I run Apache on my local machine so I can develop web applications in a self-contained environment. I encountered a strange problem the other day when tried to start the Apache service:
First of all, what an incredibly un-helpful message. The details also proved less-than-enlightening:
Mmmkay. Thanks for that. I know exactly what the problem is now and I can easily go about fixing it…NOT. msvcr71.dll is the C++ runtime library so it’s not like that narrows down my problem at all. I do know however…that it has something to do with the C++ code. Gee thanks.
Well if anyone is experiencing the same problem, let me save you the hours of fruitless Googling that I had to endure and just tell you what the problem was. I had a VirtualHost whose DocumentRoot pointed to a networked drive that was not currently connected. All I had to do was re-connect the network drive and bingo! Apache started up without a complaint.
A plea to application developers everywhere: Please, for the love of Blaise Pascal, write more informative error messages! How hard would it have been to say: “Hey idiot, you’re trying to use a network drive that isn’t currently connected!”. Instead I get all sorts of useless (but awesome) information about ModVer’s, AppVer’s and Offsets! I love geeky error dumps as much as the next guy…but for crying out loud…toss me at least one piece of useful debugging information along the way.