Error Codes

3xxx = Database, 4xxx = Zip, 7xxx = Import, 8xxx = Deployment, 9xxx = Unclassified primary error, Any number 10,000+ = Unclassified, typically rarely seen.



For a Manually initiated backup the Backup Overview tab may show:

Error #4001 Unable to successfully generate ZIP archive. Backup FAILED. See logs above for more information. Click to view error details in the Knowledge Base

or the detailed Status Log tab may show:

Error #4001: Unable to successfully generate ZIP archive. Backup FAILED. See logs above for more information.

The Status Log entries just prior to the final indication of the 4001 condition will provide further detail of the site/server/hosting problem that has caused BackupBuddy to halt the backup because it is either unsafe or impossible to continue. For example, it might be unsafe because a file or files requested to be in the backup cannot be accessed by the web server process or it might be impossible because the site is out of disk space. The main thing to look for here is the Zip process exit code: ##

NOTE : The 4001 condition in BackupBuddy v5+ and the 3382 condition in BackupBuddy pre-v5 are synonymous

You can find more detailed explanations of some of the exit codes produced by the 4001 error below:

Exit Codes 10, -10, -1, and 14: This indicates a lack of disk space available on the hosting server. You may need to free up some space on your hosting and/or have your host increase the disk quota. If you have quite a few backups, you may want to try and remove any that you do not want. Possibly storing them on your personal computer and/or to an offsite storage location of your choosing.

Exit Code 9 and 127: This indicates a number of different possible errors, but they all revolve around your hosting provider prematurely killing off the process. Here are a number of different potential solutions:

1) At the settings page, uncheck zip compression and see if that makes a difference. BackupBuddy -> Settings -> Advanced Settings/Troubleshooting -> Zip -> Enable zip compression -> (Please be sure to click "Save Advanced Settings".)

2) At the settings page, Zip Method Strategy, set to Force Compatibility and see if that makes a difference (probably try this with zip compression still unchecked and it that works you could try it with zip compression checked). BackupBuddy -> Settings -> Advanced Settings/Troubleshooting -> Zip -> Zip method strategy -> Force Compatibility (Please be sure to click "Save Advanced Settings".) Please set this back to "Best Available" if it doesn't help.

3) Try temporarily adding additional exclusions in BackupBuddy's Settings page to gauge what the limit might be. Start by going to BackupBuddy -> Server Tools -> Site Size Maps -> Display Directory Size Listing Then you can exclude them here: BackupBuddy -> Settings -> General Settings -> File & Directory Defaults -> Other things you might be able to exclude are any directories in the root of your install like a /stats/, /logs/, /errors/, /cache/, or anything else that is not part of a standard WordPress install.

4) Also, it might help if you manually do the housekeeping that BackupBuddy does at intervals. Just go here: BackupBuddy -> Settings -> Other -> Housekeeping -> Cleanup OLD temporary data & perform housekeeping And click that button and it will remove any temp files.

5) Your host might be able to increase or remove whatever timeout constraint is kicking in.

6) It could be related to the PHP max execution time so increasing that may help as well. 

7) Finally, please try enabling the "Alternative zip system" with it set to "Multi-Burst/Single-Step":

BackupBuddy -> Settings -> Advanced Settings/Troubleshooting -> Zip
Select Alternative Zip System
Set Zip Build Strategy to "Multi-Burst/Single-Step" if not already.

Leave the rest of its options at their defaults, save settings then please try again.

Exit Code 18: This indicates that there is a file that the backup process found to be unreadable. This could indicate a number of things from a corrupted file to one with improper permissions or a locked file put in place by the hosting provider. The easiest way to get the backup to complete is to exclude that file BackupBuddy -> Settings -> General Settings -> File & Directory Defaults -> Other. You can also work with your hosting provider to determine why that file is unreadable.

Exit Code: 24 and 152: This means that your CPU time limit (cap) was reached. You might try disabling zip compression here:

Backup Buddy -> Settings -> Advanced Settings/Troubleshooting -> Zip -> Enable zip compression

Just uncheck that and save the settings. Then see if it will make a Complete Backup.

If it doesn't, then it means most likely that your host has set a cap on you CPU allocation and you may wish to contact them to see if there's anything they can do for you. If need be, you can refer them to this link:

Exit Code 153: This means that your problem is most likely due to a hosting file size creation constraint. You will need to check with your host to find out what the file size creation limitation is. Your host may be willing to increase the limit.

