I had a little trouble with the PHP 5.3 and Apache 2.2.14. I have PHP installed as an Apache module. One of the PHP extensions, php_pgsql.dll, that’s loaded by default in PHP 5.3 was preventing Apache from starting. Luckily I’ve run into that problem before so one by one I commented out the PHP extensions in the php.ini until I discovered php_pgsql.dll was the problem. I didn’t need it anyway so no problem leaving that disabled.

After that I started to notice that whenever I interacted with a variable that was undefined/uninitialized that PHP would fail to produce an page and no error was reported. After a couple hours of researching and updating this old (but reliable) server I switched to using the php-cgi under Apache and I started getting errors reported about the date.timezone directive in the php.ini not being set. The error message indicated that it assumed a timezone for me but once I set it in the php.ini then switched back to loading PHP as an Apache module I was able to interact with undefined/uninitialized variables without ill effect.