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WSO Server Restoration January 2007
WSO Server Restoration January 2007
WSO's user and mail server experienced a severe crash on December 31, 2006. After installing a system security update, the server did not finish rebooting successfully. The server has been down or nonfunctional since then. Upon arriving on campus, we discovered that the software system designed to prevent data loss due to the physical failure of one of the machine's hard disks had been corrupted. After numerous troubleshooting attempts and support calls, we've concluded that it is unrecoverable and we are now restoring from a backup. Unfortunately, and contrary to what the WSO staff thought, our most recent full backup dates to September 9, 2006.
Ursula's Current (or at least recent) Status
As of 1:00 PM Wednesday January 3
Another one of our machines, Irene, is running from a copy of the backup as a temporary replacement for Ursula while we work on Ursula.
All services are hopefully functioning "normally" from the backup (September 9th), but they may be slower than usual. However, users should not bother to update any info at this point. We will announce when it is best to do so.
What was affected?
The following are affected:
- user accounts (including passwords, email forwarding, and files)
- organization websites
- email lists
- A very limited amount of email may have been lost on December 31. Since then mail to any address @wso.williams.edu may have bounced (the sender would receive an undeliverable mail message) due to Ursula's downtime. Mail that does get through will be significantly delayed.
- The password reset tool
The following services have NOT been affected:
- WSO homepage and web services (e.g. Willipedia, Discussions, Announcements, etc.)
What does this mean for users?
When the restoration process is complete, the affected services will appear as they did on September 9. Any changes made after September will be lost.
- Any accounts created after September 9 no longer exist.
- Mailing list subscriptions now stand as they did on September 9.
- Passwords and email forwarding settings stand as they did on September 9.
- Organization websites will look as they did on September 9. (Databases have not been affected).
What is WSO doing?
We are currently working to restore the backup and apply all subsequent system updates. Our subsequent plans are currently as follows.
- Restore the backup -- when this is completed, services as they existed on September 9 will resume.
- Apply system updates
- Restore the password reset tool
- Deal with individual requests and other small configuration change which are necessary.
How can I get my files and settings back?
We will make an announcement when you should proceed with the following steps. (Any attempts made before then may be a waste of your time.)
Restore any personal backups. Please remember that WSO does not guarantee the integrity of user data. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.
For accounts created after September 9, please visit the accounts page at <http://wso.williams.edu/accounts/> to sign up for an account (again). For email forwarding updates or password changes, please use the appropriate utilities linked from the WSO home page (on the lower left). The password reset utility is currently not available but will be soon. Please wait until it is ready (we will announce this).
Please describe any other problems, updates, or changes you need WSO to make on the talk page. Please do not email us, unless your request involves sensitive personal information... in this case email your request to email@example.com. (Remember that email to any address at WSO will not be received until our restore is complete.)
Also feel free to offer your help on the Talk page or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by data loss etc. We ask for your patience as we work to restore our services as best as possible.
Thank you, WSO Staff