Need help - can't access back end! :(

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t_greig
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Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby t_greig » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:21 am

Hi there,

I am experiencing some issues with my Joomla admin page. It has been working fine and we haven't installed or changed anything recently but for some reason, I can't access the admin page. The front end is working but the back end isn't. Every time I go to the log in page, I put my details in and it returns with a HTTP 500 error page. The challenge is that I am no Joomla expert, I know how to work Joomla, although I am not a web developer and I didn't build this site, I just create and manage the content. The developer that built it for us, no longer works at the company. We have another site built in expression engine so we had our other developer look at it but he isn't familiar with Joomla and wasn't able to fix the problem but suspects it's a plugin that's not compatible but is unable to find it and we haven't changed anything recently. I tried looking on the Joomla forum but it's basically a different language to me as mentioned before, I'm not a joomla expert. I contacted the guys that host our server but they checked and it's nothing on their end, it's just simply isolated to the back end of the joomla site.
No idea what to do or how to fix the problem - does anyone know what's going on?

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby jackrabbit » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:14 am

There are many variables that can cause a 500 error, the most common being a file permission incorrectly set. Then there's the possibility of an erroneous .htacces file. A bad php code causing too many connections therefore the sever process times out.

The server error log will give an idea of the cause.
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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby Webdongle » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:36 pm

t_greig wrote:...
I am experiencing some issues with my Joomla admin page. It has been working fine and we haven't installed or changed anything recently ...

  1. What has changed since the last time you logged in (not the since the last time you logged out) ?
  2. The last time you logged in what did you do ? Update ?
  3. Do you have any security extensions added ?
http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=621&t=582860 please

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby t_greig » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:00 pm

jackrabbit wrote:There are many variables that can cause a 500 error, the most common being a file permission incorrectly set. Then there's the possibility of an erroneous .htacces file. A bad php code causing too many connections therefore the sever process times out.

The server error log will give an idea of the cause.


Thanks for your reply - the thing is, we were using the back end and it was fine but I haven't been able to log in this week. Since the last time I was in, I haven't installed or changed anything - this is why I don't understand what's wrong. The developer who set up the site no longer works for the company and we don't have anyone in-house that has the capabilities to sort this out. I read a few posts that mentioned that a certain permission may have been disabled but (I know this sounds silly but I don't have any experience in this area so forgive the ignorance, I just manage content on the site) how can I access any of this to check what the problem is, if I can get into the back end - is there a trick I am missing here?

Thank you!

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby t_greig » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:04 pm

Webdongle wrote:
t_greig wrote:...
I am experiencing some issues with my Joomla admin page. It has been working fine and we haven't installed or changed anything recently ...

  1. What has changed since the last time you logged in (not the since the last time you logged out) ?
  2. The last time you logged in what did you do ? Update ?
  3. Do you have any security extensions added ?
http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=621&t=582860 please


Thanks for your reply!
Well nothing really has changed since the last time I logged in - on Friday I was editing some of the article pages but that was about it (only minor edits to text) and then went home for the weekend. I came back this week and I've not been able to get in so I am totally stumped? I didn't update anything either.
No, we don't have any security extensions added :-/

Thanks again!

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby Webdongle » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:22 pm

"The developer that built it for us, no longer works at the company" coincidence ?

Hosts will often change something on the server and claim nothing is wrong.

http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=621&t=582860 please

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby t_greig » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:26 pm

I know - he left the company and annoyingly so, the other developer we have for our other site, doesn't work with Joomla as the site is built in expression engine so we have hit a brick wall.

To your point - I contacted the hosts and they said they didn't change anything :(

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby jackrabbit » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:16 pm

t_greig wrote:how can I access any of this to check what the problem is, if I can get into the back end - is there a trick I am missing here?
You may get an idea of the error by viewing the error_log in Joomla root and the administrator directory. Though you may lack tech abilities, there is logic in the out put that could point you in a proper direction. Otherwise you need someone with the abilities to assist.
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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby Webdongle » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:34 pm

t_greig wrote:...
... I contacted the hosts and they said they didn't change anything :(
Something must have changed ? Sometimes it's as simple as your IP address is disliked. Have emailed you so you can send me login details. Ask around I don't abuse logins.

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby csthomas » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:57 pm

What version of joomla do you have?

If you do not know, you can check this at:
http://[your-domain]/administrator/manifests/files/joomla.xml

Can you put content (the last 30 lines) of error_log file from your account,
usual it is placed at public_html/administrator/error_log.
You can get this file by ftp account.

