Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

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BoarX
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Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by BoarX »

Dear all,

We have old 3.0.11 forum with the original maintainer no longer with us and none of us having much experience with phpBB and related stuff. We are learning hard and already got a lot of valuable advice on this forum - thanks a lot! At this point I am trying to understand how to handle our databases during the upgrade. We are with Bluehost and our phphMyAdmin shows not just one database, but four. Three of these are clearly phpBB databases as I can "point" config.php at any of them and get a functional forum. Only one of these databases corresponds to our current forum, two others look as a backup made at some earlier times, but they do contain some posts not present in our current forum/database. Our forum is for the most part a repository of the valuable technical information accumulated over the years and we like to preserve as much of it as possible.

Question1: is there a way to merge our three databases into one without creating duplicate posts? Upgrading with 4 separate databases doesn't sound like fun at all.

Question2: our 4th database has definitely different structure with tables like dada_archives, dada_bounce_scores, dada_clickthrough_urls, etc. Googling these hints at application Dada Mail. Is this database being used by phpBB forum or is it some remnants of old e-mail software??

Thanks in advance,
Alex
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

the dada stuff has nothing to do with phpBB at all.

as for trying to merge the other databases, that , like all things, is possible but it is not practical.

you could maybe hire someone to spend the time and effort to try and merge them but I doubt that it is
worth it.

so, that leaves just the main database that your board is using.

the upgrade is pretty straight forward.
you follow the instructions found here:
https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3 ... /upgrade3/
(you need to upgrade to 3.3 not 3.2)
you will also need to upgrade the php version on the server as well.

3.0 will not work with the current versions of php and the current version of phpBB will not work with the
older php versions.

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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by warmweer »

BoarX wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:17 am
Question1: is there a way to merge our three databases into one without creating duplicate posts? Upgrading with 4 separate databases doesn't sound like fun at all.
If all 3 are phpBB databases (preferably the same phpBB version), it's possible but it's manual labour (a lot) as the same user_ids, post_ids, topic_ids, etc are probably present in each separate database but e;g. in the case of users they are not necessarily the same. Simply merging tables is out of the question. I had a go at merging 2 small databases a couple of years ago (phpBB3.0.x) (successfully) but it took weeks even though there was no overlap in content, but lots of overlap in users (most of the users existed in both databases but had different user_ids: so one of the first steps is setting the user_ids in database 2 equal to those in database1 > but that also implies that user_ids attached to posts/topics have to be synchronised - and that's only the first hurdle).

Find out first is these database aren't just backups at different stages, in which case the non-duplicate posts may have been deleted (with a purpose) from the most recent (the currently in use) database.
The person who would do the work needs to be really familiar with relational database concepts, if not, the probability of success will be close to zero.
BoarX wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:17 am
Question2: our 4th database has definitely different structure with tables like dada_archives, dada_bounce_scores, dada_clickthrough_urls, etc. Googling these hints at application Dada Mail. Is this database being used by phpBB forum or is it some remnants of old e-mail software??
If nobody knows what the purpose of that database was/is, just store it somewhere just in case.
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by david63 »

As for merging the databases you may want to take a look here - viewtopic.php?f=641&t=2521566
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by stevemaury »

It is not possible to have three databases on the same server, all of which can be accessed by the same config.php file, because each would have to have a different name. To find out which is the latest, use phpMyAdmin to sort the posts table with the latest post first, then copy the timestamp of that post and plug it into unixtimestamp.com to see its date.

Just to make sure I am right, can you post the contents of your config.php file without password, and a screenshot from phpMyAdmin showing the three database names?
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by BoarX »

First off, thanks so much everyone! Dealing with newbies is at times painful, so my apologies!
stevemaury wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 2:50 pm
It is not possible to have three databases on the same server, all of which can be accessed by the same config.php file, because each would have to have a different name. To find out which is the latest, use phpMyAdmin to sort the posts table with the latest post first, then copy the timestamp of that post and plug it into unixtimestamp.com to see its date.

Just to make sure I am right, can you post the contents of your config.php file without password, and a screenshot from phpMyAdmin showing the three database names?
Thanks for your concern Steve, I already realize that config.php can point to just one database. In fact I created three versions of that file and by copying one of them into config.php I can successfully access all three databases and they open as operational forums. So yes, you were correct.
warmweer wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:24 am
BoarX wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:17 am
Question1: is there a way to merge our three databases into one without creating duplicate posts? Upgrading with 4 separate databases doesn't sound like fun at all.
If all 3 are phpBB databases (preferably the same phpBB version), it's possible but it's manual labour (a lot) as the same user_ids, post_ids, topic_ids, etc are probably present in each separate database but e;g. in the case of users they are not necessarily the same. Simply merging tables is out of the question. I had a go at merging 2 small databases a couple of years ago (phpBB3.0.x) (successfully) but it took weeks even though there was no overlap in content, but lots of overlap in users (most of the users existed in both databases but had different user_ids: so one of the first steps is setting the user_ids in database 2 equal to those in database1 > but that also implies that user_ids attached to posts/topics have to be synchronised - and that's only the first hurdle).

Find out first is these database aren't just backups at different stages, in which case the non-duplicate posts may have been deleted (with a purpose) from the most recent (the currently in use) database.
The person who would do the work needs to be really familiar with relational database concepts, if not, the probability of success will be close to zero.
BoarX wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:17 am
Question2: our 4th database has definitely different structure with tables like dada_archives, dada_bounce_scores, dada_clickthrough_urls, etc. Googling these hints at application Dada Mail. Is this database being used by phpBB forum or is it some remnants of old e-mail software??
If nobody knows what the purpose of that database was/is, just store it somewhere just in case.
Thanks for the hint warmweer! Two databases out of three do indeed look like earlier backups and from your experience I should be much better off simply going through all posts making sure that the few non-duplicate posts do not contain any important information. Still a lot of manual work, but much less intellectual effort.

