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Author Topic: Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019  (Read 433 times)

Offline PMPinball

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Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019
« on: April 12, 2019, 11:15:54 AM »
Greetings,

It's been awhile, it's hard to believe we'd actually set our site up in 2012. I've left the site in the hands of the owner, who is somewhat tech savvy, and has mostly not had too much trouble with it ... BUT ...

Suddenly last week, a lot of data has come up missing. The issue is site-wide, affecting user posts, infrequent users having to reset their passwords (including our Admin/Owner), and new users registering within the date rage suddenly finding they're not registered, and having to do that again to access the site.

I don't know how, but it appears that much data that was posted after sometime in Aug 2018 and before April 10, 2019 has gone missing, or is somehow not showing in our forum.

The site is functioning happily as if nothing happened. New posts (after Apr 9th, 2019, it seems) are being retained. Posts prior to Aug 2018 are there, going back to when we first set up the site.

It's very hard to figure out wha' happened, or exactly when it occurred (within the last week). I don't see any major errors or server crashes in the site's SMF logs, or the host server's logs. There's been no notices from the host provider regarding any server issues. I don't know what happened.

The site is share-hosted on A2Hosting using a Linux server, Apache, PHP, and MySQL, all near-latest versions.

There is a feature on the host's cPanel called "Server Rewind" ... this keeps restore points for the site and the databases for the last 7 days. I've tried to restore both the site and the database to Aprl 4th, and this reported success for both items. But the site did NOT reflect any changes (even after caches cleared, browsing history , too) ... the missing data was still missing, the new data entered after 4-10 was there, too (should think that the new data would NOT be there, as I'm supposed to have reverted to 04-04).

Question: using PHPAdmin, where can I look, in a MySQL dbase, to view the text of the forum posts, and what dates the posts were entered? What table in a SMF database would these be located? If I could see what's in the posts, I could tell if the missing data is still in the dbase (or the restore point dbases prior to 4-10). I'd at least know if it's a dbase (probably) or SMF issue, and could tshoot from there.

Site Info:

Website: RoguePinball com

SMF Vers:   2.0.11
Server OS: Linux
Web Server: Apache v2.4.39
PHP Vers: 7.2.16
MySQL Vers: 5.6.43-cll-lve
Architecture: x86_64

Thanks in advance for your help.

Have a great weekend!

-Peter Macintosh

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2019, 12:35:07 PM »
Posts are in smf_messages table (or whichever prefix you are using).  Timestamps are unix time, there are many converters online.  2.0.15 does not support php 7.2, downgrade to 7.1 max.  Have you contacted host suppport?


Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2019, 12:53:53 PM »
Do contact your host, that sounds like your forum has experienced time travel.

Edit: Also, do update for your own good.
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 Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2019, 01:04:10 PM »
Just had a quick look at the forum, database should not be large enough to cause import problem.  Check your smf_log_errors table, it may be huge.  Empty it in pma, then try the import again.

Offline PMPinball

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Re: Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2019, 01:31:50 PM »
Thanks for info, guys.

I did contact host via support ticket, still waiting response (19.5 hrs & counting, still early yet, for them).

I'm tempted to go to latest version of SMF ... but have read there may be issues w/v2.1. What do you think, would going to 2.0.15 work here? Does it support PHP 7.2.16?

Alexi, what do you mean by "time travel"? I do understand that hosted servers sometimes do strange things ... even reversions over 6 months like this. What would cause that? (Yes, this question is in support ticket waiting for the host)

I'm hopeful at this point it's just a PHP compatibility thing, that upgrading SMF might resolve it ...

-Peter Mac

Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2019, 01:39:14 PM »
Alexi, what do you mean by "time travel"? I do understand that hosted servers sometimes do strange things ... even reversions over 6 months like this. What would cause that? (Yes, this question is in support ticket waiting for the host)

I'm hopeful at this point it's just a PHP compatibility thing, that upgrading SMF might resolve it ...
Exactly that. It would very much sound like at some point your DB was reverted to a much earlier backup for some reason. Data does not usually just disappear, or if it would something would be quite visibly broken. Also, not a PHP issue - PHP version issues wouldn't have any effect on the data that has already successfully been saved in the DB.

I'm tempted to go to latest version of SMF ... but have read there may be issues w/v2.1. What do you think, would going to 2.0.15 work here? Does it support PHP 7.2.16?
Versions of SMF 2.0 from 2.0.14 onwards require a version of PHP between 5.4 and 7.1 - but 2.0.15 is currently the latest stable release.
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"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum.
 Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2019, 09:51:45 PM »
Stay at 2.0.11 php 7.1 or lower until you resolve the db problem.  You don't want to make any changes that may further complicate things.

I did contact host via support ticket, still waiting response (19.5 hrs & counting, still early yet, for them).

That's totally unacceptable, my host responds to support tickets typically in 15 minutes or less, even late Sunday nights.  And it does sound like your host screwed your db. :P

Offline PMPinball

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Re: Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2019, 09:54:04 PM »
Alas! The host DID screw up! They admitted upgrading the server from one box to a newer one and "may have inadvertently transferred an older version" of our site, and that it happened within the last week. They concede to the missing time frame (Aug 2018 to around 04-09-19) ... but that time block is still missing from the site. . I'm responding on the ticket that they really should be able to get our latest site back up, so we'll just have to stay tuned.

Lesson for myself (and my illustrious site owner): I should have conveyed this to him much more sternly ... weekly backups to our own machines are REQUIRED, actual, physical backups. And so we'll be doing this from now on, going forward. If I had last week's backup, this problem would be resolved, less the few posts that have been made since 4-9. Instead, I'm at the mercy of the host provider, so we'll see ...

So anyway, as far as SMF goes, it's no longer an SMF issue: the problem is the host provider lost our latest dbase when they did their latest server upgrade.

Thanks for everyone's quick and helpful responses, A couple hard lessons learned, but you've also taught me a couple things in the process.

Happy weekend!

-Peter Mac

Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Missing Posts From Aug 2018 thru Apr 10 2019
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2019, 01:12:02 AM »
I think any good host should warn their clients of changes like that, mine does, and while I've never had any issues arise with them, the heads up allows me to make a manual backup and warn my users there may be some downtime expected if everything doesn't go smoothly.
A Finnish Support Specialist
 Happily running multiple SMF 2.0 installations.
  Fooling around with an i7 990X @ 3,47Ghz / 12Gb / Win 10 x64 / 3840x2160


How you can help SMF

"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum.
 Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas