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Updating A Modified Board

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lumpy burgertushie
Board Member

Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Posts: 257

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:43 pm 
Post subject: Updating A Modified Board

Updating Manually When you have Mods installed:
This method involves manually editing the phpbb files that have changed from
the version you have, up to the latest version, one at a time.

This is not absolutely necessary, but it is a very good idea;
make a complete backup of all your phpbb files from the server to your computer.
That way, if something happens to the files and they don't work, you can just
upload the original.

1. A real ftp program, like filezilla.
( not Dreamweaver or frontpage or your hosting company file manager. )
2. A real text editor. Something like Editpad Lite is what you need.

Let's get started!
1. create a working folder on your computer to use while doing all this.

2. Go here to download the files you need:
Download all the different code change files that you need.
Get all the ones you need to go from whatever version you are at, to whatever the new version is.
for example;
if you are upgrading from version 2.0.16 to 2.0.23

you need to download
etc. etc.
3. Unzip each one into your working folder

4. Open the first one up in your text editor and read the instructions.
Download the files to be edited from your server, to your working folder.
Inside my working folder, I usually create a folder of the same name that is on the server,
then I download the files from the server to the proper working folder on my computer.

For instance; If you need to edit the includes/sessions.php file, then I would create a
folder named includes inside my working folder , then download the sessions.php file to it.
This way, when it is time to upload them back, there is no confusion about what file goes where.

5. Now, open the first file to be edited, and do the edits, then save it.
Now do the next one, and the next, etc, etc.

6. Now, open the next upgrade file and see if there are other files to download and edit.
If so, then do so. Then edit whatever files it says to from the ones you have in your working folder.
Do not get new copies of ones you already have in the working folder.

When you are through, you will have all of the files that have been changed from your version to
the current one, in your working folder on your computer.

7. Upload them all back to the server, making sure they all go where they are supposed to go.

8. Upload the install folder to your phpbb folder on the server.

Then, in your browser, go to, click on
the enter key and wait for a few seconds.

(You will of course change that to reflect what your domain name is and what your phpbb folder name is.)

9. Go back to ftp and delete the install folder.

10. Now go to your forum , it should be back with everything in place just as it was.
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Board Member

Joined: 19 Nov 2008

Posts: 114

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:51 am 
Post subject: Re: Updating A Modified Board

Another way to proceed, I find safer: it will do the job for the code, but not for any added/custom style you may have, for which you will go with the procedure Robert explained above,

  • Get winMerge (or similar): this is a free side-by-side comparer tool able to analyse directories and sub-directories content,

  • Download the full content of your board root directory using your ftp client (filezilla). Put the files (and the directories) into the working/ directory (ie).

    NB.: you can skip images/ directory: it contains all your user's avatars plus some basic images, so you don't need it. You can also skip the attachments directory (files/ I think) if you have the attachment mod.

  • Download the latest phpBB version from the branch you are using (eg phpBB 2.0.23 of course icon_smile.gif), and unzip it to a phpbb/ directory (ie). If you are using other language, download also their latest version, and put them in place.

Now you have on your computer two versions of phpBB: the one that you are using on your server, stored in working/ directory, and the latest one, stored in phpbb/ directory.

Launch winmerge, click the folder (or file/open), a popup opens. Choose for left phpbb/ directory, choose for right working/ directory, and check sub-directories inclusion (the only checkbox on this popup): a new window appears with a list of files. Go to display, uncheck "identical files", and check "different files". Now only the files with differences appears. Double click each one, they will open one by one, showing all the differences between the new (left) and your current one (right). You can now decide what to apply and what not, or to apply a different way.
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dogs and things
Board Member

Joined: 18 Nov 2008

Posts: 624
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:02 am 
Post subject: Re: Updating A Modified Board

Another method, the one I have always used on my heavily modded board without a single problem so far, is using the Code Changes with EasyMOD. Doing it this way I do an update in a matter of minutes.

Of course you'll have to manually run the update_to_latest.php once EasyMOD finishes to do the dirty work for you.
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