of my entries. As time went on, I got away from this technique. I started composing my entries online, within the earthdump administrator area. When I do this, I make sure I back up my work regularly to make sure I don’t lose anything if I should happen to be knocked offline suddenly.
This just goes to prove one more time that data backups are important. Never trust a server, a hard drive, a thumb drive, a memory stick, a CD, a floppy disk, or someone else’s backup procedure. If you want to keep your data and digital photos, save copies in as many separate places you can.
Then try to remember where you put them.