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does mysql or phpmyadmin(Server variables and settings?) keep logs of activity? If so where and if not is it something i can turn on?

Some tables in different databases with different users are being emptied?!

any pointer appreciated, Dan

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You're trying to log who is emptying the table? phpMyAdmin won't help here; even if you could turn on logging with it you would only see commands sent through the phpMyAdmin interface. So that's not much help.

Sounds like you want to enable the MySQL binary log. This could generate large log files, but should help.

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As someone else mentioned, binary logs will give you a log of every change: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/binary-log.html

If it's your own code that's buggy and doing bad things, you might also try using the binary log in conjunction with marking your queries with comments like is explained here: http://37signals.com/svn/posts/3130-mini-tech-note-mysql-query-comments-in-rails

That may help you triangulate the issue.

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