Database Restoration

Published: 2020-05-06 - By: Alain LM
Last updated on: 2021-01-14
visibility: Public - Headline
Dear Users,

The server hosting our website crashed on April 30, 2020. We had to rebuild it from scratch. The website is up and running again since May 5, 2020.

As you may have already noticed a lot of images are missing in the N scale database. Unfortunately the backup of images was actually defective without any warning having been given to us. Most probably an undocumented directory size limit was exceeded, but the backup tool remained silent about it.

We are currently exploring various methods to try and restore as many images that we can, either from the original internet source when the image was initially provided as a link, and also exploring temporary directories that where not purged. This process, that is semi-automated, will take use a few more days. We'll know exactly the extent of the damage (images lost) when we have exhausted all the above described methods.

We are obviously devastated by this and are going to move the storage of images and other precious assets to another more reliable supplier, with reinforced control on backups.

Until we have completed this restoration, here is what you can do:
  • add new items
  • add images to items that did not have one already (reflected by the First Image and/or Second Image fields being empty)
  • change any value of any field except for images
  • add items to your collections
  • modify your collections
What we recommend that you DO not do is:
  • add a fresh image to an item that already has an image assigned to it, but for which the file has not been restored yet. The First or Second image field should have a value like '/images/Collections/4/gallery/ts_number_x9.jpg'
You would NOT cause any harm to the database by doing so, however your new image would likely be overwritten by our restoration process; so we don't want that you spend your valuable time for unnecessary activity at this stage.

We'll let you know once we have exhausted all restoration options, and when it will be time to upload (again) local copies of original images that you may have kept on your computers (as for me, I have plenty ...). This is of course not a task that will be very pleasant, and we will assist and take our share.

Thank you again for your patience. This has been a difficult learning experience for us.

About the Author

Alain is an avid n-scale modeler who collects North American rolling stock with a focus on Canadian railroads and BNSF and all its predecessors. He occasionally purchases other models from European railroads. He has been using DCC since it's been available and successfully mixes North American and European DCC equipment. Alain regularly contributes to the TroveStar N Scale Model Trains Database (code, data and blogs), as well as to JMRI. By day, Alain works for a world-class railway signaling firm as an automation and real-time industrial computing engineer. This Frenchman lives near Paris.