I'm a new admin of a Drupal site (core 7.38 on an OpenSUSE 11 server). Yesterday I ran Drush up to update VBO to 7.x-3.3 and suddenly I could no longer access the site. The homepage displayed the site's header/logo with the generic error message "The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later." I tried accessing /?q=user and some of the other pages via their clean URLs, but nothing worked. The server was working fine and I was able to access the tar.gz archive created that morning through the Backup & Migrate module. So I followed instructions I found online for restoring from a Backup & Migrate archive (using bam-restore) but it failed. Drushcommands.com says bam-restore accepts three arguments: source, destination, backup id. I entered the parameters but got another ambiguous error message. Subsequently I found different instructions that avoided the bam-restore command and opted for mysql commands.

Why didn't the bam-restore work?
Is there a way to get more specific error message or access what's actually going on with Drush in a specific circumstance?

  • What do you see when you run a drush status ? ($ drush st). May be silly but are file permissions still enough for Apache to read (ll -al, see drupal.org/node/244924)? Under which user did you run drush up? Can you list out (copy or screen shot) the commands you issued and their output in the edited question? Are clean urls on or off? Also in response to your question are you seeking an answer to help get your site back up or to understand more of backup restore?
    – Rick
    Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


First, I would have run drush up drupal, updates only Drupal core, no third party themes or modules. To do a restore, try drush archive-restore

  • First, thank you for your answer. However, 1) "drush up" is the alias for "pm-update" which does update everything. To quote drushcommands.com, 'drush up: updates Drupal core and contrib projects and applies any pending database updates (Same as pm-updatecode + updatedb). 2) Would archive-restore work if the archive was created by the Backup & Migrate (BAM) module? Or would it only work for files created through the "archive-dump" command?
    – Chef Matt
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 2:14

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