How to fix WordPress comments

Thanks to whoisgregg who pointed out in the webmaster group that my comments were utterly horked. Trying to view a thread gave the error message

WordPress database error: [Can’t open file: ‘wp_comments.MYI’ (errno: 144)]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = ‘538’ AND comment_approved = ‘1’ ORDER BY comment_date

Luckily, doing the Google search [Can’t open file: ‘wp_comments.MYI’ (errno: 144)] found this link at #1, and it gives the answer. From a MySQL prompt, type the following command:

repair table wp_comments;

and in 1.83 seconds, things are fine again:


mysql> repair table wp_comments;
+------------------------+--------+----------+----------+
| Table | Op | Msg_type | Msg_text |
+------------------------+--------+----------+----------+
| xxxxxxxxxx.wp_comments | repair | status | OK |
+------------------------+--------+----------+----------+
1 row in set (1.83 sec)

I have no idea why this happened out of nowhere. I don’t think adding the FeedBurner plugin had anything to do with it; I suspect the same holiday bad mojo that has been running amuck finally got around to hitting my blog. πŸ™‚ Seriously, it seems to be everywhere. I tried to visit a page just a few minutes ago on ubuntuforums.org, only to see

Ubuntu forums error

And then last week I tried to buy something on eBay. Once I tried to pay, I got this error message repeatedly:

eBay error message

It took me hours to be able to buy my item, and in the meantime eBay kept emailing me saying “Hey, you bought this item–don’t forget to pay for it!” πŸ™‚

People notice it more when Google has an issue, but I’ve been seeing issues with a lot of sites over the last couple weeks. I meant to take last week as a vacation, but it didn’t really work out, so I may try to take 3-4 days off later this month instead. I for one will be glad to see the holidays over, because it means that web sites will be fully staffed to handle any new issues.

29 Responses to How to fix WordPress comments (Leave a comment)

  1. testing; does it work now? πŸ™‚

  2. I think this is a pretty good indication of how reliable most WEB software is. It shows that even with the major players, it only keeps running if there are staff constantly on hand to handle problems. Mind you, given the rate at which most E-commerce sites up making software changes, I guess this is understandable.

  3. Counter test post from a remote location. You can kill this if you want, Matt.

  4. Okay, that seemed to work. So on with a real post.

    Holidays may be “over” but a lot of companies here in The Great White North (including about half my clients) are still closed. So you may still run into staffing issues. I know I am.

  5. There is nice utility perror (not original name, heh πŸ™‚ bundled with MySQL:

    rathamahata@x ~ $ perror 144
    MySQL error code 144: Table is crashed and last repair failed
    rathamahata@x ~ $

  6. Well, this has nothing to do with WordPress, it is a “feature” of MySQL MyISAM tables.

  7. Along these lines I removed my Comments RSS link feed from my blog. People tend you use bad words in comments which was sending my blog into a prOnographic spin in the organic SERPS.

    If Google can not find a feed for comments will it please ignore what is said in comments?

  8. I was torn between “surely dozens of people are battering down Matt’s door to tell him about this error” and “surely those dozens of people all think the same thing so aren’t going to bother telling him.” πŸ˜‰

    Glad to see you got it sorted Matt.

  9. Sebastian

    Dear Matt

    You should consider changing your PHP-configuration a little:
    ———-88—————
    I think lots of bad guys would pretty much kill for a backlink from hacking your server, so not giving any hints about problems is good practice.

    Cheap request for a favour: If you found this helpfull, you could have a look at my post in the webmaster help google group which unfortunately got ignored so far:
    http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webmaster_Help-Indexing/browse_thread/thread/209873c9e8d9b078/985bdc4beae4d3c7
    πŸ™‚

  10. Sebastian

    again me:
    that hints should have been:
    ————————
    display_errors = Off
    log_errors = On
    error_log = syslog
    ————————
    but my funny scissors were eaten by html-filtering
    πŸ™

  11. I saw that error too a few hours ago.

    We all see system errors or unexpected errors. They come with the trade.

    Lately most of my errors are from Alexa.

    But I like Alexa alot. To a very high degree of appreciation.

    They have a clearly defined criteria on how they rank and it is open for the world to see.

    I just wish they could get a toolbar for firefox.

  12. Sergey, thanks for pointing that out.

    Kristaps Kaupe, you’re absolutely right. Since this manifests in a weird way for WordPress users, I wanted to include “wordpress” in this howto in case future users want to find the answer more easily. But I didn’t intend to sling any mud in WordPress’ direction, since there’s nothing better/different that they could really have done.