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby jackrabbit » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:10 pm

csthomas wrote:What version of joomla do you have?
Note that you're in the 2.5 forum.
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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby t_greig » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:35 am

Webdongle wrote:
t_greig wrote:...
... I contacted the hosts and they said they didn't change anything :(
Something must have changed ? Sometimes it's as simple as your IP address is disliked. Have emailed you so you can send me login details. Ask around I don't abuse logins.


Yeah, that's what I can't figure out. The hosts have previously blocked the IP but we managed to resolve that and it has worked fine since. The front end works fine too so it's not as clear cut. I am new to this forum so the private message feature doesn't work for me yet - it says I have to participate more before it's activated. Could you please private message me your email address and I can share the details.

Many thanks!

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby itoctopus » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:37 am

I can think of 3 reasons causing this problem:

- A hacked Joomla website.
- An update that was done on the site (maybe a simple extension update).
- An update that was done on the server (PHP update, MySQL update, etc...).

By the way, have you tried setting error_reporting in your configuration.php file to "maximum"?

As others have pointed out, checking the PHP error log is key to finding where the problem lies.
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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby Webdongle » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:44 am

t_greig wrote:.... Could you please private message me your email address and I can share the details.

Many thanks!

I have emailed you my weblinksonline.co.uk email address

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby t_greig » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:26 am

Webdongle wrote:
t_greig wrote:.... Could you please private message me your email address and I can share the details.

Many thanks!

I have emailed you my weblinksonline.co.uk email address


Thanks a lot, I have emailed you!

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby Webdongle » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:58 am

Got the details. Attempted login and blank page not redirect.

Here is what I observed:
It is in a sub directory
The subdirectory has a broken padlock but the subdirectory/administrator does not ... neither does the main domain.

The sub directory is not a subdomain i.e. subfolder.site.com does no exist.

Did you originally setup a subdomain and assign a cert to it ?
Cert says "This web site does not supply ownership information." but is for your main domain ?

It looks like a certificate misconfiguration on the server.

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby t_greig » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:10 am

Thanks for your response - ok, I am not too sure if I follow?

We have a main website on the 'site.com' domain and that is built in Expression engine, we then created the subdomain which is our microsite which is 'site.com/xxxxxx' the site url I shared via email and that one is built in Joomla.

What would cause a broken padlock and is it possible to fix? Also, I am not too sure about the cert as the previous developer set all that up and he no longer works for us - what would I need to do to rectify this? The site has been working fine for over a year now so is this misconfiguration something that has recently happened and would our server hosts need to sort that out?

Apologies for the silly questions - total novice here!

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby t_greig » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:43 am

Ah apologies, it isn't a subdomain, it's a sub directory - originally I think we did create a subdomain for it

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby Webdongle » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:06 pm

All I know about ssl certs is with my Host I just define the domain name and the cert works correctly from domain down through the subdirectories. But as far as I can see with your site the cert only shows the broken padlook on http:// site.com/subdirectory. AFAIK the padlock should only show with https: not http:

Not sure if it's a certificate misconfiguration or not. You need to speak to your Host about your certificates they should be able to advise you if the cert is configured correctly.

You could copy the site to localhost and see it it works https://docs.joomla.org/Copying_a_Joomla_website

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby t_greig » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:06 pm

Webdongle wrote:All I know about ssl certs is with my Host I just define the domain name and the cert works correctly from domain down through the subdirectories. But as far as I can see with your site the cert only shows the broken padlook on http:// site.com/subdirectory. AFAIK the padlock should only show with https: not http:

Not sure if it's a certificate misconfiguration or not. You need to speak to your Host about your certificates they should be able to advise you if the cert is configured correctly.

You could copy the site to localhost and see it it works https://docs.joomla.org/Copying_a_Joomla_website


Thanks for your message! I contacted the host and they said:
We can only order SSL and install it for the main domain via WHM interface and that is it.
Also as I see the main site https://site.com and https://site.com/xxxxxx has correctly installed SSL


So I think that eliminates that problem? A few people said they think that it might be an update or extension that is no longer compatible:

It looks to me as though the Joomla system version was updated on the morning of October 4th, and my guess would be that one of the plugins or extensions that the site is using is incompatible with this new version of Joomla, and is causing the error message. I suspect that the way to resolve this would be to switch off the extensions one-by-one until the culprit is found, and to try to upgrade it to a more recent version

Could this be right as that is roughly when I couldn't access the back end?

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Re: Need help - can't access back end! :(

Postby Webdongle » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:27 pm

That was going to be my next suggestion.

Make a backup of your database

Edit your database #__extensions Enabled field (for the 3rd party extensions) 1(one) to 0(zero). You could also disable the custom Template and enable Protostar.

Copying the site to localhost would be a good idea as it would (imho) be easier to work on it on localhost.


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