You try starting, stopping or connecting to MySQL and receive the following error, “Error: Found option without preceding group in config file: /etc/mysql/conf.d/char_collation_set.cnf at line: 1″. The error message my vary but comes to the same issue. MySQL may not start or might experience connectivity issues.
This issue was experienced on Debian Squeeze v6.04 AMD64 system with MySQL v14.14 Distrib 5.1.61.
This issue is caused by a improperly formatted MySQL configuration file(s) and refers to one missing the group heading (e.g. [mysqld], [mysqld_safe], etc.).