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org.jivesoftware.openfire.container.PluginMonitor - Unable to process plugins


We are upgrading from openfire 3.8.1 to openfire 4.2.3. I don’t want to create a new database for OF 4.2.3. So, I setted up OF 4.2.3 on a developer machine, then I compared the database of OF 3.8.1 and OF 4.2.3, and manually altered old tables, manually inserted missing / altered existing properties / records.
Copied openfire.xml from OF 3.8.1 to OF 4.2.3 , and changed it accordingly.

Once, above steps are done, I started up Openfire 4.2.3 and getting following error message, which leads to openfire not starting

2018.08.28 16:53:02 ERROR [pool-1-thread-1]: org.jivesoftware.openfire.container.PluginMonitor - Unable to process plugins. The plugins directory does not exist (or is no directory): M:\Program Files\xxx\xxx\xxx\openfire_4_2_3\plugins

I am not able to understand, if OF is creating above file path, then why it is not able to access it.

Everyting works fine, if I am creating a new blank database, and setup it using web console installation.

Any help is appreciated.