Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

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oliverfr
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Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by oliverfr » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:14 pm

Hello,

Long story short, my 3.0.14 PhpBB forum is half broken because it relies on multiple mods, several of them have stopped being compatible at some point. The visitors' side is OK, but the admin side isn't, several parts of the admin are broken, get me logged off and relogged into a white page until I clean cookies, my server's error log registers missing class declarations, the part about uninstalling mods now loads a white page every time. Fixing it by hand might be possible, but it would take a massive amount of time with a great risk of screwing up at some point.

Which is why I come to ask, humbly...

Please: is there a way to keep my forum's contents, the posts, the database, the user's avatars and signatures, and transition it to a VANILLA phpbb, fresh out of the box, as if just downloaded from phpBB?

I'm perfectly fluent in matters such as FTP/SFTP transfers, file and folder comparison/diffs to find changes and revert them, database sql/gzip exports/imports.
But I don't dare go full Leeroy Jenkins, delete everything of the files save config.php, the emoticons and avatars, upload a vanilla PHPBB, and hope it will work at once :D
Better ask :)

Please, if you know how to do it properly, cleanly, I will warmly welcome the help, thank you!

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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by david63 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:32 pm

Basically the answer is yes - but (there is always a but!) depending on the MODs that you have installed you may need to manually edit the database.

What I would do is take a copy of the database, load it into a vanilla phpBB 3.0.14 (you will need to modify config.php and then load the stk and see if it will "clean" your database - if it does then you will be "good to go" - if it doesn't then you will get error messages which should point you in the direction of what needs removing from the database.
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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by oliverfr » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:53 pm

Thanks David, it's quite reassuring.

I hope I won't abuse your kindness, if I ask about PhpBB3.1/3.2?

If I am to go back to a vanilla PhpBB, I may as well go for the 3.1 branch, or even better, the upcoming 3.2, that would be a fresh base.

In that case, am I right to believe the proper order is to (1) go back to vanilla 3.0.14, fix it with the tookit, and only after it's fixed, (2) upgrade to 3.2?

Or would it "work" to simply install 3.2 over a blanked location, restore the folders with special data such as avatars and emoticons, and then update the config file to load the database of the former 3.0.14 forum, and fix it, again, with the toolkit?

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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by 3Di » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:05 pm

In fact, why shouldn't consider to go straight to 3.2.0 once it will be released (very soon)?

Nonetheless you need to get rid of all of your MODs the right way, If I were you I would consider to do this job upgrading first from 3.0.14 to 3.1.10.. (sure thingh is you could have more assistance because of your use case)

once done it's a matter of a few minutes to upgrade again to Rhea.
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oliverfr
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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by oliverfr » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:37 pm

Then it will be like that, 3.0.14 half-broken -> 3.1 -> Rhea.

Thank you dearly for your help :)

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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:11 pm

however, before you upgrade to 3.1 you still need to remove all the old MODs from your 3.0 database. you do that by installing the STK as mentioned above. run the database cleaner.
BACKUP EVERYTHING FIRST
once you have done that, test your 3.0 board to see if there are any errors based on old MODs. if not, then simply remove all the old 3.0 files/folders except for the config.php file and upload all new 3.1 files/folders except for the config.php file .

then, run the install/database_update.php file ( if you are upgrading to 3.1 ).

then, upload your backups of your files folder and images folder.

after that , if you have errors related to old MODs you will have to remove their modules from the admin panel manually.


luck,
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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by oliverfr » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:51 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:however, before you upgrade to 3.1 you still need to remove all the old MODs from your 3.0 database. you do that by installing the STK as mentioned above. run the database cleaner.
BACKUP EVERYTHING FIRST
once you have done that, test your 3.0 board to see if there are any errors based on old MODs. if not, then simply remove all the old 3.0 files/folders except for the config.php file and upload all new 3.1 files/folders except for the config.php file .

then, run the install/database_update.php file ( if you are upgrading to 3.1 ).

then, upload your backups of your files folder and images folder.

after that , if you have errors related to old MODs you will have to remove their modules from the admin panel manually.


luck,
robert
I can't go that way, as both PhpBB's core files and the template's files are "contaminated" by old mods either adding new files, or modifying files, adding required calls, classes (I got a new bug since the update to .14, yet another additional class not found in the server's error logs breaking a new part of the admin CP, I lost two hours trying to understand why oh god why), cross-references, a whole mess.
It's why my whole point is to find out about installing a brand new vanilla's files in an emptied directory, with the exception of the avatars and the emoticons.
On this, I'll make the config file make use of the old database, and first thing, use the STK to clean up all references to the mods. If the STK fails, I'll go through manual cleanups, hoping my phpmyadmin and mysql habits will be good enough;
As I plan it, first, the current broken 3.0.14 will be replaced with a vanilla 3.0.14, then an update to 3.2 when it comes.

And if the worst comes, I'm restoring backups :D

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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by 3Di » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:19 pm

In fact, that's not your case.

