Monday 30 December 2013

Problem with WAMP Server on localhost with .htaccess file

Problem with WAMP Server on localhost with .htaccess file

If you have read my article Troubleshooting WAMP server on Windows 7 installations you will know that I run both IIS and WAMP on the same Windows computer side by side.

I let IIS run on the normal (Localhost IP loopback address) and I change the PHP.ini file to let Apache run on (same IP but a different port no).

This enables me to run and test PHP files on the same PC without having to toggle IIS on/off before each run of a PHP file

However I also use my WAMP folder C:/www/wamp/test.php as a place to quickly test PHP files or to download files from my Wordpress or PHP sites to debug and test various parts quickly on my local PC with full debugging so I don't effect the live site.

However one of things you may have run into is when WAMP is running but you are getting an error page when you go to to localhost:8888 and just get an error page like this:

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator, admin@localhost and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused theerror. More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

So you have no idea what the problem is. IIS is off, you haven't changed PHP.ini config and nothing seems wrong.


First thing to do is check your local Apache error log file e.g at C:/wamp/logs/apache_error.log to see if anything stands out.

It might show nothing or it might show something related to the last time you ran the page like this.

[Mon Dec 30 15:41:24 2013] [alert] [client] C:/wamp/www/.htaccess: Invalid command 'ExpiresActive', perhaps misspelled or defined by a module not included in the server configuration


Now the problem is basic stupidity. I was testing and modifying a sites .htaccess file by downloading it from the site by FTP to the wamp/www folder so I could analyse it and play about with it.

However I had forgotten to change the name of the file back from .htaccess to $.htaccess or delete it altogether. Therefore when WAMP loads with the www folder being the home directory it will automatically load in any .htaccess file and rules it finds.

If the file is full of irrelevant, invalid or old commands this means that the WAMP system on your Windows PC cannot compute and analyse them all and therefore you get the Internal Server Error message.

Just delete or rename your .htaccess file to $.htaccess or BACKUP_htaccess (as Windows won't actually let you rename a file starting with a period e.g .htacess_backup giving the "You must type a filename" error message as it sees the period at the part before the file extension and believes no name exists for the file.

However after renaming or removing the file then this problem should be resolved.

It's happened a few times to me now so I thought I would write it down in case I forgot next time DOH!

To read more about setting up WAMP Server alongside IIS on a Windows machine read my article on it at: Trouble Shotting WAMP Server on Windows 7 Machines.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude thank you, such a minor error kept me up for hours