Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

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Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am

Hi,

A friend set up a phpBB forum, called The Piazza, just under 10 years ago, but has not had so much time for it lately. I've been trying to help out by doing admin, but we were getting problems with access to her server. (Then the forum got so large that the hosting company threatened to shut it down and we had to kill the searchindex to get free space back.)

So, we came up with a plan to move the forum onto a new server, then do the upgrade work there. (And rebuild the searchindex at some point in the process.)

I've paid for a new server, and we have all the access for admins that we need there. The hosting company just did an import for us, but something has gone wrong. We are locked out of the ACP. It's something to do with Session IDs (they keep changing every page).

We have looked around the forums (all the moderators can get in, even though it is closed) and everything seems to be there. But we get error messages if we try to post. And because the ACP has the forum locked, and we are not able to get into the ACP, we can't change anything to do further tests.

After some hunting around, for any old 3.0 topics that might help, I found the 3.0 Support Toolkit. The other admin who is helping me got that installed, and managed to get in with the emergency password yesterday, but couldn't identify anything that seemed to be wrong. I got in too, but couldn't see anything, and went to bed.

I've tried getting back into the STK Admin Panel today, but I can't get in. I wanted to run the thing that would give me the information to put in a support request. I've tried deleting passwd.php and generating a new file several times, but I'm doing something wrong and I can't work out what.

The other admin is asleep right now, as he is in another part of the world, but I thought I'd turn here for a bit of advice.

Do we need to fix the 3.0 problems first, or is it possible to hack into the phpBB files from the outside, to remove styles and any other stuff that needs to go and then throw a 3.2 upgrade on top of what we already have? Will the 3.2 installer automatically fix whatever is wrong by giving us a new forum with the old database?

I know there is stuff that people say needs to be removed to upgrade. Does that actually need to be removed the way the documentation says, or can we go looking for specific files and manually delete them?

If we get stuck, can we do a clean 3.2 install and then copy and paste SQL stuff from our old forum into the new one?

What's the best way to proceed?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Last edited by Big Mac on Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by janus_zonstraal » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:37 am

I've tried getting back into the STK Admin Panel today, but I can't get in.
Do you get a error message?
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Mick » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:59 am

There’s no reason to be messing with the database, apart from making backups, PHP and mysql. First you have to back up your files and database. Read the relevant parts (backup) of Knowledge Base - Transferring Your Board to a New Host or Domain. If you have to move the board to the new host yourself you can do that following the KB above as well. As has been said the only support available here for 3.0 is help upgrading.

This is the recommended upgrade path: 3.2 Upgrade Guide.

If you post a link to your board we can have a look see what’s going on.
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by KevC » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:05 pm

IanMc wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:35 am
So WinHost bless em' have an 'app installer' in the CP where you can install phpBB to a folder of your choice
Do not do this. We do not support host versions.

Offering out unverified scripts that delete every file on someones site sounds highly dangerous and irresponsible.

Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
The hosting company just did an import for us, but something has gone wrong. We are locked out of the ACP. It's something to do with Session IDs (they keep changing every page).
They probably haven't changed the cookies to reflect the new domain.
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
We have looked around the forums (all the moderators can get in, even though it is closed) and everything seems to be there. But we get error messages if we try to post. And because the ACP has the forum locked, and we are not able to get into the ACP, we can't change anything to do further tests.
Admins and mods can always log in when the board is disabled. It would help if you said what the error messages were. A link to the board would help a lot.
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
Do we need to fix the 3.0 problems first, or is it possible to hack into the phpBB files from the outside, to remove styles and any other stuff that needs to go and then throw a 3.2 upgrade on top of what we already have? Will the 3.2 installer automatically fix whatever is wrong by giving us a new forum with the old database?
Possibly. You only need the database to upgrade to 3.2.2
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
I know there is stuff that people say needs to be removed to upgrade. Does that actually need to be removed the way the documentation says, or can we go looking for specific files and manually delete them?
Virtually all the old 3.0 files will be thrown away. You only need to keep config.php and /files (strictly speaking).
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
If we get stuck, can we do a clean 3.2 install and then copy and paste SQL stuff from our old forum into the new one?
Yes

