How to backup most of your forum's data before reinstalling or upgrading Vanilla
Mod's Note: The official upgrade documentation can be found here: http://vanillaforums.org/docs/installation-upgrade
This discussion will teach you how to back up most of your forum's data before reinstalling or upgrading Vanilla. Let's get started!
1: Download the Vanilla 2 Exporter here
2: Upload the PHP script to your server by FTP to your main folder (/) (Note: If you don't have a FTP client, you can download a free FTP client or you may use a online FTP client like http://www.net2ftp.com) (If you are downloading your own client, I recommend FileZilla)
3: Go to http://www.yourdomain.net/vanilla2export.php and fill out the info and then save the .txt.gz file it gives you because you will need it later or you might be able to just download it from FTP in your main root folder (/) (Note: This may require going to your host's control panel to refer to the MySQL information)
4: Use FTP to DOWNLOAD (not upload) the /plugins folder and /themes folder to your local computer. (Note: DO NOT BACKUP any configuration or anything else except /plugins or /themes because if your forum has any problems, backing up anything except /plugins and /themes will likely cause the problems to persist again. You don't have to worry about backing up /plugins or /themes UNLESS the problems are caused by a addon or a theme. From there, it's up to you what to do)
5: Make sure you have the .txt.gz file that you got from Vanilla Porter, and also make sure you have /plugins and /themes
6: Once you have double checked that you have those files and folders, it is time for you to delete EVERY SINGLE FOLDER that refers to Vanilla (not other folders that lead to other things like a wiki or a help desk. Only delete the folders that has to do with Vanilla)
7: Now, download vanilla here and import it to your server once again, using FTP
8: Now go to your website (http://www.yourdomain.net/forum or http://www.yourdomain.net)
9: After it takes you to the Getting Started part, go to Import all the way on the bottom and click on it.
10: Click on the bullet by "Choose File" and click on "Choose File" and find the file you got from vanilla2export.php
11: Enter the old Administrator user (your old administrator account goes here) (Note: It doesn't ask for username. It asks for email)
12: Click on Submit and then Submit or something like that once again and then let it do it's work.
13: Upload the /plugins and /themes again to override the new plugins and themes and have your old plugins back.
14: Check around the forum like Roles & Permissions, Outgoing mail settings, and stuff like that because our way of doing it only included stuff that was in MySQL and the plugins and themes, so some settings may not have been restored and just do a quick check around the forum. Things like Social Network Login, recaptcha codes, Roles & Permission settings (names and orders should be the same, but permissions are not), and stuff like that. Your posts, categories, and other stuff that were on MySQL are safe and sound once again!