Monday, October 29, 2007

Files lost forever? What are the next steps?

There has been no word from Mediamax on their blog, but according to a comment posted here, Mediamax CEO Steve Iverson has said the file recovery process has completed.

Files were lost on 15 June when Mediamax botched the move to new servers. Customer services were awful communicating news on this and it was only through this blog that we learned the scale of the data loss. We were also promised substantial recovery of files.

John Hood said:

We are about a third of the way through restoring access to files. I don't have a timeline for you beyond what Steve has already stated. We have more than a petabyte of files to sift through. What I can say is that 99.9998% of the files that we have tried to restore access to have been successful. We're working with our vendor to speed up the process.

A petabyte is 10 to the power 15.

Well, WillTRiker posted about communication with Steve stating:

"basically this is finished and according to Steve they nearly got everything back that was accidentely deleted."

Martin posted a comment on that post saying that 36% of his files are missing.

---Extract begins
File recovery. Steve Iverson says the process is finished and they got back ‘nearly everything that was accidentally deleted’. I’m not saying that Steve Iverson is lying about this although I have carefully measured that 36% (9,625 missing out of 27,107) of the files in my major collection are still showing as ‘inaccessible’ and other people are also reporting similar loss rates.

Steve is probably right they DID get back most of the files that were accidentally deleted on 15 June 2007 but they did NOT restore the several thousand files that have been affected by ‘collection rot’ over the previous years and almost certainly many of which were previously lost during the August 2006 migration from Streamload to MediaMax.

Dress it up in carefully worded half truths if you like Steve, but the net result is that MediaMax has LOST 36% of my files, and presumably affected other long term users to a similar extent. Perhaps most of these files are in fact still stored somewhere on your servers and it is just the directory links that are stuffed up. Whatever the explanation, around 250Gb of my files are gone. Actually, that probably pleases you as it is 250Gb less storage that you need to provide and goes some way to ‘clearing the dead weight on the servers’ (whether it is truly dead weight or not). Does it please me to have lost more than one third of the files painstakingly uploaded during the past four years while being continually assured that they were ‘safely and reliably’ stored by MediaMax? Well what do you think!
---extract ends

Not the 0.0002% John Hood suggested would be the case.

And no news or apology on the official blog!!

The Mediamax website still promises:

MediaMax, powered by Streamload, gives you a private and secure place to upload, store, access, and share your personal videos, photos, movies, music, and files.

* Store files securely on the web. Get 25 GBs of FREE online storage.
* Access your files from any web browser.
* Share all your files quickly and easily, without file size restrictions.
* Host videos, audio, images and more on the web.
* Backup your files and data safely and reliably.

Here is a screenshot:

Click on it for the larger version.

I haven't explored the terms and conditions, and perhaps there is a disclaimer saying that 'secure storage' means that all your files may be lost without compensation. But even if there is, it seems to me that advertising a service that the company has no track record of delivering successfully and continuing to bill customers who are not receiving that service is a little suspect.

So I'm tagging this entry with 'legal action' for anyone who is interested in pursuing this line or offering advice on it.


WillTRiker said...

Not going into legal aspects as I wouldn't have a clue about that anyway ... besides, court outcomes (not only in the US) at times baffle me so I'll keep my mouth shut about this.

I do want to comment on the 'collection rot' as Martin dubbed it. In the community we've been aware at times Streamload making stuff vanish completely/ getting links to lead to dead ends for years. Seeing it (seemingly?) only affected a very minimal number of old files we never paid much attention to it. In respect to Martins figures I doubt very much that his massive loss can be explained by this. I do hope that it's actually more of MM servers playing hard to get, but we can only await V6 and see the damage. Let's hope for the best ... and prepare (if that's possible) for the worst. Just my 2cts.

JD said...

As I indicated before mediamax has some profound architectural problems probably introduced in v5. This means there are some basic errors in the system which cannot be corrected just like that. This is the main reason why a new v6 is being built.
You can argue a long time about the v5 version but I think they don't have an alternative. They cannot fix these errors.
If files are no longer linked to a user or corrupted there is no way to correct this. The only way out is to improve the system drastically and provide decent information to everybody and maybe tools for everybody to check what is gone so everybody can make up their mind and decide what to do about these lost files if possible at all.
At this time the only thing everybody can do is wait and the ones that are/will be approached for testing test it as good as posiible.

