I've been trying to upgrade CiviCRM to the latest. This is what I've been planning to do:

Update to the latest availale on drupal 6, then upgrade drupal 6 to 7, update CiviCRM on the latest available on Drupal 7, then upgrade to Drupal 8 and update CiviCRM to the latest version available, then migrate to WordPress.

I wanted to update progessively within all the versions and this is what I did to update to 3.3.3:

1) Login as admin. 2) Set define('CIVICRM_UF','Drupal'); to define( 'CIVICRM_UF','Drupal6'); 3) Delete the old Civi files on site/all/modules and put the 3.3.3 files. 4) Delete the files on template_c 5) Try to access to /update

In the last step I get an error that don't let my continue with my activities:

CiviCRM error

Any idea of what's happening? Is there a better way to approach my goal?


3 Answers 3


From CiviCRM 3.3.2 to 5.x latest is a huge task. Lots of things that can go wrong in the process. And if anyone has ever made any schema edits to your CiviCRM database tables upgrading could be very painful.

Have you considered installing a fresh 5.x and then doing an export out of 3.3.2 -> import into 5.x of the data you want to carry forward?

It will be much easier if you treat this like the same as any migration from a legacy CRM to CiviCRM 5.x;

CiviCRM 3.3.2 was released on Jan 04 2011 - it qualifies as legacy :-)

  • I've read that some data get lost because of tables that doesn't exist in CiviCRM 5. Do you know exactly which data is it? Thanks for your answer. Oct 11, 2018 at 5:35
  • Impossible to tell - I’ve amended my answer. Easier - less time consuming not to go through 7.5years of updates. Just extract the data you want and import it into a fresh 5.x Oct 11, 2018 at 12:59
  • That's ok. I'm considering this way now. Maybe I will code something to do it for me. Oct 11, 2018 at 13:39


I had similar requirement to upgrade 3.3.1 to 4.7.31 few months back. Here is what i did

  1. Performed Incremental upgrade for CiviCRM on drupal 6

    • 3.3.1 to last version of 4.0
    • 4.0 to last version of 4.2
    • 4.2 to last version of 4.5
    • 4.5 to last version of 4.7
  2. Installed CiviCRM 4.7.31 on upgraded drupal 7.

  3. Replaced the db for CiviCRM from #1 into #2
  4. Performed CiviCRM clean up cache
  5. Did menu rebuild /civicrm/menu/rebuild?reset=1&triggerRebuild=1
  6. Clear drupal cache
Note: After every incremental upgrade please take backup so that it will be easy to revert back if any stage of upgrade fails.



  • Thanks Pradeep. Your answer will be helpful, but do you have any idea about the error? Oct 10, 2018 at 20:47
  • So you using d6 civicrm, version 3.3.3? Oct 10, 2018 at 20:58
  • No. I'm using 3.3.2 Oct 10, 2018 at 21:08
  • At which upgrade point did you need to change the civicrm.settings.php CIVICRM_UF from drupal to drupal6 and add require_once 'CRM/Core/ClassLoader.php'; CRM_Core_ClassLoader::singleton()->register(); to the bottom?
    – Christia
    Dec 9, 2018 at 23:55

The mention of changing CIVICRM_UF from Drupal to Drupal6 suggests to me that you're downloading the "Drupal" (i.e. Drupal 7) package of CiviCRM. Instead, download the Drupal 6 version. These are available from Sourceforge.

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