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Site Restoration

#13401 blank page after restoration

Posted in ‘Site restoration’
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Environment Information

PHP version
n/a
CMS Type
Other
CMS Version
n/a
Backup Tool Version
n/a
Kickstart version
n/a

user67717
Mandatory information about my setup:
Have I read the related troubleshooter articles above before posting (which pages?)? Yes, all I could find, especially pore over https://www.akeebabackup.com/documentation/troubleshooter/prbasicts.html
I made/unmade every change recommended on this sheet. There are none of the problem codes you recommend removing. I commented/uncommented the rewrite base. I went through the htaccess file to attempt any additional items. I turned error checking and debugging on and off on the site - error console was silent as though it recognized no problem, turned sel plug in off and on, as well as all the joomla global seo settings. I've read all articles in joomla forums, not finding a solution.
Have I searched the tickets before posting? Yes, none of the error 500/blank page probs/solutions seem to be whats happening on my site.
Have I read the documentation before posting (which pages?)? All pages of Quickstart Guide, Kickstart Guide, and the long version Backup Guide as well as all troubleshooting on-line documentation I could find. All the solutions seemed not to apply to my site.

Joomla! version: Joomla! 2.5.6 Stable [ Ember ] 19-June-2012 14:00 GMT
PHP version:5.2.17
MySQL version: Version: 5.0.91-log
Host: i.page using Apache/2 server
Akeeba Backup version which took the backup: 3.6.2 8-18-2012
Kickstart version used to extract the backup: 3.5.2

Description of my issue:
backed up from local server, uploaded to shared server
used kickstart for extraction - direct method, worked fine.
Akeeba backup to restore - worked fine.
site works fine EXCEPT when index.php is on every url - on the front end - not on the backend
this results in a blank home page because customer wouldn't know to add "index.php" to the end of the site name entered.
one the home page url is entered (either directly or from joomla backside link) the status bar (bottom banner of chrome browser) blinks: looking for 4.3.2.1 then thats gone and page is blank.

Attached is a copy of the .htaccess file
please help, this seems to be a small matter of settings, somehow, but i simply cannot figure this out on my own.
Thank you sincerely,
C Shaffer

nicholas
Akeeba Staff
Manager
The .htaccess looks like the stock Joomla! .htaccess file. Nothing special over here.

A few things I can think of:
- Did you restore the Joomla! 2.5 site on top of an existing Joomla! 1.5, 1.6 or 1.7 site? If so, delete all files and redo the restoration. You can not restore a site with a different Joomla! version than an existing site without removing the existing site's files first.
- Which PHP version did your previous host have? I see that your new host has PHP 5.2.17 which is end of life since January 2011. It is possible that you have extensions which only work with PHP 5.3, hence the problem.

If this doesn't help you will have to do some debugging yourself. A white page or a page with a 500 Internal Server Error is, in fact, either a .htaccess issue to a PHP fatal error in disguise.

First, let's see if it is a .htaccess issue. Try renaming the .htaccess file in your site's root to htaccess.bak If there is a .htaccess file in the site's administrator directory, try renaming it as well. If that solves the problem, the issue was with a directive in your .htaccess file. We'd like to recommend you to try removing directives from your .htaccess until you find the one which causes the problem.

If that doesn't help, the error you are receiving is in fact a PHP error in disguise. First, check your server's error logs (not the access logs) immediately after visiting the page which throws the error. There should be an exact description of the PHP fatal error which occurred. Sometimes you can find the error messages in files called error_log or error.log inside the site's root and/or administrator directories. If unsure about the error log location, please consult your host. Most likely the error logs are available in your site's cPanel, Plesk control panel or similar hosting account management facility.

If your host does not give you access to the error logs and you have access to the Joomla! administrator area, please log in to your site's back-end, go to Global Configuration, click on the Server tab and set the Error Reporting to Maximum (Joomla! 1.5) or Development (Joomla! 2.x and later). Try visiting the problem page again.

If you still get a blank page, edit your configuration.php file and put the following code right after the final closing curly brace ( this is what a curly brace looks like --> } ) but before the closing PHP tag (it looks like ?> that is a question mark and a greater-than sign):
ini_set( 'display_errors', true );
error_reporting( E_ALL ); 
Try visiting the problem page again.

