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Drupal 6 Essential Training
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Recovering from disasters


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Drupal 6 Essential Training

with Tom Geller

Video: Recovering from disasters

The wise designer builds for the best, but plans for the worst. This video will show you a few tricks to get the site up in running if you encounter a few common, but very easy fix, problems. First of all, we have to repeat, your best defense is to back-up to both the Drupal files and the site database regularly and be sure you know how to restore from a backup. We will tell you how to do that in two separate videos in this series. Backing up your Drupal site and restoring your Drupal site from backup, but deleting and restoring your site is really an atom bomb, sort of, option; it destroys everything and then tries to recreate it. Let's look at some other ways to recover from disaster at times when you don't need to restore the entire site.
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  1. 4m 38s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the example files
      3m 48s
  2. 28m 55s
    1. Drupal is a CMS
      7m 43s
    2. Choosing Drupal
      5m 32s
    3. Checking Drupal's requirements
      4m 26s
    4. Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
      4m 35s
    5. Meeting the Drupal community
      6m 39s
  3. 11m 28s
    1. Learning key terms in Drupal
      5m 20s
    2. Touring Drupal's interface
      6m 8s
  4. 34m 35s
    1. Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows
      9m 41s
    2. Installing MAMP
      4m 34s
    3. Setting up the database on a Mac
      2m 2s
    4. Downloading and installing Drupal on a Mac
      6m 37s
    5. Troubleshooting installation problems
      3m 49s
    6. Automating updates with cron
      7m 52s
  5. 25m 37s
    1. Setting up clean URLs
      5m 52s
    2. Backing up your Drupal site
      3m 31s
    3. Restoring your Drupal site from backup
      4m 19s
    4. Wiping your Drupal installation clean
      2m 7s
    5. Updating Drupal
      9m 48s
  6. 15m 37s
    1. Using the Administration menu
      6m 21s
    2. Setting site information
      4m 50s
    3. Setting the theme
      4m 26s
  7. 35m 8s
    1. Understanding security and permissions
      7m 2s
    2. Controlling site access with user management
      3m 39s
    3. Creating users
      7m 58s
    4. Setting user profiles
      9m 40s
    5. Creating contact forms
      6m 49s
  8. 19m 19s
    1. Creating your site's basic info pages
      7m 13s
    2. Understanding page layout
      5m 40s
    3. Creating a flexible layout with blocks
      6m 26s
  9. 15m 35s
    1. Monitoring performance
      4m 52s
    2. Recovering from disasters
      7m 37s
    3. Improving administration skills
      3m 6s
  10. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding nodes
      6m 50s
    2. Creating basic content: Stories and pages
      7m 9s
    3. Enabling other content types
      9m 22s
    4. Adding blogs
      3m 49s
    5. Adding forums
      6m 56s
    6. Adding polls
      6m 57s
  11. 34m 50s
    1. Exploring content categories
      7m 45s
    2. Exchanging content via RSS
      9m 47s
    3. Using input filters
      7m 41s
    4. Managing comments
      9m 37s
  12. 38m 5s
    1. Configuring your theme
      11m 27s
    2. Changing your theme's graphics
      4m 59s
    3. Finding and installing a new theme
      8m 56s
    4. Understanding Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
      5m 56s
    5. Deciphering CSS files
      6m 47s
  13. 22m 41s
    1. Finding modules
      6m 53s
    2. Unpacking and installing modules
      6m 30s
    3. Configuring modules
      3m 50s
    4. Implementing complex modules
      5m 28s
  14. 32m 12s
    1. Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
      3m 11s
    2. Defining custom content types with CCK
      12m 54s
    3. Stopping spam using a CAPTCHA
      10m 43s
    4. Using a WYSIWYG text editor
      5m 24s
  15. 22m 18s
    1. Getting around with multilevel menus
      7m 26s
    2. Building custom menus
      5m 42s
    3. Creating easy-to-navigate books
      9m 10s
  16. 20m 19s
    1. Changing page templates with PHP
      8m 15s
    2. Using PHP in content
      5m 20s
    3. Implementing PHP snippets
      6m 44s
  17. 10m 15s
    1. Launching your site
      5m 52s
    2. Joining the Drupal community
      4m 23s
  18. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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Drupal 6 Essential Training
6h 52m Beginner Aug 25, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Drupal is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) for a variety of platforms. It has a robust user community and easy-to-use administration features. Drupal Essential Training covers all the important aspects of installing, configuring, customizing, and maintaining a Drupal-powered website. Instructor Tom Geller explores blogs, discussion forums, member profiles, and other features while demonstrating the steps required to make Drupal perform. He also teaches fundamental concepts and skills along the way, including installation, backups, and updates; security and permissions; flexible page layouts and CSS; menu navigation; and performance monitoring and disaster recovery. He also discusses how to select and install the community-supported modules that further expand Drupal's capabilities, and gives experienced PHP programmers tips on customizing page templates. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
  • Creating stories, pages, blogs, forums, and polls
  • Managing users and comments
  • Setting and customizing themes
  • Exchanging content via RSS
  • Stopping comment spam with a CAPTCHA
  • Launching a site and joining the Drupal community
Subjects:
Web CMS
Software:
Drupal
Author:
Tom Geller

