XF 2.2 Is it possible to do a 'clean' reinstall of xenforo?

electrogypsy

Well-known member
I'm just trying to get some community input to see if this is possible, but here's my scenario.

I've been using XF since it was in beta (maybe even alpha? i cant remember) back in I think 2009. So around 13 years! During that time I was learning systems administration by running my little community and over the years I installed and uninstalled a LOT of addons.

I'm looking at the files on my server and there is just a cubic ton of files that are leftover from all kinds of stuff (not to mention whatever is in my database) over the past 13 years and it's taking up quite a bit of space.

I've tried copying a fresh install of XF onto a server, copying over my important folders (i.e. data and internal_data), and re-connecting the database, but I always just get a non-functional white screen.

So my question to everyone is: Is there a way to clean my mess of a site up? How would I go about this?
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
You could do a new installation and import but if you still have third party add-ons installed, any content associated with those would not be imported.

I would likely just do a manual check of the files and database against a default XF install and delete any unneeded files, drop any old tables and columns, making sure to leave anything related to still installed add-ons in place.

There's also this which can be run to clean up XF1 legacy stuff: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/xf1-cleanup-command.6133/
 

electrogypsy

Well-known member
There's also this which can be run to clean up XF1 legacy stuff: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/xf1-cleanup-command.6133/

thanks for the suggestion!

Hmm, I get the same error using it that I got on my other thread here:

 

hstammlerj

Active member
thanks for the suggestion!

Hmm, I get the same error using it that I got on my other thread here:

Since you only tried Brogan's third hint, but didn't comment the first, nor the second:
Sorry, there won't be a single one-line statement or add-on which magically cleans up your system totally, but keeps everything running "like before".

What do you think about these hints?
You could do a new installation and import but if you still have third party add-ons installed, any content associated with those would not be imported.

I would likely just do a manual check of the files and database against a default XF install and delete any unneeded files, drop any old tables and columns, making sure to leave anything related to still installed add-ons in place.

Are you willing/able to do database changes on our own?
Are there still any add-ons in use?
Do you have a running (duplicated) test system to try out things first in a safe environment?


Every time we knew a system was screwed up too far (vb3, vb4, mediawiki, phpads/..new/revive), we did perform clean and empty "target state" test installations including all add-ons and tweaks still in use (always same version as used live) and then we started to compare/diff all structures "live vs. test". So this is mainly a topic of the file systems (several data/attach folders to be excluded) and the database structures (e.g. by exporting them "structure-only" and compare the dumps), but also should include tests if your target state system still acts the same way like your live version.

It is sometimes a very dull, even though demanding job, but it reveals every long-forgotten change and helps a lot to decide how to proceed.

Sometimes, just a file system clean-up and minor database realignments fix everything, maybe you perform a clean installation like @duderuud mentioned or import into a fresh installation like @Brogan said, but there is a small possibility you end up extracting just the core data and injecting them into the empty installation manually for a restart without any legacy structures.
I am sure you won't need this overkill for XenForo, but we decided to do it for Mediawiki and phpads/Revive (twice) and it helped us to leave many problems behind us.
 
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electrogypsy

Well-known member
Sorry, there won't be a single one-line statement or add-on which magically cleans up your system totally, but keeps everything running "like before".
Sorry I didn't mean to imply I was looking for a single click solution, I realize doing something like this is going to be a bit of a long-term project.

Are you willing/able to do database changes on our own?
Are there still any add-ons in use?
Do you have a running (duplicated) test system to try out things first in a safe environment?
I can do the database changes on my own. There's maybe 2-3 addons with data I couldn't replace (content ratings addon) so I'm debating on how to handle that. I can also do a test system, I don't have a problem with that.

I'm goin to experiment with the import method @Brogan mentioned first and see if i can get away with that.

Thank you everyone for your advice!
 
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