Fix owncloud client sync “not valid JSON!” error

Recently I migrated my owncloud installation from one webserver to another. I learned that all you have to do is copy the data/ and config/ directories from your owncloud installation to the new machine’s owncloud folder to migrate everything over.

After the migration, I noticed the Windows desktop sync clients stopped working (android worked fine, though.) The main error messasge was not helpful:

Failed to connect to owncloud at https://servername/path/status.php: Unknown error

I found out from here that you can alter the shortcut for the Windows client and append –logwindow to the Target section. Once that was done, I was able to get more information:

03-02 10:01:27:240 0x50f9ec8 networkjobs.cpp:453 status.php from server is not valid JSON!

Manually navigating to status.php in the browser didn’t reveal anything – it appeared to load normally.

After much digging I found a suggestion to check the admin settings within owncloud. This is where I realized I probably didn’t migrate things properly. There was a big warning about invalid .htaccess files. Progress!

The lack of an .htaccess file made me realize that instead of completely moving the entire folder from the old owncloud install to the new, I needed to copy into the existing new owncloud directory. In moving instead of copying I somehow missed a few important files.

I started over, this time copying all files inside data and config into the new owncloud data and config directories. Apparently the Windows sync client requires valid .htaccess configuration before it will work.  Success!

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