Over 4700 database entries automatically created by WP

Last year we lost all media records from early May until the end of August. Our server host deleted them and my backup files couldn't be restored. Within every wiki post that had one of these deleted media files, mostly pictures, a box with an X shows up instead of the picture. We have finally gotten around to fixing this problem. However, I discovered many media records that, instead of the Wiki title showing up under Uploaded To in the Media on the dashboard, say Private Post. So who CAN see a 'Private Post". I am the Super User and if I can't see these, who can? dahhhhh. See attached screen shot.

So I tried to delete several of them. I got the message that I wasn't allowed to do that. (see attached screenshot). Again, I am the Super User Admin. No one should have rights higher than mine. I checked the Users tab and the 4 named Admins are correct, and I AM the Super User.

Additionally, there are OVER 4700 identical posts in my database by this user, Guest1. Every one has, as it's contents, a message about it's membership. I checked it's membership and it is a "Contributor" as all our registered users are. These 4700+ database entries were created constantly over time since we started using WP. They started in October 2014 and ended in late April of 2015. However, they are not Wiki posts nor are they blog posts. We activated the Wiki plugin from the very beginning of our WP use, since our site is a Wikipedia of all things skydiving.

Soooooo, I tried to delete this user. I have deleted users before. It always worked. I can't delete this user. Get an error message.

I am attaching some additional screen shots showing you what I got when I tried to delete all the 'Private Post' entries in the media folder. Then a screen shot of what I got when I tried to delete the user Guest1. And a screen shot of a bunch of the database records by Guest1.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Mary Todd, SysAdmin/Developer/DBA

  • James Morris
    • WordPress Enthusiast

    Hello Mary,

    I hope you are well today.

    This is, indeed, very strange behavior. The Super Admin should be able to delete anything on the site. In order to rule out a plugin causing the locking of these entries, would you please perform a plugin conflict test as outlined in the following article? https://premium.wpmudev.org/manuals/using-wpmu-dev/getting-support/

    This way we can rule out some other plugin causing the locking of this user and their data.

    Let us know if this leads to a resolution for you. If not, please reply back here and we'll be happy to dig into this issue further for you! :slight_smile:

    Best regards,

    James Morris

  • Mary
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Not trying to be uncooperative here, but I really need a Wiki Pro expert on this. Our site is not a Blog. I can count on one hand how many blogs we have. We are a Wiki.

    Also, from my 'points', you can guess that I've been around the block a few times with WP. From my 2 1/2 years using WP I have, many times, turned off all my plugins at the request of WPMU Dev Support, then turned them back on one at a time. Not once has it resolved the problem - not even once.

    Additionally, I strive to use as many WPMU Dev plugins as possible. I am sorry to say but many WPMU Dev support folks have recommended plugins from outside sources that are often not tested as compatible with the latest version of WP or haven't been updated for a significant amount of time. I learned the hard way to never install plugins like that.

    So let's go back a bit here.
    1. By deleting the "private post" media files one at a time, I was able to remove them. Why I couldn't delete a large number at once is odd, but this has now happened at least a few times in the past few weeks, and only the past few weeks. There is something preventing me from deleting more than a few at a time. Any idea? I couldn't find anyone else that has reported this in the Support Forum. Over time I have realized that WIKI Pro is a strange bird on WP and often exhibits problems that are not existent on WP blogs. But the software to delete Media files is part of regular WP, not Wiki Pro. ?????????
    2. I update my plugins and themes when they have new versions. Always.
    3. How about you, or a Wiki Pro Support tech, check out my site. I will grant permission.
    4. As in bullet #1 above, I also checked the support forums regarding the 4700+ entries in my database regarding Membership messages. These records stopped being created in late April last year (2015) - see the screenshot. I know you (WPMU Dev) have had problems since you released Membership. Perhaps someone familiar with that plugin and it's idiosyncrasies over time can give you a better idea why the large number of records were created in my DB by some process that was not initiated by me.
    5. User Guest1 has created several dozen wikis. IF I had been able to delete user Guest1, the WP software 'should' have asked me the user name to add all posts created by user Guest1. (of course I have no idea if it just renames the username of the author for regular blog posts, or if also will change the user name of the author of WIKI posts, a 'special' post type. Di you know if it does??)
    I have deleted users before, but never was unable to do it. I have even deleted groups of users that were obviously spammers attempting to find a repository for their crap. My setting to approve all posts before publishing stops them. Then I periodically delete the users who attempted to spam us. But this is the first user that I, the super user, couldn't delete. Someone there at WP must know why. ???
    6. Last point. Since the 4700+ records stopped being created in April last year, how exactly can I reproduce this problem if it's not happening any more by turning off all the plugins? Can you please ASK someone who is familiar with both WIKI Pro and Membership if there will be ANY problems if I use a database editor and deleted all those records? I backup my database nightly and my entire 250 GB (yes GB) site weekly, so I can recover the DB if there is a problem. But it would be much less time consuming if someone who knows about this problem could tell me, with confidence, that it will or won't cause problems.

    I haven't seen your name before when I create a support ticket, so if you are new, welcome to the team. Hope you enjoy "holding our hands" as we navigate the good news and bad news of WP. LOL.

    Thanks for your support. I look forward to hearing from you again.

    Blue Skies!!

    Mary Todd, SysAdmin/Developer/DBA

  • James Morris
    • WordPress Enthusiast

    Hello Mary,

    Thank you for providing more detail. First, please let me assure you we will do everything we can to come to a solution to this problem. I've been working with WordPress for over a decade and have seen many strange things happen over the years. :wink:

    Please forgive the request to perform the basic steps. It's just standard procedure to start with the basics and escalate once the basics have been covered.

    Wiki Pro, essentially, creates a custom post type. Where Wiki Pro is different from your usual custom post type is the front-end editor. Other than that, there's nothing particularly special about this post type that should cause the locked posts and media.

    My initial impression when I read your ticket is that your site had been compromised at some point in the past and someone had taken advantage of a vulnerability in either the core or a plugin, thus causing their account to be locked and preventing editing/deleting/etc.

    I suspect this could be handled through a compound SQL join in your favorite DBA tool, but I'd like to take a closer look around first.

    In order to dig deeper into this issue, would you please grant me access to your site and server? I won't make any changes without consulting you first, but I need to get a good feel for what is going on.

    Please visit the Contact page and complete the form with the following information:

    Select "I have a different question" from the drop-down box.

    Subject: "Attn: James Morris"

    In the Message box, please provide the following:

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    Best regards,

    James Morris

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