Solved: WordPress Admin Images Missing

I upgraded this blog to WordPress 2.5 today, and installed a new copy of WordPress on a subdomain too. Both these actions were carried out using cPanel & Fantastico.

When I logged into the backend of the new subdomain there were no images – including no buttons on the rich-text editor (TinyMCE) and no WordPress logo on the login screen.  I later noticed there were also background images missing on the public part of the new blog.  When I right clicked “View background image” on the missing image, it took me to an HTTP 403 (Forbidden) meaning there was a permissions problem. The strange thing was the problem didn’t occur in the nerd. backend.

And the solution…? In this instance it was because I’d enabled hotlink protection in my server to stop other people using images stored at on their sites, because this eats up precious bandwidth.  When I created this new subdomain, I had forgotten about the hotlink protection and so hadn’t added it to the list of sites allowed to link to images at  When I added it everything went back to working as expected.

Solved: Comments Disappeared / Error after WordPress Upgrade

I’ve just upgraded a WordPress blog to the latest version 2.3.2 and when I went to write a new post I realised all my categories had disappeared. They were still in the database but the list to the right of where you type your posts was empty. As well as this, I noticed that adding new comments was giving a 404 error in the middle of the page. This second issue was reminiscent of another one I had (and solved) upgrading to 2.2 – the errors were actually 403 errors, but redirecting to 404 error pages because there was no 403 error page defined (i.e. the 404 was happening when the server looked for the 403 page).

I noticed a file called error_log (no extension) in the wp-admin directory and had a look. Apparently some database tables (‘wp_term_taxonomy’ and ‘.wp_terms’) were missing. After reading this support thread I investigated the possibility that my database was out of date. I followed MichaelH’s suggestion of navigating to /wp-admin/upgrade.php, which informed me that my database was up to date. I didn’t believe this to be true though; certainly not after learning that tables were missing. At a hunch, I guessed that when I’d been upgrading through Fantastico, I must have run out of space (a semi-regular occurrence) so the database upgrade was probably left half finished. Assuming that WordPress would determine whether or not I needed to upgrade based on a single configuration or database field I soon found the wp_option.db_version field, which was set 6124.

The Solution

As I suspected, 6124 is the db_version value for WordPress 2.3. I changed this field’s value back from 6124 to 5183 (the db_version value in WordPress 2.2) and hit the upgrade.php page again. This time it told me to upgrade, I did, and the categories are back.  Adding new categories still caused 403 and 404 errors, but that was because I’d deleted the .htaccess file created previously when trying to fix the first problem! Recreate that and we’re cooking with gas again.

ACT – SessionID and Login Problems With ASP .NET 2.0

I recently encountered a problem with Microsoft’s ACT (part of Visual Studio 2003) when testing a web service by emulating a browser-based client. For posterity’s sake, here’s an overview of the problem and, more importantly, the solution.

Using Application Center Test (ACT) to help automate performance testing designed to compare the performance of a web service running on ASP .NET 1.1 with ASP .NET 2.0.

Originally .NET 2.0 seemed to be performing many times better than .NET 1.1, but it was soon discovered that when running .NET 2.0, ATC was receiving a lot of 302 errors on 2.0 which it wasn’t on 1.0. On further investigation the Web Service wasn’t actually making all the correct database calls and on installing HTTP Monitor, it became apparent that the login wasn’t working. When I recorded the test using Internet Explorer 7, the HTTP requests worked as expected, however when ATC repeated them it was not returning the ASP.NET_SessionID.

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How to run IIS Web Server in Windows XP Home

Microsoft tell you that it’s not possible to run IIS, the Windows Web Server, on Windows XP Home Edition (see note 1). In previous versions of Windows, the home versions (Windows 98, ME etc) included something called Personal Web Server, which was a bit like a cut down version of IIS. Imagine my horror when I had to create a website using ASP (not my choice, I’m a PHP kinda nerd.) only to find that my shiny new operating system couldn’t even do something my mum and dad’s old Windows 98 box could do.

Having paid seventy odd pounds for this ‘upgrade’ I was a bit miffed that Microsoft had discontinued PWS. Then, after a bit of Googling, I discovered Win XP Home could run a web server after all – and IIS at that. As a bit of a bonus, you can also access the Windows XP Pro / Windows 2000 style advanced security settings (see note 2). Here’s how it’s done.

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Northern Ireland Enters 21st Century

Let’s face it, our politics might be stuck in the 17th century, but Northern Ireland is going to be the first region of the UK to be fully covered by BT’s 21st Century Network, a plan to convert the Public Switched Telephone Network to system that uses IP for both voice and data. By 2010, all Northern Ireland’s exchanges (160 of them) will converge into 3 major hubs (2 in Belfast, 1 in Portadown) utilising the new technology.

According to SwitchedOnUK the line I’m on will be converted between April and June 2009, but what difference will it make to you and me? Well, the main one that jumps out is that maximum ADSL broadband speeds will jump from 8MB/s to 24 MB/s*. Presumably this will be a huge boost to BT’s plans for Video on Demand services among other applications. It will also allow businesses to wider use of more bandwidth intensive applications and hopefully set Northern Ireland up as a good place for them to be.

That said, some of the small print looks a bit worrying.

Broadband services will have a separate switched-on date … Some broadband services may remain on the old network and others will be switched-on to the new network over time.

I’m also not sure how much of the speed quoted is fact and how much is BT’s usual marketing ‘hype’ – remember, at the minute BT’s Northern Irish customers have access of “speeds up to 8MB/s” but many are limited to somewhere between 2 and 6. I’ve no idea if the new figure being bandied about is going to be an flat standard rate or a theoretical maximum.While I would like to think that in a major upgrade like this there would be a way to maximise the connection quality for everyone, regardless of distance from the hub/exchange, but this is BT we’re talking about. If I find out I’ll update this post accordingly. Thanks to KeithBlog for reminding me about this and for links to more info.