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XF 1.3 An unexpected database error occurred. Please try again later.

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Problems' started by XBones, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. XBones

    XBones Member

    Oh wow.

    Yesterday my site went down and all it says is "An unexpected database error occurred. Please try again later".

    I have done nothing to the site except install 1.3 a few weeks ago and the site has been running perfectly since then until yesterday morning. I contacted my host and they said the server was running fine. So finally they restored the database back one day and finally the site came back.

    Now this morning after posting the same error is back.

    I am not a technical person and have absolutely no idea how to trouble shoot this. Host says all PHP is up-to-date so I am at a complete loss. I have searched to see if others have experienced this error and while they have there doesn't seem to be anything specific that I am able to do since like I said I am not technically inclined and don't understand all the inter workings of the software and PHP.

    Can somebody point me in the right direction? In fact if there is a Webmaster reading this that can help on a paid basis please let me know.
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Here's your problem:


    You should contact your host to determine why the table is missing.

    Tables don't disappear on their own so you will need to investigate whether it's an add-on, malicious activity, or server/host related.
  3. XBones

    XBones Member

    Thanks @Brogan

    I saw that error yesterday but the host always seems to point back to us. So restoring the database back to Tuesday corrected the problem temporarily which to me means something has probably has been done maliciously to remove that table. How would the hosting company be responsible for the table being removed? Like I said I am a complete neophyte regarding these sorts of issues and can't really discuss the ins and outs with the technical people.

    Like I mentioned, there are no add-ons installed. It's a stock install. What possible server/host related things could cause this kind of porblem?
  4. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    If there are no add-ons installed then the next thing is to check the server logs and see who accessed the server, etc.

    Your host should be able to help with that.
  5. XBones

    XBones Member

    OK, I'll ask them.
  6. XBones

    XBones Member

    @Brogan Well I talked to the hosting company and of course they claim nothing is wrong on their end. Clearly I didn't remove any table since I wouldn't even know how.

    They did restore the DB yesterday back to Tuesday and the site came back but as soon as people started posting messages this morning the same error came up and the site has been down ever since.

    So I am assuming at this point that the site (DB) was hacked and somebody somehow put some malicious code in the DB that is deleting the table. I had a similar experience before where somebody placed some code in the DB that was causing redirects. I hired a security company to find and remove the code which they did successfully and the site has been running fine since November until now. So would you agree that the hosting company's security isn't what they claim?

    Is there a way for me to put this table back in? Sorry for the stupid questions but I have no idea how that would be accomplished. This is why if there is a webmaster I can contact to help me fix this I would appreciate a name or referral.

    I'd like to get it fixed and then move the site to a new hosting company. There is no sense moving it right now because the issue will just move to the new host. Or, so it seems.

    Anybody else who would like to point me in the direction of a solution pleawe feel free to chime in.
  7. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Recreating the table is simple enough by restoring from a backup, but as it has been deleted twice now, that's not going to be a long term solution.

    You need to find out how and why it is being deleted.
  8. XBones

    XBones Member

    Understood. I'm trying but doesn't seem the host is helpful. Just blaming me.

    Apparently somebody has found a way to access our database and insert code or whatever to trigger these issues.

    You're right, restoring the DB gets rid of the problem but only for a short time. I'm pretty convinced as with my last problem that the DB has been compromised.

    Sorry, I'm just rambling now because I just don't see how I can fix this. The hosting company while cordial isn't being helpful.

    Let me ask you this Brogan, if it was your site how would you proceed specifically? I rally appreciate you trying to help!
  9. Freddie Agricola

    Freddie Agricola Active Member

    What hosting company is this? This makes them seem very uncooperative.
  10. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    If your host is unwilling or unable to help then you will need to secure the services of someone who knows how to deal with instances such as this and clean it up.
  11. XBones

    XBones Member

    The hosting company is DowntownHost. I've been with them for almost 10 years. They're normally helpful but in the last two incidents when 'apparetnly' our DB go hacked they haven't been any help at all.
  12. XBones

    XBones Member

    Yeah I have such a place that did it for me the last time. I'm weighing the pros and cons. What a nightmare. Seems the world has gone mad. lol
  13. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    First thing... change all your passwords in cPanel (if used) your DB, your forum, etc.
    I'm assuming this is a shared hosting environment? Check what version of cPanel they are using and if one of the older ones encourage them to upgrade. Have them advise you what version of mySQL server they are using (hopefully it's a newer version).

    If nothing else, maybe it's time to move to a new hosting provider.
    The attack vector could not be on your site but another that they host.
  14. XBones

    XBones Member

    Thanks @Tracy Perry ... will do. For some reason we seem to be in their (hackers) cross hairs. The host told me they are totally up-to-date with cPanel and PHP and have been for years. Changing PWs will happen very soon. Just did that after the last episode. Can't believe anybody could have figured the new ones out but then can't put anything past these hackers.
  15. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Minimum 15 random characters. Grab a good password generator and use it. ;)
    They seem to be a reputable company. Do you have multiple admins on the system that also have access to cPanel. If so, temporarily remove them from access to cPanel and see if the problem stops.
  16. XBones

    XBones Member

    Yeah Tracy...I'll change the PWs again. None of the current admins have FTP or cPanel access so they don't have the PWs.

    Like I said the host has been pretty good for years but when these things happen they pretty much tell me I'm on my own. Pretty sure somebody hacked our DB. How? I have no idea. Not being very technical really frustrates me because I don't know what people are talking about. o_O

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