Nextcloud deleted my files and they're not in the trash

Nextcloud version: 16.0.3
Operating system and version: Ubuntu 18.04
Apache or nginx version: Apache 2.4.29
PHP version: 7.2

The issue you are facing:

I was using a tower at home as my Nextcloud server and the hard drive crashed. I got a new HD, reinstalled the OS, reinstalled Nextcloud, set up my folders the same way, logged back into my Nextcloud client and ran the sync. Here’s what happened:

  • Nexcloud removed almost all of my local files. The two local folders I synced removed everything, except a few files I created or modified while my tower was down. So it looks like Nextcloud assumed I deleted all those files from the server, then propagated those deletions to my computer.

  • Nextcloud is trying to pull down all the files from external storage. If I have a local folder that’s connected to external storage through Nextcloud, the client is trying to pull down and overwrite all my local files.

I’d like to be able to sync all my music and other big files, without having to pull all that down again from the server. But what I’d really like is to get all my notes and other files back. If I look in the trash can in Nextcloud, my files are not there. I know Nextcloud has its own version control, but the activity log just says ‘created new folder’. Please tell me it didn’t just obliterate my files.

Nextcloud keeps its file-references in database. If you happend to have lost that and them simply re-install Nextcloud, you’d start over with a “blank” database and NC would know nothing about any files and would also try to sync everything, that isn’t marked as synched, e.g. your external files.

When you configure a new connection to an NC instance and point your NC client to a non-empty local folder, it will give you the choice of a “clean” sync, which will remove the folder’s contents and a “full” sync, but I don’t think, that that’s the case, if your client “reconnects”, so your local NC client will likely have deleted all the local files.

I don’t think, that there’s anything that you can do… and it doesn’t sound, as if you’d be having a backup of your data.

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I see. So next time, if I lose my Nextcloud server, I need to also remove my local profile and start fresh. It sounds like my only options now are data recovery on the failing server drive, or data recovery on the client machine.

As for the issue with external storage: I have 62G of music in external storage on the server, and 62G of music locally. I know these collections are identical, yet Nextcloud wants to overwrite all my local files with the ones from the server. Is there any way to convince Nextcloud that they’re identical?

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