Yahoo magically restores Flickr account with 4,000 pictures

By on February 3, 2011, 11:01 AM
Yahoo recently deleted Mirco Wilhelm's Flickr account by accident. After apologizing and saying the account would be restored, but the 4,000 pictures could not be recovered, the story received a lot of coverage (link to our original story). In a surprise turnaround, Flickr has managed to restore Wilhelm's account.

All the pictures seem to be present, although he says he still can't login. "My account has been restored through some magical recovery process, Flickr 'doesn't have'... Everything looks good from the outside, but I still can't login," Wilhelm wrote on his Posterous blog. "One of the messages from the staff told me they will send me instructions, once everything has been restored to prevent data mixups, so I guess I will have that by some time tomorrow."

Here is Flickr's new letter regarding Wilhelm's account:

Hi Mirco,

Just a quick update. Your account has been restored including photos, comments, groups, etc. External links pointing to these photos were restored yesterday. There are a couple last things we need to do in your account. When that's all done we will send you an email with info on how to log back in.

As noted before, we've added 25 years of Pro to your account and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.





User Comments: 12

Got something to say? Post a comment
Mizzou Mizzou said:

How surprising, isn't it amazing how motivated Yahoo got once this starting spreading over the internet like wildfire

myrmidonks myrmidonks said:

on homepage, the letter doesnt show up. Only when clicking on the full story can one read it. Also, please fix "from from" in Wilhelm's quotation. Thx

Guest said:

haha..funny...Bad press does have some value.

RaiDeR55 said:

4 years of Pro to 25 years!!! Plus account fully restored he ended up doing ok..Maybe they do have backups lurking around for Flickr..

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And the "Luckiest man of the week award" goes to....

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

4 years of Pro to 25 years!!! Plus account fully restored he ended up doing ok..Maybe they do have backups lurking around for Flickr..
Um, maybe, maybe not.

When an account is "deleted", I believe that just the links to the data are broken. So at least for a time, the data blocks still exist on the server HDDs.

When this happens to an Email account, an operation called an "alias re-point" is undertaken, in an attempt to reconnect the user to the original user name.

Accordingly, since this was an "accidental' deletion, there would be no need to scrub that portion of information from the drive by perhaps, zeroing out the drive.

Although Benny does have his point, that this user was "lucky", since perhaps the restoration was effected before the space on that particular drive(s), was needed for incoming new data.

The "luck" here, is partly due to the fact the the server farms are getting so massive, the space simply isn't needed right away, (if ever(?)).

Scshadow said:

My guess is they got all fancy with the full database backup and found a way to extract his account only. But still, motivation was what made this possible.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Scshadow; That and allot of manual work, trust me, been there, done that

It's kinda disconcerting that it takes this much news coverage to get the kind of service you would expect anyway, I'm at this stage with a big hardware company, it begins with the letter A and ends in capital SUS.

I'm still contemplating what to do, but when seeing these companies boast so much about how good they are it really pisses me off...

[link]

"Acting on our philosophy and promise of inspiring innovation and persistent perfection"

-Now that's a mouthful!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

"Acting on our philosophy and promise of inspiring innovation and persistent perfection"

-Now that's a mouthful!

One really glaring omission is the verb, "delivering"....!

aj_the_kidd said:

External links pointing to these photos were restored yesterday

Would have been a nightmare to set those up all again. I did find the reply rather impersonal, to start off with "Just a quick update" to me shows they don't deal with customers too often

Obi-Wan Jerkobi Obi-Wan Jerkobi said:

Shouldn't they be able to restore lost crap anyway? I mean, a company this big has to make backups.

mosu said:

It's really about motivation, they only tried to come cheap in the first place and after seeing the response they did the right thing.

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