HostGator HD & Backup Drive failed, ALL DATA LOST!!

51 replies
We have a dedicated server and backup drive that we pay for from hostgator.com , today both drives failed and lost all the data from all the business websites that were on it.

All data is lost and HostGator says they cant do anything about it nor restore any of the blogs, websites and so on.

All the graphics, written content is gone!!

No way to retrieve it period, this is what we paid HostGator for - a dedicated server and the sites to be backed up weekly on another drive just in case one crashed.

Well both crashed and their saying that they wont pay for any damages, whos going to pay thousands of dollars to get these sites re-designed and re-written with content??? Certainly not hostgator

DONT EVER BUY A DEDICATED SERVER FROM HOSTGATOR!

What would YOU DO!?!?
#backup #data #drive #failed #hostgator #hostgator scam #lost #scam #sue
  • Profile picture of the author jamesrich1
    Explain the situation to the manager of the manager and see if any thing else can be done to help your situation. If nothing... Learn from the lesson and keep all the written copy, graphic images and anything else related to your sites on your own multiple drives plus your next hosting companies drive.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    You don't have any backups of your own stuff?
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  • Profile picture of the author tokipost
    We have backups of the headers and backgrounds we created for the sites, but we do not have backups of all their blog posts that they blog weekly about their business and photos they upload showing off their before/after procedures as all this was backed up on another drive with hostgator for that reason/
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by tokipost View Post

      We have backups of the headers and backgrounds we created for the sites, but we do not have backups of all their blog posts that they blog weekly about their business and photos they upload showing off their before/after procedures as all this was backed up on another drive with hostgator for that reason/
      It sounds like you lost the database stuff. You might try using this tool to recover some of the information

      Internet Archive: Wayback Machine

      it won't be quick or easy, but a lot of the stuff might be there still. Don't delay though, the longer you wait the more you risk that stuff even going away.

      EDIT: I emailed Brent (HG owner), he will be here to see if he can help you. It will probably be tomorrow though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kung Fu Backlinks
    "Infuriating" doesn't begin to cover this situation, and I'm sorry you're going through it. Definitely keep your own backups, though. At the very least, though, they should completely refund you every red cent you paid them. You should read their complete TOS and see if there may be any way you can collect damages.

    I will say this, though. I'm glad I don't use Hostgator. I've had terrible experience with them and have been a happy Bluehost customer for most of my IM career.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
    You should always have your own backups. Next time do a little more research on hosts that offer more backup options. It's not ideal, but we provide multiple backups for most of our customers, and they are ran nightly. It's unfortunate that this has happened to you.

    Also, off site storage isn't very expensive and you should have implemented that from the beginning.

    While I do like HG, their specialty is shared hosting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Oh, please. How does the word "SCAM" fit this circumstance? Seriously.

    There as clearly no intent to do this. This is just one of those hard edges and sharp corners life throws in your way while you're heading for a glass of water at night. It sucks, but no-one set out to scam you. And this could (has, will) happen to any provider.

    If you don't have local backups of your own stuff, the time needed to recreate it is on you.


    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author payment proof
      I'd say scam kind of fits the circumstance if they paid for a promised service, their money was taken for that promised service, and the service wasn't provided.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        I'd say scam kind of fits the circumstance if they paid for a promised service, their money was taken for that promised service, and the service wasn't provided.
        Good grief... "Scamming" requires intent. A deliberate effort to deceive for some material gain. That hardly seems likely here, eh?

        Absolute worst applicable word: Negligence.

        Most likely accurate description: Equipment failure within acceptable levels for a prudent service design and price point. In short, stuff happens. This "stuff" is utterly predictable. Drives WILL fail, and the odds are that sometimes backups will fail at the same time, occasionally even due to the same things.


