Two days ago I upgraded a local dev site from 2.6x to 2.9. The local site is running via MAMP Pro, running PHP 5.5.10. I am also using the FocusLab master_config file.

Before upgrading, I ran the server test to make sure things were ok, and they were. The upgrade itself (manual, not using DevDemon updater) went off without errors. I did have a few issues after upgrading, one related to an add-on and another was an error in one of my templates, but I was able to figure them out. Everything seemed to run ok (or so I thought).

The next morning, I was getting an error message try to access the site. "Unable to determine what should be displayed. A default route has not been specified in the routing file."

This happens on the front end or trying to get into the Control Panel. But I can serve up a static file (like robots.txt). I thought it might have something to do with the MAMP Pro install (I had to move the files to another location) so I set up on my Mac Air today. Same exact error. Other local sites still running 2.6x and 2.7x are running ok.

I have also added the following into my config.master file without any luck

$config['uri_protocol'] = 'AUTO';

$config['enable_template_routes'] = 'n';

(I also tried PATH_INFO, QUERY_STRING, REQUEST_URI, ORIG_PATH_INFO for uri_protocol)

Anyone have any suggestions on things to check or try? Yes, downgrading to 2.7x is an option but I thought this might be something known or easy to fix.


Check your config folder for integrity. For that specific error, specifically /system/expressionengine/config/routes.php should have ee/index specified as the default_controller. But if that file is incorrect, that's a sign that the other config files may be incorrect as well. If you see it there, check file permissions to make sure the config files are readable.

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  • Thanks Derek. It turns out that I was missing routes.php and several other files too. I wondered about this the other night so I replaced the system folder. Not sure if my download was bad or what, but it looks like that took care of it. I appreciate the fast response!! – Todd Jul 29 '14 at 21:24

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