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Error 500, version

DubDub New
edited December 2015 in General Banter

Hello World

This is my first post and I apologize if General Banter isn't the right spot. I just recently started having trouble with my Vanilla Forum hosted at JustHost. As the title indicates, I am working from version (it's my father-in-laws forum with literally zero traffic, so upgrades are rare)

About a two weeks ago I started getting Error 500 when I try to navigate to the forum. I contacted the host initially who reported that my .htaccess file was "wrong" [file contents at bottom of this post] and they "fixed" it for me. I was still having problems with the script so they pointed me here.

Looking back at recent email, the host updated some WordPress stuff and I don't know if there are common or shared components that would break the Vanilla Forum. I read a few articles on this site and tried some basic troubleshooting which included deleting the .ini files from the cache folder, clearing my local cache, disabling plugins, yada yada. Still no love. I should mention that I didn't find the 'Theme' item under 'Garden' which I thought was odd. Guys...seriously...I even tried Internet Explorer, ok?!

There is a lot of content on the forum that is important to my wife and her family, so I want to do my best to preserve it. I have not tried any upgrades or utilities yet because I don't know what kind of payload the might carry. I write code to the Windows OS and so this hosted Linux and PHP stuff is not my thing.

Any advice, direction, or information would be helpful. Thanks in advance for your time.

CONTENTS of .htaccess

# BEGIN WordPress 
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c> 
RewriteEngine On RewriteBase / 
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L] 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d 
RewriteRule . /index.php [L] 
# END WordPress

Ok, wordpress...really? Even a WIndows guy can see that. Does the old htaccess file look good?

CONTENTS of .htaccessold

# Original
# If you modify this file then change the above line to: # Modified
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
   RewriteEngine On
   # Certain hosts may require the following line.
   # If vanilla is in a subfolder then you need to specify it after the /. 
   # (ex. You put Vanilla in /forum so change the next line to: RewriteBase /forum)
   # RewriteBase /
   RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
   RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
   RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php\?p=$1 [QSA,L]

CONTENTS of config.php

<?php if (!defined('APPLICATION')) exit();

// AddonManager
$Configuration['AddonManager']['FileUrl'] = 'http://vanillaforums.org/get/statisticsfooter-plugin-2.1zip';
$Configuration['AddonManager']['FileTyp'] = '0';

// Conversations
$Configuration['Conversations']['Version'] = '';

// Database
$Configuration['Database']['Name'] = 'xxxxx';
$Configuration['Database']['Host'] = 'localhost';
$Configuration['Database']['User'] = 'xxxxx';
$Configuration['Database']['Password'] = 'xxxxx';

// EnabledApplications
$Configuration['EnabledApplications']['Conversations'] = 'conversations';
$Configuration['EnabledApplications']['Vanilla'] = 'vanilla';

// EnabledPlugins

// Garden
$Configuration['Garden']['Title'] = 'Life In The Last Lane';
$Configuration['Garden']['Cookie']['Salt'] = '****';
$Configuration['Garden']['Cookie']['Domain'] = '';
$Configuration['Garden']['Registration']['ConfirmEmail'] = '1';
$Configuration['Garden']['Registration']['Method'] = 'Invitation';
$Configuration['Garden']['Registration']['ConfirmEmailRole'] = '4';
$Configuration['Garden']['Registration']['CaptchaPrivateKey'] = '****';
$Configuration['Garden']['Registration']['CaptchaPublicKey'] = '****';
$Configuration['Garden']['Registration']['InviteExpiration'] = '-2 weeks';
$Configuration['Garden']['Registration']['InviteRoles'] = 'a:5:{i:3;s:1:"0";i:4;s:1:"0";i:8;s:2:"-1";i:16;s:2:"-1";i:32;s:2:"-1";}';
$Configuration['Garden']['Email']['SupportName'] = 'Life In The Last Lane';
$Configuration['Garden']['Email']['SupportAddress'] = 'xxxxx';
$Configuration['Garden']['Email']['UseSmtp'] = '1';
$Configuration['Garden']['Email']['SmtpHost'] = 'mail.lifeinthelastlane.net';
$Configuration['Garden']['Email']['SmtpUser'] = 'xxxxxx+lifeinthelastlane.net';
$Configuration['Garden']['Email']['SmtpPassword'] = 'xxxxxxxxxx';
$Configuration['Garden']['Email']['SmtpPort'] = '26';
$Configuration['Garden']['Email']['SmtpSecurity'] = '';
$Configuration['Garden']['Version'] = '';
$Configuration['Garden']['RewriteUrls'] = TRUE;
$Configuration['Garden']['CanProcessImages'] = TRUE;
$Configuration['Garden']['Installed'] = TRUE;
$Configuration['Garden']['InstallationID'] = '****';
$Configuration['Garden']['InstallationSecret'] = '****';
$Configuration['Garden']['Logo'] = 'F0T3INAOJD5R.jpg';
$Configuration['Garden']['Format']['Hashtags'] = FALSE;