Notes:
  • Your server must be running at least PHP 5.4.7 or higher.
  • phpBB 3.2 is not compatible with 3.0 and most of the previous files will need to be removed prior to upgrading.
  • Styles and MODs from 3.0 cannot be installed on phpBB 3.2. To upgrade, perform the following steps:
  1. Make a back-up of the original files and database
  2. Deactivate all styles except for prosilver
  3. Remove all MOD-related changes from the database. The Support Toolkit's Database Cleaner can be used for this.
  4. Ensure that the activated spambot countermeasure is one of the standard phpBB plugins (Simple image, GD image, GD 3D image, Q&A, reCaptacha).
  5. Set British English as the only language pack and delete all other language pack directories from your server
  6. Delete all of your phpBB 3.0.x files EXCEPT for the following:
    • The config.php file
    • The /images/ directory
    • The /files/ directory
    • The /store/ directory
  7. Upload the contents of the phpBB3 directory from the uncompressed 3.2.x Full Package (EXCEPT for config.php) into your forum's directory (Note: you don't want to overwrite your original config.php file)
  8. Browse to www.example.com/install/
  9. Click the Update tab
  10. Click the Update button
  11. Select "Update database only" and click Submit
  12. Wait for the progress bar to reach 100% and for a message indicating that the update has completed
  13. Delete or rename the /install/ directory
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:07 pm

janus_zonstraal wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:37 am
I've tried getting back into the STK Admin Panel today, but I can't get in.
Do you get a error message?
It's weird. I get a similar thing with the STK, that I get with the ACP.

I log in and get to a page that says: "Information: You have been successfully logged in."

Then I get kicked back to the login page (just like I do with the ACP).

Then I go generate an emergency password, download passwd.php.

Upload passwd.php and try to log in with the emergency password, and I get blocked. The message I get is "Warning: The submitted form is invalid. Try submitting again."

If I go back to the STK folder on the server, I can delete the password file and go through it all again, but it doesn't work. It worked once yesterday. Another admin and myself got in (with exactly the same steps). Now we are struggling to get into our own forum.
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by janus_zonstraal » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:20 pm

A link to your board is very helpfull.
And as Kevc wrote, did you check the cookies?
https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3 ... -settings/
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:22 pm

Mick wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:59 am
There’s no reason to be messing with the database, apart from making backups, PHP and mysql. First you have to back up your files and database. Read the relevant parts (backup) of Knowledge Base - Transferring Your Board to a New Host or Domain. If you have to move the board to the new host yourself you can do that following the KB above as well. As has been said the only support available here for 3.0 is help upgrading.
Thanks Mick. I've been following phpBB since 3.1 was in development and have been keen to get an upgrade done for ages. I've not had the ability to do anything about it before we moved to our current host, as I only had ACP access until we migrated.

It wasn't us who migrated the forum. Our hosting company helped by importing the data from our old hosting company. They seem like they know what they are doing, but I'll point them at the knowledge base article.
Mick wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:59 am
This is the recommended upgrade path: 3.2 Upgrade Guide.
Thanks. I'll point the other admins at that. My big question is going to be do we have to fix the login problem before we upgrade. If we can push ahead with an upgrade and then see if things are broken after that, we might push ahead (because it's something we want). It all comes down to how possible it is for us to follow your Upgrade Guide, without access into the ACP or STK.

(If we can't proceed with an upgrade, without using the ACP or STK to get rid of "illegal" styles, I'm thinking we might need to nuke our new install and try another import,.)
Mick wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:59 am
If you post a link to your board we can have a look see what’s going on.
Sure. It's called The Piazza, but I don't think you will see much apart from a "Closed for server migration." notice.

Thanks for anything you can spot.
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:57 pm

your cookies should be fine but you can run that cookie.php script mentioned in the post linked above and remove the dot from the front just to see if that helps.

and, yes you can upgrade without access to the board at all. however, you will need to have ftp access to the server to be able to upload/download files using the upgrade method posted above.

since you have all the access to the new server I assume you have the ftp access and also access to the database via something link phpmyadmin.

anyway, you should be able to just upload all new files to the server except for the ones mentioned in the post above by using your ftp.
once you have done that, you access the board in your browser by going to the thepiazza.org.uk/bb url and adding the install directory to the path:
http://thepiazza.org.uk/bb/install

then you should get the install page. click on the update tab. then click on the update button, then, click on the submit button to update database only.
then wait. it may take a long time and it may seem to be stuck but unless you get an error message just wait until the progress bar reaches 100%

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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:14 pm

Thanks for a highly detailed response KevC. I've seen you help lots of other people, and I've always been impressed with how much work you put into it.
KevC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:05 pm
IanMc wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:35 am
So WinHost bless em' have an 'app installer' in the CP where you can install phpBB to a folder of your choice
Do not do this. We do not support host versions.

Offering out unverified scripts that delete every file on someones site sounds highly dangerous and irresponsible.
I didn't see that post, but I wouldn't be touching non-phpBB stuff with a barge pole. :)
KevC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:05 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
The hosting company just did an import for us, but something has gone wrong. We are locked out of the ACP. It's something to do with Session IDs (they keep changing every page).
They probably haven't changed the cookies to reflect the new domain.
That's the thing. I turned up search results that suggested that, when I was looking around the old 3.0 forums for a solution, but we didn't move the forum from one website to another website. We transferred the domain name too. So the domain should have come with us and worked the same as it did before, shouldn't it?

