We are using CiviCRM 4.6.9, and Drupal (where do I find version #??)

Suddenly a few days ago the following message began appearing: Sorry but we are not able to provide this at the moment. DB Error: unknown error

The screenshot is from my dashboard; the message also appears when attempting to view or edit most contact records. Most but not all, and I haven't found any pattern.

As far as I know, we have not recently updated Drupal or Civi.

Why are we suddenly getting this message? What can I do?

More information: the problem has gone away all by itself, so I still don't know what really happened. And that's OK by me for now.

Thanks for the helpful answers - I found the file with backtrace, and also found where to turn debugging & backtrace on and off for next time. So a helpful learning experience.

  • 2
    enabling debugging will show you more information about the issue. example.com/civicrm/admin/setting/debug?reset=1
    – shrish
    Nov 30, 2015 at 4:57
  • Check your logs- sites/default/files/civicrm/ConfigAndLog
    – DaveFF
    Nov 30, 2015 at 9:22
  • 2
    shrish is correct - I recommend going to Administer menu > System Settings > Debugging and Error Handling, select "Yes" to both "Enable Debugging" and "Display Backtrace", and press "Save". Repeat the problem that caused your error, and you'll see much a much more detailed error. Please update this question with the expanded error and backtrace - and don't forget to disable debugging/backtrace when you're done! Nov 30, 2015 at 22:34

2 Answers 2


You will get more details in civicrm log file (*/file/civicrm/ConfigAndLog). Also the main reason of this type error is, we are using few fields that are disabled. check custom fields status that are using for contact.


Had this issue and resolved it by disabling the only_full_group_by setting


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