Can pointing a cloned site to the original site's database cause problems?

I'm running a Drupal 7 site with a MySQL database sitting on a separate server.

I pulled a clone of the site's codebase repository onto a seperate development server, then imported a very recent backup of the database into a fresh database. The site ran correctly, from a different domain.

However, I forgot to update the local.settings.php file, so the cloned DEV site pointed to the PROD database. This file was incorrect for about 16 hours, overnight, and I've since updated it to point to the correct database.

While the DEV sit pointed to PROD, I did not create, edit or delete any content on the DEV site. My only change was to disable 'aggregating CSS/JS files' under performance settings. The CRON would have run many times overnight.

I've since cleared all caches and purged all cached URLs from Varnish, but for political reasons I cannot simply restore an earlier backup of the site.

Could this database crossover cause any problems now or in the future?

1 Answer 1


The only way this could cause problems would be if the filesystem became out of sync. Since you didn't create, edit, or delete any content, this shouldn't be the case. If you have anything running on a cron hook which creates files you may see 404s in your logs. An example of this would be something like boost or advagg which create cached html/css in the files dir. Even if this is the case however you will be fine once cron has run again from the live codebase.

  • The codebase wasn't identical, as the clone of the repo did not include files listed in .gitignore. This means most non-structural images, PDFs, and so on. Could this impact anything?
    – Timmah
    Dec 21, 2015 at 0:53

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