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Magento - Can’t initialize indexer process

By Igor Goltsov June 11, 2012 9980 Views 5 comments

Can't initialize indexer process – this is one of those frustrating errors that can sometimes interfere with the daily operation of an established Magento store. It is quite common to see large online stores upgrade to newer versions of Magento and later on meet the above error. Let’s look into a couple of solutions that I have used to tackle this issue.

I came across this error for a few of our client’s websites. And sometimes I was able to resolve this error with the following sql statement:

DELETE cpop.* FROM catalog_product_option_price AS cpop
INNER JOIN catalog_product_option AS cpo
ON cpo.option_id = cpop.option_id
cpo.type = 'checkbox' OR
cpo.type = 'radio' OR
cpo.type = 'drop_down';

DELETE cpotp.* FROM catalog_product_option_type_price AS cpotp
INNER JOIN catalog_product_option_type_value AS cpotv
ON cpotv.option_type_id = cpotp.option_type_id
INNER JOIN catalog_product_option AS cpo
ON cpotv.option_id = cpo.option_id
cpo.type <> 'checkbox' AND
cpo.type <> 'radio' AND
cpo.type <> 'drop_down';

This solution was taken from Magento forum. Here is the direct link:

Special thanks to forum user Ogray for providing this solution.

But then at some point of time this query stopped working for me. No matter what I tried, this frustrating error still kept coming up. Attempts to force the query to ignore FOREIGN KEYS check helped to complete the reindex. However, on the following reindex process the error occurred all over again.

Then I finally figured out what was causing it. If a store was using Tier Prices and some of the products got deleted in older versions of Magento, the tier price data was still kept for those deleted product in tier price table. And after upgrade to the newer versions there was a situation when catalog_product_index_tier_price would try to include records from catalog_product_entity_tier_price that do not have corresponding entries in products table. Therefore each time there is a scheduled re-index process (which by default will have Foreign Key check enforced) it would fail due to orphan records that exist in catalog_product_entity_tier_price table.

The solution to this problem is fairly simply, all we need to do is delete those orphan entries from catalog_product_entity_tier_price. In order to do this you need to run the following query:

DELETE FROM catalog_product_entity_tier_price
WHERE entity_id NOT IN (SELECT entity_id FROM catalog_product_entity);

After running the above query this annoying error will be gone forever.

Having enough of these and similar problems with old and only version of Tier Price for the time being, we decided to write our own Tier Price module for Magento.

Our Tier Price module allows you to specify Tier Prices by percentage for a single or multiple items in your store. And it does that without making any changes to the core structure, so all Magento upgrades will take place without any effect on the system core indices. This is guaranteed.

Another great advantage of the extension is that once you set the percentages for tier prices of the item asking price, they will remain the same even after the item price changes. And you do not need to recalculate them over many times for each item. This is especially true for owners of large wholesale online stores.

I hope our experience will help your case.

Do not forget to make a backup before you do any changes!

Have a good day!

Kevin October 5, 2012 at 3:52 PM
THANK you. Really, this saved the day. I couldn't get it to work in any other way :\ Tried the database repair tool, but no luck. Thos, however, worked like a charm :) Thanks!
Velin December 18, 2012 at 8:22 PM
THANK YOU MAN!!!! It finally works!!! Do you drink beer? If so e-mail me with your PayPal!
Igor Goltsov December 19, 2012 at 1:40 PM
Thank you Velin for kind words. We were happy to help you =)
Thea Haak January 28, 2015 at 8:59 PM
Thanks for the solutiion, it solved a part of the problem.
I made the changes in the database, and then i could reindex the product prices.
After that i reindexed the whole site and now i have the same error on "Product Flat Data"
Is this another error?
I use the tier prices and set everything to %. I have updated the site to 1.9 and now all the prices are back to fixed price. And that for all products. How can i solve this problem?
Igor Goltsov January 29, 2015 at 6:22 PM
Hello Thea, It seems like Tier Prices wasn't started on your new site. The best way is to contact me via We'll solve the issue.
Igor Goltsov