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I got burned on a forum setup...

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  • I got burned on a forum setup...

    Hello everyone.

    I really hate to admit to this. In fact it's quite embarassing. But here I go.

    I started up a community a little while back on some free forums (phpbb or whatever it's called). I was really new to vB, didn't know anything about setting it up, installing it, etc. I was mentioning this to a friend at work, and he said he "knew someone" who would do it for me. Awesome!

    (Just so you understand this, it ended up being a friend of a friend of a guy I worked with said that he would set it up. I was told he just needed the money for the license.)

    I paid the guy in person to get the job done. Finally, after a long horrible ordeal of getting them setup, they finally were there. MY FORUMS! YAY! I was so consumed with getting everything going, I didn't ask any questions.
    Eventually things started to get fishy though, when I wanted the forums updated to newer versions, and the guy insisted on doing it for me. When I kept asking for my license, he danced around the question.

    Then one day my friend called me up. Gives me some bad news. It turns out that this guy was a scammer and he put some pirated copy of a vB up for some other person. That person found out and got into a fight with the guy. My friend found out about it and told me. Sure enough, guess what he installed for me? :/

    I am so aggravated at this point. I have tried so hard to contact him and get his personal information to post it here, but he is seemingly long gone.

    It has been months and months since I paid this guy, and now I find out my forums aren't legitimate. I am so lost with what to do now.

    I resolved when I found this out that I would jsut come here, buy a real license, and hope someone could tell me about how to keep my site content, and transfer it from the pirated copy to a real copy. Right now I have my forums disabled to avoid any trouble, but it's very important to me to not lose any of my content!

    So there it is. That is my dilemna. I unwittingly had a pirated vB and now I know I need to purchase a real license, but I do have some questions about it.

    Is it possible to transfer my content from the current pirated copy without any ill effects?

    If it is possible, how do I go about doing it? Do I just backup my forums, then delete all the files from the server,then restore a backup?

    I would really appreciate any input.

    It was a complete accident, but still partially my fault for being dumb and not buying the license myself. Sorry to the vB staff and Jelsoft, etc. I really didn't know it until just a day ago.

    Thanks guys,
    Last edited by CBV-Bullet!ner; Wed 20 Sep '06, 4:44pm.

  • #2
    learn by your mistake mate, never trust anybody on the internet unless you know them personally.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Gary Bolton View Post
      learn by your mistake mate, never trust anybody on the internet unless you know them personally.
      Well that's just it, it wasn't on the internet. It was through a friend from work. Someone I knew for years. I thught he trusted the guy he contacted, but apparently not.

      Now I need to buy another license (which I have no problem with) but I need to know if I can transfer the content from the pirated one to a real one.


      • #4
        Sorry to hear of your bad experience however, not all is lost.

        All you need to do when you get your license is to upload the files to replace the pirated version - your content will remain.


        • #5
          How is it taht I would know exactly which files have been modified by the piraters though?

          One thing taht worries me is if they have backdoors installed or something like that.

          I also have a shoutbox that the guy installed, but it has some wierd errors and I want to get rid of it for now, How would I go about doing that when doing the changeover?


          • #6
            it doesn't matter. Just remove any hacks, revert all templates, and overwrite all vB php files with the new ones (all of them). And then when you update I think you should be sorted. But a member of staff here would know if that correct 100%.

            But if they have hacked any of the template install code in the installation php file. I'm not really sure, as tjhey would just revert back to hacked templates.


            • #7
              If you really want to start clean...

              - backup your database and the files on your server
              - temp move all the files to a new folder (rename the existing forum folder)
              - upload the new vb files you liscenced
              - Use impex - vb's import tool - to transfer the majority of the user data and posts over.
              - Reapply any style changes and mods
              - Live a happy productive life.

              There are always people willing to help out if you get stuck. Just make good backups!
              Plan, Do, Check, Act!


              • #8
                When you mean backup, you mean do the database backup through the vB Admin panel? The one that outputs the "vbulletin.sql?"

                Or do you mean to log into PHPMyAdmin and export a copy of the entire VB table?


                • #9
                  The correct answer to that question depends entirely on the "size" of your database. There are issues with the backup run from the admincp timing out on larger databases and not fully completing.

                  The best way to backup your entire forum database is to follow these instructions.

                  EDIT: Links weren't working properly. Try these:

                  Note: The only reliable method of backing up and restoring a database is with shell access via telnet or ssh. This is because backing up with a PHP script like that in the Admin CP or phpMyAdmin can result in PHP timeouts errors and an incomplete backup file. Please see the instructions here:



                  P.S. Some people have reported success with these scripts:




                  You will need SSH access and have some knowledge of SQL commands to do it this way. If you database is not very large, you can use the admincp and/or phpMyAdmin to accomplish the backup.

                  Last edited by slappy; Wed 20 Sep '06, 7:22pm.


                  • #10
                    Depending on what version you have, you might just be able to upgrade.

                    waht ersion are you running.
           - Visit us

                    - nVaux


                    • #11
                      if you want your forum to remain the same the following

             was mentioned above....remove all hacks ...revert all templates
             the VB files in your server with the files you downloaded after buying the liscnce..
                      third......remove any extra file not present in the original
                      forth......just change the config.php inf of the original config.php (TAKE CARE TO CHANGE ALL THE INFO IN THE ORIGINAL)
                      i mean fill the database name..username..supermoderator....etc......(you can find the info in the pirated copy

             upload the original vb files to your server and run upgrade......

                      DO NOT FORGET to ask your host to change the access to your server...

                      that will sort your extracodes code will remain...

                      hope this helps


                      • #12
                        You could import into a fresh install, though as Lats said in post 4, I'd just upload the new scripts over the old ones and see what happens, can always import as a last resort.
                        I wrote ImpEx.

                        Blog | Me


                        • #13
                          Slappy, my SQL backup is about 10 - 20 megs

                          nVaux, I am running one of the 3.6 Betas

                          Jerry, Can you give me a bit more instruction on how to import it exactly?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CBV-Bullet!ner View Post
                            Slappy, my SQL backup is about 10 - 20 megs

                            nVaux, I am running one of the 3.6 Betas

                            Jerry, Can you give me a bit more instruction on how to import it exactly?
                            Your database size is pretty small. You should have no problems importing it into vBulletin. Chcek the Impex part of theonline documentation for detailed instructions on how to use it:
                            You're spending millions of dollars on a website?!


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