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Thread: Server inconsistent with domain name and/or root folder designation

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    Default Server inconsistent with domain name and/or root folder designation

    This is a followup to my other thread, now with a lot more information and a deeper/different problem.
    http://www.dynamicdrive.com/forums/s...tent-on-reload




    I use GoDaddy and I've set my domain thebrb.com to go to a directory in the root called thebrb.com/. Simple enough. It also works consistently. Check the homepage (or any other) to confirm that.

    But something is very wrong when a page is missing. The server'sdefault 404 page is shown below by a link to a non-existent location:

    Here's a demo page:
    http://thebrb.com/nopage

    Note that I have no 404 page setup on that site. On other sites on the same server I do have 404 pages and they load either way, both times. (404 with .htaccess works, for the record.)

    So the fact that I don't have a 404 page actually is helpful. Now I can see what's wrong.


    In my previous thread, I explained that .htaccess with mod_rewrite was inconsistent on the server-- it worked about half the time and inconsistently on reloading. I had no idea what was causing it, and I was pretty sure my .htaccess code was correct. Well, I was right. Something is very wrong at the server level:


    Reload the demo page several times, paying close attention to the "requested URL"
    I get either:
    Code:
    /thebrb.com/nopage
    OR:
    Code:
    /thebrb.aom/nopage
    Note the very subtle change in the main (domain-level) directory.

    To be clear: this is a shared hosting account where "/" is my root directory. These are subfolders I created and associated with the domains by using GoDaddy's default "select a folder for this domain" setting.

    Other domains do the same thing; I've checked. Often the "." gets replaced by a random letter.

    This is incredibly weird, and I think I should give GoDaddy tech support a call.

    But first... any ideas?



    What ends up happening is the following:
    1. 404 pages do weird things. No big deal, and in fact I can cover that up by a custom 404 page, which for whatever reason works consistently.
    2. .htaccess with mod_rewrite works about half of the time, I assume when the directory structure would be correct on the 404 page.
    3. .htaccess with mod_rewrite completely fails when it appears to be going a level deeper, at least with some settings. So if I'm using a/index.php to handle requests for all subdirectories such as "a/b/c/" then I get a permanent 404 (with randomly changing URL like this) that never loads to the page it should be-- the server seems to be having a fit because the page doesn't exist, even though .htaccess is supposed to be catching that.


    I'm about ready to switch hosts. This is unacceptable. And it's going to be very complicated to explain to tech support.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| español | Deutsch | italiano | português | català | un peu de français | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    This seems extremely odd. I wouldn't even call technical support about this, email them. The people you're talking to will normally have no idea what they're talking about anyways. I'd email them immediately.

    Something you could try in the meantime is create a custom 404 page that dumps all the server/header information and see if anything changes as the com/aom/bom/dom/etc... change in the requested URL.
    Last edited by Nile; 01-03-2014 at 02:28 AM.

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    That's a good point. It's usually a 30+ minute wait time for calling anyway. GoDaddy is in general reliable (and cheap) but their tech support is no fun.

    Something you could try in the meantime is create a custom 404 page that dumps all the server/header information and see if anything changes as the com/aom/bom/dom/etc... change in the requested URL.
    Not sure what you mean. As far as I can tell, this is consistent (well, consistently inconsistent) regardless of the request, assuming I can actually see it. If a real page (or a custom 404 page) is served, then it doesn't seem to maintain this. The only time it matters is when no page is found either a default 404 or due to .htaccess attempting to serve a different file for one that doesn't exist.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| español | Deutsch | italiano | português | català | un peu de français | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    Well something needs to be happening that instigates this weird variation of the first letter in com. So far I've seen a multiple random letters, and one time even a period instead of a letter. I'm wondering if you can track the changes and see what factors influence the change. I guess it doesn't matter that much.

    Also, I can't recreate this behavior on thebrbforum.com. Do you have a different htaccess file there?