Recovering from disasters

The wise designer builds for the best, but plans for the worst. This video will show you a few tricks to get the site up in running if you encounter a few common, but very easy fix, problems. First of all, we have to repeat, your best defense is to back-up to both the Drupal files and the site database regularly and be sure you know how to restore from a backup. We will tell you how to do that in two separate videos in this series. Backing up your Drupal site and restoring your Drupal site from backup, but deleting and restoring your site is really an atom bomb, sort of, option; it destroys everything and then tries to recreate it. Let's look at some other ways to recover from disaster at times when you don't need to restore the entire site.

The first one is let's say that you have taken the site off-line and I will show you how to do that by going to Administer, scroll down to the bottom, and click on Site maintenance, and then take the site Off-line like this, and Save configuration. Good and then let's say that you accidentally log out, oh! Oh! The site is off-line and there is no place that I can go to to log in. There are no login boxes here. Well, we can enter a little code up here which is ?q=user. That's the log in page and from there you can do admin, and your password, and there we are, we are back in. Now if you do that the first thing you should do is go back to Administer, and down to the bottom at Site maintenance, and put it back Online if indeed you want it to be Online for everybody; and of course Save configuration as always.

Let's say you are having some other problems, like you feel that you should be able to get to a page but you can't get there. The first solution is the obvious one; are you logged in as the administrator or are you logged in as the correct person. If, for example, one of your editors has two or three different accounts, they have to make sure that they are logged into the account that gives them the permissions they believe that they should have, but it may also be an issue on the administrator's side and here I will give you an example. I am going to switch over to Firefox, where I am logged in as ordinary user fishyjoe and let's say that you have talked with fishyjoe and said, "Hey! Yeah I like your ideas, why don't you put them in a blog post?" and fishyjoe says, "Okay," I will go down to Create Content. "Wait, there is no place to create a blog post, it is just Pages and Stories why can't I do that? And you as the administrator say, "Well I know that I enabled that module". Let's go back and take a look. Go in to Administer and Modules and indeed it's enabled why isn't it working? Well let's find out by going Administer and By modules and we see Blog. Ah! That's right the Permissions. So let me check those Permissions, go back up to Blog, we didn't allow people of his user level to create blog entries. So we will check that. We scroll down to the bottom, click Save Permissions. Now let's go back and see if fishyjoe can actually create blogs. Click again on Create Content and there is our Blog Entry link.

A third kind of error occurs when the administrator knows that they have downloaded the module that they want to enable, but has forgotten to enable it. Let's go back to our administrator interface and see what that looks like. Click on Administer and Modules and as you could see you first need to make sure that it's enabled. It may just be something as simple as checking a box, but once you have done it, of course, you go down to the bottom and you say Save Configuration, but there is more to it than that. Click on Administer and I will show, then go to By module.

Some modules have more than just one configuration screen and in fact as you download more and more modules you will see that some have as many as four of five administration screens each with their own peculiarities and maybe even multiple permissions. You have to go through the module, read the manual, and see exactly what has to happen in order to enable that module. Finally, you might have a problem with an individual page and let's go back to our homepage to give an example of that. Here we have the front-page content and this is stored as a page. We are going to edit that page and it looks fine.

