After running the automated upgrade to 3.4, I receive the message

Fatal error: Call to undefined function get_option() in /.../wp-admin/admin.php on line 32

I have renamed plugins/ to plugins2/, renamed themes/ to themes2/, created themes/ and placed twentyten in there.

Still fails with same error.

I have downloaded a copy of 3.4, and uploaded /wp-admin and /wp-includes.

Still fails with the same error.

When I try to run wp-admin/upgrade.php I receive:

"Fatal error: Call to undefined function timer_start() in /.../wp-admin/upgrade.php on line 20"

Line 32 of /wp-admin/admin.php is:

if ( get_option('db_upgraded') ) {

I tried manually inserting this option set to true in the wp_options table in phpmyadmin, but the same error remains.

  • 3
    Did you google your problem? I mean, there seem to be lots and lots of people with similar problems, and so are the solutions.
    – its_me
    Jun 18, 2012 at 2:09
  • Thanks. The first googled page said someone found files of size 0 bytes in the root directory. This was the case for me too. Happy!
    – Steve
    Jun 19, 2012 at 2:50
  • However, now I receive error "ERROR: The themes directory is either empty or doesn’t exist. Please check your installation."
    – Steve
    Jun 19, 2012 at 2:51
  • 2
    Hi Steve, please leave an answer to what fixed you problem initially and then set-up a new question for your new error. Your new question can link back this one to show where you started.
    – Scott
    Jun 19, 2012 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


The problem was caused by about 8 wordpress files in the root directory with a filesize of 0 bytes.

Uploading fresh copies of these files (from the latest version downloaded from wordpress.org) solved the initial problem.

The subsequent problem has since cleared without any indication of what steps solved it.

  • Please mark your answer as correct using the green tick
    – shea
    Dec 21, 2012 at 6:06

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