// Plugins
$Configuration['Plugins']['GettingStarted']['Dashboard'] = '1';
$Configuration['Plugins']['GettingStarted']['Plugins'] = '1';
$Configuration['Plugins']['GettingStarted']['Categories'] = '1';
$Configuration['Plugins']['GettingStarted']['Registration'] = '1';
$Configuration['Plugins']['GettingStarted']['Discussion'] = '1';
$Configuration['Plugins']['GettingStarted']['Profile'] = '1';
$Configuration['Plugins']['Tagging']['Enabled'] = TRUE;
$Configuration['Plugins']['Flagging']['Enabled'] = TRUE;
$Configuration['Plugins']['FileUpload']['Enabled'] = TRUE;

// Routes
$Configuration['Routes']['DefaultController'] = 'discussions';

// Vanilla
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Version'] = '';
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Categories']['MaxDisplayDepth'] = '3';
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Categories']['DoHeadings'] = FALSE;
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Categories']['HideModule'] = FALSE;
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Discussion']['SpamCount'] = '1';
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Discussion']['SpamTime'] = '120';
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Discussion']['SpamLock'] = '600';
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Comment']['SpamCount'] = '2';
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Comment']['SpamTime'] = '120';
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Comment']['SpamLock'] = '600';
$Configuration['Vanilla']['Comment']['MaxLength'] = '8000';

// Last edited by Gary ( 11:52:50


  • Options
    R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    @whu606 @hgtonight please delete private info from the above
    @Dub one thing you should do if you want to preserve the content is to update! Your forum can be compromised at any time.

    Updating is safe. Make an update of your db and you would be able to return to that old, unsafe version you are using now at anything else fails.

    You should really spend your energy on updating than on fixing.

  • Options

    @R_J - I redacted some information but obviously missed some too, thanks for the double check. Would your recommend a forklift upgrade or import into a new installation?

    One piece I left out of the post is that I did actually try to do a new Vanilla install from the cpanel it also threw an Error 500. This is one of the reasons why I stopped to consult the community. If a new install doesn't work I have little faith in an upgrade.

    This feels like a host problem to me, but hosted stuff is not really in my wheelhouse.

  • Options
    whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... MVP
    edited December 2015


    Personally, I would clone the current site into a new folder on your web server, clone the DB (plus make a back up) and do the upgrade on the clone. This allows your current site to stay live while you get to sort out any issues

    You would need to point conf/config.php in the cloned version to your cloned DB, and delete the .ini files from the cache folder.

    Check that the cloned version is working as expected before trying to upgrade.

    I think it would be better to download and unzip the current Vanilla version (link at top of page) and ftp it up to your web server rather than rely on an install via CPanel.

    If all goes well, you can then simply repeat the process on your live site, confident that it will be up and running in no time.

  • Options
    whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... MVP

    Note the instructions in README for 2.2

    To upgrade from 2.0.18 or earlier, add these steps:

  • Options

    Solved. Here's the follow up:

    The original symptoms remain the same as originally posted. In addition, I got the error 500 when I tried to upgrade in place or install new. The more I thought through it the more I was convinced this was a host problem.

    So, I closed the loop and contacted the host again. This time I got a reply with something like "oh, yeah it failed when I tried to install it too. Gosh, I found the problem and fixed it". So, basically, I got the lazy support guy the first time around.

    When I navigated to the site and got the "bonk...something went wrong" error message. Ironic how an error message can indicate an improvement.

    I remembered back to my original troubleshooting when the first support guy "fixed" my .htaccess file by setting it up for WordPress. I loaded the original .htaccess file back into the root folder and viola the forum is back up and working again.

    So, basically, this was a problem on the server side the whole time as I originally suspected. I appreciate all of your efforts to help! I'm going to give my father-in-law a couple days to let his anxiety subside before performing an upgrade in place.

    Again, thanks for the assistance!

  • Options

    And just another note...although I am probably just whining now. After the forum "reappeared" the plugins section was empty, so I was unable to enable or disable any of the plugins. At the height of my frustration, I used my file manager to see if the plugins were even there any more and it turns out that someone at the web host had changed the folder name from plugins to plugins1. UGH! CHANGE LOGS, PEOPLE! Anyway, changed the name back and now it's all good. I cannot thank you all enough for the way you jumped on this problem (during the holidays).

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