I awoke this morning to find that SBSfaq.com was in fact dead in the water. I logged onto the server console and found it had rebooted after last nights Microsoft patches. Oh great I thought – something is messed up with the patches.
I reviewed the list of patches and could not see anything that would make it fail like this. None of the patches looked like they affected IIS in any way. I dug further – on this webserver I have both WordPress sites and normal IIS sites. The normal IIS sites were showing up just fine, it was only affecting the PHP sites on this server.
I reviewed the list of patches applied in last nights patch list and got the following.
None of these seem to be able to cause problems with my server at all. I figured however given it’s been working fine that ONE of them MUST be the culprit. I decided to remove the 2305420 patch first – this one updates task scheduler and the thought was that maybe something there is messed up with it.
After a reboot – all still dead I really don’t have time for this – so I removed ALL last nights patches and rebooted again.
After the 2nd reboot – it’s still dead… really not good
My hosting provider VMVault also had contacted me as they noticed my website was off the air – their monitoring systems were the thing that actually alerted me to the fact that there were problems in the first place. Radek from VMVault advised that last nights backup was good and based on my desire to get this running quickly he has started to restore it into an alternate VM so that I can see what I need to do to make this work.
I did some more digging and went looking for my PHP_Error log file – it’s located in the C:\Windows\Temp folder. When I went to open the folder, the Explorer windows locked up and became non responsive. Strange I thought – I went to grab my morning cup of tea and when I came back it was now responsive. There were load of temporary files there may beginning with sess_. Most were 0KB in length but others were larger. I counted over 750,000 of these before I stopped counting. I wondered if the large number of files was slowing down PHP in some way and therefore making it time out. So I used an elevated command prompt and deleted sess_*.* After over two hours, it was still going with the deletion of the files.
Somewhere along the way however the websites started responding again…
It looks to me as if the large number of files in the temp folder was causing PHP to die badly and that it was not related to the Microsoft patches at all, but rather the reboot that occurred afterwards.