I'm using Amazon EC2 for Magento website and WinScp to access SFTP. Sometimes I'm using terminal in WinScp to execute command.

Today I need to delete some files so I used rm -R /* and forget to mention folder name.

Now i am unable to login using winscp to my server and the website is not working. I am getting this error in winscp:

"Authentication log (see session log for details):
Using username "ubuntu".
Server refused our key.

Authentication failed."

How can I login again and undo the massive erase?

  • I am fairly certain that you didn't use rm -R /* but rm -R *, or else you would have needed to use sudo and got a warning.
    – guntbert
    May 20, 2015 at 9:25
  • When you can not login your instance is gone.
    – Rinzwind
    May 20, 2015 at 9:28
  • @Rinzwind or he just deleted his ~/.ssh
    – guntbert
    May 20, 2015 at 9:30
  • Sure ... but the general idea of an instance is that you have a way of connecting to it. If that method is deleted the instance is gone. No access is the same as deleting the instance from the main console panel.
    – Rinzwind
    May 20, 2015 at 9:33
  • 1
    I am not an expert of EC2, but you probably need to recreate an instance and recover from a backup --- you deleted all you had permission to write to.
    – Rmano
    May 20, 2015 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


You can recover the instance data by deploying your SSH key to a new copy of the instance, see e.g. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3260739/add-keypair-to-existing-ec2-instance

  • Dude you are great. You just saved me. I have recovered my database using this method. attaching the link for the newbies and going to suffer in future stackoverflow.com/questions/10934745/… yeah but unable to recover my websites files. Files are deleted.. :( few one are left May 21, 2015 at 12:57

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