I need my website's files restored

Last Sunday a little after 4pm, my website disappeared. After 16 hours (and several
support requests) DH tech support finally contacted me. They said there were no files
in my directories anymore, and no trace (logs) of anything being deleted/moved.

Monday afternoon, they ran an automated robot script which restored 10 (text-only-versions) of my posts. My site had well over 1000 posts w/ 5000+ images.

It wasn’t like I was tweaking my site and accidentally wiped all the files out. For
some reason, THEY (dreamhost) wiped out my entire site. I know they do backups everyday. I need them to fully restore my site.

My website is my livelihood. This is a devastating loss.

What can I do? Any suggestions???

Please help!

I’m sorry you’re having this issue. While we do provide a Domain Restore service, we also recommend that you maintain your own off-line backups locally.

I noticed you were using WordPress, so I dug deeper into what the restore did and adjusted the files accordingly. Your backup was missing the .htaccess file which controls how your site looks, which is why nothing was formatted correctly. By re-building that for you, your site now displays your content, and it looks like well more than only ten posts.

The only thing that is still missing is your uploaded images. I checked through our backups, but I was unable to find them.

Does your website use a database? If so, does your database still exist? If so, then wouldn’t all of your posts exist in your database rather than in website files?

Also, I would say your case is a powerful reminder to run your own backups with different time-stamps on a regular basis. Not what you want to hear, I know. Also not saying any of this is your fault. Stuff does happen though.
I have recently wiped out one of my hard-drives at home with a simple command-line that I was playing with. Not only deleted my entire music collection, but erased 4 years of videos and photos of my only child. That is what made me start learning about how to use rsync.

For the last two weeks I have been studying how to sync all of my files to remote locations (both website files and files on my home-computer). It took a little time, but I do now have a full backup of my databases and website files that is updated hourly. Now I am working on a backup of those files to a server I have in a basement.

There are so many things that can happen, that not having a backup system in place is a gamble. If your lively-hood is based on your website, then it would be doubly important to have full backups in place. I do not think I would trust any hosting company with my only copies of important documents or files.

Thank you for what you have restored so far.

My website is an Art/Design journal. Each post contained 3-5 images. I must
also have the image content.

Also, I had created custom graphics for my website.

My website looks like a skeleton of what it was.

My wordpress friends are telling my that if DH can find some of the files for my
site they should be able to get them all.

Your WordPress friends are right. I wasn’t able to find any more backups of your site, though, so this was the best I could do with what I could find :frowning:

I take it you didn’t have any backups of your images saved locally? It’s possible to rebuild, but even looking at the wayback machine (http://web.archive.org) I don’t see the images, so I can’t grab 'em from there for you.

Can you please PLEASE continue to look for my image and graphics files???

As I said before my site is an ART/DESIGN site, so there are many THOUSANDS
of images. My site is useless with these images.

Also, no one responded to last tech support request to fix my wordpress login.

I realize DH is busy but all it would take is ONE knowledgeable sys admin to
restore my site since you do backups everyday.

I have been a paying customer for more than 2 years, and
have rarely asked for any tech support. I have even
RECOMMENDED dreamhost to others for their
web hosting.

Since DH caused this problem,
can’t they have a competent sysadmin work on this???

Also, no one responded to last tech support request to fix my wordpress login.

Have you tried again since I was able to restore the look of your site? The two issue may have been related. As I don’t have your password, all I can do is go to your login page and see that, yes, it comes up. I can see that you have two IDs.

Since the webarchive showed you were using a theme called atahualpa, I installed and activated that for you, and now your theme settings have restored themselves.

DH has re-populated my site with the mySql entries. Basically a skeleton
of my original.

What I need is the BACKUP of my site which will contain

My wordpress friends are telling me that any professional web hosting
company does DAILY backups of the entire directory structure
for every website. DH needs to get a competent sys Admin
to rebuild my site from their backup. This is an straight-forward task
for a sys admin.

DH also needs to figure out how they suddenly LOST all
the files from my site (and probably other sites).

Thank you, I am able to get back into my site again.

My website has been non-functional since Sunday 5pm.

Any idea how long it will take for the full backup (with images) to be installed on my site?

Given that I can’t find the images, you’d be best served asking that in your support ticket. I’m the WordPress guru, not the restore expert, so I looked where I know to look. :frowning:

If you know the exact path, any exact filenames or even the extension of most files that might help them when you open your ticket.

It’s pretty much all the files in /wordpress/wp-content/

But quite literally, when I looked at the backups for the account, there was nothing there. I don’t know where the robot got the files :confused:

2 hours ago I submitted a ticket to have the images (from the latest backup) be copied to the appropriate directory on my site. I also noticed the latest plugins I installed are missing.

