[kwlug-disc] how to recover a mysql database when getting "Unknown table engine 'InnoDB???" err

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Wed Jul 28 12:01:00 EDT 2010

----- Original Message -----
> as a followup to something i asked once upon a time, i'm trying to
> recover the tables and data for a mysql database given what is alleged
> to be the ibdata1, ib_logfile[12] files and the database directory
> itself with all of the .frm files, and i *think* i'm getting close.
> on my current ubuntu 10.04 system, i wasn't using mysql for anything
> critical so i just popped into the /var/lib/mysql directory, totally
> overwrote those files and added that database directory, restarted
> mysql, popped in and "show databases;" shows the db in question.
> i can then "use" the database, and "show tables;" does, in fact,
> show me the tables. and then ... not good.
> doing a "describe <tablename>;" gives me:
> ERROR 1286 (42000): Unknown table engine 'InnoDB...
> where the string "InnoDB" has a small number of unprintable characters
> after it.
> i have no idea if the ibdata1 or log files have been corrupted, but
> the fact that i got as far as i did was promising -- i could see the
> database, i could select it and i could list its tables. but i can't
> get any further than that.
> i'm open to suggestions, and i also plan on going to the ubuntu hour
> this evening so if anyone wanted to sit down and give me a hand to
> solve this at ubuntu hour, i'm willing to compensate them for their
> time.

If you have the same binary of MySQL daemon running it should just work. I suspect the files you have were created on another version of MySQL. Perhaps you just need one that supports the particular version of innoDB? Perhaps you are missing an innodb .so?

John Van Ostrand 
CTO, co-CEO 
Net Direct Inc. 
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12, Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6 
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102 
Fx: 519-883-8533 

Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware 

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