No .htaccess, Not Found Error

This is just a short lesson's learned I want to share regarding the decoupling of a multi-site Drupal installation. Some of you know that there is a site called http://groups.idcminnovations.com. What you wouldn't know is it has been running off the same Drupal installation as this site. Makes sense I suppose given it is a sub-domain of this site. On June 9th, 2010 I migrated a copy of this Drupal installation to a separate site on our server and redirect the groups server alias to its own Drupal installation. Sounds simple enough - it's been done before. When the copy was made, for some reason the .htaccess file content disappeared. You could see the file on the server but it was empty.

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The error message read: "Not Found - The requested URL /articles/setting-drupal-organic-groups was not found on this server." when I tried to access a node on the site. My heart stopped beating for a second. I contacted http://prohosters.com and the guys went to work. Within a minute, Marius found the problem. He copied the .htaccess directory from idcminnovations.com into groups.idcminnovations.com and I was back in business.

So, the message is be careful when you copy. The contents in the .htaccess file allows the server to understand Drupal's virtual pathing structures. I don't know what prevented the .htaccess contents from being copied in the first place but if this happens to you, now you know ;-)