Long Shot Help: Backup vB4 without SSH/FTP access?

fly

buzzzzzz
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
45
I have a friend with no server access, and lost contact with the server admin, who is now stranded. Is there any obvious way that I'm missing to create and download a backup? I can't think of anything, but you guys are way smarter than me...
 

FriendlyPerson

Aspirant
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Messages
33
If they are able to, they may be able to buy/get an add on that does this and add it through the Admin Control Panel if this software allows it.

If nothing else and they got MyPhpAdmin or whatever for the DB they could at least do a rebuild and simply import the DB information.
 

fly

buzzzzzz
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
45
If they are able to, they may be able to buy/get an add on that does this and add it through the Admin Control Panel if this software allows it.

If nothing else and they got MyPhpAdmin or whatever for the DB they could at least do a rebuild and simply import the DB information.
Paul had an addon (its since been pulled), but back in the vB4 days you still had to upload files. And no database access at all. :(
 

Doug Heffernan

Enthusiast
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Feb 28, 2018
Messages
156
If they are able to, they may be able to buy/get an add on that does this and add it through the Admin Control Panel if this software allows it.

The thing is that if the forum in question is medium sized or big, this method will not work unfortunately.

fly, do you have any kind of other access, like ftp access for ex?
 

FriendlyPerson

Aspirant
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Messages
33
The thing is that if the forum in question is medium sized or big, this method will not work unfortunately.
It may required a "maintenance mode" to do it to cease activity going on but it should be possible with modern add on.

Though it's not even an option so I think we better leave that to the waste side as that is not relevant to the problem at hand anyways.
 

fly

buzzzzzz
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
45
The thing is that if the forum in question is medium sized or big, this method will not work unfortunately.

fly, do you have any kind of other access, like ftp access for ex?
Sadly no, FTP would be too easy! :D
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,217
Without FTP, SSH or a hosting control panel, you're in a catch-22 even if there's an addon that could do the job. Because you'd need FTP, SSH or a hosting control panel to install the addon (Xenforo 2.1 and Invision allow you to install addons via a browser).

You can use the IP address of the forum to try to determine which hosting company the site is using, and find out if there's any way to get access to the account. But that's a long shot, because odds are most are not going to give access based on your word alone.
 

Paul M

Dr Pepper Addict
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
3,997
If you have admin access to install products, you could do it.

You could create a product that backs the database up to a file (in a server folder that you can access via the front end) and then download said database file. There are a lot of security concerns around doing that of course, but I see no reason it would not work.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,752
I've encountered the same situation (with the same software) almost to the letter but unfortunately I was unable to save the forum. I did attempt to gain access via the hosting company but quite rightly they wouldn't entertain it. 2.5+ million posts lost including nearly 50K of my content.

I spent the best part of 5 years staring at a 404 error screen after the installation suffered a catastrophic error before I gave up on it. My advice is if you can't make contact with the site owner and can't access the host server, forget about it.
 

FriendlyPerson

Aspirant
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Messages
33
But that's a long shot, because odds are most are not going to give access based on your word alone.
Indeed it's quite illegal even to do this. This is why even for deaths they gotta be trend carefully and get the relevant information per legal needs.

This is why they always say they will not even give you backups for the same.

To prevent this situation I would draw up a legally enforceable Disaster Recovery plans. Where it explains who may have access in events of such of this. Of course you can always worry about once your forum is large enough/revenue generating to justifies such expenses, time and so on.

I wish hosting systems had "time" and/or other conditionals for "contacts" on accounts. That way you could for instance have easily have an admin or two on there and say after x amount of time and/or actions/inactions made then the system could "auto delegate" them.
 

fly

buzzzzzz
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
45
If you have admin access to install products, you could do it.

You could create a product that backs the database up to a file (in a server folder that you can access via the front end) and then download said database file. There are a lot of security concerns around doing that of course, but I see no reason it would not work.
I assume this requires some heavy lifting, or would this be 'easy'?
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,217
If you have admin access to install products, you could do it.

You could create a product that backs the database up to a file (in a server folder that you can access via the front end) and then download said database file. There are a lot of security concerns around doing that of course, but I see no reason it would not work.

I got in touch with him because I came up with an even easier way than that. Your post about installing products led me in the needed direction so credit where credit is due.

Instead of installing a backup addon like you noted, which is going to be slow and clunky, use the plugin system to write out a PHP shell to the file system. Then you can run mysqldump and tar directly, and download the database dump and tar file from your browser. Quick, fast, efficient.

I've got a great PHP shell I've used in a pinch on the rare occasion where a client needed migration or other work, but they only had FTP access.
 

fly

buzzzzzz
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
45
It seems that the crisis has been averted. After a week, the server owner has returned. That said, I'm still interested in learning more on how this could be accomplished.
 
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