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Originally published Friday, January 12, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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King County recorder reposting lost online files

Restoring 36 million pages of real-estate and marriage records to the malfunctioning Web site of the King County Recorder's Office may take...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Restoring 36 million pages of real-estate and marriage records to the malfunctioning Web site of the King County Recorder's Office may take two more weeks, officials said Thursday.

Online access to the files was lost because of a hardware failure in a computer-server system Jan. 1, said Scott Baynard, who became superintendent of the Recorder's Office on Jan. 3.

The timing of his appointment was not related to the computer failure.

It was the first such system failure since 2002, when the Recorder's Office began posting records online, said Bobbie Egan, spokeswoman for the Records, Elections and Licensing Services Division.

"It's simply a hardware issue ... . The good news is we have backup tapes of all those images," Egan said.

Since Jan. 1, technical workers have been working "around the clock, seven days a week," to repost images of the lost records from backup tapes, Egan said.

"We do apologize for the inconvenience this has caused people," Egan said.

The records include mortgage and marriage documents, surveys, easements, excise-tax affidavits and maps.

By Thursday, workers had restored all or nearly all maps dating to 1991 and all other records back to June 14, 2004.

Maps were the first priority because they were the only affected records that weren't also available on microfilm.

All nonmap records can be viewed on microfilm in the Recorder's Office, third floor of the King County Administration Building, 500 Fourth Ave., Seattle. Hard copies of records are held in archives.

Egan and Baynard said they didn't know how much it will cost to repair the computer server and replace the data.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or kervin@seattletimes.com

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