Help! Upgraded to Wordpress 3.0 Without Deactivating Plugins and Backup!

While updating my website today, I saw this one-liner announcement with a link to upgrade to Wordpress latest version 3.0.

Happily I clicked on the link, activated the automatic upgrade option and successfully installed the new Wordpress 3.0.

"Sucessfully installed" was what the automatic software installer flashed on the screen.

HOWEVER, my heart sank when I refreshed my website and found it reduced to just one line of message on the screen "Fatal error: .../wp-includes/taxonomy.php on line 289".

I tried to backspace my admin control panel, but it also flashed "Fatal error: .../wp-includes/taxonomy.php on line 289".

Maybe it was the Google Chrome browser problem. Let's try Firefox.  Same thing "Fatal error: .../wp-includes/taxonomy.php on line 289".

I knew I had to do two things before upgrading Wordpress, but bravely didn't.  Backup and deactivate all plugins.

So this is it. Is it going to be another sleepless night of frantically getting back my website?

One thing is for sure. There was no UNDO button.

Google to the rescue!  Searched "Fatal error: .../wp-includes/taxonomy.php on line 289".

Result number 8 was most relevant but did not help:  If automatic ugrade don't work, install Wordpress 3.0  manually, but only after deactivating plugins and making backups.

So I manually installed the previous version, but didn't work because of plugin errors.

Google again! "help upgraded wordpress without deactivating plugins".

This time I'm getting somewhere... and I want to share this with fellow wordpress users.

There is a way to deactivate plugins even when you cannot access Wordpress admin panel.

How to deactivate all plugins when not able to access the administrative menus?

Sometimes it may be necessary to deactivate all plugins, but you can't access the administrative menus to do so. One of two methods are available to deactivate all plugins.
  • Use phpMyAdmin
    • In the table wp_options, under the option_name column (field) find the active_plugins row
    • Change the option_value field to: a:0:{}
I did exactly what it said and I could access my Wordpess admin control panel again.

What a relief! All my data were still intact.

With all the plugins deactivated, I once again selected automatic upgrade to Wordpress 3.0.

Sweet success!  One by one I activated the numerous plugins that I installed in my website.

The site was back to normal and all that happened within only two hours.

I can sleep well tonight after all.  :)

Adrian Lee
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