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  • vBulletin 4.2.4 weirdness

    FULL DISCOSURE: I am a food writer and blogger, not a vBulletin expert. I use vBulletin to host a forum (https://tvwbb.com) associated with my blog (https://virtualweberbullet.com). I have relied on URLJet to host and manage my vBulletin 4 site since 2012. I've been running vBulletin 4.2.4 and not sure of the PHP version since 2017.

    Since last Wednesday, the whole situation has gone sideways.

    My site went down six times in three days, for what reason I don't know and URLJet can't or won't explain. Each time, they have tried upgrading PHP....to 7.1 which caused an error like this:

    Function name must be a string on line 1587 in /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/class_bbcode.php

    0 /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/class_bbcode.php(1042): vB_BbCodeParser->parse_array(Array, 1, 1, 0)
    1 /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/class_bbcode.php(563): vB_BbCodeParser->parse_bbcode('[QUOTE=LMichael...', 1, 1, 0)
    2 /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/class_bbcode.php(477): vB_BbCodeParser->do_parse('[QUOTE=LMichael...', 0, 1, 1, 1, true, false, NULL, false, 1)
    3 /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/class_dm.php(1597): vB_BbCodeParser->parse('[QUOTE=LMichael...', 91, 1, true)
    4 /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/class_dm_threadpost.php(483): vB_DataManager->verify_image_count('pagetext', 'allowsmilie', 91, 'post')
    5 /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/class_dm_threadpost.php(732): vB_DataManager_ThreadPost->pre_save_post(true)
    6 /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/functions_newpost.php(616): vB_DataManager_Post->pre_save()
    7 /home/chrisall/public_html/newreply.php(451): build_new_post('reply', Array, Array, Array, Array, Array)
    8 ....

    then back to PHP 5.4.60.

    Down again, tried PHP 7.0, same error, back to PHP 5.4.60.

    Down again, somebody tried PHP 7.2.20, same error, back to PHP 5.4.60.

    A developer thought it might have been a plug-in. I only had one enabled plug-in. Deleted the plug-in and made a final change to PHP 5.5.38.

    Site has been running now for two days...but getting tons of lines in the error log like:

    PHP Fatal error: Cannot access property vB_Template_Runtime::$units in /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/class_core.php on line 5577

    PHP Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 536870912 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 140002345242784 bytes) in [no active file] on line 0

    PHP Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 536870912 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 28733194240 bytes) in /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/init.php on line 200

    then tons of these:

    PHP Fatal error: Cannot access property vB_Registry::$datastore in /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/init.php on line 256

    then tons of these:

    PHP Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, null given in /home/chrisall/public_html/includes/class_core.php on line 2586

    And to cap it all off, lots of weird behaviors, many intermittent and documented by multiple uses on multiple browsers:

    1) URLs do not auto-convert to clickable links when posted.

    2) Saving edited posts results in never-ending progress indicator. Refreshing page shows that edit was saved.

    3) Posting a reply to any thread results in the following error:
    Redirecting...

    This post is a duplicate of a post that you have posted in the last five minutes. You will be redirected to that thread.



    4) When getting #3 above, a duplicate post is actually posted. For example, post #3 and post #4 are identical.

    5) Post content is duplicated within the post itself. For example, a post containing a single line of "Testing Testing Testing" will post showing two lines of this text. These are written to the db, so they're still visible in posts.

    6) Single quote and double-quote characters display incorrectly, e.g, "The behavior I%u2019m seeing..." These are written to the db, so they're still visible in posts.

    7) Unable to "View Post" for members on Ignore List.

    8) After completing all registration fields, you get "You have chosen not to accept the forum rules, so registration cannot continue."

    9) When writing a PM in Advanced mode and checking box to send a copy to my Sent Folder, I don't get copies saved to my Sent Folder.

    10) Two posts of mine were marked for moderation.

    11) Message area is blank after posting a new message or posting or editing a reply. Click edit and text appears in edit box.

    -----------

    Any advice, recommendations, resources, etc. to get my site back on-track and pointed in the right direction moving forward would be greatly appreciated.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Chris Allingham; Mon 15th Jul '19, 2:42am.

  • #2
    To use any version of 7.x, you must upgrade to 4.2.5.

    Even then, you can only go as high as PHP 7.1.

    Obviously, there is more than that going on, though. I would suggest you
    • disable all plugins, and then
    • re-upload all the 4.2.4 core files as a starting point.
    To disable all plugins, edit /includes/config.php.

    Find

    Code:
    /* #### DISABLE HOOK SYSTEM ####
    Disable Global Hook System in case a plugin breaks site functionality as well with admincp functionality broken as well. */
    // define('DISABLE_HOOKS', true);
    and uncomment out the DISABLE HOOKS line so it looks like this:

    Code:
    /* #### DISABLE HOOK SYSTEM ####
    Disable Global Hook System in case a plugin breaks site functionality as well with admincp functionality broken as well. */
    define('DISABLE_HOOKS', true);
    Alternatively, you can just add the DISABLE line to the top of your config file, right below the opening PHP line, like this

    Code:
    <?php
    define('DISABLE_HOOKS', true);
    Last edited by djbaxter; Sun 14th Jul '19, 9:45pm.
    Psychlinks Mental Health Support Forum
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    • #3
      1) Is there a difference between disabling plug-ins as described above vs. disabling and/or deleting via the Admin Control Panel option Plugins & Products > Manage Products and using the drop-downs to disable or uninstall? Currently three plug-ins are installed but disabled.

