How to recover an old installation with Softaculous

Yesterday I had some time and will to update my TikiWiki installation, that I created in 2008, with version 2 something. When I checked it yesterday, I discovered that the current version is 8.3 !! So I thought: OK, let’s do it!

Unfortunately, a lot of time converts to a lot of changes, so it’s been probably more trouble than needed if I had been keeping TikiWiki up to date along time. Not only the version of the application had changed, but also other basic setups of my hosting provider, including cpanel version and softaculous version. I tried it anyway, using Softaculous updater, but it failed. So I went for my backup.

Fortunately, I made a backup before proceeding, and I’ve been able to restore it by now. Really I made two, for good measure, and that was “lucky” because I needed both. So I’m going to suggest you the same. Do both a database backup (I used cpanel, but anything that can export SQL does the job) and an installation backup (with Softactulous).


Softaculous backs up an installation, but the zip does not appear in the backups page.

This is something I was worried about since I got it. Soon after backing up something, Softaculous shows a progress bar and finally a success page that informs you that you will find that backup in the backups page. You navigate there and the zip does not appear !! I made a brand new backup, but I got the same: no zip in the backups page, just the message “You do not have any backups”.

The workaround is to

  1. remove the old installation completely if it’s still there
  2. create a fresh one at the old directory and with the old database name (dummy installation) BUT input your current email address for receiving the installation details
  3. get the number that appears at the end of the backup URL: let’s say it’s 5
  4. access your site with a file manager
  5. enter the softaculous_backups folder
  6. locate the zip file of the backup: you’ll discover it was properly created, with a name like “”
  7. rename it to “”
  8. refresh the backups page
Now you’ll see the zip in the backups page, and you will be able to restore it from there.

Softaculous restores an installation, but the database is empty.

So you restore it, go to the application page and you get a connection error. You check with the file manager and see the application file structure in the old directory, then you check with phpMyAdmin and see the database, but it’s completely empty !! The problem here was that the dummy installation created a database with the old name and the old user name BUT with a new user password.

The workaround is to

  1. import the database backup with phpMyAdmin
  2. edit the database configuration file in the application folder, such that the password is the one sent to your email address

Now you’ll see the application page as it was at backup time, and you’ll be able to go on from there.


I’m now going to find a way to export my old wiki content from the old installation and import it back into a new one. Wish me luck.



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