Migration without admin access?

Do not post support requests, bug reports or feature requests. Discuss phpBB here. Non-phpBB related discussion goes in General Discussion!
Ideas Centre
Post Reply
Blue Dude
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:22 pm

Migration without admin access?

Post by Blue Dude »

Hi, my problem is a little off the wall but I'd appreciate any input.

I'm a user of an active forum that has long been abandoned by admin or moderators. It's running a version of phpBB that hasn't been updated at least since 2008 and somehow keeps going, with unknown, unreachable persons paying hosting and domain fees.

New members have to join by faking their credentials to match an old list of pre-approved potential members. Moderation is non-existent, and basic maintenance goes undone. And lately a new fake user is attacking the board by running a script that makes several nonsense posts every minute to suppress active threads. Time to abandon ship, but the ship is carrying a lot of cargo.

My question is this: with user access only, is it possible to migrate an entire board to a fresh phpBB instance, one with actual admin and moderators? I'd need to snapshot the board by copying over the user list, every forum, and every thread and post within.

Once the snapshot has been made, I would like to operate the board normally and allow active users to take over their accounts on the new site. If it's not possible to keep actively operating a copy in a new location, then is it at least possible to copy the threads and posts to an archive forum?

Thanks for any help.
User avatar
KevC
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 70171
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by KevC »

Nope
There some ways to try and scrape posts etc but it takes so long to set up you might as well not bother.

I was in the same position several years ago. Buy a new URL that's similar, do a new installation, set up the forums you want, if there's any posts you want the info from just copy paste and then set up a post telling everyone to move to the new site.
-:|:- Support Request Template -:|:-
Image
Cheap UK Hosting
"In the land of the blind the little green bloke with no pupils is king - init!"
Blue Dude
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:22 pm

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by Blue Dude »

Ouch. Well there's something like 14 years of posts on there that would be difficult to abandon. The main forum has over 700,000 posts. Even a painful one time scraping of posts into an archive would be preferable to allowing them to disappear.
User avatar
KevC
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 70171
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by KevC »

But realistically, how often do people look at any other than the first couple of pages? (depends on the subject obviously)

I assume you've exhausted all ways of contacting the owner? Have you looked to see if their postal address is registered to the URL in a whois lookup of the domain name?
-:|:- Support Request Template -:|:-
Image
Cheap UK Hosting
"In the land of the blind the little green bloke with no pupils is king - init!"
Blue Dude
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:22 pm

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by Blue Dude »

Yeah it's been tried. Attempted contacts go unanswered. No real idea how to attract attention from anyone with admin access, if they still exist.
User avatar
Mick
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 22739
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:49 am
Location: Watching cricket probably.

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by Mick »

Can you post a link to the board please?
"The more connected we get the more alone we become" - Kyle Broflovski©
Blue Dude
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:22 pm

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by Blue Dude »

Sure, but it's a closed board: https://www.bluepilots.com
User avatar
warmweer
Jr. Extension Validator
Posts: 5325
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2003 6:34 am
Location: Van Allen Bel ... gium

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by warmweer »

Blue Dude wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:02 pm
Sure, but it's a closed board: https://www.bluepilots.com
hmm, a phpBB2 board v2.0.19
Spelling is freeware, which means you can use it for free.
On the other hand, it is not open source, which means you cannot change it or publish it in a modified form.
User avatar
DTMWC
Registered User
Posts: 370
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:17 am

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by DTMWC »

You've probably already tried this but there is a guy called Flyby1206 on airlinepilotforums.co.uk who gets accounts set up on bluepilots.com, he was active in April so he may be able to help you, he's the last poster on the 2 topics linked below.

https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/majo ... com-4.html
https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/jetb ... -up-8.html
“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening” Donald Trump
Blue Dude
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:22 pm

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by Blue Dude »

Dan Stylez wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:03 pm
You've probably already tried this but there is a guy called Flyby1206 on airlinepilotforums.co.uk who gets accounts set up on bluepilots.com, he was active in April so he may be able to help you, he's the last poster on the 2 topics linked below.

https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/majo ... com-4.html
https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/jetb ... -up-8.html
Thanks. He doesn't have admin access either, just knows how to fake out the credentialing system.

Just looking for options on how to save the content, if possible. I think the board itself is going to implode before long, and can't be saved.
User avatar
KevC
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 70171
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by KevC »

You need access to the database and for that you need the owner. It happens a lot, the owner goes awol for whatever reason. The domain name was renewed in July but that might be a standing order thing they didn't notice, so the address at least will keep going for another year but the hosting might run out although you have no way of knowing that. You're better off cutting the cord and breaking away while you still can and you have the option to let people know. If the hosting deal ends and the site vanishes you'll all be none the wiser, won't know where the new site is and the posts will be lost anyway. While the board is working, now is the time to start a topic on there and get everyone involved in what the plan is. If you do want to save old posts you can have teams of people split in to forums and dates/subjects to go through copy pasting it in to text files.

As I said, realistically, how much of that older content do people really look at regularly?

If there was a script you could remotely run to steal the entire content of a board, people wouldn't need to struggle to get sites going, they could nab 100,000 posts from established sites to increase their page content and rankings without doing any work.
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=1761395&hilit=crawler
can't guarantee it'll work though as you might need to be able to read the forum content and as you can't change the permissions you won't be able to do that.
-:|:- Support Request Template -:|:-
Image
Cheap UK Hosting
"In the land of the blind the little green bloke with no pupils is king - init!"
Blue Dude
Registered User
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:22 pm

Re: Migration without admin access?

Post by Blue Dude »

Thanks for the information. Looks like we need to find a new home.
Post Reply

Return to “phpBB Discussion”