      2) Better to reload 4.2.4 core files or simply install 4.2.5 and upgrade PHP version? I don't have any particular attachment to 4.2.4, that's just where I've been sitting since 2017.
      Last edited by Chris Allingham; Mon 15th Jul '19, 2:41am.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Chris Allingham View Post
        1) Is there a difference between disabling plug-ins as described above vs. disabling and/or deleting via the Admin Control Panel option Plugins & Products > Manage Products and using the drop-downs to disable or uninstall? Currently three plug-ins are installed but disabled.
        No difference. It's just faster to disable them all that way.

        Originally posted by Chris Allingham View Post
        2) Better to reload 4.2.24 core files or simply install 4.2.25 and upgrade PHP version? I don't have any particular attachment to 4.2.24, that's just where I've been sitting since 2017.
        My worry is that if you have corrupted files and templates, the upgrade may fail. SO I would try to get it working first using 4.2.4, then upgrade to 4.2.5, then upgrade PHP to 7.1.x.
        Last edited by djbaxter; Sun 14th Jul '19, 9:45pm.
        Psychlinks Mental Health Support Forum
        Local Search Forum

        Comment


        • #5
          Just to clarify, vBulletin 4.2.5 is NOT compatible with php 7.2, only php 7.1.

          There is actually a notice at the top of this forum which explains this.
          MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

          TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.5.2 Demo
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          • #6
            Right. Sorry. I knew that but just confused myself.
            Psychlinks Mental Health Support Forum
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            • #7
              Most of the issues described are down to php incompatibility. The issue you will have is that whilst vBulletin 4.2.5 is compatible with php 7.1, some or all of your add-ons will not be. You will therefore need to make a decision on the best way forward.

              If your site is heavily dependent on add-ons you may need to consider remaining on php 5.6 if your host will allow it. php 5.6 has been end of life for some time though. vBulletin 4 was itself declared end of life with the release of 4.2.5 and as such will not receive further updates. You could potentially look at hiring a third party coder to update the add-ons for php 7.1, or consider whether to abandon some or all of the add-ons.

              There is never any simple answer for heavily modified sites, these are the inherent risks with using third party add-ons.
              MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

              TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.5.2 Demo
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mark.B View Post
                Most of the issues described are down to php incompatibility. The issue you will have is that whilst vBulletin 4.2.5 is compatible with php 7.1, some or all of your add-ons will not be. You will therefore need to make a decision on the best way forward.

                If your site is heavily dependent on add-ons you may need to consider remaining on php 5.6 if your host will allow it. php 5.6 has been end of life for some time though. vBulletin 4 was itself declared end of life with the release of 4.2.5 and as such will not receive further updates. You could potentially look at hiring a third party coder to update the add-ons for php 7.1, or consider whether to abandon some or all of the add-ons.

                There is never any simple answer for heavily modified sites, these are the inherent risks with using third party add-ons.
                I do not use any add-ons or plug-ins. I've always tried to use vBulletin with "out of the box" settings as much as possible. Of course I have customized parts of the color scheme and added my logo, but that's it. No custom coding. Definitely the extreme opposite of a heavily modified site!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mark.B View Post
                  Most of the issues described are down to php incompatibility.
                  I'm not married to vB 4.2.4. Given the state I'm in, should I try to stabilize 4.2.4 with a compatible php version OR should I just upgrade to 4.2.5 and php 7.1?

                  If the answer is to stabilize 4.2.4, what are the safe, solid versions of php that are compatible with vBulletin 4.2.4? I'm on 5.5.38 right now and it's not working. They had me on 5.6 40 and there were problems with that, too.

                  I wish I knew what version of PHP my site was using a week ago before all this started. Is there any way to know that?
                  Last edited by Chris Allingham; Mon 15th Jul '19, 2:40am.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Only your host can advise on previous php versions.

                    If you have no add-ons then the answer is easy. Upgrade php to 7.1 (if it isn’t already) and upgrade vBulletin to 4.2.5.
                    There is nothing to ‘stabilise’, your host has upgraded php and your current version of vBulletin won’t work with it.

                    What’s important is that you cannot run php 7.2, only php 7.1.

                    You may be able to switch php versions in your server control panel...your host can advise on this.
                    MARK.B | vBULLETIN SUPPORT

                    TalkNewsUK - My vBulletin 5.5.2 Demo
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                    • #11
                      Thanks to all that replied. Never really figured out the root cause of the weirdness, despite changing to several compatible PHP versions. Took my backup to a new, competent hosting service, restored, and so far everything is working well.

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