Everything looked OK to us. But we have asked our Hosting company to double-check the settings for us.
KevC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:05 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
We have looked around the forums (all the moderators can get in, even though it is closed) and everything seems to be there. But we get error messages if we try to post. And because the ACP has the forum locked, and we are not able to get into the ACP, we can't change anything to do further tests.
Admins and mods can always log in when the board is disabled. It would help if you said what the error messages were. A link to the board would help a lot.
Thanks for the clarification. That was confusing me a few days ago, when we were prepping for the move.

Sorry, the forum is http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/index.php.

I'm actually getting three types of errors (not including the fact that we can't get the STK to work).

The first thing is that, if we try to make a test post, the "Post a Reply" page for posting opens, but then we get this error, when we Submit the post:
"The submitted form was invalid. Try submitting again."
Then we get directed back to the "Post a Reply" page again.

If we try to use the "Administrator Control Panel", the "To administer the board you must re-authenticate yourself." page loads correctly, and we actually see the "Information: You have successfully authenticated and will now be redirected to the Administration Control Panel." message. But, instead of the ACP loading, we get redirected back to the "To administer the board you must re-authenticate yourself." page.

So, there isn't an error message there, but it's an odd behaviour.

The third thing that is giving us an error message is the "Logout" button. That gives us the following message: "Information: You were not logged out, as the request did not match your session. Please contact the board administrator if you continue to experience problems."

With the STK, we got in yesterday, but it won't take our admin usernames or passwords today. And it also will not take the passwords it generates itself today. We have removed the password file on the server and generated replacement files, but with no luck.
KevC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:05 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
Do we need to fix the 3.0 problems first, or is it possible to hack into the phpBB files from the outside, to remove styles and any other stuff that needs to go and then throw a 3.2 upgrade on top of what we already have? Will the 3.2 installer automatically fix whatever is wrong by giving us a new forum with the old database?
Possibly. You only need the database to upgrade to 3.2.2
Thanks. We will look into that option.
KevC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:05 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
I know there is stuff that people say needs to be removed to upgrade. Does that actually need to be removed the way the documentation says, or can we go looking for specific files and manually delete them?
Virtually all the old 3.0 files will be thrown away. You only need to keep config.php and /files (strictly speaking).
I did see that there were radical changes from 3.0 to 3.1 (especially with one of the two core stylesheets getting tossed out). I'm not so sure of what changed from 3.1 to 3.2. I guess I need to focus on the most important things to know right now but I would like to dig around the documentation later to see what new stuff came in. I used to enjoy seeing the various debates on features over at Area 51, but real-life has kept me busy since before 3.2 went live.
KevC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:05 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am
If we get stuck, can we do a clean 3.2 install and then copy and paste SQL stuff from our old forum into the new one?
Yes
Thanks. That looks like two possible ways to get our data into a working 3.2 install. I'll have to talk to my other admins about which one they think will be the easiest option to try.
KevC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:05 pm
Notes:
  • Your server must be running at least PHP 5.4.7 or higher.
  • phpBB 3.2 is not compatible with 3.0 and most of the previous files will need to be removed prior to upgrading.
  • Styles and MODs from 3.0 cannot be installed on phpBB 3.2. To upgrade, perform the following steps:
  1. Make a back-up of the original files and database
  2. Deactivate all styles except for prosilver
  3. Remove all MOD-related changes from the database. The Support Toolkit's Database Cleaner can be used for this.
  4. Ensure that the activated spambot countermeasure is one of the standard phpBB plugins (Simple image, GD image, GD 3D image, Q&A, reCaptacha).
  5. Set British English as the only language pack and delete all other language pack directories from your server
Ack. I'm having problems getting the Support Toolkit to work, since it worked once yesterday. I didn't make a list of all the possible MOD-related changes before we migrated from our old hosting company. I know we need to kill our board style (called Softwood).

I'm not too sure how I can do all of these things without the STK's help. The forum is so close to working, but I'm wondering if we are going to be forced into nuking it and trying another migration (following the steps that Mick pointed me at).

Our nameservers are not pointing at our old server any more, so I might have a bit of problems accessing the ACP back there. The other admin working with me did take a full backup there, but we were not planning to migrate and update at the exact same time, so we didn't kill the legacy 3.0 things that were standing in the way of an upgrade.

I suppose we could revert the namesevers back to fiddle with the old server there, grab any 3.2-ready data we need and then point the nameservers at our new server again. :?
KevC wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:05 pm
[*]Delete all of your phpBB 3.0.x files EXCEPT for the following:
  • The config.php file
  • The /images/ directory
  • The /files/ directory
  • The /store/ directory
[*]Upload the contents of the phpBB3 directory from the uncompressed 3.2.x Full Package (EXCEPT for config.php) into your forum's directory (Note: you don't want to overwrite your original config.php file)
[*]Browse to www.example.com/install/
[*]Click the Update tab
[*]Click the Update button
[*]Select "Update database only" and click Submit
[*]Wait for the progress bar to reach 100% and for a message indicating that the update has completed
[*]Delete or rename the /install/ directory[/list]
Thanks for that advice. I guess I would download "3.2.x Full Package" locallym go and delete the new config.php and then upload the lot to the server.

