I'm doing update and maintenance on a Joomla site that hasn't seen much care for the last year or so. When I log in as an administrator I can only click around for a few minutes before all the links start going to the 404 error page (though one time I got the 500 Error after clicking Manage Users).

Other clues I've been tracking include:

  • Once the 404 problem starts up I can get back to the initial admin panel page (i.e. http://domain/administrator/) and CNTRL-F5 and not get a 404, but all the other pages are using query strings and remain inaccessible
  • Turning off SEF URLS and URL Rewriting didn't make a difference
  • After the 404 issue starts, the Maintenance section says "Unknown Joomla" and "Unknown Extensions"
  • the problem existed when it was Joomla 3.4.0 and persists since it was updated to 3.5.1

New clues:

  • It looks like the site dates back to the v2.x era
  • The preceding seems significant because the front end is using Yootheme's Mustache template and it looks like that theme was not updated to work with Joomla v3.x
  • check the $session in your configuration if it is set to database. if something else is set let us know
    – Liz.
    May 10, 2016 at 7:13
  • have you tried downloading the site and testing it in a local environment?
    – jonboy
    May 10, 2016 at 12:44
  • @Ruchika, it's set to database, but should I be concerned the variable is $session_handler instead of just $session?
    – rob e
    May 10, 2016 at 17:28
  • @johnny_s, I've only been thinking about doing that, though I was thinking more of starting with a new and up to date install, then adding or migrating live site stuff in.
    – rob e
    May 10, 2016 at 17:31
  • @robe yes i meant $session_handler only :) correction!
    – Liz.
    May 11, 2016 at 5:30

1 Answer 1


Had similar problem.

Could be one of the following

• A component or extension is using too much of the cache and sending the system into overload

Try to identify this clear the cache and disable any extensions

• The menu items need rebuilding if you are getting 404

Go to menus on backend, select all and then click rebuild.

Hope this helps.

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