I was simply trying to delete categories, but ended up throwing my whole site off by doing that. The products that were in the categories I deleted got thrown out. So I stupidly restored a backup database and ended up restoring the old site. All of the work I have done up to this point is gone. Is there any way to restore my database from about 2 hours ago? Please help.
Only if you have a backup of the database from the time period you want to restore from. These are shown in Administration>Backup>Restore (and also /var/database/backups/ via FTP), or you can check your hosting control panel to see if there is any automated backup facility to recover from or finally, contact your host who may be able to help. Other than those options, I'm afraid not. Tough lesson to learn, but you will now understand the importance of creating backups on a regular basis.
Thanks StellarBytes. I agree. I definitely understand the importance of it now. I'm not sure how to check for automated backups in my cpanel. Our host is on vacation with no one to take his place right now. I tried looking under “Backups” and “Backup Wizard”, but I didn't have any luck. Do you know where I would go in Cpanel to access automated backups? Thank you.
The host may have backups of the entire server, generally most low cost hosts will do this once per week/month/year/never.
In cPanel, to access the SQL file backup only (ie. just the database) you would require SSH access which I doubt you have given your statement of the one man band hosting scenario. In cPanel, you may be able to download the entire hosting (account level, which includes files, databases, email accounts, etc) via Backups > Download or Generate a Full Website Backup, or below that, there may be Weekly and Monthly buttons which will allow you to download a weekly/monthly backup file to your desktop. From there, you can extract the .tgz compressed file to your desktop and locate the necessary SQL tables. Obviously this entire backup file would contain the current database (ie. before you restored and lost the 'current' database you want to restore back to) - which is NOT stored anywhere as an individual .sql file, but various files of different types which contains the database structure and data. Note this method isn't very straightforward and, no offence, but if you are not versed in how to even locate these in cPanel, I think you will struggle to piece together the individual database files to restore your database using this method. It's also very time consuming if your hosting account has many files, databases, email accounts, email filters, etc, set up as the files are typically quite large (several GBs which take a while to download and generally just as long to extract). With SSH access to your server, however, these could be restored in a couple of minutes.
Guess your current situation with your hosting guys has definitely shown you the importance of creating backups regularly!