Why Some Corrupted Entries Can Not Be Recovered


Passpack keeps backup copies of the last successful saves for each and every entry in your account. This ensures that should an entry ever get corrupted, the system will ask you if you'd like to recover the last useful backup. This is the automatic recovery system

What Causes a Corrupted Entry?

A glitch in the Internet connection during saving seems to be the only cause identified so far that will cause a corrupted entry. Entry corruption is extremely rare, and nearly all of which occurred before April 19, 2010. If you are being alerted now about an recovering an corrupted entry, there's a good chance that the entry was created before that date.  

Why Are Some Entries Recovered, Others No?

Passpack maintains a number of encrypted backup copies of each and every entry in each in your account. These backup copies are used to recover your data in the event something goes wrong.

Once exception to this rule are entries that were corrupted the first - and only - time they were saved  (ex. a brand new entry) . Therefore they do not have a backup copy from a previously saved version... because there is no previously saved version. This is the exception when the entry can not be recovered.

In all other cases, the automatic recovery should work just fine for you. At worst you may loose the most recent change you were making to the entry.

Which Entry Was Not Recovered?

Because the entries, and all the backups, are fully encrypted, Passpack has no way to let you know what the name of an entry which could not be recovered. There is no way to know. It can't be read. Scroll down and read "Can I do Anything??" below.

How Does Automatic Recovery Work?

The automatic recovery is fully encrypted, exactly like the rest of your Passpack account. It works like this:

1. Passpack discovers a corrupted entry

As soon as your account realizes that there's an entry that it's not able to decrypt and read, a notice is sent beck to the Passpack servers saying something like "Hey, I've got an entry I can't read - do you have any backups I can use instead?". Depending on your startup settings, you may or may not be asked to logout of your account before proceeding. 

2. The server checks for backup versions

Good news - The server replies back to your account saying something like "No worries, I have backups everything you asked for" and send the encrypted backups to your account. Passpack will ask you if you'd like to try the automatic recovery. We suggest you say YES.

Bad news - The server replies back to your account saying something like "No, sorry, but I do not have any backups for that entry." If this happens, your entry can not be recovered. You will be alerted the entry is lost. It's gone. Skip step three, and read "Can I do Anything??" below.

Half & half news -  The server replies back to your account saying something like "I have backups for almost everything you asked for, except one" and send the encrypted backups it does have to your account. Passpack will ask you if you'd like to try the automatic recovery for as many entries as possible. Again, we suggest you say YES.

3. Completed recovery

Inside your account, the corrupted version of the entry is deleted, and replaced with the backup version. In a worst case scenario, this may result in your entry being reverted to the last save.

Can I Do Anything??

If you have ever made personal backups of your Passpack data, you may try the restore tool to locate any missing entries.

Alternatively, if you use Passpack Desktop, maybe we can help you identify it and recover an unrecoverable entry from there. Do not synchronize your Passpack Desktop. Contact us first and we'll work with you.

We suggest, as always, that you make personal backups from time to time. Some users have expressed an interest in the ability to schedule these backups to be sent to them automatically. If you are interested in such a solution, please vote or comment about it here in the suggestions forum.

How Do I Know It Won't Happen Again?

On April 19, 2010 Passpack implemented a additional measure to further decrease the possibility of a entry corruption due to a blippy Internet connection. Since that date, no further entries have been corrupted (though we did have some false positives). Here is the blog post announcing these tighter controls and addressing false positives.

If you have encountered a corrupted entry on a brand new entry, please let us know.

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