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    Yeah, something is going on. No idea what.
    Generally from what I've seen it looks like an alternation. But it might be more than that, or for all I know it could vary by requesting IP. It's very odd. For the other domains, I noticed especially the period being replaced (x.com becoming something like xccom) or the first or last letters. No idea if that's a pattern. And anyway, I can't fix it. I will see if GoDaddy can.

    Also, I can't recreate this behavior on thebrbforum.com. Do you have a different htaccess file there?
    Weird!
    http://www.thebrbforums.com/nopage -- I see the same thing. No changing (reported) URL.

    No .htaccess on either of those sites, actually.

    On other sites I get the same behavior. I noticed it (originally) for ci-pro.com (see my signature) for .htaccess problems, but then only much later connected the dots to figure out that this was the cause. And there I have a custom 404 page so you can't do this test. But it did alternate all the time for .htaccess mod_rewrite stuff, so I'm sure that's what was happening. I just had no idea.

    You can also test it at:
    ouraccent.com
    lingkit.com
    [No links because I don't want those indexed yet. They're in progress, long term development.]

    It was definitely happening at lingkit.com earlier, but I can't get it to do it now (this was actually where I first noticed the bug, trying to get some .htaccess settings worked out-- I changed the directory to lingkit from lingkit.com to see if the dot was a problem, and it wasn't-- it kept changing things around after that, even though it seems to have stopped). And at the moment (didn't check earlier) ouraccent.com is also not doing it.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| español | Deutsch | italiano | português | català | un peu de français | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    I'm noticing the issue on lingkit. The slash is changing. On ouraccent, "ouraccent" is becoming "ouraccest" (or variations of the 'n' in accdent). I'm sure godaddy will definitely appreciate you pointing out this bug. According to their website help pages on htaccess, they recently updating Apache. That could be this instigator.

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    How odd. It's inconsistent either over time or for different users. That's nonsense.

    How recently? I've been aware of this problem (via .htaccess inconsistencies) for a while now, since the summer I think. But at that point, it was an abrupt change-- the site had been working flawlessly for years. At first I thought just part of my .htaccess code was broken on my personal website, which wasn't a priority. Now that I had the time to fix that and change some other things around I'm digging up all kinds of 'fun' surprises.


    Edit: in following up a bit I came across this:
    http://support.godaddy.com/help/arti...htaccess-files
    It wouldn't be too surprising if something else is an issue too, but remember that I'm not actually using .htaccess for the links we're talking about now, so I don't know what's going on. Something odd, though.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| español | Deutsch | italiano | português | català | un peu de français | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    How recently?
    Not sure, but on this page it talks about a recent update. I'm sure it must have been an update prior to that one though if it's been occurring on your site for that long. Also interesting (and wondering if you can confirm): the letter replacement usually occurs around the 8-9th character and is more prominent and random when going to something like "thebrb.com/thebrb.com" or "lingkit.com/lingkit".

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    1. can you post your current htaccess files (especially if you have one in (what used to be) your main domain's site root)?

    2. can you post your account's directory structure?

    3. if you contact goDaddy, ask if you can see the apache config files for your sites (you don't need to access them; just a copy of their contents would be extremely helpful—but I still don't know if they'd be willing).

    4. What admin panel does goDaddy use? cPanel? Parallels? something else?

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    Not sure, but on this page it talks about a recent update. I'm sure it must have been an update prior to that one though if it's been occurring on your site for that long.
    Hm, right, ok. But it might have been the last one.
    Also interesting (and wondering if you can confirm): the letter replacement usually occurs around the 8-9th character and is more prominent and random when going to something like "thebrb.com/thebrb.com" or "lingkit.com/lingkit".
    lingkit isn't doing it for me at the moment, but thebrb is, and thebrb.com/thebrb somehow gives thebrb.bom/thebrb. So odd. It's like find and replace decided to take over my server but wasn't very good at it...

