How to Upgrade PHP on Windows & which version should I choose?

Posted on 2011-09-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-13
I currently have PHP 5.3.1 installed on a Windows 2003 Server (under IIS).
It is running as ISAPI currently.
phpinfo() shows this particular build:
PHP Extension Build      API20090626,TS,VC9

On the php windows download page here:

They show these different options for installing the latest version:

PHP 5.3 (5.3.8)

VC9 x86 Non Thread Safe (2011-Aug-23 12:26:18)
-  Zip [14.93MB]
-  Installer [38.31MB]
-  Debug Pack [7.91MB]

VC9 x86 Thread Safe (2011-Aug-23 12:01:10)
-  Zip [15.06MB]
-  Installer [38.43MB]
-  Debug Pack [8.25MB]

Which of these versions is the correct version that I should upgrade to, given my current version?  

How do I actually do the update?  Once installed, how do I point IIS to use the new version of PHP and not the old one?  I assume I can leave the old one in place (to be safe) in case I can't get the new one working, so I'd rather not delete it unless it is absolutely necessary.

I'm also open as to running this as FastCGI instead of ISAPI, if that would result in better and more stable performance.  If FastCGI is a better way to go,

Thanks for help on this!
Question by:sah18
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

AielloJ earned 1000 total points
ID: 36711139

I just got done installing PHP 5 on a Windows server yesterday.  For IIS you should always use the Non-Thread-Safe version.  You should manually uninstall the old version of PHP or you might get an error.  There are great instructions at the following link for getting it installed.


If you're using IIS 7.0 there is a tab for that also.  I would reccomend the FastCGI configuration.  There's an add-on needed for that and a link is provided in the instructions for downloading it.  IIS doesn't actually 'find' PHP.  You register the php.exe or the php-cgi.exe as the handler for files with a .php extension in IIS.  It's pretty simple to do.  Good luck.


Assisted Solution

boon86 earned 1000 total points
ID: 36712268
A Thread Safe version should be used if you install PHP as an Apache module. The Non Thread Safe version should be used if you install PHP as a CGI binary.

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