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eBay suffers another outage

Two days after suffering a 14-hour outage, online auction site eBay had more unplanned downtime yesterday and early today, with portions of the site unavailable for seven hours.

Two days after suffering a 14-hour outage, online auction site eBay had more unplanned downtime yesterday and early today, with portions of the site unavailable for seven hours.

eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove said he didn't know the cause of the downtime, or whether it was related to Friday's outage.

eBay users, posting to a message board on the AuctionWatch Web site, first noticed problems with the site around 7:54 p.m. PT. eBay representatives acknowledged the problem approximately 30 minutes later, posting a message to the company's announcements board that said that "portions of the eBay system are currently inaccessible."

The auctions were back up and running at 10:39 p.m., according to a company posting. However, the search function and the site's image gallery area remained down until nearly 3 a.m. this morning.

eBay blamed Friday's outage on an internal system failure that was followed by a network failure. Although the company now has a "warm backup" in place to minimize outages, Pursglove said it could not have prevented Friday's failure.

"The warm backup here is not applicable," he said, explaining that the system does not help in the case of network problems.

eBay has had a string of outages this year, including a 22-hour downtime in June. In recent months, the company has taken steps to correct the problems, including hiring additional engineers and executives, and installing a backup system.

eBay's stock, which has been down in recent months like most Internet stocks, was trading down 2.44 to 80.81.