I try to be responsible. I like to back up my data. I know that bad, bad things happen when you don't back up. So, last night I decided to back up the databases we use for the ICE development environment. Good thinking right? Sensible Gordo.
Well, as I tried to back up the development DB, the server tells me that it's only got 20mB of space left on disk. Hmmm. 'That can't be right, ' thinks me. 'What's using all this space?' Well, it turns out the Microsoft SQL server log files are occupying about 7 gigabytes. So, not really caring about recording the history of updates made over time to the development data (which is largely records and documents title 'poo' and 'asdf') I decided to delete them. They're just logfiles right? Log files are boring things invented for dweeby auditors to pore over. We don't need no stinkin' log files...
And so, I deleted them. And that's where the world started to go bad. Windows told me those files were too big for the recycle bin - is it okay to delete them forever? sure, sure, says me. Logfiles? meh. Well, now the databases don't work. Turns out that SQL server has something of an affinity for it's logfiles (something about the only file with data that ever gets written to disk, ever) and was REALLY, REALLY PISSED that I had deleted them.
So, two frantic calls to Grant later, and about an hour and a half of wizardry on his part, and the world is good again.
And the moral to story - Never, Ever, EVER delete logfiles in SQL Server. I know I'll remember that. You should too.