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I have multiple sites and changing the admin URL is a standard procedure. Update local.xml frontname value and flush the cache.

I have one site where this does not work. System->Configuration->Admin->Admin Base URL options are set to 'NO'. The /admin url always remains accessible and nothing else takes affect.

I'm not the first developer on this site. What else could be controlling this URL or is there some way to trace what is happening?

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if I understood it correctly, you have an old url and want to replace it with new one, I do not advise doing this solution can count as the best solution and I am sure better solution is out there, however,you can go to your database and look for table core_config_data, if you have phpmyadmin, you can replace all old urls with new ones in the column value and then you will have your urls working.

The other ones which can control it are your virtual hosts in the file httpd.conf or your hosts file, make sure they are configured correctly.

The other thing is, if you have installed your magento recently, just install it again and this time use a correct URL,since when you create, your local.xml will be generated one more time, just remove the etc/local.xml and again install your magento.

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