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      • Profile picture of the author StunningWarrior
        Originally Posted by payment proof View Post

        I'd say scam kind of fits the circumstance if they paid for a promised service, their money was taken for that promised service, and the service wasn't provided.
        This definition would mean that every time your flight or train was cancelled you were scammed.
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  • Profile picture of the author tokipost
    I have been a loyal HostGator customer for 3+ years, I have 2 dedicated servers and 3 shared hosting accounts with them PLUS I am even a affiliate with them and send them a lot of business. This is all about to change if they cant get on the ball here as I have the businesses who lost all their data thinking about sueing me for damages each day their losing business as they are ALL on the top in their LOCAL areas for the services they provide!!
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    • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
      Originally Posted by tokipost View Post

      I have been a loyal HostGator customer for 3+ years, I have 2 dedicated servers and 3 shared hosting accounts with them PLUS I am even a affiliate with them and send them a lot of business. This is all about to change if they cant get on the ball here as I have the businesses who lost all their data thinking about sueing me for damages each day their losing business as they are ALL on the top in their LOCAL areas for the services they provide!!
      Ok... And they will just replace all your accounts with new customers within the hour.

      The problem with this thread is that you haven't made it about getting help, you've made it about blaming HostGator. I understand being upset definitely, but instead of bolding stuff about not using HostGator you should be bolding stuff asking people how to fix this problem.

      The first mistake you made was not backing anything up yourself. The second mistake was not really trying to get actual assistance in this thread. The third mistake is one you're still doing - reading this thread instead of trying David's suggested method of using the Way Back Machine (or Google Cache).
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    • Profile picture of the author Cyberkntsean
      Originally Posted by tokipost View Post

      as I have the businesses who lost all their data thinking about sueing me for damages each day their losing business as they are ALL on the top in their LOCAL areas for the services they provide!!

      So I take this to mean that you were charging these businesses $$$ to take care of their websites and you never verified the backups.. never verified with Hostgater by phone on the status of the backups ( even once ) .. never took a couple hours out of your week ( any week ) to back up those business sites yourself, just for the piece of mind of not getting .. well.. Sued ??

      ... and now you want to place the blame on Hostgator to save your _ _ _ ??
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  • Profile picture of the author jessiepadgal
    My goodness, that is terrible!

    I hope this isn't silly..but have you tried googling your sites and picking up the cached content?

    Best wishes. Hope you are able to get most of your content recovered, and that you learn from this and setup a good backup plan.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    These days if I were building any sites for other customers, or even myself, I will use Wordpress for the vast majority of them. I then use a simple product like WpTwin and run a backup of the entire Wordpress install every couple of days - it backs up everything, including comments, posts, pages, plugins, images, settings, etc. That way if anything were to happen I always have a local backup of things and it literally takes about 5 minutes to have a site back up online - even if the site has hundreds of posts and comments.

    Obviously hind-sight is a wonderful thing but at least now you will introduce some better backup systems into your business. Better you learn the lesson now than tomorrow when your sites have even more content on them.

    I do feel sorry for you, just trying to find some positive in there for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      These days if I were building any sites for other customers, or even myself, I will use Wordpress for the vast majority of them. I then use a simple product like WpTwin and run a backup of the entire Wordpress install every couple of days - it backs up everything, including comments, posts, pages, plugins, images, settings, etc. That way if anything were to happen I always have a local backup of things and it literally takes about 5 minutes to have a site back up online - even if the site has hundreds of posts and comments.
      WP Twin doesn't work in every situation. I bought it a few months ago to make (I hoped) regular backups of a store I built using ShopperPress. It turned out the databases were too big for WP Twin to cope with and I have to resort to making manual backups every couple of days.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
        Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

        WP Twin doesn't work in every situation. I bought it a few months ago to make (I hoped) regular backups of a store I built using ShopperPress. It turned out the databases were too big for WP Twin to cope with and I have to resort to making manual backups every couple of days.
        Unfortunately, these aren't true recovery options. These "plugins" might be great for a small Wordpress site, but they aren't ideal in the event of an actual disaster; hdd failure, security breaches, natural disasters etc.

        While I understand the op's frustration, if the op required a dedicated server but didn't know to have external/remote backups there's another problem there and I don't think the OP should have been "hosting" other peoples or "businesses" data.

