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I tried to log into WordPress today and instead of the usual wp_admin page, I got 'Welcome to the famous five minute WordPress installation process!'. It asks for a Site Title and email address, and has a spot for username which is pre-filled with 'User(s) already exists'. When I fill in the other details, it refreshes the page and says 'please provide a valid username' but there is no way for me to fill in a username.

Any ideas?

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    Your site has been compromised or your host is having issues because their devs had too much eggnog. You should call them. – Andrew Bartel Dec 26 '13 at 7:50
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It's almost certainly a database issue. Contact your host, as Andrew suggested. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can try checking for database errors in phpMyAdmin.

First, back up your WordPress database before trying anything. If you have access to cpanel, there's most likely a simple option to create an SQL backup.

To check for/repair errors, log in to phpMyAdmin, then:

  1. Choose your WordPress database and select the "Structure" tab.
  2. Check the box next to every table listed (You can just click on Check All ).
  3. Select "Check Table" to search for errors.
  4. Select "Repair Table" to repair any errors.

Note: Your site may be compromised. However, I do see this problem occasionally when a host automatically upgrades WordPress to a new version.

It has usually shown the "5 minute install" screen for a few hours until I refresh /wp-admin/ and it's suddenly back to normal. So, if the problem goes away on its own, you probably don't need to do anything. Otherwise, the steps above should fix the problem. Either way, I would read up on "hardening WordPress". Good luck!

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