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Recovering Lost Topic Threads and Posts After the Crash


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i'm sure some people are already going to know this trick, but for the majority who don't this is going to be a godsend to them. i read the notice at the top saying that the BZ database was lost and they had to revert back to a copy of it from september (how to avoid losing that much data could be the subject of another post, because i know how to do that too - another time).

i started a topic a few weeks ago that i spent a whole lot of time writing and researching. it was pretty sad to see that the topic was lost because it was created more recently than the database backup of the site. luckily, there was a possible method of recovering the entire thread: the GOOGLE CACHE.

here's how it's done:

1. go to www.google.com

2. click "advanced search"

3. type "bellazon.com" in the field that restricts the search to a single domain

4. try to remember an exact phrase or word that would definitely be found somewhere in the thread (this is the hard part)

5. cross your fingers and perform the search

6. when you find the google result with your post or thread title, click on "cached" instead of the main link

7. if you're lucky, google's servers still have a copy of all of your data

8. save the entire webpage to your local hard drive

9. to recover all of the pages of a thread, go to the last page of the google search and click "repeat the search with the omitted results included."

as an example of how i recovered my entire thread, i searched the bellazon.com domain for the exact phrase "url hacks." you can see the results of this search here:


after displaying the omitted results, all of the pages of my thread (only 2 in this case) were displayed:


i'm sure this is going to help a lot of people who spent time on a topic and think they lost it! i've attached the two pages i recovered to this post to show a way we can save this information. remember that google's cache doesn't last forever, so the sooner people do this the better.

thank me later!





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I'm going to thank you now -- Thanks! It's a good tip, and thank you.

I have not been able to completely succeed, though. :( For example:

I know there are (at least) 15 pages in the Bellazon thread for Stephanie Seymour, in Models, on Nov 01 2007. But I can't get the Google cache to give me the last two or three pages, specifically. Randomly, I can get preceding pages that were cached as late as Oct 30 2007, but I can't seem to get those last, most recent pages (home to my most clever and wittiest banter ever, surely).

Can I interact with the Google cache in a more direct way? What I mean is, let's say I know that the URL I would like to get from the Google cache is:




on Nov 01 2007. Can I get the Google cache to give me that?

I do appreciate your tip, by the way. I tried a couple of other queries that I thought might be milestones in the thread, too. I tried "Post #280" (and "Post #10", and so on), "Oct 30 2007," (and other Oct dates), "username" for people I know were contributing on the last page, and with "Stephanie Seymour". I did not succeed with those. :(

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how abt checking your history in ur browser?

the browser cache (if it has not been cleaned out for the last month, and is set to be large enough) could hold a lot of the images you clicked on, but the problem with pages generated from PHP and a database is that you see fresh information every time you visit the page, and there is no HTML to cache. this means that the text in threads is almost certainly not stored in a browser cache on your hard drive. it's definitely worth checking for images though.

if you really meant the browser history, that will be of no use because all it stores is the links to the pages you visited, not the data from the pages themselves.

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So, we will never recover what was lost in the crash? that trick is too complicated.

i made it sound more complicated than it is by listing every step in the process. it's really not that hard though. simply put, all you do is use google to search only pages at bellazon.com, then view the google cache for results for pages later than september. it worked for me, and i recovered my entire thread from google that was completely lost on bellazon, so i know it's going to be useful for other people.

there is no way to recover the database they lost on their server. that is not stored anywhere else unfortunately.

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*Kneels dwon before slacker*

You sir are hacker extraordinaire. I am not worthy.

PS. What do you do for a living?

i do a couple of things for a living, and computers are a part of everything i do. i actually run my own invision power board forum somewhere, but it's private within one company i work for. if i had been running the bellazon forum the worst thing that would have happened is maybe 2 or 3 days of posts would have been lost, and maybe only 12 hours - definitely not a whole month. it's really not hard to have the database back itself up every night. you don't even have to do think about it.

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i reckon bellazon is on a tight budget since it's funded by selling ad space and i'm not too sure how the ship is run here... whether they outsource most of the work or do it themselves.

i have known maddog since we were running chilax (the original SITE that bellazon was made after) and he's more compitant than most people.

totally agree with all you're saying though. my last job had me working on a few projects with emphasis on contingency. spent lots of money on offsite dumps and tapes.

there's no 100% guarunteed DRP though. shit happens.

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