        I don't know how much experience the OP has either, but when it comes to the "real" IT world, having a backup solution/DR plan should be done first. Renting a server with 2 drives and using one as a backup was the first mistake. Where's the redundancy? Never ever store your backups on the same server that they're being created from.

        Hardware failures do happen, but there should have been an alternate plan in place to safeguard against this and I think this is where the OP dropped the ball.


        EDIT: rsync doesn't cost anything, and remote storage is affordable... why weren't you using that?
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    How did a dedicated server drive fail, in addition to the backup?

    Odds of 2 drives failing simultaneously is small imo.

    What did they have a building fire? Tornado? Drive theft?
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by Sarevok View Post

      How did a dedicated server drive fail, in addition to the backup?

      Odds of 2 drives failing simultaneously is small imo.

      What did they have a building fire? Tornado? Drive theft?
      The fact is it CAN happen and it seems the OP was one of the unfortunate statistics. What's important is getting on with things because nothing is going to bring those sites back.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    wow... thats pretty scary... If that happened to HG, it could happen to any webhost...
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  • Profile picture of the author DannyDisco
    Good luck to you! You are in a horrible situation. Hopefully you can recover and next time remember to keep a local backup of your files. Even if you only do it once a month, at least it's something and you don't have to start back from nothing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oranges
    Blog posts and text content of your blogs can be copied again from Google cache, but then it requires time to copy all that stuff again, and if you're going this way, then you have to hurry before Google will re-cache your pages or blog posts.
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  • Profile picture of the author AMiRU
    Both drives failed? What are the odds?

    Lesson that need to be learn: always keep your own backup.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
    To clarify, did you have the basic setup where there is a second hard drive slaved off the server and mirrored? If so, this is something I NEVER do anymore. I use LiquidWeb for a lot of my big time servers and they have real time backup. Sure its $100 a month more, but well worth it in this case. If the data is that important, never have the only backup local to the box. Hardware fails, especially for hosting companies who are trying to save a few bucks on the lower end dedicated boxes. Im not scolding you, this is a tough pill to swallow, Im just saying if it is this important get off site backups or if you cant afford it then manually backup your stuff.
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    No more...
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  • Profile picture of the author gatorbrent
    Hello,


    What is your ticket number on this issue? It would be extremely rare for both drives to fail at the same time. It's very important to keep a backup of a backup and check them routinely.

    Every hard drive in the world is going to fail at some point, and unfortunately this is outside of our control and not something we can warranty.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      Just Curious,

      Did anyone see post #24? Especially the OP.

      George Wright

      Originally Posted by gatorbrent View Post

      Hello,


      What is your ticket number on this issue? It would be extremely rare for both drives to fail at the same time. It's very important to keep a backup of a backup and check them routinely.

      Every hard drive in the world is going to fail at some point, and unfortunately this is outside of our control and not something we can warranty.
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  • Profile picture of the author DLH
    Hello,

    Have them try mounting both drives in a fresh server. Assuming they are UNIX servers, UNIX does a pretty good job of letting you into the drives to get the data, as long as they aren't being used used as the master (and assuming they its a physical harddrive failure).

    This is when those bigger hosting services can be a bit of a pain. Your just another number in their books, your easily replaced. The smaller datacenters tend to offer better support (they may be more spendy) in order to keep you happy. I've had a datacenter tear apart two identical harddrives for me to swap out the power supply. Got it working enough to get the data off.

    It is very strange BOTH drives would have a critical failure at the same time. Sort of sounds like the backup drive may have failed a while ago. It's a matter of determining the type of failure (hardware or software (ie: needs a fsck)).

    Good luck with it.

    David
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      Originally Posted by DLH View Post

      It is very strange BOTH drives would have a critical failure at the same time. Sort of sounds like the backup drive may have failed a while ago. It's a matter of determining the type of failure (hardware or software (ie: needs a fsck)).

      Good luck with it.

