Bluehost

Bluehost – you are terrible. 

I wanted to download a backup for a customer. Their completely ridiculous “custom” cPanel environment is atrocious, and doesn’t allow for generating a full, current backup; you’re stuck with whichever backup ran last on their system, which might be from five minutes or five days ago.

I was in luck – the backup was less than 24 hours old, which was acceptable. I downloaded the backup, and tried to extract it – but the tar file was corrupt:

tar: Unexpected EOF in archive
tar: Unexpected EOF in archive
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

Thus, I had to interact with their godawful support staff, who do not know their rsync from their ssh. Lucky again! Less than one minute of queue time in their livechat client – win! In the past, I’ve spent over 45 minutes waiting for their next admin to get to me.

What transpired next, however, surpassed my wildest fears:

Jonathan
Thank you for validating the last 4 of the password 🙂

I noticed you have domains registered with us without privacy protection. I can get you more information at the end if you would like.

What did you want to backup exactly?

erin
i need a full cpanel backup, please.

erin
all set on the domains, but nice looking out.

Jonathan
ok you want to restore a full cPanel backup? Or just download one?

erin
i would like to generate a fresh one, please. the one available for download is corrupted.

erin
then i would like to download it.

Jonathan
I’m not sure if we can generate a fresh one. I’ll check with a colleague

Jonathan
How did you determine it was corrupted?

erin
thanks. there should be a script to run, such as /scripts/pkgacct accountname

erin
tar: Unexpected EOF in archive
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

Jonathan
ok I’ll look

erin
thanks

Jonathan
that error means there is a corrupt tar file; how are you trying to run the script?

erin
yes, that’s the trouble. 🙂 the backup file is corrupt – i can’t fix it from this end.

erin
and i cannot create a backup on your servers myself. so, that’s why i would need you to please create it for me, as root.

Jonathan
and how are you trying to run the script

Jonathan
our backups don’t change files, so I’m thinking the tar file was corrupt before

erin
i’m not – i cannot run it as a cpanel user. the backup i downloaded was from your cpanel interface.

erin
the backups apparently need to be created as the root user.

Jonathan
I can assure you the backup system is working, we can’t adjust the user it is created as. Your tar file was not altered when backing up.

erin
nono, i think you misunderstand me.

Jonathan
ok, please clarify

erin
the existing backup file, the cpanel backup file, is corrupted.

erin
i need a fresh one to be created, please.

erin
i have not altered the file

erin
the tar file is a compressed archive of all of my files

erin
it is generated by your server, so i could not have broken it myself.

erin
all i need, truly, please, is for you to create a fresh backup for me.

erin
the broken file is the backup file, not a tar file inside of the backup.

erin
does that make sense?

Jonathan
Yes, but did you test the Tar file before the backup? It is highly unlikely that a backup would corrupt a tar file

erin
no – the tar file did not exist before the backup. the tar file IS the backup.

Jonathan
I’m still researching on whether a backup refresh is possible

Jonathan
ok, I think I understand

erin
do you have root access on the server?

Jonathan
no I do not. Only our server admins do

erin
wow.

erin
ok

Jonathan
let’s try to get it for you.

erin
thank you

Jonathan
You wanted the latest backup?

erin
yes please

Jonathan
Where on your account would you like us to place the backup?

erin
in my main home directory please, that would be great.

erin
will this be a fresh backup, or a copy of the one i’m having troubles with?

Jonathan
fresh

erin
A+ thank you

Jonathan
OK I have my senior tech who is going to email you in a few minutes when this completes. Let me get a ticket number for you. Please standby

erin
thanks

 

About 20 minutes later, I received my support ticket:

 

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Technical Support Department, we apologize for the issue this has caused.

I have verified the issue, unfortunately it is not possible to do it from our end. Customers will have to do doenload the backups from their end. You can use any FTP client sftwarres like ‘FileZilla’ or any other.

Thank you,

Athul
Level I Tech Support Engineer

 

I fucking give up. “doenload” with my “sftwarres.” Sure.

Ah.

[one hour later]

Because I have a business to run, I couldn’t just permanently give up. Because I am lazy, I didn’t want to do a manual migration. I sent a reply to Athul, including my full chat transcript. 

A very nice lady named Racheal wrote me back:

Hi,

The full cpanel daily backup is compressing currently, but should be done in the next 30 minutes. You may download the file via FTP the backup is in /home4/galonami/backup

Please let us know if we may assist you further!

At least she understood what I wanted. She could not, unfortunately, fulfill my request:

Account “galonami”: Account Restore Failed: “Failed to extract the archive at “/home/cpmove-galonami.tar”: _normalize_extracted_archive: The extracted archive does not contain a valid cpanel user file.”

You know what? Screw you guys. I crush you with cpanel fuckery.

  2 comments for “Bluehost

  1. April 30, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    First!

  2. July 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Use the cpanel XML-API to run your own backup. Should work unless they’ve disabled backups.

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