You need to:

1 - make a DB backup from phpmyadmin (not the ACP, in any case), you don't need the old files' backup at all.
2 - into the new test location (a sub-domain or localhost or whatever), copy the old folders:
----- images/
----- files/
----- store/

3 - copy all of the files/folders of a vanilla 3.0.14 onto this test location overwriting/merging when required.
4 - install the this vanilla 3.0.14 (like you install a vanilla board, the same) that contains now your images and attachments.
5 - import your old DB there into the newly created one. Be sure your DB backup contains the DROP TABLE IF EXISTS stuff.
6 - amend your new config.php file to be able to connect to the DB (see your old one)
7 - install the STK that gives you a new ACP stand-alone panel and do a perfect clean to vanilla 3.0.14
8 - test you new vanilla that will contain all of your images and attachs

9 - is it ok? next steps..

10 - unistall the STK
11 - delete all of your folders/files except for config.php, images/, files/ and store/
12 - take a new version of the latest 3.1.x (currently is 3.1.10)
13 - once decompressed, copy all of its content (overwriting/merging when required) except for the config.php file, you need the new-old one to connect to the DB there
14 - run install/database_update.php
15 - optional but important: have a look to the config.php file, the 3.1.x version is a bit different, the 3.2.x also differs from others. ;)

You should be able now to get in touch with a vanilla 3.1.10 version, test it deeply before to upgrade to Rhea. Also because it is better to wait a little bit after it will be released and see how's the crowd's feedback.

I hope I didn't forget some step, I don't think so ...

if my memory still serves (?) :P :)
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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by oliverfr » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:46 am

3Di wrote:In fact, that's not your case.
11 - delete all of your folders/files except for config.php, images/, files/ and store/
That reminds me of the wordpress support forums where I'd eventually recommend to delete everything save the wp-upload and wp-config folders, huhu.

Just to report that I am very thankful for the help, and still in the process of experimenting to see if I'm doing things right - that's the great thing about backups, you can run tests.

I vanilla'ed to the max, running every STK routine possible and making a vanilla phpBB accept my old database, and now I have a pseudo-vanilla 3.0.14

I only had to download from here and reupload a vanilla version of the the same-name theme used by the old template (the ERK couldn't force the test forum to switch to default theme) and go to the database to fix the script path table entry.

... and, to my horror, this vanilla'ed phpBB 3.0.14 still has the same crashing problem as before: I'm extremely frequently logged out of
- the STK (both my admin login-password AND by password-uploaded file)
- the forum ACP
After being logged off, I may or may not relog immediately, it may take as far as five or six attempts to not be brought back to the login page.

For operations like wanting to update the purge options on the heaviest subforum, the forum's recycle bin, I gave up after having been disconnected from the ACP for the tenth time as I was clicking to submit the ACP changes in which purging would occur every day for every post without activity.

Same deal after switching to default theme (within the STK), frequent disconnections.

I don't have anymore time today to test how it will fare after.

Work in progress.

I wouldn't have made it so far without all your replies, thank you :)

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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by 3Di » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:58 am

1 - delete all but .htaccess and index.htm from your cache folder.

2 - Have a look here: http://3di.space/32/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9 ..
a new founder/admin is provided for you to use and see.. there is a version for 3.0.x and one for 3.1.x.

3 - Don't care about purging that sub-forum, you can do it later. Use big-dump for large DB if you need to.

4 - check you cookies: file to fix them, 3.0.x. and 3.1.x compatible
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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by david63 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:23 am

oliverfr wrote:this vanilla'ed phpBB 3.0.14 still has the same crashing problem as before: I'm extremely frequently logged out
Being logged out unexpectedly is in many cases due to incorrect cookie settings
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Re: Help, can I transition my forum back from heavily modded to vanilla PhpBB?

Post by oliverfr » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:39 am

3Di wrote:1 - delete all but .htaccess and index.htm from your cache folder.

2 - Have a look here: http://3di.space/32/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9 ..
a new founder/admin is provided for you to use and see.. there is a version for 3.0.x and one for 3.1.x.
Hey, nice tool! I may use that, as one of the "broken" features of my current forum is that there's a crash upon registering a new account, and I wanted to test with a new fresh admin account.
Thanks again :)
3Di wrote: 3 - Don't care about purging that sub-forum, you can do it later. Use big-dump for large DB if you need to.
We're talking about a 3.9 GB behemoth, so saving more than 800 MB off it is no small gain :D
Smiling emoticons aside, exporting this DB size is no problem, but executing as sql in order to import a backup onto a fresh new empty database takes forever, I can go make myself a coffee, grounding grains included, and it won't be finished by the time I come back. There's no telling there won't be hiccups over such a long process.
3Di wrote:4 - check you cookies: file to fix them, 3.0.x. and 3.1.x compatible
I may give that one a go. Among the tests I ran there was the renaming of the forum cookie so that there would be no "competition", but that didn't change things.
david63 wrote:
oliverfr wrote:this vanilla'ed phpBB 3.0.14 still has the same crashing problem as before: I'm extremely frequently logged out
Being logged out unexpectedly is in many cases due to incorrect cookie settings
Been there, checked that.
But anyway, that isn't the only issue this broken forum has. I could quote the impossibility to create new accounts (white page; the server's log errors report a missing class "antispam" error, which in this case corresponds to one of many old mods that left dirty remnants everywhere; but changing the forum to default theme doesn't get us rid of it, probably because admin-side is also contaminated). I could also quote moderation operations may crash upon a blank moderator/admin white page (without any server log about missing classes, without syslog entries about possible mysql hiccups, no clue at all this time.)... At this point, better go full vanilla again, right? Right.

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