      David
      Don't accept the first explanation.

      Two drives "failing" at once? Ie. mechanical failure? Sounds fishy to me unless there was a bullet that went through the machine, a fire, or a milkshake :-0

      Work your way up management until you can get a real strait answer as to what really happened.

      You might have been hacked and had your drives wiped not "failed."

      Also note that hostgator was a reseller in the past... albeit a large one, and hosting their stuff at ThePlanet which was aquired by Softlayer so, if they are not in the actual data center you may have to have them do some real digging to get a real answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Winlin
    Originally Posted by tokipost View Post

    We have a dedicated server and backup drive that we pay for from hostgator.com , today both drives failed and lost all the data from all the business websites that were on it.

    All data is lost and HostGator says they cant do anything about it nor restore any of the blogs, websites and so on.

    All the graphics, written content is gone!!

    No way to retrieve it period, this is what we paid HostGator for - a dedicated server and the sites to be backed up weekly on another drive just in case one crashed.

    Well both crashed and their saying that they wont pay for any damages, whos going to pay thousands of dollars to get these sites re-designed and re-written with content??? Certainly not hostgator

    DONT EVER BUY A DEDICATED SERVER FROM HOSTGATOR!

    What would YOU DO!?!?
    Hey- No problems, won't buy a dedicated server from HG (whatever that means), but I'll continue to use their hosting services. After three + years I've never had a single issue, and whenever I needed advice on using the control panel they were always very gracious and helpful.

    I won't share my real thoughts on your claims, however I will state: "I don't see how this post (and subsequent commentary) which really doesn't ask for help, but rather, sets out to demonize HG could be of benefit to anyone... least of all your clients." - Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author zaco
    There is one way that you might recover your data.. you need to get those 2 failed hard drives, talk to them and obtain those 2 hard drives, take them to a professional recovery service.. they take the hard drives to a lab and take them apart and recover everything if possible, most of the services wont charge you if they cannot recover. it happened in the past and those type of places can recover all your stuff so there is still some hope, its expensive like it can go up to 1000- 2000$ .. depends on the size..

    I am not sure if hostgator will allow you to take the hard disks since they are owned by them and you are only "renting them" ..
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    • Profile picture of the author Robby54
      Yep, this dose not surprise me. I canceled my host gator subscription a while back and they left my account active. To make a long story short, my account was hacked (which should of been deleted years ago) and someone was buying packages from them with stolen credit cards.

      I learned a long time ago, I would be much better off hosting my sites with my own home PC than to allow myself to sign back up with hostgator.
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      • Profile picture of the author mjsca07
        Big Mike put the TOS right up here. I do feel for you, but at the same time, having so much to lose, you should have known the exact policy of their backups, and done your own backups. Yes, their servers failed, but they are not legally responsible. To come here and bash them because your lack of attention to detail doesn't project a whole lot of professionalism in my opinion.
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      • Profile picture of the author TMW
        Originally Posted by Robby54 View Post

        Yep, this dose not surprise me. I canceled my host gator subscription a while back and they left my account active. To make a long story short, my account was hacked (which should of been deleted years ago) and someone was buying packages from them with stolen credit cards.

        I learned a long time ago, I would be much better off hosting my sites with my own home PC than to allow myself to sign back up with hostgator.
        This whole thread is concerning to me. Just signed up with HG today, short-term because I was concerned about unknown problems and didn't want to commit.

        Can you please explain exactly what happened with your account that they were supposed to delete? Did they somehow get use of your credit cards? I'm confused.

        Also, how best for a small, new site, but building lots of pages, to back up the site each time updated? Anyone?

        Sorry this happened to you! I hope you can re-create them somehow.
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        • Profile picture of the author seolvl1
          never rely on other's for backups, I always backup up my files even when my host has backups.
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        • Profile picture of the author Robby54
          Originally Posted by TMW View Post

          This whole thread is concerning to me. Just signed up with HG today, short-term because I was concerned about unknown problems and didn't want to commit.