We saw it on our front page, but let's say that while were publishing this we had an itchy finger and accidentally (ph ) unclicked Published and click on Save. Then we go back to our homepage it's disappeared; of course, it's disappeared because it hasn't been published. One way to find out what has and hasn't been published is to go Administer, Content, and then take a look along here. Click on it, it says not published. You could publish it again by just clicking there and clicking on Update and Publish there. And of course you can make other changes such as promoting it to the front page, demoting it from the front page, and so forth. What I would also recommend you do, if you are having problems with any sort of content is go into the content itself and Edit it and look at all of the turned down triangles; click on all of these little links and see the options available.

Maybe something has been posted by the wrong author and you need to change that, or it's allowing comments when you don't want or something like that; just check them all and then click on Save. What if you have something that you can't solve through the administrative interface? Then you might need to poke around the database. We are going to open up our SQL database by going to MAMP, Open start page, and phpMyAdmin. WAMP has a similar setup but your ultimate goal is to get to phpMyAdmin. We will go to the Drupal database. The Drupal database has many, many tables.

We won't talk about all of them because that's a very advanced subject, but we will talk about one table that's very useful to know which are users. We will scroll down to users, click on this icon to browse the users table; and as we scroll down we can see all of the different users were in the database. User 0 is a system user that isn't an actual person who can log in, but all of the others are. The admin who is the superuser with user ID 1 and then the regular users, fishyjoe and fishysue. Let's say that the administrator doesn't remember the password and he has changed the email address so they can't receive the password. Click on the pencil icon and there is field here called pass. To set a new password we highlight that and delete it and enter something else. We'll just say door and then you need to choose a kind of encryption, which for Drupal is usually MD5.

Scroll to the very bottom and then click on Go and we have changed our Password. If we go back and take another look at that password you will see it doesn't show up as door. It actually shows up as an encrypted string that's good because it means someone can't just go and look at the passwords if they get into your database. They can change them, but they can't look at them. I am going to change it back to booth and I am going to change this. So it's encrypting and then, of course, Save. The good news is you usually won't have to poke around in the database like this. If you forget your administrator password and let's Log out of our administrator, so we can see what's it's like. All you need to do is say Request new password and then enter your Username or email address admin, Email New Password and it sends you the new password. If that email address isn't working, however, you have to go into the database.

Finally, some errors are very hard to figure out; for example, you call up a certain page and it simply doesn't appear. One common problem is that your php.ini file doesn't have enough memory. We showed you how to change that in the downloading, unpacking, and installing Drupal video. They say you can build a better mousetrap but nature will just build a better mouse. Obviously, we can't discuss all the ways your mousetrap could break, but these few tricks will get you out of lot of jambs.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Drupal 6 Essential Training.


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Q: While following along to the installation instructions in the “Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows” chapter in the Drupal Essential Training title, an error occurs when attempting to open the local host page. Nothing appears except for an error reading “WAMPSERVER server offline.” What is causing this?
A: There is a known problem with some versions of WAMP that include a version of PHP (5.3) that some versions of Drupal is not compatible with. See http://tomgeller.com/content/tips-running-drupal-windows-using-wamp#comment-831 for more information.
If that is not causing the issue, reference the tips at http://tomgeller.com/content/tips-running-drupal-windows-using-wamp.
If you don't see the solution at either of those links, try using another AMP stack, such as XAMPP or the Acquia stack installer. See http://tomgeller.com/content/what-hells-wrong-drupal-wamp for discussion about these.
Q: After installing XAMPP and running Drupal for the first time, the Administration menu does not appear. What is the reason for this?
A: There are several possible problems. Here are some likely solutions. (These may also solve problems encountered with other AMP stacks.)
  1. Increase XAMPP's PHP allocation.
  2. Check to make sure all XAMPP's paths are correct and that permissions are correct. If the database information appears, but not Drupal's supporting files, and an included theme is being used, the supporting files will be in the /modules folder.
  3. Another solution is to not use WAMP or XAMPP. One option is to use Acquia's Drupal Stack Installer ("DAMP"), which can be found at http://www.acquia.com/downloads. However, that installs Acquia Drupal, which is a version of "normal" Drupal extended with additional modules. If  only core Drupal is desired, see the instructions at http://acquia.com/blog/kieran/try-drupal-7-alpha-your-laptop-or-desktop. (The instructions are for Drupal 7, but will work for Drupal 6 as well.)
Q: In the "Using the example files" movie, the method of importing information to the database is shown, using the backup in Chapter 10. When attempting to do this, the following error is shown: "No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16." The system is running the latest versions of Apache, PhP and MySQL, on Windows Vista. What could be causing the problem?
A: This is probably caused because your AMP stack allocates too little memory to PHP. 
 
