Can I recover form files that have been deleted from Aggregate and computer hard drive?

I'm using ODK Collect on Android tablets. I have an ODK Aggregate server set up on Google App Engine. While making some updates to my form, I must have deleted the file from my computer by saving as the same name, although I made some minor changes to the form using ODK Build. The form was also deleted from the Aggregate server to make room for the slightly newer form.

A data collector in the field had the older version of the form, and conducted about 145 surveys on that form. When prompted to upload the new form, the data collector did so, and deleted the older version without submitting the old data.

Now, of course, I cannot submit the data collected with the old form, since it does not exist on the Aggregate server, or the tablet itself.

Is there anything I can do to find that old version with the proper form ID that matches the currently unsubmittable forms on the tablet??

Thanks so much for any help you can offer!!


Based on your description, my understanding is: unfortunately you will not be able to recover data associated with your old form. If you have exported your previously collected data as a csv file, or if you have taken backup using the briefcase. From ODK briefcase you can try to import the old data back to your Aggregate server. However, in that case, make sure your form names should not be the same.


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It's not clear what the enumerator deleted, so just to be explicit...

If the enumerator deleted just the blank form from the device, then the 145 unsubmitted forms are likely still on the device and you can use ODK Briefcase to pull them off. If the enumerator deleted the unsubmitted forms from the device, then there is, unfortunately, nothing we can do to recover them from the device.

In general, I never delete forms from ODK Aggregate. Just disable downloads and submissions until after the campaign is over and you are absolutely sure you have all your data.

It is possible to reconstruct the blank form if you have the slightly newer one and you have some sense of the changes you made, but that's a manual process and might not be worth it just to get the unsubmitted forms.



Thanks so much for your suggestions! I will attempt a few of these solutions, and get back to share the results.


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