That Was Fun

Wednesday night, just before bed, I decided to update the web-server. The update failed with a file error. Apt-get normally doesn’t have file errors so I opened up the system logs and noticed some disturbing news. The log was filled with

hda: dmaintr: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error } hda: dmaintr: error=0x40 { UncorrectableError }, LBAsect=69, sector=4 end_request: I/O error, dev 16:01 (hdc), sector 4

hard drive errors. D’oh!

Right about that time Fredd called to say my site was “jacked.” I copied all the files that I could read to my local machine, then Fredd entered a ticket to have the machine re-kicked.

The hard drive in the server was replaced and the machine reimaged while I slept the night away. I woke up with a fresh install of Debian Woody. Unfortunately, Debian Woody isn’t new enough for me and the hosting company doesn’t do the testing releases. So I had to upgrade to Sarge and reconfigure the machine before I went to work.

Mail is the most important thing, it was configured first. All I had to do was install the mail packages and copy over my configuration files. I moved on to the web-server. This should have been easy too.

But, yes there is a but, that is why the web-site has been unavailable. First, I wanted to take this chance to upgrade to Apache 2 and move all the configuration files to one location. I had everything set up and ready to go. I needed to leave for work and only had to start the web-server before I left. Unfortunately, WordPress just keep displaying a blank page. No errors, no warnings, just a blank page.

I was out of time, so I decided to fix it later. I still couldn’t fix Apache 2 so I decided to go back to good ol’ Apache 1.3. This didn’t work either. The same packages that worked days before, no longer functioned.

Two days later I found a post that described the problem and gave a solution. Turns out Debian’s PHP package doesn’t enable the module for mysql by default. You have to edit




and change the line that says




restart apache, or apache2, using

/etc/init.d/apache restart


/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

and you are back in business.

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