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Day 2 of the Drupal Upgrade Experiment

August 13, 2009

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s blog posting that described the experience of upgrading a Drupal site from version 5 to version 6. To see the raw notes from yesterady, read the original post here. After all was said and done yesterday, I had (mostly) successfully upgraded Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 using our development servers. This involved updating or abandoning about two dozen modules, and took about 3-4 hours in total. However, we had two errors on the site:

  1. User headshots were showing broken links
  2. The status report page was showing a message that “HTTP request status fails”

A quick search resulted in no promising resources for the first problem, but the second problem turned up this tread in the forums. Reading through the several dozen posts, there were a handful of potential solutions posted, depending on whether the Drupal site is using a proxy server (we aren’t), running on a localhost test box (we aren’t), etc. The one solution that came up most often, even across some causes, was to edit the etc/hosts file.

Specifically, the recommendation was to add the IP address and name to the etc/hosts file, to help the site query itself – otherwise there is a apparently a risk that the self-query will resolve to localhost rather than the site name (, which may throw an error.

Another cause of this problem is apparently having the site in maintenance mode – which is part of the upgrade process.

The bonus: once I edited our etc/hosts file to add the IP and name of this site, not only did it solve the “HTTP request status fails” message, but the headshots also started working! Woohoo!

(For the record, there is also a HTTP Request Fail Reset module, but the author’s notes are that this should never be used on a production site – so I didn’t want to rely on that for a solution)

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