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This question already has an answer here:

Background Mage 1.7.0.2. Fully-patched except USPS patches (see note below). No manual edits have been made to install files failing patch.

Problem Summary 2 Installs: Fails with message ERROR: Patch can't be applied/reverted successfully.

Problem Detail 2 specific failures in the report:

  1. Both installs: "patching file app/code/core/Mage/Adminhtml/controllers/DashboardController.php Hunk #1 FAILED at 91."

  2. One install: "patching file app/design/frontend/base/default/template/persistent/customer/form/login.phtml Hunk #1 FAILED at 38."

Research Done

  1. Searched through all 1.x patches for those two files. Error 1 (DashboardController.php) is changed in one other patch: SUPEE-1533, which is applied to both installs. Error 2 file (customer/form/login.phtml) isn't found in any patches)
    1. Specifically looked at the un-applied USPS patches; neither of the files that won't patch are touched by those patches

marked as duplicate by Rakesh Jesadiya, 7ochem, Raphael at Digital Pianism, Qaisar Satti, Fabian Schmengler Oct 14 '16 at 8:35

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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If you've previously applied SUPEE-1533 then the patch will fail on
app/code/core/Mage/Adminhtml/controllers/DashboardController.php.

I solved this by...

1.Manually revert the changes introduced to that file by SUPEE-1533
2.Apply SUPEE-8788
3.Manually reintroduce the changes introduced to that file by SUPEE-1533

Removing the change from the SUPEE-8788 is dangerous because the patch file contains binary data and saving it in an editor can cause issues (another gotcha).

0

My DashboardController looks a little different than the patch is trying to fix. If I correct the controller the patch works.

Lines in my controller:

$params = json_decode(base64_decode(urldecode($gaData)), true);
    if ($params) {

Line the patch is looking for:

if ($params = unserialize(base64_decode(urldecode($gaData)))) {

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