The data recovery firm in the last month has been able to build partial file lists, but apparently without the directory structure from the first disk volume the task of rebuilding the data is going to be very complex. The end result being that it will not be able to restore the email. The email that was lost is believed by PlusNet to be roughly 50% spam, 48% emails that had been read, and 1-2% that was unread.
Losing 700GB of email means there may be many PlusNet customers who have lost information that cannot be replaced, but it does highlight the need to ensure that any critical information, be this access keys to software you have bought, through to family pictures emailed to you, is backed up in more than one location. Relying on your service provider or other webmail system to store all your email can lead to problems. We would have expected PlusNet to be able to restore some of the data from back-ups - but it may be their email system is run without back-ups? PlusNet's explanation of why traditional back-ups are not possible is below:
PlusNet is now planning a new email platform that is being touted as "vastly scalable, site resilient mail storage set-up, with 6 hourly checkpoints to ensure we can roll back the majority of the changes that happen on the system within a four hour period".
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