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  • Host has changed server; is requiring me to upgrade

    The Web host where I have had my vB forum for the past three-plus years has just switched everything to a new server. Although I was told there would be no problems with my account, my WP blog is no longer visible and my vB forum no longer works at all.

    The host is now telling me that I must upgrade from vB 3.8.2 to 3.8.5 because "we updated PHP to PHP 5.3.x, the latest supported version of PHP." (He adds: "PHP 5.2.x is already EOL, is not recommendable anymore; besides Vbulletin 3.8.2 has many exploits already reported.")

    When I go to my member area, I can download 3.8.5. I'm really not good at installation. It makes me very nervous and fills me with anxiety. (There are things I'm fairly good at, but for some reason this isn't remotely one of them.)

    Can anyone give me any tips on what to do? I have no real memory of my original vB installation, except that I was confused and unhappy throughout it.

    Will there be any problems in preserving my existing database during the re-installation?

    (Someone is probably going to tell me to be sure to back up the database first. I haven't done that for years either. Can I use PHPMyAdmin? is there something easier / better?)

    Thank you so much for any help you can give me. I don't know why, but this stuff just always makes me feel so lost.

    (
    P.S. Shouldn't my host be trying to help me in some way? They seem completely indifferent to the fact that they have rendered my current forum completely inaccessible.)


    - - - - - - - -

    On edit: In looking over other threads in this sub-forum, I see that there is information about upgrading at
    https://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/main/upgrade . And about backing up.

    So I guess some of my questions have changed:

    Will I be okay with 3.8.5?

    Should I add the 3.8.6 and 3.8.7 patches, at least to try and see if they work?

    What about my host -- I'm not very happy with their performance on this. My sense is that they could help with the PHP issue if they wanted to. (and that they could easily have given advance notice of this type of problem, rather than letting everyone be caught by surprise)

    Again, thank you for your help. It's always so great for someone like myself to have insights from advanced users and experts.

    .
    Last edited by Baba Wawa; Wed 8 Aug '12, 8:57pm.

  • #2
    Why would you reinstall? You just need to upgrade. Your webhost should have tools to backup.

    http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/upgrade

    php 5.2 is no longer support, and not being patched for security issues.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Zachery,

      Thank you very much for your reply.

      Actually, it would probably be a lot better if I did a fresh installation. My account, along with others on the same server, was hacked a couple of years ago. I've been able to use the forum since then but have had to use a couple of work-arounds and even then it was not entirely satisfactory.

      Will it be much more complicated to do a re-installation?

      (If so, would it be possible to hire someone for a modest sum to do that?)

      Originally posted by Zachery View Post
      Why would you reinstall? You just need to upgrade. Your webhost should have tools to backup.

      http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/upgrade

      php 5.2 is no longer supported, and not being patched for security issues.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you reinstall, you lose all of your data.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Zachery View Post
          If you reinstall, you lose all of your data.
          Whoa, that is quite sobering! I'm really sorry to belabor this, but is there no way that I can preserve the data and then re-populate the forum with it? My choices seem to be: (a) try to upgrade a forum that is already somewhat compromised; or (b) re-install and lose everything. No third alternative?

          Maybe I should try the upgrade??? I just read some old emails and apparently I was supposed to attempt to repair the database after the hacking two years ago. I never did. Not sure how much that will affect anything that I try now.

          - - - Updated - - -

          The host now says that he can move me to a server that still has PHP 5.2.x.

          So my choices seem to be:
          a: Try an upgrade (and then a db repair?);
          b: Re-install (and lose all entries?);
          c: Move to server using old PHP.

          Please forgive me for being so anxious about this. I really don't know why vB has always made me so nervous, but it has.

          As I look at these, "a" seems like the best choice for a non-nervous person. Would there be any downside to "a"? should I go ahead and try it?

          Comment


          • #6
            What exactly is wrong with upgrading?

            Comment


            • #7
              Upgrading between similar versions (like 3.8.2 to 3.8.5) isn't a big ordeal, mainly all you need to do is upload the 3.8.5 files (except for install/install.php), overwriting the 3.8.2 files on your server and run install/upgrade.php in your browser. It's quick and painless. Backing up your database is recommended, I use MySQLDumper for this myself, but for small version changes isn't required, really.

              See also the documentation that Zachery linked earlier: http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/upgrade

              Comment


              • #8
                Another option is a fresh install then importing the data from the old forum. I know this usually isn't recommended by vB support but I've done it a few times for clients that had compromised boards. Even though it was probably a waste of time it gave them peace of mind.

                When you upgrade all files are overwritten with fresh copies. Unless your database was compromised you don't have anything to worry about.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Big Dan View Post
                  Another option is a fresh install then importing the data from the old forum. I know this usually isn't recommended by vB support but I've done it a few times for clients that had compromised boards. Even though it was probably a waste of time it gave them peace of mind.

                  When you upgrade all files are overwritten with fresh copies. Unless your database was compromised you don't have anything to worry about.
                  You lose all your URLs if you do that.
                  MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

                  TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.6.4 Demo
                  AdminAmmo - My Cloud Demo

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Zachery View Post
                    What exactly is wrong with upgrading?
                    My concern is the status of my database. As mentioned, some portion of my forum was compromised during the hacker attack two years ago. I should have done something about it then, but the forum still worked (mostly) and so I let it go. So I have no real idea what the outcome of an effort to upgrade will be.

