Upgrading from MySQL 4 to MySQL 5 requires some changes to the mysql database structure. I’ve seen users bitten by this numerous times, and it is often difficult to track down because the database may work partially, but display strange errors.
On this occasion, the user saw that some tables were corrupted and couldn’t fix repair them with either REPAIR TABLE or the command line myisamchk. I saw the following errors in /var/log/mysqld.log which made it obvious:
/usr/libexec/mysqld: Table 'mysql.plugin' doesn't exist 090122 16:07:03 [ERROR] Can't open and lock privilege tables: Table 'mysql.servers' doesn't exist 090122 16:07:03 [ERROR] Column count of mysql.db is wrong. Expected 22, found 15. Created with MySQL 0, now running 50130. Please use mysql_upgrade to fix this error. 090122 16:07:03 [ERROR] mysql.user has no `Event_priv` column at position 29 090122 16:07:03 [ERROR] Cannot open mysql.event 090122 16:07:03 [ERROR] Event Scheduler: An error occurred when initializing system tables. Disabling the Event Scheduler.
Simply run mysql_upgrade and it does a number of things required to get the MySQL server functioning again. It runs mysqlcheck, and doesn’t seem to pass the username/password arguments through, so it may be easier to create at ~/.my.cnf file with your username and password before running it:
[client] user=root pass=mypassword