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I am trying to resolve an error I see in the system.log file for Magento. However I can not figure out what the issue or or more importantly how to resolve it. I have looked at the update.php file line 450 and do not see any incorrect code?

Below is the actual error I am seeing

 Warning: simplexml_load_string(): Entity: line 12: parser error : Start tag expected, '<' not found  in app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Layout/Update.php on line 450

 Warning: simplexml_load_string(): </customer_account_create-->  in app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Layout/Update.php on line 450
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I think you have a mispelled/not well formed xml layout file somewhere in your magento

  1. You can try https://stackoverflow.com/questions/11622995/check-xml-syntax-with-xmllint to figure wich file is "broken" and correct it

  2. you coud also browse all xml files by looking for "customer_account_create" and check if someting is wrong, one by one

  3. last tip si to add a debug temporary code in magento core function, like http://digitaldisseny.com/en/blog/72-magento-solve-xml-parsing-issues

one of theses 3 should work.

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I had the same problem and just want to share my solution.

Use xmllint to go through all xml files and validate them. Run this command from the Magento root directory:

find -type f -name "*.xml" -exec xmllint --noout {} \;

This will print the validation results of the xml files on the screen. You will get some false positives like:

./app/code/core/Mage/CatalogInventory/etc/wsi.xml:2: namespace error : xmlns:typens: 'urn:{{var wsdl.name}}' is not a valid URI

But it should also print the xml file with the real error, in my case that was:

./app/code/local/Vendor/Module/etc/adminhtml.xml:23: parser error : Start tag expected, '<' not found

This error is thrown for example when the xml file has no real content like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!-- comment directly after xml declaration without any xml following -->

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