Site crashed due to misconfigured plugin

Hi elgg community, 

This is a bit of a cry for help as I enabled a captcha plugin which was misconfigured and it immediately crashed my site. 

I went into ftp and deleted the plugin which bought the site back online for about 24-hours, however for some reason it's gone down again.

The previous message before the site re-crashed is below, all I can think of is that the site still thinks the plugin is there somewhere but can't find it, or something like that. My usual web-dev has gone silent on this one so am calling to the community to find out whether there's any help available. 





captcha is a misconfigured plugin.

PluginException Object
[message:protected] => captcha is a misconfigured plugin.
[string:private] => exception 'PluginException' with message 'captcha is a misconfigured plugin.' in /home/sites/
Stack trace:
#0 /home/sites/ load_plugins()
#1 /home/sites/ require_once('/home/sites/suc...')
#2 {main}
[code:protected] => 0
[file:protected] => /home/sites/
[line:protected] => 245
[trace:private] => Array
[0] => Array
[file] => /home/sites/
[line] => 175
[function] => load_plugins

[1] => Array
[file] => /home/sites/
[line] => 18
[args] => Array
[0] => /home/sites/

[function] => require_once



  • @Timclark Inside the mod folder, create a folder called disabled. See if you can access the site and let us know what happens


    Rodolfo Hernandez

    Arvixe/Elgg Community

  • Hi Rodolfo

    Thanks for the message, I added the folder, then to see if it helped uploaded the defunct captcha plugin to it, but no joy so far. Will see if it makes a difference in an hour or so.

  • @rjcalifornia: I guess it should be an empty file and not a folder with the name "disabled".

  • I went to your site, it seems like the server is down, not elgg. It is saying couldn't connect with the credentials which means problems with your hosting. What hosting are you using?

    Rodolfo Hernandez
    Arvixe/Elgg Community Liaison

  • Hi Roldolfo, 

    It's strange, the server itself is showing no signs of being down...



  • 1. You really should upgrade to a newer version (probably in the 1.7.x line of releases). A misconfigured plugin should no longer take down a site.

    2. Sometimes when you get the message that you cannot connect to the db, that means your IP has a throttle on connections and you have violated that throttle.

  • Hi Cash,

    Well it's got stranger as the site has come back up, for about five minutes it looked normal, then the theme crashed. 

    I know that the site gets hit by spammers a lot, they posted loads of news, and other content onto the site overnight the day before the site crashed, whether they've managed to get into the admin section I don't know or put something into the system which has made it corrupt I also cannot be sure.

    The most encouraging thing is that the database still seems to be there, (for the moment) as the admin section has the correct number for news stories, reviews, users, etc. Hopefully I can get the db out and then reconfigure the site. (he's hoping).


  • The spammer scripts post lots of content. The only way for someone to get into your admin area is to compromise your admin account.

    Themes don't crash. You need to explain this in more detail.

  • Strange. Themes do not crash out of nowhere. I am in your site right now and it is up and running. Can you make a list of all third party plugins installed? Did you edit core files?


    Rodolfo Hernandez

    Arvixe/Elgg Community Liaison

  • Hi,

    No i didn't edit core files, I added a blank folder named 'disabled' to the mod folder but that's all. I sent you a message with the core plugins installed on the site

    Best wishes