Help! New Owncloud setup using old drive and database

I could really use some help… I had a version of OwnCloud X running on a Raspberry Pi that I only barely got running on my own (back when it was OC 8) using tutorials. After recently performing ‘apt-get update’ and ‘upgrade’ that instance of OC stopped working entirely. This happened just before we move across country and, during transit, the SD card with the OS on it was misplaced/lost. Fortunately, I had the data saved on an external hard drive that I was able to keep track of.
I would like to setup a new instance of OC using this drive and hopefully be able to recover the data. There are a few items I have concerns about: I don’t recall if I used MySQL or SQLite for the database and I would be devastated if I lost the data that is on this drive… lots of family memories and documents. Would someone kindly assist in helping me get this setup without losing access to the data?

Secondary question: Why would OC stop working after the update/upgrade process?


maybe you can do the following:

  1. Save the data from the external drive to a laptop
  2. Install the ownCloud sync client on this laptop
  3. Setup a fresh ownCloud 10.0.8 installation on the Pi
  4. Sync the data from 1. via the sync client of 2. to the newly installed ownCloud

So, forgive the silly question but I’ve been burned by unexpected sync behavior before.Will the data definitely sync back to the server from the client and not get wiped since the server will, at that initial time, be empty of data?

I like the idea but, because of my lack of knowledge of the backend, I’m curious if this will just work with the raw data off the hard drive as it is not straight files (i.e.: pdf, jpg, etc) but is a database of some sorts where all the files do not have any extensions. There is a folder structure but none of the files are readable through a file browser. I further wonder if this will work since, as I recall, the data on the client side was all “normal” files and could be read normally.

Thank you for the input @tom42 ! Anything is appreciated at this point!


if you don’t have the plain files on the external files then i think it will always be unsafe or unexpected what ownCloud is doing (e.g. the metadata on the hard disc could be out of sync with the sync client or similar).

This topic looks to me more like something data recovery related rather then ownCloud specific so unfortunately i’m not much of an help on this. :confused:

Personally i would completely kick out the ownCloud server and the sync client. Afterwards i would try to recover the plain files from the disc and completely start from scratch with the server and the client. With this you probably would loose the sharing information but it sounds to me like the safest way.

Before doing all this actions i would make sure to do a really good backup of the data on a “offline” secondary device.

Generally i think this is one of the reasons i had read quite often that ownCloud shouldn’t be used as a backup.

So, turns out I’m an idiot and just didn’t dig far enough into the file structure and everything is there in normal file formats. For future reference for anyone facing a similar situation, the files are in {drive}/data/[ownCloudUserName]/files
It’s that simple and I feel like an idiot for not figuring it out sooner. I was able to discover the database type by running ‘file owncloud.db’ under {drive}/data. In my case, it came back as an SQLite 3 database. Starting the sqlite server as root allowed me access to the db.