Site Restoration

#17873 Kickstart Restore succeeds but I get HTTP 500 Error on Home page

Posted in ‘Site restoration’
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Environment Information

PHP version
CMS Type
CMS Version
Backup Tool Version
Kickstart version

Latest post by dlb on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 16:52 CDT

Mandatory information about my setup:

Have I read the related troubleshooter articles above before posting (which pages?)? Yes
Have I searched the tickets before posting? No - I've tried
Have I read the documentation before posting (which pages?)? No
Joomla! version: 2.5.14
PHP version: 5.3.25
MySQL version: (unknown)
Akeeba Backup version which took the backup: 3.7.10
Kickstart version used to extract the backup: (unknown)

Description of my issue: Re.
I deleted some module folders that had been left behind after uninstalling the associated modules. Before doing this I had changed the folder names (inserted "x-" at the front of each name) and waited a few weeks. There were no problems.
I then took an Akeeba Backup and finally deleted these renamed folders. The web site vanished with HTTP 500 errors.
I restored the web site using Kickstart, but with no success - still HTTP 500 errors.
I requested a web site restore from the host company. This took 30 hours (between requesting and being told it was complete). Still no success.only HTTP 500 errors.
I restored the web site to my PC under XAMPP using Kickstart. The web site failed to load. I copied a working "copy" of the web site (excluding MySQL) to the non-working version, which then worked.
I then tried uploading this working version to the non-working host version (excluding configuration.php) but the hosted web site still won't work.
In desperation, I reran Kickstart but again all I get are HTTP 500 errors.
I have read the self-articles and checked configuration files as far as I can, but everything seems to be as it should.
Throughout all this, I am able to access the Joomla Backend of my web site.
I would much appreciate any help you are able to provide as the web site has been down for 48 hours now.


David Platt

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:
and upload it into your site's root and your site's administrator directory. Retry loading the problem page.

IMPORTANT: Sometimes the error won't show. Edit your configuration.php and find the line starting with public $error_reporting and set it to:
public $error_reporting = 'development';

This instructs Joomla! to enable maximum error, warnings and notices verbosity. In 99.9% of cases it will result in the error messages being shown on the browser.

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.

Dale L. Brackin
Support Specialist

us.gifEnglish: native

Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

My time zone is EST (UTC -5) (click here to see my current time in Philadelphia, PA)

Aaaahhhh!!! Absolutely fantastic. Its working - the web is up again!

I don't know if the host we use is different to others but I couldn't find .htaccess anywhere, only htaccess.txt.

I eventually set "error reporting" to "Development" and I then immediately got an error message about a FATAL ERROR in a plug-in, namely:

Fatal error: Call to undefined method NNText::getBody() in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 167

I disabled the plug-in "System - NoNumber Articles Anywhere" and now everything is working again.

I wonder where I use this plug-in? It must be a legacy of experimentation. And what caused the corruption?

I'm afraid that my understanding of Joomla is totally self-taught by trying things and I got myself in a bit of a mess over this web site which I do as a member of the photographic club out of good will.

Many thanks for your help.

I can't explain why it suddenly quit working. My guess was the .htaccess file because it is a hidden file and maybe your host wouldn't restore it.

Speaking of .htaccess files, the standard file that ships with Joomla! has some protection against common exploits that you may want to take advantage of. As I said, it is a hidden file, so it may be there already, depending on how you searched for it. You can copy your htaccess.txt file to .htaccess, that will make it active. You could rename it, but copying it keeps the original around for emergencies like this. :-)

I'm glad you're up and running again.


Dale L. Brackin
Support Specialist

us.gifEnglish: native

Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

My time zone is EST (UTC -5) (click here to see my current time in Philadelphia, PA)

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