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Microsoft IIS 6.0 and Expression Engine

November 05, 2008 3:40pm

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  • #1 / Nov 05, 2008 3:40pm


    2 posts

    Our facility is running Expression Engine on a Windows 2003 SP2 server (IIS 6.0) with PHP 4.4.8 (runnin as an ISAPI,DLL) and MYSQL 5.0 (strict_mode is off). We have intermittent crashes on the site, sometimes they happen with we are updating content and sometimes it happens during simple browsing. In our event log, when the server crashes, we will see an application error reading “Out of process application ‘/LM/W3SVC/1/Root/CMS’ terminated unexpectedly”. Sometimes the site will re-start, and be fine. Othertimes we have to send a “restart IIS” command to the IIS server to bring the site back up.

    I re-ran the Server Wizard PHP file against our current installation and everything seems to be fine.

    I have read few dozen articles regarding this behavior and it sounds like it boils down to Windows IIS and PHP not getting along.

    My question is this: are there any configuration changes I can make to increase the stability of EE on a Windows 2003 server?

    Moved to General by Moderator

  • #2 / Nov 05, 2008 3:57pm

    Sue Crocker's avatar

    Sue Crocker

    26054 posts

    Welcome to the ExpressionEngine forums, gfriedmanva.

    Unfortunately we can’t help with server troubleshooting. You’ll need to find a server admin experienced in dynamic applications on Windows servers to help with this.

    I’m going to move this to the General forum so that more members of the community can help out.

  • #3 / Nov 05, 2008 4:20pm

    grrramps's avatar


    2219 posts

    My question is this: are there any configuration changes I can make to increase the stability of EE on a Windows 2003 server?

    It’s been my experience that this is somewhat common to Windows Server running PHP and MySQL and not to EE. EE can run (PHP, MySQL) for many months without an issue on non-Windows machines. It’s likely that there’s issues with how PHP and MySQL behave on Windows Server.

  • #4 / Nov 05, 2008 4:21pm


    2 posts

    Okay, but if I run your tool (i.e. Wizard.PHP) against my server and all of the components are compatabile and IIS is only crashing when EE is accessed/browsed, doesn’t it become an EE techincal support issue? No where does EE say it will not run on Windows 2003 or IIS 6.0, yet it is unstable.

    You guys are the engineers? You should know what processes are causing issus with the PHP ISAPI and Windows using your product?

  • #5 / Nov 05, 2008 4:30pm

    Lisa Wess's avatar

    Lisa Wess

    20446 posts

    Greetings, gfriedmanva - every environment can be set up differently; there are hundreds, if not thousands of variables, starting with the actual hardware, web server, other applications, and environment configuration options.

    We do have users that run ExpressionEngine successfully on IIS with ISAPI. 

    To troubleshoot your site and what is happening is going to take someone with expertise in your environment, both the general setup and your specific setup, using diagnostic tools and their specific knowledge to find out what is going wrong and how to fix it.

    The other option, of course, is to move to a hosting provider that supplies that expertise - one great option is our sister hosting company,

    Post back if you have any other questions.

  • #6 / Nov 05, 2008 4:33pm

    Crssp-ee's avatar


    572 posts

    Hello, having done some research on the subject, but never able to implement (not my servers) I was convinced this is the best solution option for IIS:
    fastCGI is even supported by Microsoft themselves now, with this solution for one, anything using fastCGI is the best IIS solution, and wave of the future.
    I got some info from someone here in the forums that they were having great success with a fastCGI setup server, and ISAPI was trouble for them also.
    Did I mention that the Zend Core PHP stack is free… but you can purchase a subscription for support and upgrades.

  • #7 / Nov 05, 2008 4:40pm


    2 posts

    Thanks to everyone for thier quick responses. I appreciate it. We just became more aware of possible hosting options for EE and this is something we may want to investigate futher. We will also look more into the FastCGI option recommended above.

    I will post back when we have some progress.

    I have been researching this issue for awile now. After looking at other suppport forums and Google-ing this issue in the past, it sounds like other sites are having issues with EE/PHP and IIS 6.0, so I am hoping we can solve our issue and still keep our Windows Enviornment and then communicate how we able to accomplish this.

    Thanks Again,

  • #8 / Nov 05, 2008 5:17pm

    Crssp-ee's avatar


    572 posts

    This looks intriguing if you are stuck with windows and looking for a rewrite solution -Managed Fusion URL Rewriter:
    Just spotted this one.

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