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phpMyAdmin error incorrect format parameter – Nail it easily

Database modification can be irritating if it fails with the phpMyAdmin error incorrect format parameter.

And, when this happens midst of a WordPress’s migration, things go for a toss!

Insufficient limits in the server often result in such PHPMyAdmin error.

At Bobcares, we often receive requests to fix phpMyAdmin errors as a part of our Server Management Service.

Today, let’s discuss the phpMyAdmin error incorrect format parameter and analyze how our Support Engineers usually fix it.


What is phpMyAdmin?

Initially, let’s check about PHPMyAdmin.

PhpMyAdmin is a very powerful and handy tool for database management. Certainly, it provides a nice interface to manage the database easily. We can also import backups to the server using the interface.


The scenario of phpMyAdmin error incorrect format parameter

We’ll move on and check the scenario at which the error occurs. Mostly, this error happens in tasks like WordPress migration, moving databases, etc.

Let’s say when users are changing hosting providers or uploading content or databases in the server for production. The files are usually easy to download and configure. However, the database is something that needs efforts if annoying errors appear.

While importing the database backup file, it might result in the PHPMyAdmin error incorrect format parameter.

phpMyAdmin error incorrect format parameter


Causes of phpMyAdmin error incorrect format parameter

We’ll move on and find the possible reasons for the error.

From our expertise in managing servers, incorrect format parameter appears due to multiple reasons such as:

1. Running a script more than the defined maximum execution time.
2. Similarly, if the requested data exceeds the defined limit.
3. The script may need more memory than the defined memory limit.
4. The size of post data goes higher than the defined maximum post data size.
5. Likewise, if the size of the backup file is more than defined maximum file size.
6. Due to corrupted SQL.


How we fix the phpMyAdmin error incorrect format parameter?

Till now we saw the various reasons for the error. Let’s check how our Support Engineers fix each of them.


1. Exceed PHP limits

First of all, we start by checking the PHP parameters.

However, the exact location of the PHP configuration depends on the server we are looking into. Let’s discuss a few such types.

1. If it’s WHM, then the config is located at WHM->Server configuration -> Tweak Settings.
2. For the Ubuntu server with Apache, it is in /etc/php/{PHPversion}/apache2/php.ini.
3. If it’s a local machine with Xammp: xampp/php/php.ini.
4. For Nginx webserver : /etc/php/{PHPversion}.

We change the following parameters based on requirements.

max_execution_time = 3000
max_input_time = 60
memory_limit = 128M
post_max_size = 200M
upload_max_filesize = 200M

We restart the apache service for the changes to reflect. If the issue still persists, we further change the execution time limit in the phpmyadmin configuration file. For WHM/cPanel it is generally located at /usr/local/cpanel/base/3rdparty/phpMyAdmin/ Here again, configuration file location may vary depending on the type of server.

We change the below parameter :
$cfg['ExecTimeLimit'] = 1000;

To avoid any errors with the websites, we always take a backup of the configuration files prior to any edit.


2. Possible corrupt SQL

In most cases, increasing PHP limits fix the error. However, at times the error can happen due to corrupt SQL files too. Therefore, we request a fresh backup of the database. As a last resort, our team starts rebuilding the SQL script if the problem exists due to a corrupted SQL file.


3. Manual SQL Import using SSH

In some rare cases, the restore from PHPMyAdmin does not work at all. In such cases, we proceed with manual importing of the database backup via SSH. Further, we always add the necessary privileges to the database user too.


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In short, WordPress migration often results in PHPMyAdmin error incorrect format parameter due to insufficient PHP limits on the server, corrupt SQL, etc. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers fixes the PHPMyAdmin incorrect format error.


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