    Gregg, 1-2 other people mentioned it, but Vanessa pointed me to your post, and I read email from her first thing. πŸ™‚ Thanks again for mentioning it.

    Sebastian, thanks for the suggestion. Googlebot does a pretty fair job of trying bulletin board urls without session IDs for the common software packages that we know of. Removing a session ID doesn’t bother that much as long as the page itself is otherwise identical. Is there any way you could do it that isn’t Googlebot-specific?

  13. Comments?

    Lots of false positves going in the askimet trash bins lately. πŸ™

  14. Sebastian

    Dear Matt

    We are disabling the IDs for all searchengines by keeping a list of spider useragents, not just for Googlebot.
    Does that qualify as “not Googlebot-specific”? Or are you hinting something else that i might not get?

    Thanks a LOT for replying
    Sebastian

  15. See, and people make fun of me using Google’s Blogger but I don’t have to deal with issues like this, the people that run Blogger do! πŸ™‚

    This is a good thing as I’m too busy fending off a botnet lately…

  16. JLH

    Welcome back, I saw the error earlier and figured 2-300 people would let you know, looks like I’ve got a new thing to keep in the back of my mind for wordpress. I’ve been playing with the MU version lately and have spent more time learning than designing, but that all right too.

  17. Mr. Cutts: my boss Michael once wrote: “It turns out that a lot of our customers have problems where MySQL just randomly corrupts itself, not exactly the behavior you want from your RDBMS.” Running a REPAIR TABLE fixes it, though. More details:

    http://blog.fogbugz.com/Articles/2006/02/09.html

    Could that be the problem you ran into?

  18. I too have noticed a lot of internet apps having issues that past week or so. I wonder if there has been some kind of christmas time hacking attempts that have rendered many services unusable? I think there have been a few windows and java updates out this past couple of weeks, but most net services aren’t using windows I believe.. Revver has not been working anywhere near full capacity, and a few other sites I’ve been hitting lately.

    It would be nice to know if there are any other common programs invloved in the various sites that are having issues, so we could know if we need to check things running sql or php or whatever.. Hope to see some new info on this soon.

  19. OMG did not know Matt was leaving Google

    MAN, you have the newest DIGG FRONTPAGE ROFL

    http://digg.com/tech_news/Matt_Cutts_to_leave_Google

    It was Buried shortly after

    And to think the Blog Stats submission only got 5 diggs

  20. Yeh saw it on Jan 2nd but though loads would let you know.

    re my sql

    ” not exactly the behavior you want from your RDBMS”

    Quite though unless you use INODB MySql is not a Relational Database – a great pity that wodpress doesn’t support Posgress though in all other respects its a great bit of software.

  21. Rob Haswell

    @Doug Stewart: “I think this is a pretty good indication of how reliable most WEB software is. It shows that even with the major players, it only keeps running if there are staff constantly on hand to handle problems.”

    A opposed to how reliable desktop software is? Our Windows machines crash a hell of a lot more than our servers. Our company hosts hundreds of sites on two databases, each with QPS values in the high thousands. We rarely see problems with MyISAM tables borking themselves, and never during normal operation. Every corruption has brought to light a hardware failure.

    Interestingly we’ve had much more problems with InnoDB tables. One our managed servers’ InnoDB tables keep badly screwing over. Unfortunately the server is on a different continent which makes it difficult to diagnose.

  22. Alok

    Its ironic that just a few posts later you should write about the advantages of Server side software (frequent and timely releases). I guess you must have consciously or unconsciously thought about how what good server side software is if it breaks so often and so much widely. I guess the answer to this is automated testing. It is sad that not many open source software come with tests along them. A regression test pack is a must for all software, even if it is just a few function points large.

  23. I have had a similar issue actually that involved such a corrupt database that I had to right after repair do an sql backup and create a new database to drop everything in. Something when I upgraded mysql versions.

    As far as the problems with ebay, I am assuming they were doing some work and figured less people are buying in January than any other month.

  24. But I like Alexa alot. To a very high degree of appreciation.

    They have a clearly defined criteria on how they rank and it is open for the world to see.

    I just wish they could get a toolbar for firefox

  25. Lately most of my errors are from Alexa.

  26. John Sebastian

    Rumors are starting to fly of a Google Word Press ban. I take comfort in knowing you use word press πŸ™‚

    Is there any truth to this rumor at all.. the way I look at it is if you are building quality and useful blogs.. why would Google even consider banning them, just because they are WP?

  27. Interestingly we’ve had much more problems with InnoDB tables. One our managed servers’ InnoDB tables keep badly screwing over. Unfortunately the server is on a different continent which makes it difficult to diagnose.

css.php