Can you (Ipstenu from DH) check to see whether someone is looking into this? I know
tech support leaves around 5pm so if they don’t get to it this afternoon that means
my site is DOWN for another day.


[quote=“eyeswoon, post:13, topic:59202”]
2 hours ago I submitted a ticket to have the images (from the latest backup) be copied to the appropriate directory on my site. I also noticed the latest plugins I installed are missing.

Can you (Ipstenu from DH) check to see whether someone is looking into this? I know
tech support leaves around 5pm so if they don’t get to it this afternoon that means
my site is DOWN for another day.


Sorry for the delay in response, but someone has indeed been looking into it, and actually just emailed you! Please reply there directly if you have any follow-up questions or concerns. Thanks!

PS. Our tech support team actually works around the clock, 24/7, and we try to answer most tickets within our 24-hour guarantee (though it’s usually within a few hours, unless we’re terribly busy). :slight_smile:

This is the THIRD day my website is un-operable. I submit support tickets, but do not get a response unless I post here.

For a recap of these problems see:

If DH cannot restore my site, does that mean DH does not do backups for their users?

We do backup the server, but as we mentioned before, they’re not guaranteed and we’ve always encouraged our customers to make their own backups just in case ours fail or are corrupted (which can happen with any backup FWIW): http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Backup

We have an admin looking into this and that’s the best I can do for you right now. We were able to get the post content up, but the images were backed up on a different server (databases and files being separate).

Reinstalling your plugins, thankfully, is very easy if you know what they are. You can do that through the WP interface. AND most of them will actually keep your settings, since they were left in the database.

I understand that the images were backed up on a different server (databases and files being separate). But my wordpress friends are saying that it would be unlikely that
DH does not have a backup of the directory w/ the images. Unless there was some calamity which would affect a very large number of users.

Please understand - my website is my livelihood. I am waiting every hour of every
day for this problem to be resolved.

Just wanted to follow up and let you know we recently emailed you back. Please feel free to reply there directly if you need us to assist you with anything else. Thanks so much.

It just boggles my mind how every freak’n “good Little hosting company” (i.e. DH) ends up growing too big, too fast, and falls into the exact same crapper of slow overburdened servers, lackluster tech support, and broken promises (up-time guarantees, file redundancies, your site is safe with us, etc.)

Sometimes (not all the time) DH makes me sick, sick, sick - and unfortunately that’s happening more and more often!!!

…and for the record, I can’t find ANY automated WordPress plugin for backups that will run reliably on DH servers. Which of course means you have to get into the db’s yourself to manually create backups, and download all your WP files via ftp, on a regular basis - both very ‘user friendly’ processes - and heaven help you if you ever need to restore those backups.

Given these facts, and after reading this thread, I’m seriously questioning whether I should continue recommending DH hosting to my customers. Those $97 affiliate commissions mean NOTHING when you have to burn hours, upon hours, upon hours, dealing with crap like this…

JM2C - and yes, I’m dealing with my own DH support issue right now too so I’m not a happy camper either…

Forced to wait around for support responses to my own server issues, I’m spending time lurking the forum and DH facebook page. Lo and behold I see a new post for Dreamhost Objects - a new low cost cloud storage solution.


Didn’t I just read a post about DH loosing 5K images from a customer website when they did a server transition? I dunno, feeling a little dicey about turning to DH for file storage solutions right now. I wonder what the new DH Objects terms say?

“DreamObjects is designed for 99.99999% durability over a given year and your data is replicated three times, with immediate consistency, throughout our data center ensuring further backup security.”

I wonder how that compares to their hosting terms?

“If your web site, databases, email, FTP, SSH or webmail is unusable as a result of a failure in our systems and for reasons other than previously announced scheduled maintenance, coding or configuration errors on your part, we’ll credit your next invoice with 1 day hosting free for each 1 hour (or fraction thereof) of service interruption; up to 10% of your next pre-paid hosting renewal fee. We begin assessing credit from the time you open a support ticket to report the problem. That’s all there is to it – no arguments, no hassle, no pages of fine print – DreamHost’s 100% Uptime Guarantee – it just doesn’t get any better than that! So… sign up today!”

Read the policy again where it states DH will credit “1 day of hosting for each 1 hour of service interruption.” After reading THAT, it looks like the OP needs to make a claim against that policy commitment.

If DH lost the OP’s files due to their own server migration activity, and the OP cannot run his/her website without those image files, that is clearly a service interruption caused directly by DH and has nothing to do with the client making regular backups.

Either DH finds the OP’s image files, or they credit him/her 10% off hosting ad infinitum. Sure 10% credit isn’t much - in fact, such a small amount is clearly an indication of DH’s true lack of service and uptime commitment, but it’s something. So let’s see if DH does the “right thing” and honors their stated policies…