Component Not Found on Joomla Login

We got a call very early today from one of our clients telling us that whenever he tries to Joomla’s backend, he gets a “Component Not Found” error. The client used our Joomla emergency services because he called around 4 AM (it was a very active website and he needed to add new content before the day begins).

We have seen this problem several times before, and the cause of this problem, according to our experience, was usually one of the following:

  • The com_admin folder (or some files under the com_admin folder) located under /administrator/components was deleted.
  • The com_admin component was removed from the list of Joomla’s extensions in the table jos_extensions.

  • The com_admin component was disabled. (e.g. its enabled field was set to 0 in its corresponding row in the jos_extensions table.)

Of course, the first things we checked when working on the website was for the presence of the com_admin folder in its proper location as well as the presence of its entry in the table jos_extensions. We also checked if the “enabled” field of that entry was set to 1 as it should. Everything was OK…

We tried to login to our client’s website again, and to our surprise, we were able to login – but we haven’t changed anything! We called the client and asked him if he changed anything from his side, and he said he didn’t.

We tried to login another time, but this time we weren’t able to: we got the “Component Not Found” error, again! That was weird!

We then thought that there must be something wrong with our setup (and our client’s setup – we know, that’s quite a coincidence, but sometimes you need to think about everything to find the cause of a problem) – we thought it was a browser issue – but we were again able to login on the same browser that we weren’t able to login on before. We started thinking about every imaginable reason for this – the top reason, on our minds, was that someone (or some script) was playing with the jos_extensions database – setting the enabled value of the com_admin row to 0 and 1 every minute or so. So we did some tests and it wasn’t the case.

Eventually, one of our team members noticed that using the link to login was working while using the link was not. We noticed then that when we were logging in from the latter link, Joomla was redirecting to instead of redirecting to the normal admin homepage. That was very odd – since the latter link is technically equivalent to the second, and Joomla recognizes this, because Joomla was implicitly running index.php to display the page with the login form. Weird!

Now on the bright side, we knew how to overcome the problem (by ensuring that index.php was appended to the link), however, we didn’t know what caused the problem in the first place. So we continued working…

We used our Joomla debug strategy and we started disabling plugins, one by one, until the problem was no longer there. The culprit was a badly written plugin that our customer installed the day before. We informed our customer and we asked him to uninstall that plugin to ensure that his website remains stable.

Now – if you’re reading this post then most likely you’re having this problem. If our post helped you resolving the “Component Not Found” error when logging in to your Joomla website’s backend, then congratulations! If not, then why not contact us? We know Joomla by heart, we’re here to server, and we are always happy to work on your website – whether you’re an old or a new client! Don’t worry, our fees are very reasonable!

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