Upon attempting an upgrade to a Joomla 3.1 site to Joomla 3.2, this error was displayed.

DateTime::__construct() [datetime.--construct]: Failed to parse time string (jerror) at position 0 (j): The timezone could not be found in the database

The installation could go no further.

Upon extensive research, and viewing many, many posts on the subject, this conclusion was reached.

There were permission problems with the folders and files in my 3.1 installation. It had nothing to do with Timezone problems, for some reason this error was displayed.

 

Solution

Go into System -> System Information -> Directory Permission Tab

Check to see that all of the items on the list are "writable". Especially the Log folder, the Tmp folder and configuration.php

If these are shown with the red "Unwritable" button, you must go to your hosting control panel and make these "writable". You want it to be writable for the user, not for the public.

Go back to the Directory Permission tab and be sure these are marked as "Writable" after modifying the permissions.

Attempt the upgrade once more.