The power of Google?

by Michael Alderete on 2/2/2003

The DHI I spent the last few days working on was moving the data for this weblog from my desktop Mac to the main server. I was able to move the data easily enough, but when I tried to actually connect to the new server, I was getting an error message that the connection was lost during the query. When I looked on the server, I could see that for some reason MySQL (the data server for this weblog) was barfing and restarting every time I tried to connect.

So I tried what I usually try in cases like this: I searched for the error message in Google, and read through the postings and solutions on message boards and archived mailing lists until I found something that worked for me. Unfortunately, this not uncommon error message was reported via a web page on my server — as it would be by any web server using PHP to access MySQL which had a problem. Can you see where this is going?

Yes, indeed, there are thousands of web sites with fucked up configurations spewing the same damn error message. All being spidered by Google. And being returned in my results. Out of 500 or so search hits I reviewed for the error message (out of 7310 hits total), only two were actually not an error page, and of those, one was in Russian.


The fact that you can read this means that I solved the issue, but it took me the better part of two days to solve, and in the end, the only way to fix things I could figure out was to re-install MySQL from an official binary distribution, not my preferred way to install software on my FreeBSD server.

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