I spent four days last week trying to get my online backup file restored for Quickbooks, our accounting software.
One morning, we woke up and found our entire QB file corrupted. I would insert cautions to QB users about such occurrences, but I think everyone already knows the problem. Such a warning would be like reminding a New York resident about street crime. We QB users always feel like we are walking on eggshells with QB, ready at any moment for everything to go haywire. We live with it, because the program is useful and ubiquitous.
So I perform a backup every day, but recently started using the QB online backup facility. This automatically backs up the file every day. I still make a local backup from time to time, but I have gotten lazy. When things went south the other day, my online backup was 10 days old, an eternity in our business. I sent QB our file to try to execute a repair, but in the mean time I went to the restore command to restore the most recent online backup before the corruption.
Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail. After four tries, each 3 hours each, I got the idea maybe it was not going to work. So I called QB and got their Phillipines tech support desk. They walked me through some steps. Fail. Fail. Fail.
Through all this time, we were entirely shut down accounting-wise. Finally, in exasperation, I asked them to just post my backup file on an FTP server somewhere. After all, we could both see the file exists, and it was just the QB proprietary file transfer protocol that was failing to restore it. Well, three countries and four departments later, no one could post the file on an FTP server. Or to my Amazon S3 account. Or to a password-protected web page.
For God sakes, this is a software company? Finally, they agreed to have someone at the third party contractor who runs the servers try to put the file on a DVD and mail it to me, LOL.
It was almost exactly at this point that I opened this XKCD comic:
I tell you, sometimes that site is totally dialed into my brain. (by the way, as I blog, a signed version of this comic on the wall behind my monitor).
PS- eventually the Quickbooks people rebuilt my corrupted file before I could ever get the backup in my hands. Object lesson here - don't ever give up on the original file, the Intuit guys have twice in my life fixed a file that seemed corrupted beyond all hope of recovery.