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Missing Posts Rescued
Published by KermMartian on July 25, 2006 at 9:31:07 PM CST | Discuss this article (13)

About a year ago, the Cemetech website was hacked. I had a database backup which had ironically been taken a few days earlier for a completely different reason, and it appeared to be complete. Once the database was restored however, I found to my chagrin that one critical piece was missing: the post text for 7,783 of our posts, posts number 1060 through 8843. The rest of the data was there: authors, timestamps, polls, etc. Even the search tables were in fact, and it was these that led me to my solution. PhpBB indexes its search by two tables: one containing a list of keywords with associated ID numbers, and another listing word ids and post ids. By matching them up, I was able to reconstruct the gist of the missing posts. All of the nontrivial words from the original posts are now there, though not in order since the search database does not store that information. Say goodbye to pages of "this topic cannot be found," and enjoy searching through some of the old, no-longer-lost posts and topics.

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