If you still get a white page, please remote the two lines from your configuration.php file. Edit the .htaccess file in your site's root. If you don't have a file named .htaccess create a new one. Beware that htaccess.txt is a DIFFERENT FILE and will NOT work! Add the following to the end of the file:
php_flag display_errors On
php_value error_reporting 32767
and retry loading the problem page.

If you still get a white page, remove the two lines from your .htaccess file. Now, create a file called php.ini with the following content:
display_errors=on
error_reporting=E_ALL
and upload it into your site's root and your site's administrator directory. Retry loading the problem page.

If you still get a white page, delete the php.ini files your created and choose a different host. If your host doesn't allow you to debug any PHP-related issues there is no point paying them.

Please note that if you can not understand what the PHP error message means, just copy and paste it here verbatim so that we can take a look and point you to the right direction.

Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director

🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

user67717
Thank you Nicholas for your direction.

The site is up and running but I'm not sure why? Because I plan to use this method for any future updates to the site, I'd like to document the steps. Perhaps I could recap for you and get your input on how this was resolved as well as a recommendation for the best way to use your product going forward.

Going through all the items you suggested:
a. did I restore on top of older version? no, same version of joomla was running previously
b. php version for previous host? no previous host, site had always been running on i.page
c. .htaccess issues - first, there was no .htaccess file anywhere. so I copied one from fresh joomla - that is the file I attached in my original post to you (web htaccess.txt). I renamed it from .txt and tested. Blank page still there - site still ran with index.php as a suffix.
-next changed to .bak - same result
-removing directives - could not identify any to remove in the file
d. error logs - found an error log in root directory, two errors showed since original installation on 8/25 - both were undefined variables on the template currentitemcount and lastdeeper
- changed error reporting to development - no additional errors on the page (than the undefined variables for template above
- editing configuration.php to add your suggested code - no effect
- editing .htaccess file to add your suggested code caused every page to error out - internal server error!
- contacted shared server provider for the error logs, they were helping but would not provide the logs - the tech stated he felt problem was .htaccess to he commented out each line in the file and the site worked great. He then removed the hashes, site still worked fine and closed the ticket. He suggested I remove any unneeded code from .htaccess file.
Result: after all this, the site is running fine. I'm sending you a copy of the currently loaded .htaccess file (webhtaccess2.txt) I have compared them line for line and the only difference I can find is a space between the hash and options in the line: # Options +FollowSymLinks
Could you advise me what effect this space would have brought to bear on the problem? I can only surmise that 1) the lack of a space caused the blank white page problem or 2)the shared server service's tech made some other modification on the server side. This is important because I plan to use this method for all future changes to the site and I'd be really happy if it worked smoother!!

I have a second question, but for clarity, I'm entering that in a second ticket.
Thank you much,
C Shaffer

nicholas
Akeeba Staff
Manager
You analysis at the end of your reply is very accurate:
? I can only surmise that 1) the lack of a space caused the blank white page problem or 2)the shared server service's tech made some other modification on the server side.

This is exactly what I understand as well.

If you are tight on disk space you can extract the backup archive locally, using Akeeba eXtract Wizard, then upload all files to your site and access the installation script as http://www.example.com/installation/index.php where www.example.com is the domain name of your site.

The only thing which confuses me is this part:
the tech stated he felt problem was .htaccess to he commented out each line in the file and the site worked great. He then removed the hashes, site still worked fine and closed the ticket. He suggested I remove any unneeded code from .htaccess file.

This does sound like voodoo. Your site did not have a .htaccess to begin with. Commenting and uncommenting the same lines results in zero net change. There is nothing in here which can explain why the site wasn't working and now it does.

This all gets me thinking that either the tech did something he didn't say, perhaps restart the web server.

Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director

🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

user67717
what I meant by space, is the only difference between the two .htaccess files was literally, a space

file (your copy is web htaccess from my first post) 8/27 2:04 am line was:
#Options +FollowSymLinks

8/27 7:05 pm was (your copy is from my last post webhtaccess2)
# Options +FollowSymLinks

What does this line of code do? I've the comments in the .htaccess joomla file about how this needs to be running but may conflict with a server's setting???



nicholas
Akeeba Staff
Manager
This line is commented out, so it doesn't do anything. All lines starting with a hash sign (#) are considered comments and completely ignored. You don't need to know what that line does when uncommented. It tells the Apache web server to follow symbolic links as if they were real files or folders. OK, I know you don't understand any of that. The good news is that if you don't know what a symbolic link is you don't need to use this line.

Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director

🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

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