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Old 3rd February 2020, 06:22 AM   #1
Fast Eddie B
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SGU forum MIA?

Since about midday yesterday I get the following message when I attempt to log into the SGU website:

“Table 'sguforum_sgutalk.smf_messages' doesn't exist”

I’m just typing “https://sguforums.com/” into the address bar.

Anyone have insight as to what’s going on?
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Old 3rd February 2020, 06:53 AM   #2
abaddon
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Since about midday yesterday I get the following message when I attempt to log into the SGU website:

“Table 'sguforum_sgutalk.smf_messages' doesn't exist”

I’m just typing “https://sguforums.com/” into the address bar.

Anyone have insight as to what’s going on?
Nope, but am registered there. The message indicates that someone or some process has busted the database. "Table 'sguforum_sgutalk.smf_messages" is an underlying data table in the MySQL data structure. If it is missing/deleted/broken/whatever then all dependent processes will naturally fail. "Messages" is naturally one of those tables of data that will be accessed when one logs in so as to present the user with pending messages. That is clearly broken.

As a mere member, I have no further insight. As a professional in the field, I know the DB is borked, but there are many ways for that to happen. Had I contact details for the mods/admins there, I would certainly rattle their bars, but I don't have those.

Hopefully somebody will do something about it, but YMMV.

All I can tell you for certain is that it is not you. The underlying database has bought the farm in some manner.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 07:02 AM   #3
Fast Eddie B
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Thanks.

What I get in Safari on my Mac:

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Old 3rd February 2020, 07:48 AM   #4
abaddon
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Thanks.

What I get in Safari on my Mac:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...ec038913_c.jpg
Ah yeah. A little more poking gets the DB error message. It still ain't your issue. It is an SGU issue.

Screeny if you want but it is a borked DB pure and simple.

Given console access, I could likely fix it in a few SQL commands. Alas, I have not that access. And since it is a volunteer project, we must await their pleasure or leisure time.

The simple reality is that while I have and do host web facilities that are robust, this is because the client is prepared to hurl money and lots of it to make it happen.

Alas volunteer sites are not so flush with time or cash. Or expertise. Or hardware. Or anything.

That is not to cast aspersions on the mods or admins. They can only operate within the resources they have. And that is fair enough. Casting unreasonable demands upon them is utterly daft. Random quote "You are telling me what you want. I am telling you what we have". That is exactly where mods and admins find themselves.
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Old 3rd February 2020, 12:46 PM   #5
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I've emailed their webmaster
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Old 3rd February 2020, 12:49 PM   #6
Fast Eddie B
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I've emailed their webmaster
Thanks!
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Old 3rd February 2020, 09:21 PM   #7
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They must have got the message... this popped up within a few minutes

"We are sorry the forums are down.

Currently we are having issues with the mysql database. We have a full backup as of Sunday morning and are working to restore it.



Looks like Abaddon nailed it... a borked database
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Old 4th February 2020, 02:02 PM   #8
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Now the message is
Quote:
What are you looking for, exactly?

Try again.
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Old 4th February 2020, 02:46 PM   #9
smartcooky
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Now the message is

Nope, that is because you clicked on the link in the OP. For some reason, probably unintentionally, Fast EddieB included a quote mark in the URL after the /


Remove the quote mark
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Last edited by smartcooky; 4th February 2020 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 4th February 2020, 02:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
They must have got the message... this popped up within a few minutes

"We are sorry the forums are down.

Currently we are having issues with the mysql database. We have a full backup as of Sunday morning and are working to restore it.



Looks like Abaddon nailed it... a borked database
Apologies for knowing my metier.

On a serious note, it is horribly easy to comprehensively bugger up any rdms at a mere click. BBS interfaces are notorious for it.

Back in the day when I did such things I can recall group chats with mods/admins. They devolved into

Me: you are gonna break it.
Them: We have to reset.
Me: You're gonna break it.
Them. Let's just reboot and delete and start from scratch.
Me: You're gonna break it.
Them: Lets just do this and see what hap----<silence><dead website><tumbleweeds>
Me: I told you that you would break it.

This is distressingly common. I am fortunate to have a trust relationship with my customers. This is, in my experience, a vanishing ethic.
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Old 4th February 2020, 03:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Apologies for knowing my metier.

On a serious note, it is horribly easy to comprehensively bugger up any rdms at a mere click. BBS interfaces are notorious for it.

Back in the day when I did such things I can recall group chats with mods/admins. They devolved into

Me: you are gonna break it.
Them: We have to reset.
Me: You're gonna break it.
Them. Let's just reboot and delete and start from scratch.
Me: You're gonna break it.
Them: Lets just do this and see what hap----<silence><dead website><tumbleweeds>
Me: I told you that you would break it.