    1. can you post your current htaccess files (especially if you have one in (what used to be) your main domain's site root)?
    Ok. Let's see:
    As discussed in the other thread, I just changed the structure (yesterday) to work out having my "primary" domain in a non-root location. So it's remotely possible that I caused all of this, or at least I expect that's what the tech support people may claim. But I'm confident that I did not, because:
    1. There were problems before that, and the problems are specifically why I changed it!
    2. I believe that by changing it, I have now uncovered the problems, rather than creating them.
    So, I'm operating on the assumption that the changes didn't do anything, that this problem has been around for 3+ months.

    My sites have not changed especially significantly recently; my project yesterday was resurrecting lingkit.com after it was down for a long time (no time to work on it for a while, and it was on another server that is no longer up). So that's part of what lead to discovering this.

    I'm a bit hesitant to post all of the information here for security reasons. What do you think? I can edit it out later I suppose.


    Here's the .htaccess info:
    See the other thread for what was going on previously. I was using mod_rewrite to move all requests into the root (my "primary" domain ci-pro.com) into a subdirectory, to keep things organized. That had been working well for a few years, until something changed (an update I expect, nothing I did at all, I hadn't modified it in years) and then the site broke in a few places.

    Current root .htaccess:
    Code:
    Options +FollowSymLinks
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} notarealsubdomain.ci-pro.com
    RewriteRule (.*) http://ci-pro.com/
    As in the other thread, I figured out to use a fake subdomain as the "primary" domain. This is kind of cheating, but I don't think it hurts anything. I don't ever want anyone to access the root. Also, that subdomain isn't even setup. It just doesn't exist. But it was enough for GoDaddy's domain manager to allow me to switch it for the primary one.
    Anyway, all that .htaccess file does is move any traffic (if it ever were to exist) to the real ci-pro.com site.

    For ci-pro.com, I also have a .htaccess file like this:
    Code:
    ErrorDocument 403 /404.php
    ErrorDocument 404 /404.php
    Seems to be working fine.

    In a few other places I have .htaccess with mod_rewrite creating dynamic pages. Most seem broken. However, in the forum here: linguistforum.com you can see that it works (with the "pretty URLs for threads" mod), with code that I didn't write myself.

    So to some degree .htaccess is working, but I'm 95% sure it's not causing this.

    I'm pretty sure what is happening is that bad input (fake/corrupted URLs) are being given to .htaccess, which obviously then ends up with bizarre problems.

    2. can you post your account's directory structure?
    The root contains several system files and then some directories including:
    /lingkit/ (lingkit.com), /cip/ (ci-pro.com), /thebrb.com/, /thebrbforums.com/, /ouraccent.com/, etc.
    I tried switching some to the without-a-dot format to see if that would help, but it appears irrelevant.
    The root directory also contains that .htaccess file above. Not much else of interest.
    Then within each of those directories above, I have my normal index.php files and whatever other content is around.

    3. if you contact goDaddy, ask if you can see the apache config files for your sites (you don't need to access them; just a copy of their contents would be extremely helpful—but I still don't know if they'd be willing).
    Good idea.

    4. What admin panel does goDaddy use? cPanel? Parallels? something else?
    This is shared hosting without anything special. I generally just use FTP (and sometimes phpMyAdmin, available through the GoDaddy website or by saving the URL from there). When I do need to change the configuration of my server (basically adding/changing domains), I use GoDaddy's site with what I think is a proprietary interface. It might be a rebranded version of something. I saw recently that they claim cpanel is available on their new accounts, but maybe I haven't found that option, or more likely it's because my account is several years old, before they had that option. And I don't really want to (or need to) update. (Last time I did, they wiped all of my files. They put them back after someone had the time to get the magnetic tape backup...; I also had backups on my laptop but it was several GB. Aaanyway...)

    Is that enough info? I'll provide whatever else might be helpful. (If not in a post, by PM.)
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| español | Deutsch | italiano | português | català | un peu de français | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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