Exit Code: 255: This means that your server's command line zip utility is not working correctly and the host would need to investigate why. When contacting your host, you can show them that Zip process exit code that your server is reporting.

Or you could change this from the default of "Best Available" to "Force Compatibility" to just use the WordPress PCLZIP utility instead.
BackupBuddy -> Settings -> Advanced Settings/Troubleshooting -> Zip -> Zip method strategy ->


Errors were encountered: Error #8001: Unable to decode json response. Verify remote site API URL `` , API key, and that the remote site has the API enabled in its wp-config.php by adding define( 'BACKUPBUDDY_API_ENABLE', true ); somewhere ABOVE the line "That's all, stop editing!". Return data: [Server response here]

  • Commonly this is caused by the line added to the remote site's wp-config.php being in the wrong place. Make sure define( 'BACKUPBUDDY_API_ENABLE', true ); is added ABOVE the comment line "That's all, stop editing!". If this is added to the very bottom of the wp-config.php WordPress will not see it.
  • Verify you have the correct API key entered and that the URL in the error message is valid.


Warning #8003: 404 retrieving remote log `` . This may or may not be normal.

  • During the Deployment process BackupBuddy will request the remote ImportBuddy log from either the remote site's server (pushing) or the local server (pulling). If this log does not exist yet OR has already been deleted then a 404 will result. Usually this is normal and only temporary.


Error #9002: BackupBuddy unable to create directory `/directory/path/here`. Please verify write permissions for the parent directory `/directory/path` or manually create the specified directory & set permissions.

  • This error means that BackupBuddy was unable to create a storage directory (such as for backups, log files, temporary files, etc) at the location listed in the error message. BackupBuddy must be able to create this directory to function properly.
  • Adjust permissions to allow write & directory creation on the parent directory as specified. ie: /www/wp-content/uploads/
  • Optionally manually create the directory and set permissions.


BackupBuddy data file (backupbuddy_dat.php) missing or unreadable. There may be a problem with the backup file, the files could not be extracted (you may manually extract the zip file in this directory to manually do this portion of restore), or the files were deleted before this portion of the restore was reached. Start the import process over or try manually extracting (unzipping) the files then starting over. Restore will not continue to protect integrity of any existing data.

  • This error is often caused by the importbuddy.php script being replaced by an older version during the unzip step. See importbuddy overwriting on unzip
  • This error is often caused by the server timing out before zip file extraction could complete.
    • Manually extract files using either cPanel or extracting (unzipping) the files locally then uploading them & selecting the importbuddy.php advanced option to skip file extraction.
    • Ask your server host to extend the maximum script execution time.
    • Create a custom php.ini file if your host allows for this.
    • Change hosts & let your current host know why you changed.
  • Additional potential causes (very rare):
    • File permissions not allowing reading of the backupbuddy_dat.php file.
    • Incomplete backup. Verify the backup is marked as Good on the source site.


File extraction process did not complete successfully. Unable to continue to next step. Manually extract the backup ZIP file and choose to "Skip File Extraction" from the advanced options on Step 1. (importbuddy.php)

  • This ZIP file was unable to be extracted for some reason.
    • Unzipping may have taken too long and the PHP process halted.
    • Server memory usage may have been exceeded.
    • Server configuration may be blocking extracting of ZIP files.
  • Attempt manual extraction & disable File Extraction from the advanced debugging options of Step 1.


ERROR: A database prefix is required for importing. (importbuddy.php)

  • You must specify a WordPress database table prefix. Default is "wp_" without quotes.


ERROR: Unable to find any database backup data in the selected backup. (importbuddy.php)

  • Database file is missing from the backup.


ERROR: Unable to import SQL query: (importbuddy.php)

  • Something went wrong attempting to import this row into the database.
  • If it says duplicate table or row then the user is importing/migrating into a database that has an existing WordPress installation with the same prefix. This could cause problems if it's a different install or a lot has changed.


ERROR #9011. FTP/FTPs login failed on scheduled FTP. Credentials:

  • Unable to log in to FTP or FTPs server due to a problem with the login credentials. Verify your username and password.


FTP/FTPs file upload failed. Check file permissions & disk quota. Details: [additional details here]

  • BackupBuddy was able to connect to the FTP server but was not able to upload the file.
  • Verify file permissions allow writing and that enough disk space is available.
  • Try changing the "Transfer mode" from Passive (default) to Active (or vice versa if that is the case).
  • Does the IP Address have a specific domain associated with it? With some hosts, it seems to work better if the domain name is used instead of the IP Address.


