Amazon Cloud - What the the bloody hell?

Back around the first of the year I decided to back up certain documents, etc. on this service. What the hell, it’s free up to a point, right?

Some months later there is a big scare about Apple’s cloud and warnings about keeping sensitive documents stored that way.

Okay, so I figured perhaps I should take a few documents off the cloud, one of them being a spreadsheet that tracks our net worth, which I update every week or so, and which includes stock prices, bank balances, etc. (no account information, other than the name of the bank).

Today, I go to update the Excel spreadsheet, and all of the information has reverted back to what it was back in January, when I first did the cloud thing. Another document (Word) that I took off the cloud and which did have sensitive information, is unchanged.

What the fuck? How could this happen? It’s not a critical loss, as I keep the sheet current, so it was just a matter of updating to today’s information, but I can imagine somebody losing a lot of unrecoverable date-sensitive information. Why is there no warning about this possibility?

So, you backed it up early in the year, then retrieved it recently, and it’s got information from early in the year?

Sounds like whatever was supposed to be regularly updating the changes to the cloud-stored version wasn’t working. Are you sure that there was something that was regularly updating the changes, or did you just back up that one version one time? (I don’t use Amazon’s cloud backup, so I don’t know how it works)

Did you copy the retrieved cloud version over your local version?

I backed it up on the cloud early in the year, then deleted it from the cloud recently without opening it. When I opened it on my PC (which is what I always do), the original information was displayed instead of the updated information that I’ve been entering all along. Perhaps I don’t understand how “the cloud” works, but it shouldn’t cause you to lose information without at least a warning. What I don’t understand is: I’ve been updating the information on my PC document; why wouldn’t it still be there, regardless of what I do to the cloud document?

Backups are hard.

Ideally, whichever version of the document has changes will propagate to the other places, and they’ll all have the most recent version. In this case, it appears that the old backed-up version overwrote the version you’ve been updating regularly.

I don’t know enough about how Amazon’s backup system works, but here’s what I guessed happened:

  1. You backed up the old version to the cloud.
  2. Something was supposed to be regularly updating your changes to the cloud, but wasn’t.
  3. When you deleted the “cloud” version, the backup software thought “Oh, this is being deleted from the cloud, better make sure that there’s a local copy!” and overwrote the local copy you’ve been updating.

I agree this shouldn’t happen. I’m not quite sure where things went wrong or what to tell you to do about it, though. What’s the name of the Amazon backup product you were using?

It’s just called “Amazon Cloud Drive”. I note that there haven’t been any updates for the last seven months, but I’m not sure how to make the updates automatic at this point.

Are you sure that Excel wasn’t always opening and updating the cloud copy (with the local copy remaining unchanged)?

Let me get this straight. You updated an Excel spreadsheet on your PC. Then you backed up that file onto the cloud early this year. Meanwhile, you continue to make regular, weekly updates to your spreadsheet on your PC. Recently, you decided to delete the backed up document on the cloud. Now, when you open the document on your PC, all the data had reverted back to what you had in January? All the weekly changes you have been making since then gone?

If I’m getting this right, it sounds like you overwrote the updated document on your PC with the old data you had on the cloud. Even then, there should have been a dialog box asking you to confirm whether you want to overwrite the data or not.

I don’t use the Amazon cloud myself, but is it possible that you’ve been updating the cloud file all along (or a local cache that got synced to the cloud), not the original local file?

In a nutshell.

Apparently, and hence my annoyance. I think I’m just going to go back to backing up on an external drive and leave the clouds to the pilots.

scr4: No idea, but that seems logical. Still, it shouldn’t have allowed me to delete the file without some sort of warning.