After manually updating Drupal 7 core - I am unable to access the /admin or /user page.

Here's my process:

  1. backed up db
  2. entered maintenance mode
  3. manually downloaded Drupal 7.77 (deleted default 'sites' folder)
  4. changed root directory name (httpdocs_old); created new root directory (httpdocs); copied new core files into httpdocs (copied 'sites' folder and .htaccess from old to new) (*note on this process below)
  5. ran update.php, no errors
  6. now can't access admin - 403 Forbidden "You don't have permission to access / on this server."

*Possible cause: while copying new core files to root directory, I inadvertantly dropped the core files into httpsdocs instead of httpdocs. Once i realized what I did, I moved the core files back over to httpdocs. If those two directories (httpdocs and httpsdocs) have any identically named files, then I likely overwrote the httpsdocs files when I accidentally pasted the core files there (or moved them out when trying to correct the mistake).

If that's the case, if httpsdocs contains files that affect /admin or /user access, how would I go about recovering that? How can I find out what files are supposed to be in httpsdocs?

If that's not the case, how might I troubleshoot/resolve the 403 error?

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer this knows-enough-to-get-in-trouble type. I'm no pro, however I have successfully applied several drupal core updates in the past.

  • Just a guess, but your file permission, group, and/or owner is probably wrong for httpdocs and/or for some of the files within that directory. When you use cp, it creates new files with new creation dates owned by the current user/group. Use cp -a instead, to preserve the file attributes.
    – anonymous
    Dec 22, 2020 at 22:34
  • thank you for mentioning that! httpdocs is currently in the psacln group whereas I understand it should be in the psaserv group...that must've been assigned when I manually created the new httpdocs folder after renaming the original to old. now if I can figure out how to make the group change (need SSH access I think), I will report back on results.
    – nfs_jd
    Dec 23, 2020 at 4:47
  • the file group was indeed the issue, thanks again for pointing me in that direction!
    – nfs_jd
    Dec 23, 2020 at 5:29


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