THIS IS A HACK TO SOLVE A WORDPRESS ERROR. I AM IN NO WAY RECOMMENDING THAT THIS TUTORIAL SHOULD BE USED FOR MALICIOUS AND/OR ILLEGAL PURPOSES.
Okay so I haven’t been back to this blog in ages, but I ran into something that I just really had to write about. See, I am working on this WordPress 3.6 website (running on WordPress.org) and experienced the following error:
Fatal error: session_start() [<a href=’function.session-start’>function.session-start</a>]: Failed to initialize storage module: files (path: ) in /home2/xxx/public_html/yyy/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 406
This error prevented me from accessing the website’s Dashboard. I would arrive at the log-in page (/wp-admin), enter my credentials then be presented with the error message when I tried to log in. (Note that xxx and yyy have been used as substitutions for the actual user account and website folder, respectively.)
I Googled until my brain hurt, then I stumbled across a solution that helped me to figure out my particular work around. The solution that is listed here, was in relation to a completely different problem and involved a line in the media.php file.
Anyhow, it pointed me in the right direction – which was to disable some code in plugin.php. (See error message above).
Now before I get into explaining the steps I followed, I’d like to tell you how/why I got the error. This error was generated by a plugin that I had just installed. It is called the WordPress Pageflip Gallery plugin. I suspect that this happened because the plugin is probably not yet fully compatible with WordPress 3.6 – at time of writing.
I should add here that I was fortunate enough to be aware of what caused the problem so it was easy for me to figure out a way to solve it. So I should add at this stage that you should always be aware of what you are doing – and document your processes as much as possible.
So, back to the solution. Here are the steps I followed:
- After encountering the error message, I figured that the error was being caused by some code in yyy/wp-includes/plugin.php – as stated by the error message.
- I backed up that particular plugin.php file and downloaded the live one.
- I opened in up in my PHP editor and scrolled down to line 406.
- Line 406 is in the middle of a do…while loop, so I figured I would comment out the whole function in which line 406 was in. This function runs from line 360 to 412, so I commented out all the code in and between those lines (following the example in this solution).
- I saved and re-uploaded the file and refreshed the page, but was presented with two additional errors. (I won’t go into those two errors).
- Back to the editor and removed the comments then commented out only lines 403 to 410. These are the lines that have the do…while statement.
- Re-uploaded the file and refreshed the page. This time I got access into the Dashboard. It was not the formatted Dashboard that I would have hoped to see, but nevertheless, I was in – a good sign.
- Using this stripped down version of the Dashboard, I headed over to the Plugins area, deactivated the Pageflip Gallery plugin, and deleted it.
- Back to the Editor and un-commented the do…while loop (ie lines 403 to 410), saved and re-uploaded the file.
- Another page refresh et voila! I had my Dashboard back!
- I learned my lesson to always check the compatibility of a plugin before installing it.
This was an exercise in regaining access to my Dashboard. I was not trying to fix the plugin. That is not my problem and the developers of the plugin should probably look into fixing it.
I hope this will be able to help someone with a similar problem.