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Author Topic: White screens going into individual forums and login screen  (Read 633 times)

Offline matt3006

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White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« on: February 15, 2020, 08:53:55 PM »
Hello,

I have tried doing some searches to see if others had a similar problem.

* Users including admin are getting a white screen trying to go into the forum.
* Clicking to login also results in a whitescreen.

When I was logged in as admin, I noticed that when I made a post, it would not show in the forum. So when I reposted, it said that my message was posted but there is no post that is visible. I thought I would log out and log back in. However, when logging out, I was trapped.

However, I can still see the forum list. I already tried a different browser and phone to confirm problem. Cleared out cache and cookies too.

I looked into the error log and found this from Feb. 4, 2020

[04-Feb-2020 04:47:57 UTC] PHP Parse error:  syntax error, unexpected ''a:348:{s:10:"smfVersion";s:5:' (T_ENCAPSED_AND_WHITESPACE) in /home/extortio/public_html/forum/cache/data_f80c3e400da927b50f661496f3d5b4f8-SMF-modSettings.php on line 1

I am not really sure what that means or if it is relevant.

I was thinking about installing fresh copy of SMF on a different directory (like /forum2) to see if I get different results.

The PHP was recently updated to version 7.2. Tried to back it down to 5.6 but still no luck.

Any suggestions of how to proceed? Thank you.

Online vbgamer45

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2020, 09:02:15 PM »
That error from the modsettings file is a known issue for SMF 2.0.x
To fix is to clear your forum/cache/ directory
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Offline matt3006

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2020, 12:35:42 AM »
Thanks for the quick reply.

I was able to login with the new MS Edge browser. However, with Firefox, Brave, and Opera (all with cache and cookies cleared) still same problem. I am reluctant to log out of the one admin session in MS Edge because I am concerned that once I log out, I won't be able to get in.

Any other suggestions?



Offline matt3006

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 12:46:01 AM »
I have an update. I used that one admin session on the MS Edge Browser to flush the cache which still had the same whiteout problems afterwards.

I then uninstalled the 2.0.17 patch which still did not work.
I then uninstalled the 2.0.16 patch which DID work!
I am back down to 2.0.15 which seems to work fine as it used to.

Essentially, I applied those security patches recently and never really gave the forum a good work out.

On a different directory (/forum2) on the same host and domain and installed a fresh copy with 2.0.17 and it works good. However, I did not restore the original database or any of the themes, mods, packages, etc. And I am not going to at this point since (for now) the forum seems to be working again on 2.0.15.
 
This is all very perplexing and really gave me a scare. I certainly lost a lot of time over all this. Frustrating.

Offline Illori

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 05:35:46 AM »
this issue has nothing to do with the 2.0.16 or 2.0.17 patches. you need to reinstall them for security.

this is an ongoing issue in SMF and the dev team is looking into a fix for a future version.

you were told above what you had to do to fix the issue and it looks like you did not take that advice, or post back asking for further assistance with your issue before jumping to doing things that were not necessary.

Offline matt3006

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 01:39:03 PM »
I did take the advice and purged the cache. It was why I was able to get the one login session. So, the advice helped me enough to make progress. I purged the cache several times and was unable to get to get other browsers to login.

And I did check back in seeking additional advice if you see my followup message. However, I also decided to try something on my own just to see if it would work and decided to report it in the spirit of sharing insights.

Offline shawnb61

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2020, 03:07:41 PM »
To be clear - the cache that needs to be cleared is the smf file cache, not the browser cache.   
Found under - Admin | Maintenance | Forum Maintenance  | Routine | Empty the file cache.

If this recurs often, you may need to disable the file cache.
Found under - Admin | Configuration | Server Settings | Caching
Address the process rather than the outcome.  Then, the outcome becomes more likely.   - Fripp

Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2020, 04:50:52 PM »
This seems to be happening more frequently lately.  One of my client forums (2.0.15) was offline for quite a while due to this bug couple days ago.  Something new in server configs?

Offline m4z

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2020, 05:27:47 PM »
This seems to be happening more frequently lately.  One of my client forums (2.0.15) was offline for quite a while due to this bug couple days ago.  Something new in server configs?

How would changes in the server config for newer versions affect a 2.0.15 installation?
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Offline Sir Osis of Liver

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2020, 05:50:04 PM »
If something's changed in server config, it could affect any version that was ok previously.  Just had an old forum that was working fine get borked because host added mod_evasive.  Any change in server setup can potentially affect SMF, and it's just unusual that this glitch has been crashing forums more often lately.

Offline m4z

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2020, 06:23:33 PM »
Ah, I misunderstood. I thought you were talking about Settings.php, but you meant "is there anything new in the world of web servers or hosting?" :-X
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Offline shawnb61

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2020, 07:04:42 PM »
I agree.  I suspect that hosts are getting more aggressive with caching, to save on resources.  Once the bad file is cached, you're stuck with it for a while.
Address the process rather than the outcome.  Then, the outcome becomes more likely.   - Fripp

Offline matt3006

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2020, 11:59:22 PM »
You are correct.

I know that the SMF cache is different from the browser cache. I cleared both repeatedly.
The SMF cache has its directory with undecipherable file names. We were forced to clear it using FTP because I couldn't log in as admin to clear SMF cache using the menu utilities. As I said, it did help me get a foothold again with an admin login.

Once I logged in as admin, it is much easier to empty SMF cache as you stated.

I did not know there were known issues so I am going to check in periodically for updates.

To be clear - the cache that needs to be cleared is the smf file cache, not the browser cache.   
Found under - Admin | Maintenance | Forum Maintenance  | Routine | Empty the file cache.

If this recurs often, you may need to disable the file cache.
Found under - Admin | Configuration | Server Settings | Caching

Offline bod22

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2020, 04:07:39 PM »
That error from the modsettings file is a known issue for SMF 2.0.x
To fix is to clear your forum/cache/ directory

Are you sure it's the way to fix it? I had the same issue as the author of this topic. I emptied cache directory and still had problems with white screens.

Offline Illori

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Re: White screens going into individual forums and login screen
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2020, 04:13:44 PM »
then your issue must be something different. it would be preferred for you to start a new topic for your issue.