Fred Senese teaches general chemistry, environmental chemical analysis, physical chemistry, and computational chemistry at Frostburg State University. He is also freelance science writer and educational media consultant. He has co-authored three general chemistry textbooks, and is the author of General Chemistry Online. His new book on symbolic mathematics for chemists will be published in 2015.

You can write him at fsenese AT frostburg.edu, or connect with him on LinkedIn.



  1. I would like to thank professor Fred Senese for the clear steps to installing Apache and PHP on Vista. After following the steps, I have successfully installed both. Thanks again.

  2. I too thank Fred for the same reason. What a ledgend. I had a few issues after installing PHP with Apache not starting, but it just seemed to need a jump start (stop the service when as it perpetually tries to start, and restart) and it’s working a charm.
    Thanks Fred!

  3. I too found your instructions useful. But what about MySQL, does one follow a similar procedure with regard to UAC, etc. and should it be installed before php but after apache?

    New Zealand

  4. Yes what about MySQL? It has been a bugger for me.

  5. Hi thanks, I got into trouble after installing skype. my apache just stopped running. you came to my rescue.

  6. Fred, many thanks for your generosity in sharing your experience installing PHP under Apache in Vista. That is the sign of a natural-born educator.

    I hope I am not taking advantage of your generosity, but I am at the end of my rope trying to get PHP working again after a re-install to add GD functions for image processing.

    I have tried everything, including following your manual installation instructions to the letter, as well as using the PHP installer, and PHP is still dead. No matter how I install PHP, the problem is always the same. Specifically, I cannot start Apache unless I remove the following lines from httpd.conf:

    LoadModule php5_module “C:\PHP\php5apache2_2.dll”
    PHPIniDir “C:\PHP”

    Either of those lines will prevent Apache from restarting. I know you had to comment out the 2nd line, but I have to comment out both, and of course PHP will not work without them. Both those files are present and everything is set up exactly as per your directions in “Install PHP under Apache and Vista”.

    I was hoping you may have an idea about what I have done wrong, or where I could look further to get PHP working again.

    I appreciate your contribution, and I am happy to pay for your consulting services to help me solve this problem. You certainly deserve compensation!

    Hoping to hear from you.

    Best regards,
    Al Gordon
    Toronto, Canada

  7. Fred, this is insane. After a thousand attempts to start Apache with the above 2 lines active, It suddenly restarted on the thousand-and-first attempt. I swear I changed nothing – honest! The php.ini path was still commented out.

    When I ran test.php, I saw (as expected) that PHP does not know where php.ini is located. It shows the path as c:\Windows.

    Should I just give up place php.ini in c:\Windows, or is there some way to set its path in httpd.con to c:\PHP?

    As a wise software developer once said to me, “You can’t expect software to be logical!”


  8. I found the problem! It was a LoadModule line in php.ini. The error message was:

    [09-Jul-2010 14:22:16] PHP Warning: Cannot load module ‘exif’ because required module ‘mbstring’ is not loaded in Unknown on line 0

    When I commented out
    in php.ini then everything worked as it should. And php.ini is back in c:\PHP where it belongs.

    Again, many thanks for your guidance. Glad this ordeal is over! I hope!


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