Topics produce blank pages

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scooterbird
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Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

Hello, all. Novice-to-adept here; skilled at IT, but databases are not my forte.

Currently running a 3.3.0 installation under PHP 7.3.6 (reads as 7.3.19 in ACP), database server is MySQL(i) 5.7.23-23; hosted by Bluehost.

At some time within the last few hours, there was a change in behavior of the board. Clicking on any topic brings me to a blank screen. There also seem to be some intermittent problems in the ACP where clicking on a tab (Maintenance, etc.) produces a blank screen, but these are intermittent; the topics are consistently blank. Forums, etc. seem to be showing up normally. Post counts are correct.

Running a check on the database (Bluehost service) where it is hosted reveals no known problems. Running a repair gives the same results. The forums are occupying about 45 MB on server, so space should not be a concern. The error log for the server reveals only this:

[Mon Jul 06 06:43:07.564584 2020] [:error] [pid 94432:tid 23033814787840] [client 54.36.246.232:35491] File does not exist: /home3/theexch9/public_html/atomictrivia/wp-1ogin_bak.php, referer: atomictrivia.us
[Mon Jul 06 00:13:26.322451 2020] [:error] [pid 7950:tid 23033875724032] [client 52.232.20.196:44036] SoftException in Application.cpp:630: Could not execute script "/home3/theexch9/public_html/forums/index.php"
[Mon Jul 06 00:13:26.218201 2020] [:error] [pid 7947:tid 23033789572864] [client 54.37.254.31:59052] SoftException in Application.cpp:630: Could not execute script "/home3/theexch9/public_html/forums/index.php"
[Mon Jul 06 00:13:25.471813 2020] [:error] [pid 7947:tid 23033797977856] [client 160.16.121.74:49768] SoftException in Application.cpp:630: Could not execute script "/home3/theexch9/public_html/forums/index.php"
[Mon Jul 06 00:13:25.431453 2020] [:error] [pid 7948:tid 23033833699072] [client 149.28.165.5:37510] SoftException in Application.cpp:630: Could not execute script "/home3/theexch9/public_html/forums/index.php"
[Mon Jul 06 00:13:25.377084 2020] [:error] [pid 7950:tid 23033856812800] [client 54.37.254.26:44362] SoftException in Application.cpp:630: Could not execute script "/home3/theexch9/public_html/forums/index.php"
[Sat Jul 04 08:06:09.859684 2020] [:error] [pid 164135:tid 23033852610304] [client 157.55.39.166:5435] File does not exist: /home3/theexch9/public_html/PR/index.php

That first line has to do with another website on the server.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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david63
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by david63 »

scooterbird wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:10 am
At some time within the last few hours, there was a change in behavior of the board.
Firstly, changes do not happen by themselves - somebody, somewhere has changed something. Presumably you have not changed anything otherwise you would not be asking therefore the most likely culprit will be your hosts - have you asked them what has changed?

A blank page is usually indicative of a suppressed PHP error which should be being reported in your server error logs accessible from your hosting control panel.
David
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scooterbird
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

david63 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:19 am
scooterbird wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:10 am
At some time within the last few hours, there was a change in behavior of the board.
Firstly, changes do not happen by themselves - somebody, somewhere has changed something.
Obviously - which is why I worded that passively.
david63 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:19 am
A blank page is usually indicative of a suppressed PHP error which should be being reported in your server error logs accessible from your hosting control panel.
The only error log I am currently able to access is posted in the first post. The "SoftException in Application.cpp:630" is the one that is relevant to the forums.
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david63
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by david63 »

That error would seem to indicate that there is something wrong with your PHP configuration
david63 wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:19 am
the most likely culprit will be your hosts - have you asked them what has changed?
David
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EA117
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by EA117 »

scooterbird wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:26 am
The only error log I am currently able to access is posted in the first post. The "SoftException in Application.cpp:630" is the one that is relevant to the forums.
The error log entries being shown are "the web server error log", as opposed to any PHP error log entries. The PHP error log entries actually could have been configured to have been written as part of the web server error log; but that's apparently not the case on your server, if this is all that's in the web server error log. The PHP error log can also simply be written to its own stand-alone file, or can be configured to be written to the OS system log.

If you can access the phpBB ACP General well enough to invoke the "PHP Information" link, the "error_log" directive displayed there might confirm how logging is configured for PHP on your server. Or, you might just need to ask your hosting provider where the PHP error log entries are supposed to be accessible to you, if not in your hosting control panel.

Whether there was an intentional change or not, or some other condition outside of your control or not, the PHP error log is still the most definitive clue for "what exactly is failing."
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scooterbird
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

I am on with the host right now. There was an upgrade of PHP on their systems recently. Their support says:

It is because of php version issue Steve. I have checked the log and I see that 5.2 version was added before but that version is outdated and insecure. Could you please ask your developer to update the website to php version 7.3?

I'm unaware that phpBB 3.3.0 is incompatible with PHP 7.3.x.
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scooterbird
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

Now they are saying the change to 7.3.x was made in 2019. We'll be looking at a different potential cause.
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scooterbird
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

An update: The first tech I was talking to realized he was barking up the wrong tree in determining the PHP version. There was a pause; he then said there was an issue with .htaccess. Then I was unceremoniously disconnected, and ended up with a different tech, who reviewed the conversation with the first, and is asking what "script" I was using - and then branching to asking about the required PHP version again. I believe I could have a more productive meeting with my cat than with the second tech.

