Failed Geodatabase Backup Recovery (Crosspost)

10-23-2023 08:49 AM
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Occasional Contributor II

CROSSPOSTED from the Data Management Questions subforum because I somehow ended up there first and didn't see this forum.  Moderators, feel free to delete one of these, if needed.


This is a bit of a Hail Mary, but:

Last week, I was working on a project in ArcGIS Pro 3.1.0 that used a File Geodatabase that was stored on a networked server (not AGOL) in my organization.  Throughout the week, I periodically copied that entire FGDB to my local machine as incremental backups.

Then on Friday right at the end of the day, I was testing some Python scripts and made yet another copy of the FGDB, just in case.  Sure enough, I had to roll back to the backup after the testing, so I deleted the FGDB on the server and pasted in my backup created just before the testing, then reopened ArcPro.

Suddenly, all of the work I did last week is gone.  It's like that backup was from before I started the project on Monday.

I checked all of my other incremental backups, and it's the same thing.


Things I have checked:

  • Versioning is not enabled on the FGDB, nor was it enabled on any of the backups or at any point in the project.
  • I know for sure I saved my edits multiple times throughout the week.
    • Even if I hadn't saved one or two times, I do a full restart of my computer every day, and the project opened without issue each day and all the previous day's work was always there.

Methods of copy/backup used:
(I use each of these more or less interchangeably, and feel confident there's at least one example of each among my incremental backups):

  • [Catalog Pane: Project Tab]
    • Ctrl+Drag the FGDB from Project\Databases to Folders\.backups\ (This was the method used for that final backup on Friday)
  • [Windows Explorer]
    • Copy GDB folder; paste in backup location.
  • [Catalog Pane: Computer or Favorites Tabs]
    • Ctrl + Drag the FGDB from the server to a local folder
    • Right-click Copy, Right-click Paste from server to a local folder

I even ended up with backups in more than one location on my local drive, and all of those backups are showing the same behavior.


Main Questions

  1. Does anyone have any idea how the data loss could have happened?
  2. Does anyone have any suggestions for recovering that week of work?
  3. Does anyone have any suggestions for future backup methods that can be safely counted on?
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