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I did an akeeba backup of a live Joomla 2.5.28 site where this issue doesn't exist. Used kickstart to install the backup on my localhost (xampp) and when I go to the administrator login page and enter my credentials, I'm being redirected to the frontend. Manually returning to administrator folder returns the login page. I am able to login on the frontend.

Things I've tried;

  • Password reset via phpmyadmin (as I stated I can login on frontend)
  • Disabled plugins that might be url redirect related. I'm not using JSecure. Plugins that I've disabled include sef, admintools, sh404sef, and a few others which may be suspect.
  • Removed the .htaccess files
  • Set the live site url in configuration.php
  • overrite all system files with a fresh J v2.5.28
  • traceroute on frontend index returns null

I've spent hours and hours searching and have found no working solution. Any help or ideas will be greatly appreciated!

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    Check to see if you've used Akeeba's admin tools to restrict the IP address that can login. – Lance Nov 25 '15 at 3:55
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    Have you tried restoring a backup without using Akeeba and doing it manually? Might be worth giving this a try too. – Lodder Nov 26 '15 at 11:48
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    try removing live site, that's not needed - public $live_site = ''; – Marko D Nov 27 '15 at 16:05
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The things you have tried are correct and a good troubleshooting steps list for the issue you have, with 1 exception:

You mention in your question:

Set the live site url in configuration.php

Actually this should be left empty - almost always (either online or localhost).

Another thing you have to make sure in the configuration file: You should not have assigned any values to the $cookie_ variables, otherwise it's likely you will not be able to login.

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This is usually caused by admin tools url restriction or by ip.

If you go into the database and disable akeeba plugins you will be able to login.

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