Due to a recent computer catastrophe, I had to re-install Windows 7 from scratch. Previously I had been working on an upgrade from the Windows Vista installation which originally came on my PC when I bought it.
Today I wanted to get a webserver running for general web-development stuff, and I decided to use my old favourite, WAMPServer. It installs and runs Apache, MySQL, and PHP nice and easily.
Unfortunately, its Apache service wouldn’t start. I realised that I could visit “http://localhost” in my browser and get a blank page (not an error message) so something else must have been listening on port 80 (that’s the standard port for web-browsing). It took some digging, and a little trial and error, but it turned out to be the “World Wide Web Publishing Service” in Windows. I’ve never seen or used this service before, and as far as I can tell from reading about it online, it’s something to do with Microsoft’s webserver rubbish that I’m not interested in.
The solution was to disable the service, and then Apache worked fine.
If you’re not familiar with managing services, just click your Windows button, and in the “Search programs and files” box enter “services” and press enter. The Component Services program should appear. You may need to click “Services (local)” on the left. Scroll down the big list of services, and find “World Wide Web Publishing Service”, right click it, and select “disable”.
Try to run Apache again, and hopefully it will work. If not, then there’s lots of other reasons why you might be struggling… Google is your friend! 🙂