Always backup before carrying out maintenance or changes a salutatory tale.
Today, having read about a Huge attack on WordPress sites could spawn never-before-seen super botnet I decided to up grade the security on this blog. I took the advice to add a security plug in and change a few settings. In the process of doing so it was suggested that I should carry out a back up, so I took the easy option and let the plug in do the backup for me. It said it would e-mail a backup file and after a short while an e-mail arrived in my in box, and I therefore carried on. The changes made I was surprised to get a message saying “new install”, confusion was replace with horror when I realised that just wiped the database.
I quick went to the in box and opened the e-mail which claimed to have the back up file, only to find no attachment! Panicking I started searching of a back fearing that I might just have lost seven year work. I manage to find one back up file from July 2012, then after more frantic searching one for December 2012. It then took four attempts before I managed to successful up load the back onto the database.
This still left me with four months of missing posts. I was lamenting this fact on Twitter when @branaby suggested that I check and see if Google had cached any of the missing posts. Sure enough I was able to recover all but one of the missing posts. The more resent wasn’t in the cache, but fortunately I still had the text elsewhere and so was able to recover that too. This time I was very luck, but the moral of the story is ALWAYS check you have a full backup before carrying out any maintenance!