HOWTO: Fix subversion error “working copy admin area is missing”

Occasionally subversion can get itself confused about what is and what is not in a working copy. This usually occurs if you have replaced the contents of a directory such as when you upgrade a component in Joomla!

You receive a message such containing this:

“working copy admin area is missing”

How to resolve this:

Step 1 — Rename the directory that is causing the error from a shell prompt and prefix it with __

mv com_docman __com_docman

Step 2 — Using your subversion client refresh your working copy, then “update” the directory that is causing the problem e.g. update com_docman.

Step 3 — Now you can commit the __com_docman directory.

After you have done this follow these steps, using your subversion client:

Step 4 — delete the com_docman directory from your working copy
Step 5 — rename __com_docman back to com_docman

Now “commit all” and both your working copy and repository will be in sync.