Does Shutdown Erase Data

Posted July 30, 2017 3.8k views
UbuntuWordPressDigitalOceanSystem ToolsUbuntu 16.04Storage


I have a wordpress site running on a server, and I unfortunately need to reset the root password because I forgot it. To do that I need to shutdown.

Does a shutdown erase data, such as the files and database for my wordpress site? I am inclined to believe data is just stored on the machine’s hard drive and will persist. However, I have made the mistake of shutting down a server in AWS with some data on its physical disk, and I know that in that case that data is gone forever. I just want to make sure.

EDIT: I am aware of the risk of losing/corrupting some data that is being processed/accessed in some way at the time of shutdown. I don’t believe this would really apply to a closed development Wordpress site, so my question is about whether most static data that is just sitting there will be fine.

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  • UPDATE: For anyone else reading, I successfully powered off my server and reset the root password, and was able to power it on without any problems with my wordpress installation or data.
    I am currently developing the site, and so no one else was accessing it. This may have gone differently if it were in production.

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If you’re worried about possibly losing data, I’d shut down the MySQL service then shut down the entire server.

Any data written to disk should be preserved so long as the server is shutdown gracefully through the command prompt.

  • Thanks. In this case I can’t shut down the MySQL service or use the command prompt because I can’t log in :(.
    But as long as data written to the disk is preserved in general I think I’ll be ok (I can deal with some small corruption/loss if necessary).