So far, nobody yet has claimed to see an error on the PHP on the server, and I'm left wondering how .htaccess could suddenly develop a problem which blanks web pages.

I am beginning to think that the problem does lie on the server side of this matter, however. I will keep you posted.
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scooterbird
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

This is what I am currently getting as support from the host:

Thanks for letting me know. But when I access https://atlantic-computing.com/forums/v ... hp?f=9&t=7 I'm getting only the blank page, and If there is any issues with our server end the website will not work at all, but in this case the website is up and running the issue is with the scripts that is mainly used in PHP, and in Live chat support we are providing support for the website created using the WordPress and some general issues, also we are not too trained with the PHP scripts So Could you please check the scripts that you are using for creating that admin page?
1:22 pm
S
The page in question is under the phpBB 3.3.0 module, so I did not create any script. A change would have been made to PHP at the server level in some fashion.
The previous support technician said that there was an issue with .htaccess. Could you please review that?
1:25 pm
K
Yes I have checked that file and Tried to resolve that but didn't get successful However I will try my best to resolve that for you Please stick with me
1:27 pm
S
Alright. Unfortunately, I do not have access through the control panel to the PHP error logs, as I describe earlier in this support conversation, so I cannot give you a specific error. My suggestion is to examine that as well.
1:30 pm
K
May I know which is the PHP version that is required ?
1:36 pm
S
I believe the minimum is 5.2.x
And I am pretty sure PHP 7.3.x is running on your server.
1:38 pm
K
Yes I have discussed the issues with my specialist as well, Thanks for your patience and sorry for the delay and was checking the issue but It does not look like server was the issue
1:50 pm
S
Could you name something specific which I could check?
1:51 pm
K
Sure Steve It will be better to check contents inside forums folder


I have a feeling I will not be getting much farther with this.
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janus_zonstraal
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by janus_zonstraal »

Search or ask for the php error logs on your server panel.
Sorry! My English is bat ;) !!!
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scooterbird
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

I received this:

Are you able to access a specific error in any PHP error log on the server?
1:57 pm
K
Thank you for the information. I'm checking that right now
I really appreciate your patience Steve , Actually from the server end I have checked the PHP error log and Not able to find any error related with the server
2:11 pm
S
Alright, good. What errors are you finding?
2:11 pm
K
Some issues with Missing boundary in multipart/form-data POST data in Unknown Like that only Not able to find the issue from the server end, and also checked with my specialist as well
2:16 pm
S
And these are errors which have been occurring within the last couple of hours? In other words, these are presently incrementing errors?
2:17 pm
K
But those are not recent errors as well, There were no recent errors as well in that log
2:18 pm
S
Alright, then there are no errors relevant to this issue. The error log for the web server OS also shows no errors.
2:20 pm
K
May I know the codes that needs to be in .htaccess file ?
2:21 pm
S
I'm sorry, I don't know that information. I have not viewed the .htaccess file in the entire time the forums were operational.
2:22 pm
K
Thanks for letting me know. If the website was created using WordPress then I can have the default .htaccess codes but in this case I don't know about that codes
2:23 pm
S
Alright. Is it possible to escalate this matter to a PHP specialist?
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warmweer
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by warmweer »

you cookie domain = atlantic-computing.com (add the leading dot >.atlantic-computing.com) and then delete the production folder from /cache
and clear your browser cookies.
You are using a couple of extensions: which versions are those? (are they for phpBB3.3.0)?
hifikabin/rightheaderimage
paul999/mention
rmcgirr83/nationalflags
stevotvr/flair

Disable all extensions (don't delete data) and see what that gives. If you can access your board normally, reenable them 1 by 1 and test accessing a topic.
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.
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scooterbird
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

warmweer wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:44 pm
you cookie domain = atlantic-computing.com (add the leading dot >.atlantic-computing.com) and then delete the production folder from /cache
and clear your browser cookies.
You are using a couple of extensions: which versions are those? (are they for phpBB3.3.0)?
hifikabin/rightheaderimage
paul999/mention
rmcgirr83/nationalflags
stevotvr/flair

Disable all extensions (don't delete data) and see what that gives. If you can access your board normally, reenable them 1 by 1 and test accessing a topic.
I have previously attempted to disable extensions and have done so again, one at a time. No change. As well, the forums were previously working with all extensions enabled; the forums stopped working at some point around 0700-0900 UTC today.

Modified cookie domain with a leading dot; deleted production folder under /cache; hit Delete Cookies on index page. The response was "AJAX ERROR: Internal Server Error"
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janus_zonstraal
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by janus_zonstraal »

Is error logging enabled in your control panel?
What control panel is your host using?
Sorry! My English is bat ;) !!!
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warmweer
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by warmweer »

Just about everything works, except when trying to view a post (also through search.php).
Just making sure: with all extensions disabled: can you then access the posts?
Can you switch to another php version? (7.2 or even 7.4?)
Basically I have no clue, but what I would do is to copy your board to localhost (personal webserver on your PC) and see if it works on that. If yes then it most certainly is a problem with the host setup.
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.
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