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How to solve common problems with applying ColdFusion updates (in 10 and above)

While ColdFusion 10 and later releases add a new automated update installation mechanism, what do you do if the update doesn't work? The answer may be simple on the surface, but not obvious to most. (And you'll likely be in panic mode.)

Many find after applying a ColdFusion update that either CF won't start at all, or they can't access the ColdFusion Admin, or some part of CF or their app doesn't work. The problem may be simply that there was an error in the update process CF did, and it may be rather easily confirmed and resolved.

In this post, I share several tips and observations to help resolve this, based on my years of providing remote CF troubleshooting support.

The TLDR version: check the ColdFusion update log (not logs in the normal CF "logs" folder. More detail below.) And if there are errors, try stopping CF yourself and then either try the update again, or if it still fails, try to manually apply the update from the command line. If that's enough to get you going, great--especially if you ARE in panic mode! (If the "problem" you need to solve, instead, is that you can't get CF to show you updates because you're behind a firewall preventing outbound internet access, I help with that also, toward the end.)

For most people, though, even those "simple things to do" can prove challenging (and understandably so). And you may find different resources on the web offering perhaps truncated discussions of the topics, which is why I elaborate on things in this post.

And even if you're in a panic, it may take only about 10 minutes to read this whole post. (You can also hire me to help instead, of course. See the link above.) Hope the info to follow is helpful for you.

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Comments
The training part where you explain whilst connected via remote desktop is an absolute winner!
# Posted By Ken | 10/6/16 1:41 AM
I didn't know about the update log, thanks Charlie.

It wasn't hard to search through the log file for the 1 warning that I had showing up: ag -i "Status: [^S]" hf-11-00012.log

Just look for a "Status:" message that doesn't start for "S" (as in SUCCESSFUL)

The Warning was trying to copy or move the entire cf root folder - I can't see why the installer would want to do this? Does the updater back up the entire cf directory as it updates?

Move Folder: Destination: /opt/coldfusion11/cfusion
Status: WARNING
Additional Notes: WARNING - There was a problem copying /opt/coldfusion11/cfusion
# Posted By Peter Williamson | 11/2/17 9:32 AM
Hi, Peter. No, the updater does not try to "back up the entire cf directory". :-) I suspect what you're seeing in that message is just an overly simplistic warning. The updater DOES indeed backup files, but only the individual ones that are to be updated.

But as I said in the blog post, the most common reason that it can't do THAT (or whatever it wants to do, especially modifying files) is that the CF instance (and processes or services related to CF) did not come down when the update told them to. (Or if you stopped CF yourself, and tried to apply the update manually, you did not bring down all the processes/services related to CF.)

So as I discuss in the post, you have 2 choices: try the automated update again, or try a manual update.

And if you are going to try the automated update process, I recommend you first restart CF (in case doing that would make it restart faster when the updater would do it), and then before trying the automated installer again, go ahead and stop the related CF processes/services yourself. Then the updater need not bother (but of course you can't stop CF itself, as the automated updater runs from the Admin!)

Or again, finally, you can just go ahead and stop CF and all the related processes/services, and do the CF installer manually, from the command line, as I discuss above.

For anyone reading what I'm writing here and feeling a bit lost, please reread the post above.

And Peter, if with that explanation (and your own rereading of the post) you are somehow still doubting what I say (that CF is NOT trying to "backup the entire cf directory"), please do write back.
# Posted By Charlie Arehart | 11/6/17 12:37 PM
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