Sorry! PHP version x.x or newer is required for BackupBuddy to properly run. You are running PHP version x.x.x.

  • BackupBuddy currently requires PHP 5.x. See the Sales page or BackupBuddy codex page for the latest version requirements.
  • Most hosts allow you to change the PHP version from their control panel.


Fatal error. The database already contains a WordPress installation with this prefix (27 tables). Restore has been stopped to prevent overwriting existing data. Please go back and enter a new database name and/or prefix OR clear our your database prior to restoring again.

  • WordPress already exists in the database/prefix combo entered.
  • Choose a new prefix, database, or delete the existing WordPress tables from the database.


Temp data directory is not writable. Check your permissions. (#directory#)

  • Verify user permissions for this directory. Make sure the user can create & write files.
  • Use SUPHP so PHP will run as your user. This insures it will have proper file/directory permissions.


Temp data file is not creatable/writable. Check your permissions. (#directory#)

  • Verify user permissions for this directory. Make sure the user can create & write files.
  • Use SUPHP so PHP will run as your user. This insures it will have proper file/directory permissions.


Database file is not creatable/writable. Check your permissions. (#directory#)

  • Verify user permissions for this directory. Make sure the user can create & write files.
  • Use SUPHP so PHP will run as your user. This insures it will have proper file/directory permissions.


Unable to write to file [.htaccess/wp-config.php]. Permissions are preventing this file from being modified.

  • Verify write permissions are properly configured for this file. Suggestion: 755.
  • For .htaccess: Another option is to delete the .htaccess file & in the WordPress admin navigate to Settings: Permalinks & click the Save button to regenerate the file.


PHP Timeout or Fatal Error Occurred

  • "The page did not finish loading as expected. The most common cause for this is the PHP process taking more time than it has been allowed by your host (php.ini setting max_execution_time). If a PHP error is displayed above this can also cause this error. "
  • Increase the maximum allowed PHP runtime by contacting your host or creating a php.ini file to override host settings (if allowed).
  • If on the unzip step, manually extract the ZIP file on your local PC then upload or use another server-based software such as cpanel.


Error: Unable to create backup storage directory `/www/wp-content/uploads/backupbuddy_backups/`. Please verify that proper write permissions are enabled to create this directory. You may also manually create this directory. If you do so make sure to give permissions to allow writing backups into this directory.

  • This error means that BackupBuddy was unable to create a storage directory at the location listed in the error message. BackupBuddy must create this directory to place backup files into.
  • Adjust permissions to allow write & directory creation access to your uploads folder. ie: /www/wp-content/uploads/


The backup is of a full Multisite Network. You cannot import a Network into a Network. You may only import standalone sites and sites exported from a Multisite.

  • If you want to import a site from a Multisite Network you must first use BackupBuddy to export a site from it. You can then import that individually exported site into another Multisite Network using BackupBuddy's Multisite Import or even as a standalone site with importbuddy.php.


ERROR #9024: Connected to Amazon S3 but unable to put file. There is a problem with one of the following S3 settings: bucket, directory, or S3 permissions. Details: ...

  • In the destination settings page click the button to test the connection to verify the settings.
  • Try manually sending a backup.
  • See the Details portion of this error at the end for advanced troubleshooting information. This may be helpful for support or the developers.


ERROR #9025: Connected to Rackspace but unable to put file. Verify Rackspace settings included Rackspace permissions, etc.


ERROR #9026: The mySQL server went away unexpectedly during database dump. This is almost always caused by mySQL running out of memory. The backup integrity can no longer be guaranteed so the backup has been halted. 'Last table dumped before database server went away: `wp_#####`.

  • Ask host to increase mysql memory.
  • Reduce database [table(s)] size.


ERROR #9027: The mySQL server went away and was unavailable for scheduling the next cron step. This is almost always caused by mySQL running out of memory. The backup integrity can no longer be guaranteed so the backup has been halted.

  • This is the same issue as 9026 except that it may have happened after a different step than the database dump.
  • See 9026.


ERROR #9028: Based on your backup archive limits (size limit) the backup that was just created would be deleted. Skipped deleting this backup. Please update your archive limits.

  • Your archive size limit is less than the backup file size. This would result in all backup files being deleted, including the latest, which would result in zero backups. The last backup has been kept for safety.
  • Adjust the backup size limit to a larger value or reduce the size of your backups by deleting files or excluding directories.


