#14664 – 500 Internal server error when accessing backend

Posted in ‘Kickstart / Backup Restoration’
This is a public ticket. Everybody will be able to see its contents. Do not include usernames, passwords or any other sensitive information.
Monday, 14 January 2013 07:26 CST

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? Yes
Have I read the documentation before posting (which pages?)? Yes
Joomla! version: Joomla! 2.5.8 Stable [ Ember ]
PHP version: 5.3.20
MySQL version: 5.5.23
Host: (optional, but it helps us help you) Hostgator, Letshost.ie
Akeeba Backup version which took the backup: 3.6.12 Pro
Kickstart version used to extract the backup: Kickstart Core 3.6.0

Description of my issue: 

Unable to access backend side of site. Front-end works perfectly.

Error message when accessing the back-end page:
---------
Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@freetechhelper.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Apache Server at www.freetechhelper.com Port 80

-------------

No errors during creating and extraction of backup.

Thanks in advance for your time and efforts.

IThypercube
Monday, 14 January 2013 07:31 CST

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



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



nicholas
Monday, 14 January 2013 07:47 CST

Removing the .htaccess file in the /administrator directory removed the issue. Will removing the .htaccess file have any repercussions for my site's security?

Thank you for your fast and professional support!

IThypercube
Monday, 14 January 2013 07:50 CST

Most likely you backed up from a Linux server and restored on a Windows server. Windows doesn't support the same methods of password hashing as Linux, making the .htpasswd files (used by the .htaccess file) incompatible between Windows and Linux. After removing the back-end .htaccess and loging in to your restored site's back-end you can always go back to Components, Admin Tools, Administrator Password Protection and set the password afresh. Admin Tools will detect the operating system and generate the correct .htaccess and .htpasswd needed for the site.



Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director



Greek: native

English: excellent

French: basic



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



nicholas
Monday, 14 January 2013 07:54 CST

I can confirm that the migration of the backup was from Linux to Linux. Thanks again for the awesome support Nicholas. That alone makes it worth paying for this nice piece of software-art you created.

Ticket closed.

IThypercube
Monday, 14 January 2013 09:18 CST

You're welcome!



Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director



Greek: native

English: excellent

French: basic



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



nicholas
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