          Can you please explain exactly what happened with your account that they were supposed to delete? Did they somehow get use of your credit cards? I'm confused.

          Also, how best for a small, new site, but building lots of pages, to back up the site each time updated? Anyone?

          Sorry this happened to you! I hope you can re-create them somehow.
          Nope, they did not use my credit cards (Thank God i was smart enough to remove them) but IDK I think there is a flaw in their system which a few hackers know about, the reason for this is host gatoer NEVER deletes accounts which is completely stupid to me. The say the reason for this is because of legal reason for example incase they need to provide let say the authorities etc.. your information. I asked them why dont they keep logs instead of keeping the account active like a smart person would do , they had no answer for that (FYI: I wasn't be sarcastic when I was speaking to them). IDK about their dedicated or VPS plans if they do this same retarded concept which im sure they do, but if you signed up with them then its too late because the will keep your account in their system forever (which is a wast of resources if you ask me) but this is what I was tole by the sales rep.

          I still kept the email from the tickets just encase. If some happens to gain access to my account again and uses a stolen credit guess who their going to come after if the person files a police report :rolleyes:. Well I let my lawyer know in advance and as long as I have proof that I have been constantly requesting them to please delete my account (which I do) then its out of my hands at that point and the finger gets pointed at hostgator.
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  • Profile picture of the author Traffic Master
    Banned
    ^ Exact same thing happened for me!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    I hate to go against HostGator, because their tech support is indeed second to none and their hosting plans are good.

    But, I'd say it's a tad shady to lose a primary drive and a backup. Doesn't matter how you slice the cake, there's an element of negligence on their behalf.

    Should the business owner been more cognizant of their backup policies? Yes.

    Should Host Gator been more vocal that "our backups aren't really guaranteed?" - I certainly think so.

    PS: What good is a backup if it's not really reliable?

    PPS: I love hostgator btw, I'm just keeping it real.


    (Why not have redundant backups for host gator dedicated boxes? People are already paying >=$50 a month, that should include some backup & recovery features imo when other cheaper dedicated hosts charge a FRACTION of what hostgator charges.)

    On the same token, there are some things that shouldn't be outsourced. Like backing up important servers.

    I could argue either way really. It's a shame. What's best? learn from this unfortunate happenstance.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I just got hacked the other week - that was a night mare. It took me days to get everything going again. Please listen to me. I am tired of sales men. They are full of excuses. Why is it that we pay max money. They give us poor service.

    I am moving some of my websites to a friend of mine. He charges only $10/mo instead of hundreds per month and thousands per year. I used to trust in big companies. Hey, no more.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
      Originally Posted by seobro View Post

      I just got hacked the other week - that was a night mare. It took me days to get everything going again. Please listen to me. I am tired of sales men. They are full of excuses. Why is it that we pay max money. They give us poor service.

      I am moving some of my websites to a friend of mine. He charges only $10/mo instead of hundreds per month and thousands per year. I used to trust in big companies. Hey, no more.
      I'm interested to learn more about how you got hacked? Was your HG account hacked?
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Sorry about the situation dude. Who are you considering next as your Web Hosting provider?
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  • Profile picture of the author cashtree
    Gonna backup again tonight myself, thanks man. Also sorry to hear about this, hostgator is usually pretty good and this is just...horrible I really hope you can come back from this, stronger than before. Also keep the pressure on hostgator they need to compensate in some way..
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  • Profile picture of the author dcmarketer
    I've never aired this publicly before but I'm surprised to see this is still happening over there. This exact same scenario happened to me back in 2003/04. Dedicated server. Paying extra for a backup.

    All data lost - no recovery available and run around from support staff for 30 days. I asked to get my tickets escalated to the manager on many occasion without success.

    BTW - Sure I had backups locally, but that's not exactly the point here is it.

    I finally got feed up and put it to them I'd very likely do a review of the situation to the 30k webmasters I had on my newsletter list at the time.

