“An error has occurred” When Trying to Login to the Backend of a Joomla Website

A regular client of ours called us a couple of hours ago and told us that her company’s website was down, and she was seeing a weird error when trying to login to the administrator section of her Joomla website.

We immediately checked the website and we noticed that the website was complaining about too many redirects. So we asked the client whether she did any redirects lately, and she told us that she did one yesterday through sh404SEF, but the website was working fine until this morning.

So, we tried to login to the website, but we saw the following error as soon as we went to http://www.ourclientjoomlawebsite.com/administrator/:

An error has occurred.
404 Not Found

Yes – we were getting a 404 Not Found when trying to access the login form (before even trying to login), even though the index.php file under the administrator folder had the right permissions and was being loaded by Joomla (we added a die statement at its very beginning to make sure that it was indeed being used).

At this point, we started suspecting that the website was hacked. Since we were confident that that particular website had no core modifications, we thought about applying our super quick cleanup method by just uploading a fresh copy of Joomla (matching the version of our client’s Joomla website) through cPanel and extracting it onto the existing Joomla website. But, as soon as we tried to login to the cPanel account of our client, we saw the following error:

Sorry for the inconvenience!

The filesystem mounted at / on this server is running out of disk space. cPanel operations have been temporarily suspended to prevent something bad from happening. Please ask your system admin to remove any files not in use on that partition.

Aha! The system completely ran out of space, and this explained why the website was down: both logging in to the administrator and viewing the homepage required write activities to the database/filesystem that were not allowed!

Just to make sure, we ssh’d to the server, and we issued the following command…

df -m

…and we noticed that /dev/vda3 (the main website partition) was 100% used.

So, how did we fix the problem?

We fixed the problem by removing old backups from the server, which reduced usage on the aforementioned partition to about 70%. Once that was done, we deleted the content of the cache folder under the website’s directory and we checked the website. And VoilĂ , everything was working again!

Once we were sure that the website was stable, we upgraded the client’s VPS to a higher plan that guaranteed double the disk space (and double the RAM).

If you’re seeing a 404 error when trying to access the backend of your Joomla website, then do not panic: your website is still there. It’s just that your server ran out of disk space, and you will have to remove unnecessary backups for everything to work again. If you want us to help you resolve this problem, then please contact us. Our prices are right, our work is professional, and we are very very reliable!

No comments yet.

Leave a comment