We have an extra "/bb/" in our URL for some reason. (It's been there for a couple of server moves now.) So I guess all that stuff goes into that folder on the server and I would browse to "www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/install/" to kick off the install, before renaming the "/install/" directory.

I'll go chat to the other admin who is helping me and we will see if we have an easy workaround for shutting off all the stuff we need to shut off. Otherwise we might need to do a bit of nameserver ping-pong so that we can try out your excellent suggestions.

Thanks for your help, so far.
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:20 pm

janus_zonstraal wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:20 pm
A link to your board is very helpfull.
And as Kevc wrote, did you check the cookies?
https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3 ... -settings/
Sorry Janus. You lot are throwing so much helpful advice at me, that I'm struggling to keep up with everyone who is trying to help me.

I posted a link in a reply to KevC, but I'll stick a link to my board in my OP, after replying to you, as that will be easier for everyone to find.

There are three of us who are going to recheck the cookie settings. Hopefully, if there is something wrong, we can get the forum to behave and then go back to working out how prepare for the upgrade to 3.2. 8-)
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Big Mac » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:16 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:57 pm
your cookies should be fine but you can run that cookie.php script mentioned in the post linked above and remove the dot from the front just to see if that helps.
Thanks. We are going to give that full stop thing a go. It's worth trying anything that might work. :)
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:57 pm
and, yes you can upgrade without access to the board at all. however, you will need to have ftp access to the server to be able to upload/download files using the upgrade method posted above.

since you have all the access to the new server I assume you have the ftp access and also access to the database via something link phpmyadmin.
It looks like we do have FTP access, but it looks like we have to turn it on in cPanel.
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:57 pm
anyway, you should be able to just upload all new files to the server except for the ones mentioned in the post above by using your ftp.
once you have done that, you access the board in your browser by going to the thepiazza.org.uk/bb url and adding the install directory to the path:
http://thepiazza.org.uk/bb/install

then you should get the install page. click on the update tab. then click on the update button, then, click on the submit button to update database only.
then wait. it may take a long time and it may seem to be stuck but unless you get an error message just wait until the progress bar reaches 100%

robert
Thanks.

The thing that was worrying me most was that our default board style has been set to Softwood (which would be missing from 3.2 if we installed it following the process mentioned).

If we can't get the STK to work (and I'm hoping your cookie idea might work) we won't be able to fix things ahead of time. So, I'm thinking I might have to fix legacy 3.0 artefacts after 3.2 is already installed.
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:54 pm

if you have access to the database you can manually go in and reset the style to prosilver and set it to override user and that should let you at least upgrade and then fix the other issues.
If you can't clean up the old database before you try to upgrade it , it will be a problem but not impossible.

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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Big Mac » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:33 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:54 pm
if you have access to the database you can manually go in and reset the style to prosilver and set it to override user and that should let you at least upgrade and then fix the other issues.
If you can't clean up the old database before you try to upgrade it , it will be a problem but not impossible.

robert
Thanks Robert. I'll pass on that suggestion to the other admin. He is better with SQL than I am.
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by Big Mac » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:51 am

My other admin (who goes by Chimpman) has made a checklist of the things we have to do.

He has got back into the STK now (I'm staying away from it in case something I did locked it up) and has gone through many of the steps we need to do to get ready for an upgrade.

He is having problems with this step:
Chimpman wrote:Step 5: Ensure that the activated spambot countermeasure is one of the standard phpBB plugins (Simple image, GD image, GD 3D image, Q&A, reCaptacha). [NOT COMPLETED]
I found a (3.0) topic called Preventing Spam in phpBB3 that suggests we need the ACP for this (and we have still not managed to regain access to the ACP, because of our Session ID issue).

That topic did also mention something called "includes/ucp/ucp_register.php". Is that something we can manually edit to check that we have reverted the spambot countermeasures to one of the above options?

Does anyone know what line we need to edit there and what text we need to change to point at one of those options?

I think that every other step we need to do is something we can manage with. It's just this one that we want to get right, so that it doesn't cause problems with the upgrade.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Trying to prep migrated 3.0 forum for 3.2 upgrade, but stuck

Post by stevemaury » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:59 pm

It can be done with SQL. The following will set the CAPTCHA to the installation default. After running it, delete all the files in the /cache folder EXCEPT .htaccess and index.htm. Also, if your table pre fix is not phpbb_, change accordingly.

UPDATE phpbb_config SET config_value = 1 WHERE config_name = 'gd_captcha'
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