My web hosting company lost my data from mysql database

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My web hosting company has lost my data due to the mysql software failing,
it only affected those people using innoDB engine. I asked them why they
didnt restore from a back up. They said

"there is not an effective way of backing up mysql without either suspending
the service or causing latency problems connecting the database"

are they bull s*****g me or are they correct?

I think they have been totally unprofessional in my opinion, and have caused
me weeks of work and lost all my user details and the data they keep on my

Their terms of condition has the usual get out clause, does this mean that
legally there is nothing I can do?


Re: My web hosting company lost my data from mysql database

mantrid wrote:
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I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

I don't think they are correct. says, regarding
the "mysqldump --single-transaction" option:

   "This option issues a BEGIN SQL statement before dumping data
   from the server.  It is useful only with transactional tables
   such as InnoDB and BDB, because then it dumps the consistent
   state of the database at the time when BEGIN was issued
   without blocking any applications."

But you might want to try it yourself before you call them liars on
this, so you can demonstrate that backing up InnoDB tables do not cause
concurrency problems.

Create a MySQL database on your PC, large enough so that a backup takes
several moments.  Then run a backup using that --single-transaction
option, while simultaneously trying to read and write to the database,
and see if you get delays.  From the wording above, you should not see
any blocking.

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If the terms absolve them of responsibility for data backups, I'd assume
that there is little you can do to seek damages.  But of course, *never*
accept legal advice from some clown on an internet newsgroup!  Talk to
your lawyer and show him/her the terms of service from your hosting
provider.  Then it's up to you and your lawyer to decide if you think
you can win enough in a settlement or judgment, to justify the exercise.

If it were me, I'd consider it a regrettable learning experience, and in
the future, create my _own_ backups, if the database contains valuable
and irreplaceable data.

For instance, if you use a hosting service that provides a web-based
MySQL administration tool like phpMyAdmin or something like it, there
should be a way to "export" your data to a text file, and then you
download the text file to your local PC, burn it to a CD, label and date
the CD, and put it in a fire safe.

Bill K.

Re: My web hosting company lost my data from mysql database

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They are correct in that there is no effective way of backing up mysql by using
a conventional file-by-file backup program of the kind typically supplied
with an operating system (dump/restore, tar, cpio, recursive copy, etc.)

With InnoDB tables, there is also no way they can hand you the last file-by-file
backup of the InnoDB databases, and let YOU try to extract something from them,
because they also contain *OTHER CUSTOMER'S DATA*.

I don't know how much it would slow down the database (or jam up
updates completely) if they had used "mysqldump --single-transaction"
on all databases (not just yours) while the web site was still up,
running, and making changes for the web sites of all the custoemrs.

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Why didn't YOU make backups?

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You can find another host.  A host willing to take responsibility for your
data will be expensive, however.

Re: My web hosting company lost my data from mysql database

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Easy to say in hindsight.
Because I stupidly assumed that anyone holding data on their computers does
regular backups (I do of my PC). Even more so if you are providing a charged
service and holding other peoples data, some of which may be extremely
valuble to your customers. Its seems like common sense to me. A senario, if
I lent you my car and you lost it by not taking common sense precations who
would you blame me or yourself for lending me the car. I feel it is unusual
to not make back ups of data on your system.If they dont the hosting company
should have made this very clear by indicating so during the sign up
procedure. But they are not going to jeopardize a contract at the last
moment by indicating that fact are they?

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In the process of doing so. It is a bewildering task reading carefully
throught the terms of servive to ensure they do exactly what you want them
to do. Do you have any recomendations I could check out?

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Not as expensive as loosing 400+ users and all the data they had stored on
my database and a good reputation that is so difficult to develop. not to
mention all the weeks of work I am now doing reconstructing my tables from
sql scripts in my php files, and changing php script to match the field
names I missed.

Re: My web hosting company lost my data from mysql database

mantrid wrote:
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Every host I've ever used has made it pretty clear that MySQL backups
are my responsibility.  I'm sure they do make backups, but they can't
guarantee that they'll be available for you.  You really should be
running your own backups - it's simple to write a short mysqldump script
to do it.  I even use replication so that I can do an offline backup
that doesn't stop the master from running.


Re: My web hosting company lost my data from mysql database

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[eyebrows raised in disbelief]

You didn't even keep a copy of the database schema?  You developed the
only copy of this database on the production server?  And you had no
development/test instance of the app or the database?

I don't think you can blame your hosting service provider for that.

You probably don't have your PHP code managed by a source control tool,
either, right?

Bill K.

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