In my local development environment, Drupal keeps crashing Apache when I try to load admin pages. The user pages all load fine, but any admin page causes apache to reset itself.
In the apache error log I get:

Parent: child process exited with status 255 -- Restarting.

The files were all copied from our test server, although I removed all the cached data inserts from the database while transferring it over.

We're running a separate admin theme (Garland for admin, custom theme for all other pages). The custom themed pages work fine. I haven't found a way to determine if its the theme or the admin pages that are causing the problem.

I'm using Drupal 6 with WAMP, on Windows 7.

I'm looking for suggestions about what's causing the resets.

  • 1
    What PHP version? Make sure you're running the most recent one. Also, can you reproduce with just Drupal 6 core? If not, try to disable modules until you can point down which module it is. – Berdir May 4 '11 at 19:39
  • Getting in to turn off modules is a challenge without the admin interface (doing it through phpMyAdmin is time consuming enough I haven't done it yet since it's a working database on the server). I'm running a PHP version to match my server: 5.3.4. – acrosman May 4 '11 at 20:37
  • 3
    Disabling modules can be done quickly with drush, ninjagirl.com/posts/013/installing-drush-windows contains installation instructions for Windows. – Berdir May 4 '11 at 20:41
  • 2
    You can rule out whether it's your admin theme by just setting the admin theme to be your default theme. – Jody May 4 '11 at 21:22
  • Thanks Jody. The problem seems to come forward with the theme, but when I disable the theme in drush the problem persists on the admin pages (even though the front end loads with Zen). Working on disabling modules now. – acrosman May 4 '11 at 23:22

In your settings.php add this line ini_set('memory_limit', '128M'); and disable update module.


I had the same issue "Parent: child process exited with status 255 -- Restarting." on my setup with below configuration

  • Windows 7
  • Apache Server 2.2.25
  • PHP 5.2.17 / 5.3.27
  • MySQL Server 5.6

*Note that this is not a XAMPP or WAMPP setup. All components were individually installed.

This error occurs due to multiple reasons, the answer for some of which you can find directly via google but unfortunately mine was not one of them. After spending a lot of head scratching, I finally got it working. The issue was due to stack size allocated to Apache threads. This can be resolved by setting 'ThreadStackSize' to a higher value. Add the below line to your httpd.conf or better enable loading of httpd-mpm.conf and add it there.

<IfModule mpm_winnt_module>
    ThreadStackSize  8388608

I had a similar problem. Everything was resolved with the installation of latest version of xampp.

  • The question is about what can cause the problem. – apaderno Jul 9 '12 at 8:52
  • My bad, I thought solution would be nobler than the cause itself. – khalid Jul 9 '12 at 11:30

The Update Manager is a module that can increase the required resources to run Drupal, as it gathers update information about the installed modules (whatever they are enabled, or not).

It runs for pages for which arg(0) returns 'admin', but it doesn't run for specific pages, as visible in update_init().

  if (arg(0) == 'admin' && user_access('administer site configuration')) {
    switch ($_GET['q']) {
      // These pages don't need additional nagging.
      case 'admin/appearance/update':
      case 'admin/appearance/install':
      case 'admin/modules/update':
      case 'admin/modules/install':
      case 'admin/reports/updates':
      case 'admin/reports/updates/update':
      case 'admin/reports/updates/install':
      case 'admin/reports/updates/settings':
      case 'admin/reports/status':
      case 'admin/update/ready':

        // If we are on the appearance or modules list, display a detailed report
        // of the update status.
      case 'admin/appearance':
      case 'admin/modules':
        $verbose = TRUE;


If you see the same issue for any admin page, then Update Manager is not the cause. If the issue appears for all the admin pages, except the ones listed after "// These pages don't need additional nagging." then chances are the Update Manager module is causing the issue.


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