Site Restoration

#33537 Kickstart Backup failure

Posted in ‘Site restoration’
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Environment Information

PHP version
CMS Type
CMS Version
Backup Tool Version
Kickstart version



Today I did an Akeeba backup and then upgraded Joomla and the extensions to the latest versions. I also followed my host's instructions to update my PHP version (per Akeeba's notice that my current version was expiring at the top of the page)

After the Joomla, extensions, and PHP updates everything was working fine. But then I decided to edit a Joomla page and made mistakes that I wanted to correct. I tried to  restore the page with "Versions", but it didn't work, so I decided (foolishly) to just restore the site with my recent Akeeba backup (which I've done successfully before.)

In Akeeba, I selected the backup and hit restore. It ran through things, but gave me an error message (I don't recall the exact words) something about being too large (It is a large website). Figuring that it was over and that the restore was over, and seeing no way back, I clicked next and it continued. I followed the instructions to copy the configuration.php file to my root. There was nothing I could see to do but to click next and continue...

At that point my site didn't load and gave an error message (again I don't recall - I think it's the same one I'm getting: now.)

So, I decided to just get Kickstart and restore the site that way. I downloaded the recent version, and copied the files and my backup file to /public_html. (I have done this successfully several times before), but when I go to . I get this error message:

Warning: session_start(): Failed to read session data: user (path: /home/civilwar/tmp) in /home/civilwar/public_html/libraries/joomla/session/handler/native.php on line 260
Error: Failed to start application: Failed to start the session

I don't know what do do now!!

I welcome any suggestions....

Is it because I changed the PHP version (I've changed it back on my host - I use :Liquid Web - and still get the same error) 

Is it because my database is too big (Akeeba doesn't tell me that when I do a successful backup)?

What did I do wrong?? I'm desperate and really need some help.

I would appreciate any help you can give me. PLEASE!!

Thank you so much!




Akeeba Staff

Akeeba Backup does not have a limit on database or site size. We've seen databases over 5GB and sites with sizes exceeding 100GB being backed up successfully.

I suspect that the warning (not error) you saw told you that some rows of your database tables are bigger than 1MB and you need to make sure that MySQL is configured correctly to handle them if – AND ONLY IF – you see the database restoration fail with one of the error codes stated in the warning message. We display that message because there is no way to ask MySQL for this value without having administrative privileges on MySQL itself, something impossible on commercial hosting for obvious reasons. So we show that message before the database restoration so of the restoration fails with one of the error codes we state in the error message you know what to ask your host to fix.

THIS IS ALL IRRELEVANT TO YOUR ISSUE. IT'S A RED HERRING. FORGET ABOUT THIS WARNING MESSAGE. Since your database restoration finished successfully there is nothing for you to do there.

So, back to your real issue.

I suspect that the error message you received and don't remember had to do about renaming files. If you have a file named htaccess.bak but NOT a file named .htaccess you will need to copy the htaccess.bak file into .htaccess  This is normally done at the Clean Up step of Kickstart unless you have a file ownership / permissions issue which is what I suspect was the message about. It also told you to do that and delete the installation folder from your site.

Speaking of which, do check that the installation folder is no longer present on your site. If it is, please use the hosting control panel's file manager to delete it.

Try to load your site. Does it work?

If not, do check your configuration.php file. Is it named exactly configuration.php (case matters)? Do the contents look like the ones you were told to put manually into it? Most importantly, does your database connection information match the information your host provides to connect to your database?

After checking that try to load your site. Does it work?

If not, you should edit your configuration.php file and change

public $session_handler = 'native';


public $session_handler = 'database';

This would work around your host not having a writeable PHP session folder which is what Joomla is complaining about.

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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