Apache Crash Dialog


I'm running XAMPP on my windows machine and experiencing a problem with Apache crashing a couple times a day. When it does, a dialog pops up and I have to manually tell windows to end the program. After I do that, XAMPP automatically starts it back up in a couple of seconds with no issues. When it crashes while I'm not home though, the server is down until I get back. So I have two questions:

  1. Are periodic crashes something that should be expected, or is this indicative of another issue I should be trying to pinpoint?

  2. If this is something I should just learn to deal with, is there a way to automatically restart httpd.exe when these issues occur, so I don't experience down time when I'm away from home?

You'd look into log files, especially the Apache access and error logs, to see what happened, when you are not at home. I've met some similar situation: I have a problematic PHP script hosted on my server, when someone visits the page, it leads to an Apache crash.

I'd suggest you do the investigation as follows:

  1. Search the timestamp of recent Apache restart.
  2. Check the Apache access log to see whether there are some scripts have been accessed.
  3. Manually access these scripts in your browser (to see if Apache will crash again)
  4. You'd better check the PHP error log as well.

If there is really nothing suspicious, you can try WAMP bundle alternatively, which is also a very popular PHP development environment and it is stable.