Anonymous said...

I didnt get a single file back. If MM had advised what we should do while waiting for files to come back it might have helped. (Can I move 'em, or should I leave them?)

But of course their customer communication was typically disgraceful. There really is something fundamentally wrong with the management of this company.

Anonymous said...

Sigh...I'd like to think there's some sort of legal action that would make this better but I doubt it.

I've been with Streamload since 2005 and I remember how good the service was when I first signed up. Now they won't even respond to support requests I send out. I can't cancel my account because they still have files one day I hope to get back. So for the foreseeable future they'll just help themselves to $9.95 a month out of my bank account.

peebs said...

This should be funny but it really isn't. I blindfolded myself to this whole debacle for about a month just to keep from tearing my hair out.

Then today there was an article in the USA Today about backing up your files. The writer mentioned using sites like Mozy and Carbonite which may have been mentioned by some of you before.

I started thinking about MM and was glad that they hadn't been mentioned in the article as another site for backing up your files which is not really what MM is about apparently. Alas! Murphy's Law rears its ugly head again.

In tiny letters at the bottom of the article, Mozy and Carbonite are mentioned again and last is MM. The internet article is the same as the one in the newspaper and there's no mention of MM. It is worth a read if only for the "shoulda made a backup of the backup, sucka!" lesson that I have learned since my files went the way of the dodo.

I don't know if v6 will be any good or what the deal is but I hope I can get my files back. I still can't log in without getting the payment page each and every time. Sure my account was downgraded but I still can't access/download any of them.

Anonymous said...

I hope the company and the people involved in it rot in hell!

MB said...

Almost all of several thousands of my files are still "unavailable". A few says "file in processing" but I've discovered that's basically the same as unavailbale since months go by and nothing happens.

I'm from Sweden, and over here, a company like this would never have been allowed to continue operating under the same and clearly fraudulent advertising of "secure storage".

I'm still holding out to see if the files will return, because some of them are my only copy. But it almost feels like MM is using the said chance of getting the files back as bait just to keep my business. I'm waiting for some kind of confirmation, lost or not lost, and as soon as I get it I will end my account. Maybe I'm just wasting my time and money and should end it right away. Either way, there's no chance in hell I will remain a customer. I'm already storing my files elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I feel for those of you who have lost irreplaceable files. I lost thousands of files, but I can get new copies elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused by commentators who seem skeptical about the possibility of legal action. This is an out-and-out fraud. It was negligence to lose the data in the first place. Then to maintain to old users for months _ and to continue to advertise to new users _ that this service offers some kind of backup option: That becomes an out-and-out lie. The customer service reps don't communicate b/c, it would seem, they fear stating the obvious: They have lost your data. Once they concede that basic and evidently truthful point, they expose themselves immediately to allegations of fraud. I'm not a lawyer, but it doesn't seem too hard to figure out. Clearly I am a user very unhappy about apparently losing gigs of data he entrusted to Mediamax. Maybe the folks on this blog are rare cases and most other users are doing just fine, but somehow I doubt it. Users are owed an honest explanation. It is a question of trust. And if we were lied to, we are owed fair compensation.

larkam said...

Just a few random comments on uploading and double billing.

For reasons I don't pretend to understand when I upload via
browers I usedthe Multiple Files option, even if I upload one file. The average difference is around 234 KBytes/sec verus 150 K/bytes per second.

Just a heads up. Many newbies, and not so newbies are having trouble with FTP. REMEMBER: you have to install FTP protocol after install of OS. Sounds trivial, but just FYI. Goto settings, choose add/delete programs, and choose windows components.

In the interim, would it be a difficult fix to choose which file you want to upload to while using the browser upload. This would save a lot of work of sorting files into folders/subfolders after uploads.

The Admin. of this blog mentioned something about getting some cash refund for all the misery caised by MM. I wrote a request to support months ago and got no response. Any ideas.

BYW this blog is completely new to me. I was searching for url for mediamax blog and this came up in first ten google responses.

Congrats on your page rank.

Best wishes to all users of MM and to the blog creator. I am suprised it took this long to create one.


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