Installation help

 
 
Picture of Hal D'Arpini
Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
 

I have a Godaddy Windows shared hosting account and I've been trying to install version 2.4 for almost a week now.  At first, I kept getting the "Dataroot location is not secure" error, but then I followed the godaddy-specific instructions in another posting and got over that hurdle.  On the next screen, however, something strange happened.

The next screen requested database information, so I went to another webpage looking for it.  When I came back to the database screen, it had disappeared and in its place was a customized error message.  It was a 500 error saying that something had gone wrong on the server

I tried to start the installation process over again and kept getting this same 500 error.  After several attempts, I finally succeeded in getting the first installation screen asking for the language.  On the next screen, however, when I tried to confirm the paths, I once again got the "Dataroot location is not secure" message I was getting this past week.

How could I get past this screen one time and be blocked the next time when I hadn't changed a thing in between?  What could have possibly changed between attempts?  I checked the ISS settings and folder permissions for both the installation folder and the database folder and they were still the same as before the first attempt.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  This problem is so strange that I have no idea where to begin to resolve it.

 
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moi!!! it is what is is...
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
Group Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

At this point I am not inclined to think this is a Moodle problem, the 500 error would indicate that the issue has more to do with GoDaddy than Moodle. Have you asked GoDaddy about this? An intermittent fault like this is definitely wierd, and usually in Moodle, I have found "once broke, it don't come back on its own." /there is something in the server, have a look at the server logs, the PHP logs and the Moodle logs, my bet is you will find something in the Server logs... 

 
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Picture of Hal D'Arpini
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
 

I wanted to see if anyone here had any suggestions before I went to godaddy.  I'm not sure how to find the logs you mentioned, but there must be a way.  I'll start with the moodle log as that's probably the most accessible.  Thanks. 

My thinking was that maybe the IIS restrictions on the virtual folder I created for the data folder somehow stopped working so the moodle install once again thinks the data folder is accessible from a browser.  I wished the hell I knew why the moodle powers to be have to play nanny and not give users the choice to assume the risk that their data folders are accessible or not, but so be it.  It's been a pain for me for over a week now. 

 
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Picture of Ken Task
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

3 weeks, 6 days ago

"You will not be able to upgrade to Moodle 2.4. It requires a version of MySQL that we do not currently support on our web hosting plans.

Tim B"

http://support.godaddy.com/groups/web-hosting/forum/topic/moodle-2-4/

'spirit of sharing', Ken

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I just called GoDaddy and found out that their current versions of php and mySQL on their hosted (low-cost) servers are php 5.3.6 and mySQL 5.0.91.  GoDaddy (as of today) supports only Moodle 1.9.+ on these server plans, they say. 

Of course, the current version of Moodle 2.4 requires PHP 5.3.2, MySQL 5.1.33, so GoDaddy's statement above is correct.

It appears to me that based upon GoDaddy's versions of php and mySQL, that you could conceivably run Moodle 2.1.9, but I personally don't see why you would want to do this.

With GoDaddy, you would need what they call a VPS in order to run the latest version of Moodle.  By the way, this is what I am doing and it works.  A VPS requires a different level of commitment from you, and you will find many discussions about this environment on moodle.org, but it does work.  Also, a lot depends upon the size of your Moodle site.

 
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Picture of Stefan McGarvey
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
 

Hello Rick, could you let me know what a VPS is. I'm going to try and upgrade the Moodle 1.9.19 on GoDaddy to Moodle 2.2. If you have completed the upgrade already any help would be appreciated. New Moodle and GoDaddy user

Thanks

Stefan

 

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

The acronym varies a little, but basically a VPS or VDS is a "virtual server."  Your
GoDaddy hosted account is also a form of a virtual server in that your server is not a individual computer.  The GoDaddy computer is split up into many "virtual" servers, each acting like they are an individual machine, and to you it your hosted account might appear to be its own machine, but they are not.  Your hosted server is pre-configured by GoDaddy, and then made available to you.  Your hosted account shares the real computer's memory, hard disk space, CPU power, and other resources with many other hosted virtual servers on this one GoDaddy computer.  Quite honestly, I am not sure how many hosted accounts can realistically be on one computer.

Now, the difference with a VPS or VDS is that a VPS is allocated some dedicated memory and CPU power (maybe some other resources), so its performance should be better.  Also, most VPSs give you the "server" to manage, so you have to be "kind of" a UNIX administrator.  Wow, pretty scary for many.  Be your own UNIX administrator!

