Hello my fellow Joomla users,
I am in a terrible mood today. Why you ask? Well, I am always in a bad mood when I have to upgrade a client's website to a newer version of Joomla, as it never goes without problems. This time it's no different
My client has a website running Joomla 2.5.2 that needs to be upgraded to the latest version (3.3.x). Apparently the auto-updater is not working, as it does not provide me any updates, even when I select STS. Updating manually it is then! Going from 2.5.2 to 2.5.3 worked, next stop: 2.5.4! And that's where all hell broke loose. After uploading the 2.5.3-to-2.5.4 update package, I was left with a blank screen. Trying to go back to the main administrator panel also gave me a blank screen, as does the front-end. And by blank I mean 100% empty: no errors, no HTML element, no nothing.
A brief but frustrating investigation of the problem revealed that all the PHP includes terminate because apparently _JEXEC is not defined, although the parent index.php file clearly states define('_JEXEC', 1); as one of the first lines. When I echo _JEXEC, I get a nice "1" printed on my otherwise blank screen.
That's as far as I got, and I figured it got high time to call in the cavalry. Searching this forum led me to similar though not identical symptoms (Admin panel partly broken, but front-end still working), and the solutions offered cannot be applied in my situation. I was hoping that one of you guys might know a solution, or that you could refer me to the correct forum topic.