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Gmail users may get their data back

Google said that it should be able to restore the emails of 'many' of those affected by its Gmail snafu, which saw thousands of users' accounts filleted of their contents.

The firm confessed to bungling a storage software update and unleashing an "unexpected bug". It said the bug "caused 0.02 per cent of Gmail users to temporarily lose access to their email". That would have affected around 40,000 users' accounts since Google claims some 200 million users.

Ben Treynor, Google VP of engineering apologised for the cock-up on the company blog.

"The good news is that email was never lost and we've restored access for many of those affected," he wrote. "Though it may take longer than we originally expected, we're making good progress and things should be back to normal for everyone soon."

"I know what some of you are thinking," he wrote. Possibly because Google knows everything about you. "How could this happen if we [Google] have multiple copies of your data, in multiple data centers? Well, in some rare instances software bugs can affect several copies of the data. That’s what happened here. Some copies of mail were deleted, and we’ve been hard at work over the last 30 hours getting it back for the people affected by this issue. "

He said Google also backs up to tape off-line so it should have your data somewhere. It just needs to find it and give you it back

Treynor said the firm would post a "detailed incident report" outlining what happened to its Apps Status Dashboard

It's important to note, he said, that if "you were affected by this issue, email sent to you between 6:00 PM PST on February 27 and 2:00 PM PST on February 28 was likely not delivered to your mailbox, and the senders would have received a notification that their messages weren’t delivered. "