I actually want a clean magento 1.9, without any modules/extensions/themes, but would like to keep at least products and customers. Orders are good to keep, but not necessary.

Now I tried:

  1. A fresh install. Trying to use Magento's built-in import/export customers and products, but errors were there. Something like "field value not valid" or "field value empty." Seems Magento 1.5 and 1.9 import/export not compatible?

  2. Download Magento full package to my server and then run initial setup with the old 1.5 database, hoping that it would upgrade my database automatically. At some point there was a server 500 error. The old Magento does have some extensions/modules/custom themes.

Any advise? What would be the best way to achieve my goal? Thank you.

  • use method 2. , also you can just upgrade old extensions too.
    – user2857
    Dec 21, 2014 at 13:18

4 Answers 4


We don't know how your database looks. Modules could have put extra keys, dependencies, etc.

I would suggest using a clean install like you are doing and you are going to have to debug these errors. Magento 1.5 can be upgraded to Magento 1.9.

I would suggest the following steps.

  1. Make sure you are using version control and a staging environment.
  2. Get your Magento working on a clean version of V1.5, set the theme to base/default, and verify everything is working.
  3. Set your server memory_limit to at least 512MB and max_execution_time to 180000
  4. Delete your V1.5 code from the directory (keep the app/etc/local.xml)
  5. Push the V1.9 code into your directory (re-add the app/etc/local.xml), and hit your site once.
  6. The upgrade will take some time, depending on the power of your server

Make sure to delete the V1.5 code and then migrate the V1.9 code in as Magento did remove some files.

From Magento directly:

Do not upgrade Magento in the same directory on the same server because post-upgrade errors are likely to occur.

Source: http://www.magentocommerce.com/knowledge-base/entry/ee11302-ce18-install-upgrade


I just went through this. Moving from a very bloated 1.7 to 1.9, but junking a lot of the old extensions/scripts.

For future visitors, here's what I did.

  1. Copied old DB, call it site_new_db.
  2. Installed 1.9 in a sub folder, pointed at site_new_db, hit site, upgraded tables etc.
  3. Applied new theme. Got everything looking how I wanted.

    • in the interim the production site took more orders and new customers, so:
  4. I exported all customer, invoices etc tables per here and here. You may have trouble with foreign key checks, so disable those, and if it persists, I just kyboshed (truncated or dropped) the tables I was trying to import then imported.

[Note: this might be terribly poor practise and hacky but it worked, and I am by no means a DB dev or coder]

  1. Then I imported all the inventory tables to the new site to get the stock levels right.
  2. Lastly I merged (downloaded, then uploaded via Transmit and MERGED) the catalog folder to make sure all images worked.

It should be noted we moved from having an old 1.7 site in html root, into a sub folder with some rewrites to root so the domain.com/subfolder looks like domain.com.

Now I've read that I'm sure I am underpaid at $25/hr. :)


Over such big version changes most people prefer to do an product and customer export and import, like you already tried. Thats sure the best solution, to avoid problems with once installed modules.

But the export part is a problem here, because I think its even partially broken inside magento.

So my suggested solution would be to use for example https://github.com/avstudnitz/AvS_FastSimpleImport as a tool for import, but write your own export script


Instead of upgrading directly from 1.5.x to 1.9.x, you may want to consider upgrading gradually from 1.5.x to 1.6.x to 1.7.x to 1.8.x to 1.9.x. By doing so, you will be able to catch any bugs and fix them before you move on to the next version.

I do highly recommend that you first try this on a staging store and you take multiple backups before you proceed to allow you to roll back easily.

  • I actually followed kab8609's steps with your suggestion.
    – Shawn
    Dec 25, 2014 at 1:15
  • How did it go? :) Dec 25, 2014 at 15:43
  • It works. So thank you very much! I want to vote you up but can't do it at my level right now.
    – Shawn
    Dec 28, 2014 at 18:43
  • Happy to hear that! :) Dec 30, 2014 at 8:39
  • 1
    I've seen a lot of cases where certain extensions and themes are not compatible with newer versions. It's better to identify and fix them first instead of accumulating them. Jan 3, 2015 at 10:26

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