    THE VERY NEXT DAY THE MANAGER OF HOSTGATOR (at least at that time) got back to me and threatened that if I did that (an honest review of the situation and nothing but the facts so people could make up their own minds) he WOULD EXPOSE ALL MY DATA to the world.

    This is the MANAGER of the company who you - if you are hosting with hostgator - are trusting your business data with.

    Sure enough, a few days later, they "somehow managed to find backups". Albeit 6 months previous but they "happened to suddenly become available" and restored them.

    Did I stay with HostGator? No friggen way man.

    The ONLY REASON why so many people recommend and promote hostgator is because they have a VERY attractive affiliate program. Simple as that.

    I wouldn't touch their hosting again with a ten foot pole at anytime in the future. I should also point out that I could've easily made literally thousands recommending their hosting to people.

    But why would I?

    At the end of the day I moved to Liquid Web | Dedicated Server, Managed Dedicated Servers, Web Hosting for all my dedicated server needs and have since spent well in excess of US$50k+ hosting with them.

    I don't regret "investing" that much in my business for dedicated hosting from a trust worthy business.

    If you're hosting with hostgator - dedicated or otherwise - you are taking an extreme leap of faith. You would be wise to do DAILY backups off ALL data on your hosting account.

    Best...

    Duncan Carver
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    I keep an Rsync backup of all my servers at Remote Backup using Rsync or FTP. It costs $5 a month. My entire business can be back up and running within hours.

    I also backup my home PC to CrashPlan. I previously used Mozy.

    All hard drives WILL fail. This is a FACT. The average life span is 5 years. Laptops are worse.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    I keep an Rsync backup of all my servers at www.bqbackup.com. It costs $5 a month. My entire business can be back up and running within hours.

    I also backup my home PC to CrashPlan. I previously used Mozy.

    All hard drives WILL fail. This is a FACT. The average life span is 5 years. Laptops are worse.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim_Carter
    I use Wordpress for most of my stuff. There is a plugin called WordPress Database Backup that I use. It emails me my database backup daily.

    It saved my butt a couple of days ago when one of my membership sites database got wiped out because Fantastico decided to overwrite the database.

    As for all the other content it is stored locally on two different drives using "Alwayssync".
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    That is not good.. I would never rely on just a single point for backups. Check out https://myrepono.com/

    They do offsite backup.
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    I've never lost data even after server crashes etc, because I use PhPmyadmin/etc to "export" and BACKUP my sql tables regularly from my host, and burn the .sql (or tar/gzs) to dvd, at least once a month. so in all the years I've been online, I've never lost blogs or forums, because I regularly backup stuff.

    I also clone my main computer hard drive once every 3 months and have that backup ready as well. after learning the hard way, i've found backing up your own stuff, multiple times, is worth doing
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill_Z
    Don't mean to hijack, but thought this was an appropriate question for the thread. I need another backup solution for my dedi. Can you guys recommend a solution (preferably automated but doesn't have to be) that can backup my whole server? Price doesn't matter. Keep in mind I'm not the most technical person in the world. I mean I know my way around my PC, but a server no. Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author Kingfish85
      Originally Posted by Bill_Z View Post

      Don't mean to hijack, but thought this was an appropriate question for the thread. I need another backup solution for my dedi. Can you guys recommend a solution (preferably automated but doesn't have to be) that can backup my whole server? Price doesn't matter. Keep in mind I'm not the most technical person in the world. I mean I know my way around my PC, but a server no. Thanks
      R1 Soft. You can also rsync your data to another server/storage via ssh.
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  • Profile picture of the author czilbersher
    I'm reassured to see that HostGator is still as crappy as I remember them. In all my years of hosting, they are hands-down THE world-class leader in poor service, poor quality and poor performance. No one even comes close. No one. (GoDaddy 'aint' great but nowhere near in the same league as HostGator). HostGator is the ENRON of the hosting world; their flagship product is the Edsel. They are as robust as the Titanic. They are as safe as the Hindenburg. If they begged me to use their servers, I'd decline. HostGator? Be afraid...be very afraid!
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