I have a website that allows users to upload pictures. To reduce the amount of space used by pictures files on my site, I attempted to use a script to remove orphaned files. However, this script chokes on Unicode file names; there are dozens of pictures with Unicode file names on my site:

query:You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 's Adorable Kitty EDIT.jpg'' at line 1

I have enabled the Transliteration module so that new files will not have this problem. However, what can I do about the old files? Is there a way to change their names and update the Drupal DB? I am willing to do this manually if necessary, but I don't know how to approach this.

EDIT: Upon closer inspection, the problem is not unicode, it's the quote marks in the filename.

1 Answer 1


As far as I am able to tell, the script works OK with Unicode.

But the script doesn't sanitize the file names, and that is what invalidates the query.

It could be a a lot worse. If somebody uploads an image named image'); DROP TABLE *;--.jpg, and you use that script, they would erase your site (as shown in the XKCD cartoon below):

enter image description here

Source: xkdc - Exploits of a mom

I would strongly advice postponing the use of that script until somebody who understands database security has cleaned it up.

Suggestion: hand edit the file names with quotes in them by removing the quotes, and edit the corresponding names in table file_managed.

I am also puzzled that the Drupal file upload module does not sanitize file names by not permitting quotes in file names.

  • Thanks, I was able to get it working by editing the filenames manually. Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 16:34

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