As for the fourth database, I just wanted to make sure it is not being accessed by phpBB. Of course I am not going to delete it just in case, it is tiny anyway.

Best,
Alex
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by BoarX »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:37 am
the dada stuff has nothing to do with phpBB at all.

....
robert
Thanks Robert, this was my major concern!
Best,
Alex
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by BoarX »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 5:37 am
the dada stuff has nothing to do with phpBB at all.

...

robert
I am thinking about this mysterious 4th database which is clearly e-mail related, most likely Dada Mail. My question is: how phpBB handles e-mailing users? I presume as a minimum it needs to use external SMTP or even completely rely on some external e-mail client, correct? Every time I receive a private message on the forum, I get an e-mail notification and it comes from some Google (gmail) account. Is this functionality preserved through the phpBB upgrades or needs to be explicitly configured once the upgrade is finished?

Thanks in advance,
Alex
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

you have to choose what email system to use in your admin panel.
if you are getting emails from the board to a gmail account it must be your gmail account.

as for phpbb, you can just choose no for using smtp and the board will use the email built in to
php that is on the server.
if you want to use some other email system you will need to choose yes for smtp and enter the email settings
for whatever smtp server you are using.

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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by BoarX »

OK, thanks again Robert! Found external email section in ACP. Also verified that our only style was prosilver. Now I am struggling to determine if the forum had any MODs installed. Since this is old stuff which is no longer supported, I am bit lost. Presumably there should be .MOD tab in ACP, but we don't have any. Following another lead I checked the php_modules table in our database, which looked empty. I successfully (I hope!) ran database cleaner from the support toolkit, removing just two externals - recaptcha_privkey and recaptcha_pubkey. My last concern is the presence of "acp_add_user_mod_1_1_1" folder in our database directory, which to me hints for some MOD presence or remnants - or maybe it is just a coincidence?

Thanks in advance,
Alex
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by warmweer »

BoarX wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:19 am
OK, thanks again Robert! Found external email section in ACP. Also verified that our only style was prosilver. Now I am struggling to determine if the forum had any MODs installed. Since this is old stuff which is no longer supported, I am bit lost. Presumably there should be .MOD tab in ACP, but we don't have any. Following another lead I checked the php_modules table in our database, which looked empty. I successfully (I hope!) ran database cleaner from the support toolkit, removing just two externals - recaptcha_privkey and recaptcha_pubkey. My last concern is the presence of "acp_add_user_mod_1_1_1" folder in our database directory, which to me hints for some MOD presence or remnants - or maybe it is just a coincidence?
The STK can sanitise the database, but any files that were modified or directories + files added have to be removed manually (but that not strictly necessary since upgrading will require that all the phpBB 3.0 files will be replaced anyway (follow the instructions to the letter so that you don't overwrite your config.php or lose uploads/attachments/images.

What do you mean with the "acp_add_user_mod_1_1_1" folder in our database directory. Do you mean your forum root directory? phpBB 3.0 default doesn't have a directory named "database" anywhere.

You mention a table php_modules. If "php_" is your table prefix then that is expected.
Personally, I would not use php_ as table prefix as it can cause confusion( (as it apparently did). You could change this easily by renaming all your tables (changing the prefix to e.g. phpbb_) AND you then need to edit the config.php to reflect the change in the table_prefix.

After using the STK, you should test your board to confirm it's still functional before upgrading.
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by BoarX »

First off, thanks so much warmweer!

Now,
warmweer wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:46 am
What do you mean with the "acp_add_user_mod_1_1_1" folder in our database directory. Do you mean your forum root directory? phpBB 3.0 default doesn't have a directory named "database" anywhere.
Totally my bad, was writing in the wee hours. Of course the folder in question was in phpBB root directory.
warmweer wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:46 am
You mention a table php_modules. If "php_" is your table prefix then that is expected.
Personally, I would not use php_ as table prefix as it can cause confusion( (as it apparently did). You could change this easily by renaming all your tables (changing the prefix to e.g. phpbb_) AND you then need to edit the config.php to reflect the change in the table_prefix.
Thanks for the tip, noted, will do that after an upgrade
warmweer wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:46 am
After using the STK, you should test your board to confirm it's still functional before upgrading.
Most certainly, already did.

Alex
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by BoarX »

Happy Friday everyone!

I have seen conflicting recommendations for the upgrade path from phpBB 3.0.x to 3.2 and eventually 3.3. While inquiring about that last year, the advice was to upgrade to 3.1 first, but now it seems like general consensus is to shoot for at least for 3.2 (or maybe to 3.3?) right away. Given that our 3.0.x forum appears to be pretty basic - database successfully cleaned with STK, only prosilver style installed, are there still any reasons to exercise caution and proceed in multiple steps or we are good to go with a big jump ?

Thanks in advance,
Alex
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by david63 »

Somebody may be able to confirm this but I believe that you need to update to 3.0.14 before you can upgrade to 3.3
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Re: Preparing to upgrade from 3.0.11 to 3.2.x

Post by P_I »

BoarX wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:02 pm
I have seen conflicting recommendations for the upgrade path from phpBB 3.0.x to 3.2 and eventually 3.3.
I would definitely suggest that phpBB 3.3.2 be the endpoint. It is the current, supported, release and can run on the most current, supported, PHP version.

I don't have any experience and therefore any advice on what intermediate phpBB versions should be stepping stones during the upgrade process. Sometimes baby steps are better than one big jump.
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