That's especially true if you're using WAMP, which only gives PHP 2MB of memory, when it really needs at least 16MB. 
You'll see the issue if you go to the MySQL-controlling phpMyAdmin screen (probably at http://localhost/phpMyAdmin) and click "Import": The maximum file size allowed is 2,048K. That's only 2MB, and the databases for most Drupal sites are much larger than that. (The example site for Drupal Essential Training gets as big as 5MB.) The video "Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows" shows (at around 3:30) where the php.ini file is, but here are some more-complete instructions to increase that memory limit. 

  1. Click the WAMP icon in your system tray.
  2. Select "PHP". In the side menu, select "php.ini" to open a file containing PHP's configuration options.
  3. Search for the line, "upload_max_filesize = 2M".
  4. Change it to "upload_max_filesize = 32M" (or whatever you like). 
  5. Save the file and restart WAMP. (Better yet, restart your computer entirely to be sure. I'm frankly not sure whether it makes a difference.)
  6. Now go back to that "Import" screen in phpMyAdmin: You should notice that the limit has changed.
Q: I don't remember the default username and password used demonstrate Drupal.
A: The default username used in the course is "admin"; the default password is "booth".
Q: How can I change Drupal's administrative username and password?
A: If for some reason the default exercise file username (admin) and password (booth) don't work, you can change them in the database itself using phpMyAdmin. (This technique is demonstrated in a video from Chapter 8, "Recovering from disasters".)

  1. Open your Drupal database with phpMyAdmin.
  2. Go to the "users" table. Click the Browse icon.
  3. For the row where uid = 1, click the Edit icon. (Note the value under the "Name" column: That's the administrator's username.)
  4. In the "pass" row, select "MD5" under the "Function" column
  5. In the same row, enter your new password under the "Value" column.
  6. At the bottom of the screen, click the "Go" button. You should now be able to log in with that username and new password.
Q: In Windows Vista, the WAMP icon disappears from the system tray after a certain amount of time. How do I get it to reappear?
A: To make the WAMP icon reappear (so that you can access localhost, phpmyadmin, php.ini, etc.), you have to activate the "start WAMP server" icon (from start menu, desktop or wherever). The system tray icon will reappear.
Q: My .htaccess file disappeared. What caused this?
A: A few times during the Drupal Essential Training video series, the instructor says to copy a Drupal installation by selecting all the files in the folder and then "dragging and dropping" them, either to a server or another location on your local computer. This is not the best way to do so, as the hidden file ".htaccess" will not be copied. 

There are two ways to get around that problem: 
  1. When installing Drupal for the first time: Instead of copying files from the Drupal folder, move the entire folder to its target location and rename it. This is the easiest solution for those without experience with Unix. 
  2. Use the command-line interface to copy the .htaccess file.
Sorry for the error.
Q: In the video, the instructor says the current version of Drupal is 6.3, but on the drupal.org site, the latest version is 6.17. Which is the newer version of Drupal?
A: Drupal 6.17 is newer than version 6.3. For some reason, the the version numbers go 6.3, 6.4... 6.9, 6.10... 6.17. It’s counter-intuitive, but that’s the order.
Q: My WAMP phpMyadmin will not allow me to upload the exercise files. It returns this message: "No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16." There was no previous database to drop, so what do I need to do to make this work?
A: This is a common problem, caused not by Drupal, but by WAMP. WAMP only allows you to upload files of 2MB or smaller, which is much too small. The solution is detailed at http://tomgeller.com/cant-import-a-drupal-site-in-windows.
 
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