How to rescue a board at ezboards to another site
So my favorite Final Fantasy Role Play board Spira @ www.ezboard.com was getting flakier than ever... And the admins and the ezOp found out that ezboard is converting all boards to Yuku (?). This combined with last year's hacking of ezboard which made the Spira board loose hundreds of post made all who post there queasy with the future of the board.
Well, I host 3 forums at my site http://ffproject.net/ two of them on VBulletin (paid license) and one on phpBB (free) board software so I started to woo the girls who administer the site at ezboard to come over to my site.
I thought transferring forums from ezboard was a matter of asking a copy of the last backup from the guys at ezboard support and running an import script or impex from vBulletin. Turns out it isn't that simple. Having 20 million users and millions of free boards, the tech support at ezboard is - understandably - very busy and has little time to help non-paying customers to leave their site. Heck, even for those that DON'T want to leave ezboard, backup is not available! (for the free accounts).
Well, getting all the old ezboard forums without a database is mission next to impossible. There is ONE hack that does it and does it well, and that is it. Even the pricey vBulletin has no impex script to do it, someone on their techie staff does it, for those willing to pay $80 for 1 year license. Not affordable for me or my friends at the Spira board, that is for sure!
But one kind angel among the phpBB hack writers has tackled the challenge of doing a nasty coding technique called "screen scrapping" to "read" the ezboard pages on the web into a phpBB database. After much googling, I found the latest version of the phpBB ezboard converter at Source Forge and it is a beauty! You give it each ezboard forum URL and it's corresponding forum number (created in advance) ata blank phpBB forum and it imports threads, posts, users, sigs, everything!!! All done via the phpBB admin control panel, cleanly and neatly.
What if you don't want your ezboard forum on phpBB ?
Well, as far as I know, no other forum software has this sweet hack, except for $80 vBulletin. But since phpBB is widely used, pretty much every other forum software can import easily from a phpBB database, so you can use my steps below to get all the ezboard forums INTO a phpBB database, the your favorite forum software utilities to import it from phpBB. The phpBB step will be the "middleman" to bring up the ezboard goodies to your new forum.
ezboard ==> phpBB ==> Invision, vBulletin, etc...
I managed to get ALL the posts from http://p070.ezboard.com/bspira89653 which has 103 forums (!) 136 users and 2,500 posts into the new board forums at my site. Check it out, it's all there with the exception of one forum we opted not to transfer (it was password protected and we would have to make it free access to convert). It took me 2 stints of 6 hours to do the conversion because the board had 103 folders / forums and the script converts one by one!
For those who want to change hosts, here is the scoop on how to "rescue" a
board's forums from ezboard:
Here are the screenhots of the original and converted boards