500 Internal Server error & public_html/.htaccess pcfg_openfile: unable to check htaccess file
Ever get one of those pesky Error 500 messages that you JUST CAN’T GET RID OFF? You checked everything – file permissions. .htaccess code (because we all know how much can go wrong there). And then you double-check everything again just to make sure. Still nothing. So we proceed to ‘Read the Manual’ and see what the Error Log in cPanel gives us.
Closer inspection of the error_log reveals the following error:
public_html/.htaccess pcfg_openfile: unable to check htaccess file
It took me some time to figure this one out. Especially since most .htaccess errors can be troubleshooted by either disabling each line of code one by one or by disabling the whole .htaccess file (CHMOD it to 000) and testing out the result each time. After some trial and error, I noticed what looked like a syntax error regarding the Frontpage extensions but fixing it didn’t make a difference. In a last-ditched attempt, I first removed the extensions completely –> Still the same error. I then reinstalled the Frontpage Extensions.
Voila. It works. The site is loading and no further errors are being logged.
Yes. ”What the hell?” was pretty much my reaction as well.