This is distressingly common. I am fortunate to have a trust relationship with my customers. This is, in my experience, a vanishing ethic.

I am told by a developer friend of mine that borking a database is frighteningly easy, like having a ; where you were supposed to have a : and such a mistake can take a long time to track down.
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"Silence is Donald Trump's concession speech" - Lawrence O'Donnell.

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Old 4th February 2020, 03:18 PM   #12
abaddon
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
They must have got the message... this popped up within a few minutes

"We are sorry the forums are down.

Currently we are having issues with the mysql database. We have a full backup as of Sunday morning and are working to restore it.



Looks like Abaddon nailed it... a borked database
It is slightly annoying. I can dump SQL to beat the band, I have some slack time to donate. I signed up to a strict code of profesional ethics, posted here no less, I offered to host on my infrastructure when Randi left. Alas, Icerat was preordained. Chucking my hat in the ring was pointless. There was no ring at all in the first place.

I still find woodwork defeats me.

Know one's strengths and weaknesses. Want to write code, build a PC, hang out of scaffolding installing structured cable? I am so there.

Want to cut a plank to size? Sure, if you meant a splintery rough kind of vaguely triangle piece of tree. Horses for courses.
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Old 4th February 2020, 03:51 PM   #13
abaddon
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I am told by a developer friend of mine that borking a database is frighteningly easy, like having a ; where you were supposed to have a : and such a mistake can take a long time to track down.
Your dev friend is spot on. Bust one relationship and the whole stops. Bit like marriage really. LOL.

This is probably not the place to discuss the finer points of SQL, but in brief, it works by link this record in this table of data to that record/s over there in that table over there. Thus an order in the order table may match up to one or more entries in the order line items. (I am analogising extensively). If the relationship that links the order to the items on the order is lost, that's it, you are bunched. But it might seem trivial an order with one or more items, right? What could be simpler? Well, each ordered item has subcomponents which are recorded in another table and must be associated with the parent item which requires another tale of data to record those relationships. All of the subcomponents are delivered by suppliers so now we need another table to merely list them, and another to associate which provider provides which component. Would you ask your milkman for a hearty pint of iPhone? Not likely.

I have skimmed rather liberally and without shame. But it should be quite obvious that that all of these linked tables of data are useless if one has no means to link one to the next, and equally, should such links be lost, one is in a world of hurt from which it is, in extremis, no recovery.

Thus god invented the holy backup on the zeroth day. Thou shalt observe it or perish.
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Old 5th February 2020, 06:41 AM   #14
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Wednesday morning update:

UPDATE Feb 4, 2020

The index files for the Forum Database have been corrupted. As such I cannot just restore from a backup. There is a complicated process to recover the data and bring the forum back up. Unfortunately I will not have time to begin this process until the weekend. I apologize for the time this is taking. We are working also to determine if this happened as a result of hacking or just an unusually destructive crash of the database software. There are some indications that the server is under attack (numerous failed login attempts, etc)

Belgarath
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Old 15th February 2020, 05:44 PM   #15
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Nope, not getting it. A backup should restore or rebuild the indexes as well. Unless the backup was just a data dump, but that's not a backup.
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Old 15th February 2020, 07:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Nope, not getting it. A backup should restore or rebuild the indexes as well. Unless the backup was just a data dump, but that's not a backup.
Works for me. This is the link https://sguforums.com/
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Old 15th February 2020, 08:51 PM   #17
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Yep. Been back up for a while now.
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Old 15th February 2020, 08:56 PM   #18
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No, I mean a backup for a database should be able to be used to restore everything in one process.
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Old 16th February 2020, 01:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
No, I mean a backup for a database should be able to be used to restore everything in one process.

... unless the backup itself contained undetected corrupt data which is what I believe happened. You can read about it here...

https://sguforums.com/index.php/topi...8.new.html#new
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Old 16th February 2020, 04:53 AM   #20
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Roll Forward should fix that. I have had to do it once. Go back to your known good backup then roll forward to re-apply the log files.
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Old 16th February 2020, 05:11 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Roll Forward should fix that. I have had to do it once. Go back to your known good backup then roll forward to re-apply the log files.
According to the announcement on SGU there was a daily backup schedule. So in theory, that would require little effort to go back to the last good backup. Rolling forward the trans logs would be a matter of choice at that point. Lose a couple of days activity or fiddle about trying to recover as much as possible. Cost benefit calculation. The loss of a day or two of activity would not be disaster on SGU. It's not bank records or medical records, after all.
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