I am working on an install of CF 2018, and have migrated a website that was working in CF 8 (yes, I know, it's ancient) and is not working now.
In trying to match the settings between the two installs, I apparently moved or changed something that has now caused the CF administrator to stop working. I can't get IN to the CF administrator, so I can't find the setting to fix it.
On the Administrator index page, instead of getting the login page, the page is black with a search window on it. There is a popup that says "Message from webpage Error invoking CFC /CFIDE/administrator/updates/download.cfc : WDDX packed parst error at line 1, column 1. Content is not allowe in prolog.. [Enable debugging by adding 'cfdebug' to your URL parameters to see more information]
Adding cfdebug isn't giving me any other information.
How do I fix this without uninstalling and reinstalling the whole program?
The error suggests a likely cause. ColdFusion was trying to search for updates when something went wrong.
What is your latest update? It might help to (manually) install the latest update level.
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Are you trying to access the cf admin via port 8500? If not, do you still have a cfide folder in your site's web root? If you do, that has the old cf8 cfide. Delete that.
Cf9 and earlier used to ask where to put the cfid folder, and defaulted to putting it in the web root. Cf10 and later instead always puts it in the cf cfusion/wwwroot, and until cf2016 it would put a virtual directory into the web server pointing to it.
Since 2016, the default setup is that one should instead used that 8500 port to get to the admin, which runs through cf's built-in web server. This offers better security by default, as that's available only on the server, not from off the server. And that's why I asked my first question.
If you find it does work using port 8500, then you should still remove any cfide you may find on your web site's root (but not the one in the cfusion/wwwroot).
Let us know if this gets you going. If not, there would be more steps to consider, like bkbk offered.