Well, realistically, it is pretty scary.  However, many VPSs come with a "control panel" that trys to help you be an administrator, instead of having to completely administer your server typing UNIX commands at a command prompt.  Additionally, many of these control panels have simple install scripts to install products like Wordpress or Moodle.  These simple install scripts can often get you up and running quickly, but you will still need to learn to do some administrative things on your own.  Sometimes, this process is not so simple, and you can read many posts on moodle.org from people who struggle.

I "bit the bullet" around two years ago, and my small Moodle site has been doing well.  I like to learn as much as I can, and I am very careful about my administrative activities.  I know that you can kill your server with a simple error in typing a command.

By the way, there are some extremely capable UNIX administrators at universities, on "Google", and here on Moodle.  Support is much better than what it was 30 years ago.

In the "for what it is worth" category, Moodle is one of the best (maybe the best) course management systems, so getting it to work is very worthwhile.  Also, being able to run your own CMS without administrators making (poor) decisions can be very rewarding.

I am sure that others will jump in to this topic and give you their thoughts.

Before I leave you, I should mention that one can also get a "dedicated server" from GoDaddy.  In this scenario, you have your own computer, but goDaddy keeps it operational.  I can't see doing this until I am running more than 100 courses per year (I currently run around 15-20 courses per year, around 500 students per year).

 Here is one interesting post to look at:

https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=216495

 
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Picture of Hal D'Arpini
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
 

I looked at the other post you cited, and VPS certainly looks like a great option, espeicially since it offers Moodle 2.3.2 as an automated installation.  The price, however, is prohibitive for the moment.  I'm a freelance teacher just starting out, so until I build my business I won't be able to justify the cost. 

Godaddy, does, however, offer an automated install of Moodle 1.9 with the UNIX version of the hosting plan I'm on, so I'm going to ask them to switch me over from Windows to UNIX.  If it's their build, it's bound to work, which will be a relief because I'm tired of spinning my wheels.  I just wonder why they don't likewise offer an automated installation of Moodle with their Windows plans. 

 
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Picture of Ken Task
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Pardon intrusion and the following 'rant' ... Moodle 2.4 has just be released and it is an improvement (significant) over 2.3.  And, like other previous versions of the 2 series, 2.3.x version will 'slide into' the 'no longer updated for fixes' - less than 6 months now?  So if GoDaddy offers 2.3.2 now (which is already behind) what is their plan for supporting customers that want to move to 2.4.+ in the near future when it comes to upgrading via git?  Or does GoDaddy plan to have customers come to Moodle.org for support?   If that's true, maybe GoDaddy needs to collaborate with Moodle HQ so that their automated script installs work and the documentation for such scripts is shared with all the Moodle community.

As far as Linux/Unix plans vs Windows plans ... well, there is a small sentence in the Moodle docs that is often 'overlooked' ... it says something to the affect that Moodle was programmed for Linux originally.   Hmmmmmm ....  And, to be honest, (personal opinion of course), I can't see why Windows is 'better' especially considering the pieces that make up a 'stock' Moodle - Apache, MySQL, PHP are all not native to Windows.  Two are faceless ... server apps that have no GUI interface - regardless of platform upon which they run.

Maybe if Windows was more Linux like, GoDaddy could!  Hmmmmmm.

Yes, learning server admin on Linux will be a learning experience - upwards for sure.  But, for one who is involved in educating and learning ... it should be welcomed as a learning experience.  Something new!

For it won't stop ... next and growing in momentum now [think they call that 'trending'] ... how to serve learners who have tablet devices BEST (not what's easiest for the professor)!

This was offered as 'food for thought'.

'spirit of sharing', Ken

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
[rant] Moodle X.Y has just be released and it is an improvement (significant) over ...
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Some of the statements above should be carved in stone!

For those who are not aware: A couple of years ago Moodle adopted family planning. Per decree there'll be a child every six months. To counteract the ensuiing rabbit growth, once a sibling starts to teeth it'll be carried to the grave with audible mourning.
sad
 
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Picture of Hal D'Arpini
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
 

Sorry, I meant LINUX, of course, not UNIX.  Either way, you're right, there will be a learning curve, but I always welcome a challenge.

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Installation Problem -- Intermittent "Dataroot location is not secure"
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I stumbled on this thread.

I don't even understand Ken's rant.  (Unusual Ken!!)  I thought Linux was good.

Rick, I often think (and with a few others of you as well, like Frankie) why there is no economy of scale here.  A few of you manage several server each of identical specs.  Find a couple of insititutions down the road and hook up with them.

