I'm migrating a client's site to a different server because we're changing web hosts. The domain name still points to the old site for now and I either use an ip address or a temporary url to preview the new site. However, since I moved it, I can no longer log in, I get an "access denied" error message. Is this a known issue? How can I resolve it?

EDIT: I oddly don't have this problem when I download the site to my hard drive and run it locally.

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    Did you clear out the sessions table and all of the cache tables? Also, are you 100% positive that you are pointing to the correct database in settings.php?
    – mpdonadio
    May 4, 2012 at 13:26
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    I had this problem and running this in mysql: repair table sessions; resolved the issue. Mar 7, 2013 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


This happened to me so many times back in the days of Drupal 6.

99% of the time it was caused by the anonymous user record having been removed from the users table in the database.

Try adding a user to that table with a uid of 0 (and all other fields empty); if the above is what's causing the problem, that should fix it.

  • Thank you for your reply, Clive, but there already is such a user in the table... any other ideas? Thanks!
    – Jane
    May 4, 2012 at 10:00
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    Try looking in sites/default/settings.php at the $cookie_domain variable...does it match the new site's URL?
    – Clive
    May 4, 2012 at 10:01
  • No but it's commented out... so I'm wondering if it would have any bearing. Also I tried playing around with it earlier on. to no avail unfortunately.
    – Jane
    May 4, 2012 at 10:13
  • Hmm that's odd, especially since you mention the same codebase works on your local machine. I would guess that narrows it down to server configuration. Do you know if PHP sessions are enabled on the remote server?
    – Clive
    May 4, 2012 at 11:08
  • Clive's $cookie_domain fix is the one I most often encounter, statistically speaking. May 24, 2013 at 22:01

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