XF 1.5 Help import vB4 and Photopost


I've finished installing Xenforo/Xenforo Gallery on a new host and everything is running fine. I have not touched anything since the install so no records exist.
I have backed up my DB from my old host and it exists as a .gz file on my computer.
I have the config.php file from the vB4.23/BB5.41 installation.
I'm ready to do the import and that's where I'm foggy (I've been foggy a lot recently).

1. What do I do with my db .gz backup file? Do I ftp it to the new host and if so, what do I do with it then?
2. There is an importer for vB4 and an importer for vB4/PhotoPost, do I do both of these in this order?
3. The records are pre-pended with "BB". Once I import them (and PhotoPost), should I remove the BB?
4. As an alternative, the current database is live at my old host. Instead of moving it, can I have the importer browse to it instead of using localhost and if so, how would I do that?

Thanks for your help. I've searched a lot for these answers without finding definitive answers for a newbie.


XenForo moderator
Staff member
1. You will need to create a temporary database and import your backup file into it. In addition, you will also need to copy any attachments, images and avatars from the old server to the server where XF is installed, as the importer will need access to them.

2. You import the core VB4 forum first, followed by the gallery.

3. XF doesn't use a database prefix so it doesn't matter.

4. While it is possible to import from a different server, it's not advised and you would need to open it up to allow the new server access.


Well, everything was going so good...
I imported vBulletin and all the users, threads, posts, etc., all came across as I expected.
I then switched to the vBulletin/Photopost importer and I should mention that both vBulletin and Photopost are in the same DB, and things started well - the categories were created.
I then went to import the media and got this error:
Server Error
file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/home/woodturn/public_html/photopost/data//505/Chris_s_Gift_5_-_Combo.jpg) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/bowlinaboard.com/:/tmp/)

  1. XenForo_Application::handlePhpError()
  2. file_exists() in XenGallery/Importer/PhotopostVb.php at line 647
  3. XenGallery_Importer_PhotopostVb->_importMedia() in XenGallery/Importer/PhotopostVb.php at line 620
  4. XenGallery_Importer_PhotopostVb->stepMedia() in XenForo/Importer/Abstract.php at line 97
  5. XenForo_Importer_Abstract->runStep() in XenForo/ControllerAdmin/Import.php at line 189
  6. XenForo_ControllerAdmin_Import->_runStep() in XenForo/ControllerAdmin/Import.php at line 241
  7. XenForo_ControllerAdmin_Import->_startStep() in XenForo/ControllerAdmin/Import.php at line 184
  8. XenForo_ControllerAdmin_Import->actionStartStep() in XenForo/FrontController.php at line 351
  9. XenForo_FrontController->dispatch() in XenForo/FrontController.php at line 134
  10. XenForo_FrontController->run() in /var/www/vhosts/bowlinaboard.com/httpdocs/community/admin.php at line 13
Any ideas for me?


XenForo moderator
Staff member
open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/home/woodturn/public_html/photopost/data//505/Chris_s_Gift_5_-_Combo.jpg) is not within the allowed path
This is a server limitation.

Contact your host and they should be able to resolve it for you.


OK. I'll contact them. When they resolve it, do I just re-run the 2nd importer? Will it complain that it has already been partially done or will it pick up where it left off?


XenForo moderator
Staff member
You will likely need to start over.

Did you take a backup after the initial forum import?


My host pointed out that the error we had earlier:
open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/home/woodturn/public_html/photopost/data//505/Chris_s_Gift_5_-_Combo.jpg) is not within the allowed path

has a path (/home/woodturn/...) that is on the original hosting company's site so it is not something he can address on his site.
So I decided to move past that and simplify this process. To do this, I went to the site where vB/PP is live and created a new folder off the site's root and installed my entire new site including Xenforo at this location.
I built a new DB and installed Xenforo without issue (I'm getting good at this).
I backed up the DB at this point (I also follow instructions) :->
I then shut down vB/PP and from Xenforo Admin did the vB 4.x import using the master vB database.
When I got to the step to import Users, all was well and then it stopped with this error:
The requested page could not be found.
Using phpMyAdmin, I found that it had imported 1600 records. I then went to the master DB's user file and deleted the last user it imported and the one after that, just in case there were problems with those records.
I started over with the backup and repeated the install and got to about 2700 records where I go the same error. I deleted two users from the master again and started over.
This time, and every time since, the import stops with the same error after importing 1600 records and it appears to have nothing to do with content.

I then tried something different - I did a SQL dump from the master vB database, excluding tables that had nothing to do with users and photos. This made a .gz file that was only 83MB.
I imported that into a temp db on the same server. I reloaded Xenforo from the saved backup and ran the vB 4.x importer.
This time it stopped on record #1200 with the same error.

At the other host, I was able to import the entire user list without error so I think the data is good.

Any suggestions?


XenForo developer
Staff member
That sounds like a host issue. Chances are, it's triggering another error but due to their specific configuration, it ends up redirecting to a XenForo page which is masking the real error. I would guess they're using some sort of anti-DoS tool; the import process will make a large number of requests (as it keeps refreshing to keep the import going), so it could trigger something like that. If you contact your host, you should be able to see if they're doing anything like that and get them to whitelist your IP. (You could also temporarily remove the .htaccess file from your XenForo install; that should prevent any sort of unexpected redirect from happening.)


You were right. The host was able to see an error that was triggered by the import. Whitelisting the IP took care of it and both vB and PhotoPost imported without issue after that. That's the good news.
The bad news is that this took WAY too long to resolve. I'm guessing that since this happened to me at two different hosts, it's probably something that happens with some regularity. Please take pity on us poor customers and add to the documentation a section that talks about what to look for if things go wrong - especially when the only error that is shown has absolutely nothing to do with what was wrong.
I do appreciate your help, though.