The main HWI is backed up regularly but the forum is not because it cannot be done other than by the cut and paste method into a Word (or similar) document and then the reverse to transfer it back to the forum. We simply do not have the resourses to do that. Even if we did, every post (yep, all 30,000 of them) would appear under my ID which would make it look as though I had been talking to myself for the last three years.
To answer a point made by Jon, when a post is deleted from a forum, it really is deleted. The is no way it can be brought back. At the moment, I don't believe the posts on the official forum have been deleted. I suspect they are currently merely invisible due to some software problem which may or may not have been caused by a virus.
All the above refer to ProBoards forums but I imagine Yabb is pretty much the same in that way. Decca would argue that the historical content of their forum is relatively unimportant. I know the loyal fans would disagree but, bearing in mind it takes a lot of time to run a forum, and time is money, they may have a point.
Thank you Tornado! I knew they had back-ups! All the information should be there to build up a forum. Each post as reply information on were its positioned. BTW data can be retrieved from a server's hard-drive if necessary because it is not overwritten, simply invisible until it is overwritten by new information.
But Roger do you access the forum on a code level?
No Jon, we cannot because we don't *own* the forum in the way that we own the main site and therefore have no access to it at code level (other than to create, modify, or delete existing boards, change the skin, etc). This forum is ultimately owned by ProBoards but registered to me. Other than that, I think toronado has answered your question. Let's hope we never have to put it to the test!
The disappearance of the membership list on Hayley's official forum is almost certainly caused by the same problem. Although the current membership is shown as two, thanks to Eli and Clarissa joining during the last 24 hours, I can still log in and view members' profiles via the remaining posts. This makes me think the missing posts have been hidden rather than deleted. At the moment I can only find 51 of my 829 posts there, which means another 200 have disappeared since I checked yesterday!
According to ProBoards, they keep backups of the databases, and will restore the forums to a previous backup if you post for help on their boards, but I have no idea how often they do it.
We are lucky that Patrick the Proboards owner is highly technically competent and seems to care very much about maintaining a good reputation for them. Yes they do regular backups and I'm sure they use RAID technology and other high-tech methods of keeping the data safe. He has in the past, I have read, offered a substantial reward to anyone who can hack into the Proboards main servers (as distinct from individual forums).
Therefore it is highly unlikely that any Proboards forum will suffer the same sort of problems as the Universal forums and if one does because it was hacked, yes Proboards would likely be able to restore it from their own backups. Well not unless Roger has a moment of madness and deletes everything himself and throws away the key! So don't any of you lot ever annoy him too much!
I do wish there was an easy way of backing up an individual Proboards forum though - but unfortunately, there is not.
The HWI main site data is of course safely backed up both on the web, PCs and regularly on (unhackable) DVDs and I have found ways of copying the occasional forum thread that I consider of particular interest,
My current recomendation is not to post on any UCJ Yabb forum until UCJ have fixed the problem, Tuesday at the earliest.
The UCJ forums are not stable at the moment and shouild be avoided to prevent further data loss
Why is there a problem? Virus Hardware Bandwidth
I don't know the answer, I've seen many forums disappear with no back up on many servers in my time, even Doctor Alan Solomon didn't get it right, I strongly recommend that any important posts are backed up, I am currently considerering pdf for those important posts.
I changed Katherine's forum to log on before you see it, to help protection form any outsiders, not a UCJ directive, Gerrit has done the same on his KJI board.
We are all in the same boat, the spammers, hackers are very active, back up the important posts while you still can.
A easy way to restore your own back ups would be a good invention
Thank you very much for your thoughts and advice. I have asked the rest of the Admin/Mod team how they feel about enforcing log in before viewing the forum. It is not something that I would normally wish to do as that greatly reduces the number of people who are currently able to view information (obviously!). However, it is something that we shall consider as a matter of some urgency.