Error #9029: Table `TABLE_NAME` does not contain a primary key; BackupBuddy cannot safely modify the contents of this table. Skipping migration of this table. ([serialized()|bruteforce_table()])

  • This table is not set up properly. All tables should have a PRIMARY key and/or a UNIQUE key. Mysql automatically returns the first fully unique key if available if a primary key does not exist.
  • If a plugin created the reported table contact the author to have this corrected.


mysqlbuddy: Error #9030. Command did not exit normally. Falling back to database dump compatibility modes.

  • Occurs when command line mysql is reported to be available but still failed. BackupBuddy cannot always capture command line mysql error messages.
  • Common causes:
    • One or more tables that was attempted to be imported already existed.


"Error #9031. Invalid backup serial (xxxxxxxxxx). Please check directory permissions and your PHP error_log as an early backup function (such as pre_backup) may have failed. Fatal error."

  • This is a fatal error which will halt the backup process. You must fix whatever is causing it before BackupBuddy can continue.
  • This basically means that when BackupBuddy tried to load backup information for the unique backup your browser requested information on, no information was found. Please try the following fixes:
    • 1 : Fix the file and folder permissions on all your BackupBuddy folders and the wp-content/uploads folder to allow proper writing permissions.
    • 2 : Make sure you have plenty of free disk space.
    • 3 : Upgrade to the latest version of BackupBuddy to make sure you are not encountering any old bugs or we have improved workarounds for your server issue.


BackupBuddy Error #9032: You have not set a password to download this script yet. Please do so on the Settings page. You should have been prompted for a password when you clicked to download this script. If you are seeing this then most likely another plugin is loading its javascript on our plugin page causing it to break. Try disabling all other plugins to see if that fixes it. If so then turn them back on one by one until you find the offending plugin. You may also view your browser javascript error console to check for any script errors to help diagnose the issue.


"Error #9033: The pre-backup initialization did not fully complete. Check for any errors above or in logs. Verify permissions & that there is enough server memory. See the BackupBuddy "Server Information" page to help assess your server."

  • One known cause: Server ran out of memory at some point during the pre_backup() initialization procedure, possibly during importbuddy generation. Check PHP error log for memory errors. Increase server memory for probably fix.


  • Check file permissions on the reported file and its directory. If still experiencing problems verify ownership and/or that suphp is installed and properly configured on the server. Contact host for details.


Error #9035. Unable to move restored file `/var/folders/hq/vmq2b8xs4dgd3f4dzrv21gqw0000gn/T/31q9bfispb/myfolder/` to `/Users/dustin/Sites/`. Verify permissions on destination location & that the destination directory/file does not already exist.

  • If restoring a directory verify that the destination directory does not already exist. BackupBuddy will not replace a non-empty directory to avoid deleting any files within the existing directory inadvertently.
  • If restoring a file verify file permissions allow overwriting.


Error #9036. The destination directory being restored already exists and is NOT empty. The directory will not be restored to prevent inadvertantly losing files within the existing directory. Delete existing directory first if you wish to proceed or restore individual files. Existing directory: `/Users/dustin/Sites/`.

  • The directory you are restoring already exists on the site. At this time directories cannot be merged so the existing directory would need to be deleted prior to restore. As this could result in inadvertently losing files in the directory we require that you manually delete the directory if you wish to proceed.


Error #9037: Unable to connect to remote server or unexpected response. Details: Operation timed out after 28000 milliseconds with 0 bytes received - URL: .

  • Verify your remote site is up and running, with BackupBuddy activated and the remote API enabled. Check your Deployment Settings (such as the API key) and verify they are all correct.
  • Verify the other server is able to be connected to from this computer. Eg. Connected to the internet or the same LAN.


(Loopback test) -- Warning #9038: Connected to server but unexpected output: `RESPONSE_HERE`. Code: `xxx`.


Error scheduling event with WordPress. Your schedule may not work properly. Please try again. Error #3488439.

  • This means the built-in WordPress function wp_schedule_event() is returning false. The only thing that can cause that is another plugin or something filtering/blocking scheduling of events. So can try deactivating/disabling all other plugins and then see if it clears it up. If it does then one of them was conflicting and can reactivate the plugins one at a time to find which one causes it again.
    • Letting the conflicting plugin's author know about the conflict is good to do as well so they can update their plugin and fix it


See also

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