How to Fix Internal Server Errors for Linux , Apache, and cPanel
Written by Avesta Sabetian Thursday, 30 July 2009
Oh no! You have an “Internal Server Error”:
What do I do?
First remember that “Internal Server Error” does not mean a server problem. It implies an “internal” problem inside of your own hosting space and files. Here is a quick overview of what will solve this problem, and then followed by step by step on how to do it:
1) A .htaccess file has problems
2) 1 or more files or folders have permissions higher than 755, which is not allowed by the server. Any software that says you need 777 will work with 755 on our server.
3) Your PHP version is wrong inside the “PHP Configuration” section.
4) Your username does not own the folder or files.
Now, on to how we check the above….
Don’t worry. Luckily, its easily fixable. Before you proceed, backup all your files and data through the “Backups” section of your cPanel or through file manager or through an FTP client. If your with Arvixe, your files are being backed up periodically and can be restored from the R1Soft backup section of your cPanel.
Here is the order of procedure, it will take you less than 5 minutes:
1) Download an FTP client (Filezilla at http://filezilla-project.org/ , its free and is what we will use for this tutorial.
2) Open FileZilla and put in your cPanel login information on the top to connect and then press “QuickConnect”:
Username: your cpanel username
Password: your cpanel password
3) Now, you are going to solve the problem. First, on the right hand side of your FTP client(the “remote” side), double click on “public_html”:
4) Once inside, look for a file called “.htaccess”. If you see it, double click it to bring the file to your computer. Leave it on your computer until you are done with this tutorial. Then, right click on the same “.htaccess” file on the right hand side and rename it to “.htaccess2″:
Did that? Now go back to your site and see if the error is there. If its gone, you know the problem was inside your file called .htaccess. I would at this point contact the developers of the site and ask why thats happening.
Still not working?
No problem. If the folder giving errors is not public_html, then go to the folder that is and see if there is an .htaccess file in there. If there is, rename it and test that as well.
If still receiving an internal server error:
Before you continue to the next step, ensure that you have all of your files backed up. You should be keeping backups anyway. Luckily, Arvixe customers have R1Soft incremental backups and will be able to revert back to atleast sometime in the last week. But its always the best bet to backup files and data.
Now right click on “public_html”, click on “File Permission”, type 755 in the box, and checkmark “Recurse into Subdirectories” as shown below:
After you do that, go check your site. Is the Internal Server error gone? If so, good, your set to go.
If not, your last bet is to go into cPanel, go into the “PHP Configuration” section, and change the PHP version from whatever it is(System Defaults = PHP5) to the other choice(theres only 2- php5 and php4). If all else fails, you have a few choices:
1) Go to our forums at http://forum.arvixe.com and post your problem there, someone can help you.
2) If you are a client, you can send an email to support and they will try to help you as well.
3) Post a comment here and someone will respond here as well.
Either way, we will get to the bottom of it with you.