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I'm working on the Drupal 7 site that's currently on Dreamhost.

Since this morning, the site is showing the following error message:

Error
The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.
Error message PDOException: SQLSTATE[42000]: Syntax error or access violation: 1286 Unknown table engine 'InnoDB': SELECT expire, value FROM {semaphore} WHERE name = :name; Array ( [:name] => variable_init ) in lock_may_be_available() (line 167 of /home/mysite.com/includes/lock.inc). Uncaught exception thrown in shutdown function.

PDOException: SQLSTATE[42000]: Syntax error or access violation: 1286 Unknown table engine 'InnoDB': DELETE FROM {semaphore} WHERE (value = :db_condition_placeholder_0) ; Array ( [:db_condition_placeholder_0] => 7584349655055df9b66b5c9.36234254 ) in lock_release_all() (line 269 of /home/mysite.com/includes/lock.inc).

Has anyone seen this sort of error before? Yesterday, my database showed as InnoDB in PHPMyAdmin; today there's nothing showing as "type."

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On Debian 6, this can also happen when you change the innodb_log_file_size parameter. Sometimes mysql does not start; other times, it just starts up, but the InnoDB engine is not enabled. The solution is to remove ib_logfiles from /var/lib/mysql and restart mysql.

See this issue in drupal.org.

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    More generally, it happens when InnoDB fails to start, which can be the log file size thing or borked data, check your mysql log. – Berdir Sep 17 '12 at 7:33

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