                    Also, as I have explained, everything about vBulletin makes me nervous and uncomfortable. I bought my first computer in 1983, and I built my own computer in 2003 -- but I never understand anything that the vBulletin manual says and feel completely at sea whenever I have to rely on it.

                    - - - Updated - - -

                    Originally posted by Matthew Gordon View Post
                    Upgrading between similar versions (like 3.8.2 to 3.8.5) isn't a big ordeal, mainly all you need to do is upload the 3.8.5 files (except for install/install.php), overwriting the 3.8.2 files on your server and run install/upgrade.php in your browser. It's quick and painless.
                    Thank you for your reply, Matthew. I'm trying to believe you that it will be quick and painless. ;-)


                    Backing up your database is recommended, I use MySQLDumper for this myself, but for small version changes isn't required, really.
                    I'm hoping to use PHPMyAdmin. Does that sound reasonable?


                    See also the documentation that Zachery linked earlier: http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/upgrade
                    I've just printed it out, and will read it before proceeding.

                    - - - Updated - - -

                    Dan, thank you very much for your reply. What you have described is what I would really like to do, as I know that there were one or more unresolved issues after the hacker attack of a couple of years ago. I don't think I have the courage, however.

                    - - - Updated - - -

                    That would be okay. I don't think that would affect my forum very much at all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It worked! I just tried the upgrade and my forum is now visible once more. It looks the way it's supposed to look, as near as I can tell.

                      So thank you, Zachery, Matthew, Big Dan and Mark. I really appreciated the interest and help of each one of you.

                      There is one small thing that does seem odd to me. I presumably upgraded to vB. 3.8.5 (from 3.8.2). That's what the file said that I downloaded from the Members' area: 3.8.5. And presumably the php wouldn't be working unless I now had 3.8.5 up and working. However, my forum still states that it's using 3.8.2, both at the bottom of the visible public page, and in the Control Panel. Shouldn't it now say "3.8.5"?

                      Anyway, that's presumably a very small thing. Once more, I'm very grateful for your patience and your help.

                      .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Baba Wawa View Post
                        There is one small thing that does seem odd to me. I presumably upgraded to vB. 3.8.5 (from 3.8.2). That's what the file said that I downloaded from the Members' area: 3.8.5. And presumably the php wouldn't be working unless I now had 3.8.5 up and working. However, my forum still states that it's using 3.8.2, both at the bottom of the visible public page, and in the Control Panel. Shouldn't it now say "3.8.5"?
                        This suggests that the upgrade hasn't completed fully.

                        Try reuploading all the 3.8.5 files (make sure ALL of them are uploaded) and re-running install/upgrade.php. Your version number needs to be correct or you may have problems in the future.
                        MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

                        TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.6.4 Demo
                        AdminAmmo - My Cloud Demo

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you, Mark. I'm not sure what to do differently in a second upgrade.

                          I uploaded everything in the "upload" director, except that I deleted the "install.php" file from the install directory before uploading the new files, because that's what the manual says to do.

                          Then I uploaded everything using FileZilla and let FileZilla do the rest. Eventually it was finished, or certainly seemed to be. Everything looks right and, as near as I can see, everything is there. Well, except for the 3.8.5 identification.


                          On edit: Looking again at https://www.vbulletin.com/docs/main/upgrade_preparefiles (the page on preparing files for upload), I see that there are some comments at the end about which install.php file to delete and when to do it. The instructions clearly say to delete it from the update files (i.e., those to be uploaded), or so it seems to me. Is that not correct?
                          Last edited by Baba Wawa; Fri 10 Aug '12, 4:06pm.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Baba Wawa View Post
                            Thank you, Mark. I'm not sure what to do differently in a second upgrade.

                            I uploaded everything in the "upload" director, except that I deleted the "install.php" file from the install directory before uploading the new files, because that's what the manual says to do.

                            Then I uploaded everything using FileZilla and let FileZilla do the rest. Eventually it was finished, or certainly seemed to be. Everything looks right and, as near as I can see, everything is there. Well, except for the 3.8.5 identification.


                            On edit: Looking again at https://www.vbulletin.com/docs/main/upgrade_preparefiles (the page on preparing files for upload), I see that there are some comments at the end about which install.php file to delete and when to do it. The instructions clearly say to delete it from the update files (i.e., those to be uploaded), or so it seems to me. Is that not correct?
                            Did you run the upgrade script? http://<your forum>/install/upgrade.php. That will run the upgrade on the database.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Big Dan View Post
                              Did you run the upgrade script? http://<your forum>/install/upgrade.php. That will run the upgrade on the database.
                              Oh my goodness, you're right! I forgot that last step. Will go try that now.

                              Thank you! </embarrassed>

                              .

                              - - - Updated - - -

                              Dan, I ran the upgrade script and my forum now has v. 3.8.5 installed. Thank you so much.

                              Checking out the Control Panel, I'm left with two more very small questions. First, I had made just a couple of very minor changes to the templates, mostly just to insert some space between forums as they appear on the screen. Will it be okay to leave these as they are, or do I really need to "revert" to the default templates?

                              Second, I guess I would have to pay something in order to obtain the 3.8.7 Patch Level 3? Am I likely to be okay without that?

                              Comment

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