Help Desk Support Software Common Issues and Problems

Published 4/25/06 by Scott E. Network Engineer

Many first time users are having problems with the help desk, these users are often new to PHP and MySQL. It is really important to get a correctly functioning environment before trying to install the help desk, we cannot stress that enough!

If you don't have the software yet, the two most common web servers are Apache (Free) and IIS (Part of NT Server). Note that Apache and IIS do not come with PHP, you have to download PHP separately and likely do some configuration to get PHP working on either web server software. We recommend using PHP 4.X, and MySQL 4.X.. You might be thinking holey cow, these people are not on the latest version on PHP and MySQL, and you would be correct. The reason is that many shared web hosting companies have not moved to PHP5 and if we changed code as often as PHP and MySQL released versions it would be difficult to support. Also version 4.x of both MySQL and PHP are very stable, and we would much rather focus on giving everyone new features instead of constantly upgrading code functions and syntax. We will move to PHP5 when the majority of the market moves.

To test your php configuration try creating a blank test.php file with VI, KWrite(NIX) or notepad (windows) with <? echo "Hello World" ?> if you place test.php in your web server document room often htdocs or wwwroot\inetpub and browse to the file you should see "Hello World" if you do not, then your web server is not setup correctly.

Issues come up easily when the default session directory does not have the appropriate write permissions (ISAM NT account, or Linux equivalent). Also the temp directory that php uses (php.ini) will need write permissions, simply search your PHP.ini for TEMP a few times and verify the directory has enough permissions.

Often in Windows 2000 and 2003 servers getting PHP to run requires a few extra steps. We run Help Desk Reloaded on IIS6 on a daily basis with PHP so don't worry, it can be done. A google search for IIS5 or IIS6 and PHP Install will guide you to some great articles. Here is one. Here is the article from PHP directly on installing PHP with IIS

Also, for email notifications to work your PHP.ini file has to be configured to use the correct SMTP server we have a great article on how to get free SMTP going on windows systems, on Linux and BSD we are not as experienced but would point you in the direction here for Linux SMTP. If you cannot get your smtp configured, or do not have this option we recommend you turn off email notification in the control panel after the installation. We also receive a lot of requests to change the message that the email notifications provide, if you want to do this you will have to edit ruleDeterimination.php. In the future we may make this an online edit system.

I will post more thoughts when I have time.



1. Help Desk Back-end Database Structure & Tables

2. Creating a Database Name for the Help Desk Software

3. Installing the Help Desk Software

4. About our testing environment and the help desk demo.

5. Software you may need to install for the help desk to work.

6. Click Here For Information about the HelpDesk config.php file that is created by the install process.

7.Defect Tracking Page to update you on revisions on the help desk software.

8. Configuring Help Desk and Email Trouble Ticket Notification

9. Help Desk New Features Walk Through version 3.40

10. Help Desk Version 3.4.1 a New Search System

11. A Unique way to find trouble tickets. Browse by Problem new to help desk software version 3.4.2

12. Common Problems and Issues with the Help Desk, A basic look and a few thoughts.

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