Or in your case (Rick), sell off 50 courses?  Use up the rest of a server.  smile

It's like you've gone to all this trouble to get a system that works.  Then leverege it.  ??

Merely musing.

-Derek
To whom server build/run is more like the deep unknown, but knows it must be rational, even though it is more an art form than a hard science but often wonders why it is so hard.  Why not just set it up like this how it works nice and be done with it?

 

 

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
[OT] Unix (Linux, *BSD, ...) or Windows? GoDaddy: go or no go?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Good for one is bad for another. So let's have some subjective arguments!

The same with GoDaddy. First can somebody explain to me, how GoDaddy attracts people like flies?
 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: [OT] Unix (Linux, *BSD, ...) or Windows? GoDaddy: go or no go?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I'll jump back into this discussion at this point, but make some comments to several posts that have occurred from my last post.

I prefer the Linux VDS because that's what Moodle is developed on.  I have always had a Linux server (both hosted and virtual) with GoDaddy, and they works fine and are very reliable.  Since I have not had their Windows products, I can really make a fair comparison.

Visvanath, I think GoDaddy attracts people for several reasons: 1) price, 2) performance, 3) reliability, and 4) support.  Yes, there are alternatives.  Some of these alternatives will provide more hand-holding than GoDaddy will.  But GoDaddy does provide a very stable platform.  GoDaddy, especially when you move up from a hosted to a virtual server, expects you to do more on your own.  Have you had any good experiences with other inexpensive hosting companies?  I see that some people have tried using 1&1.com, for example.

Hal, yes, the cost difference is significant (from $6 to $50 or so a month).  I too am somewhat of a freelancer with Moodle.  My school provides Blackboard, so everything that I do with Moodle is on my own.  But using Moodle on your own might provide you the opportunity to offer school both your content and your own CMS - the school doesn't need to provide you any IT support (once you get good at this stuff, of course).

I was once considering moving away from GoDaddy, and came across a company called TMDHosting.com.  Right now, I have one of their $5/month hosted accounts, which I primarily use to hold all of my videos (they say unlimited storage.)  They claim to know Moodle.  When I purchased their hosted service, I asked them to install current versions of PHP and mySQL, and they did!  GoDaddy, by comparison, won't do this.  I like to install original copies of Moodle on this account, just so that I can see what each version looks like.  I can do this!  For example, I just installed the latest Moodle 2.4 yesterday (click here).  I don't use any auto-install scripts anymore, I do this from scratch and it only takes around 15 minutes.  TMDHosting would never recommend running Moodle on their hosted account (they too want you to buy their Virtual Server), however, for a small site, or to learn, this could be fine (in my opinion).  By the way, I am an "affiliate" with TMDHosting, so if you use my last name when buying, you can get a little discount (I think).  Most server companies try to promote their products like this, and I am not in any way associated with TMDHosting, I just said "sure, make me an affiliate).  Over the last year, I have done some experimenting with TMDHosting and they have provided some great support (all via tickets, no phone support).

I agree with Ken, you want to be able to run the latest versions of Moodle.  Probably this weekend I will upgrade my production Moodle, which is on my GoDaddy VDS, to Moodle 2.4.  I am waiting form my courses to end tomorrow.  I am a little conservative about when I decide to upgrade.  I typically upgrade two or three times a semester.

GoDaddy says that they provide the latest versions for WordPress because of some special arrangement that they have with WordPress.  They said that no one from the Moodle organization has set up this arrangement with them, yet.

Hal, I have found the learning curve a welcome challenge.

Derek, if I wanted to, I could probably host Moodle courses and even make a little money doing this.  What stops me is that then I would have to really be a Moodle/UNIX administrator, which I am not (I am a professor.)   Instead, I enjoy simply sharing my knowledge about Moodle whenever I can.  I am always available as a consultant, when needed.  But only for small sites with installation requests.  For installations at larger schools, they would need to go elsewhere. I would be willing to consult with Moodle specific needs.  And I have even thought about writing a book about Moodle (when I find time).

I hope that you find some of this information useful.  I try my best to put issues into perspective.

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: [OT] Unix (Linux, *BSD, ...) or Windows? GoDaddy: go or no go?
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Rick

Thanks for the report.

I have to admit that I'm not qualified to comment on GoDaddy as a customer - and I have no plans to be one either. No, my reservations are mostly idealogical and partly a result of the reports I see in this site. See "Go Daddy! (Where to?)" https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=193106.
 
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