I have been utilizing Plex Media Server for years now, been an active Plex-Pass member as well, ya know, paying to get all those sweet beta features.
Over the years I have had very little to no issues with my setup. It has worked nicely, with the exception of occassionally losing a file or two for no apparent reason, it has been good. Until yesterday, November 25th, 2019, things changed drastically.
My media server decided to delete my Movies folder, and my Kids Movies folder. Totally 4.98tb of lost data, that is right, almost 5tb of media lost. For the past month or so Plex has been renaming the Movies folder to some of the sub-folders names, so Movies would turn into 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003). This was getting annoying for me to fix.
I left my house yesterday with my directories intact, all my media, to go pick up my girlfriend from work. When I got home, 27 minutes later, the Movies folder was gone, however the Kids folder was still there. As I was coming to terms with the loss of my media, the Kids movies started vanishing from plex server, showing ‘Unavailable’ beside them. I darted to my computer and sure enough, the kids folder had self-deleted too.
I looked through all the settings in Plex to see if something could cause this, but I couldn’t find anything, I checked my firewall to see if I was breached, I wasn’t. My media is simply deleting itself? That is not what happens or how Plex works at all. Sure over the years I’d lose some media, those are small one-off deletions and easily replacable, I would just download them again from Ultraviolet, Google, and Microsoft. But this, this was simply too much. How do I go about re-collecting hundreds of thousands of movies that I lost. Most of which I digitized myself from old VHS and DVD’s.
I am not a fan of using Torrent sites, I believe in paying for media, now this isn’t a lecture for those who don’t, but I believe that by buying the media, the makers of said media will be more likely to make more. IMHO that is how it works. Torrents cut back on this. /nuffsaid
But I digress, I am left with the options to now re-digitize all my old media, which took me years to do the first time. Or turn to what I hate, which at this time, seems like the better option.
I just cannot believe my media deleted itself. I know Plex did it, it is the only thing that touches those files, with my up-to-date virus scanner I know it wasn’t a virus or a breach. Simply put it was the Media Server. Plex developers maintain their media server does not delete media like that, however, there are entire forums dedicated exactly to it over on their official website. And for myself, going forward, I am feeling rather cautious about my continued use of Plex.
Before I rebuild my library, I have to identify a way for windows 10 to prevent applications from deleting files/folders. I.E. I need the Media Server application to be allowed to read the media folders, but not write to them to prevent this from happening again. Once I configure that, I should be fine, however if it happens again after I have done that configurational change, then that will raise an even bigger issue as this blame is currently solely on Plex. God forbid that change, I don’t want it to be a bigger issue. But with what I read over on the Plex Forums, it sounds like it is an issue in their software caused by the Scanning for new media process, something about it going awry.