I'm creating a completely new WP site for a client, and need to begin with an exact DUPLICATE of the existing site. Due to various hosting restrictions, the site is too large to use a WP backup / duplicator utility. So I'm doing this manually.
Here's what I've done...
1. Downloaded all the existing site files (by ftp) and the existing database (using phpMYadmin)
2. Created a new WP installation in a new sub-directory on my host server
3. Added my existing db user to the new db (so the new db has 2 authorized users)
4. Dropped ALL the tables in the new WP db (using phpMYadmin)
5. Imported the entire existing WP db into my new WP db - and verified everything was there
6. Uploaded all the existing site files to the new WP sub-directory (by ftp)
So... the db AND the site files (from the existing site) are now duplicated for the new WP installation. But when I visit the new sub-directory installation of WP, I hit the famous 5 minute installation screen.
The first time that happened, I thought I was good to go so I simply (re-)entered all my previous admin information. THAT caused WP to auto generate a new table prefix and created an entirely NEW set of database tables (within the new db) hooked to that prefix - even though I already had ALL the correct db tables imported from my previous installation. And although the site did launch, it was "clean" with nothing from my previous installation. I created a 'test' post and found it in the newly created db tables, not the db tables I had imported from my existing db.
So I deleted the ENTIRE table structure (again) and uploaded the existing db (again) and now I'm back at the 5-min install screen.
Seems to me this should be VERY straight forward, but obviously I'm missing something critical. I thought I found the answer in my wp-config file, but all of that is (or seems to be) set correctly for the new databse, but calling the previous table prefix.
Can someone help me find and set the right option(s) in the right file(s) to get this new WP installation hooked up to the the existing table prefixes in the new DB installation?