I am working a Joomla 2.5.x site upgrade to Joomla 3.x. I have done this before smoothly but this time site behave differently.

when the upgrade reach upto 82.% its throw an error.

1091 Can't DROP 'usertype'; check that column/key exists SQL=ALTER TABLE `xxx_users` DROP KEY `usertype`;

for the last 6hr Im playing on it and tired . I also read this issue reported on Joomla forum. and this. But no luck.

My current Joomla version is Joomla! 2.5.27 Stable [ Ember ] 30-September-2014 14:00 GMT PHP version is 5.5.15 DB version is 5.6.20.

I reached on 2.5.27 with two updated first update to 2.5.17 then 2.5.27. Now trying with one click to Joomla 3.3.6 .

I already uninstalled all third party extension(non-compatible and even compatible) from my site. Now my Joomla have only few articles,conatcts and menus.

Any suggestion or tips will be more helpful.

Thanks in advance!

4 Answers 4


First, go to PhpMyAdmin, open the #__users table and check that the usertype columns exists.

If it doesn't exist then Create a new column and call it usertype.

If it does exist, then follow these steps:

  1. Download the Update Package manually from here
  2. Extract it to your desktop, then open the following file administrator/components/com_admin/sql/updates/mysql/3.0.0.sql
  3. Remove line 18 (ALTER TABLE #__users DROP COLUMN usertype;)
  4. Re-zip the update package and upload it via the Extension Manager
  5. Go to PhpMyAdmin >> #__users and remove the usertype column manually

Hope this helps

  • the usertype column already exists let me try 2nd options and let you know result.
    – Jobin
    Oct 15, 2014 at 2:52
  • thanks for your answser finally able to upgraded to 3.3.6. I will post the steps later.
    – Jobin
    Oct 15, 2014 at 8:16
  • @JobinJose - You're more than welcome, glad you got it all sorted out
    – Lodder
    Oct 15, 2014 at 8:17

I had the same problem recently. What helped was:

  1. In administrator/components/com-admin/sql/updates, delete all the sql files for versions older than the start version (in my case I was updating from 2.5.28, so I deleted everything with an older version number. Then I entered /administrator/index.php?option=com_installer&task=database.fix This got the extension manager working, though it looked bad. Did a discover, updated isis (default admin template), looked better. After that found which components caused blank screens and uninstalled/reinstalled them with later versions. (In my case this was PhocaGallery, JCEEditor, Weblinks, and the site template - I needed to replace it with a 3-compatible one.) The old version of JCE Editor actually stopped the control panel opening! No content was lost except for the weblinks, which I can copy from elsewhere.

Hope this helps


Finally able to upgrade site from Joomla 2.5.15 to Joomla 3.3.6

the upgrade work like below.

Started with Joomla 2.5.15 -> J 2.5.17 -> J 2.5.27 -> J 3.0.0 -> J 3.0.1

The Detailed Challenge and Solution can be found on Joomla Upgrade 2.5.x to Joomla 3.x.

thanks to lodder for giving the hint of Sql file! that drive me to manual upgrade.

Hope it help someone else ..


I also had this issue and it was due to extra tables in the database, possibly from a previous upgrade failure. I set up a new install and compared databases. Then dropped the following tables:

  • jos_contentitem_tag_map
  • jos_content_types
  • jos_postinstall_messages
  • jos_tags
  • jos_ucm_base
  • jos_ucm_content
  • jos_ucm_history
  • jos_user_keys

I could then upgrade from 2.5.28 direct to 3.3.6

Hope this helps someone else

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