You just installed your brand-new Windows 2012 RC2 Server and you want to setup the PHP framework aswell. You launch the Windows Web Platform and download the latest PHP version (let's say v5.6.0) and set up php.ini and all the relevant configuration files. Then, as soon as you launch the website, you get the following error:
C:\Program Files (x86)\PHP\v5.6\php-cgi.exe – The FastCGI process exited unexpectedly
Despite this being a fair common issue, there aren't many posts explaining how to fix the problem yet. Well, here's one.
The fix is really simple: you just need to install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 Update 4, 32-bit version. Notice that, even if you have a 64-bit operating system, you need to install the 32-bit version because PHP is still a 32-bit application.
Here's the download link: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30679
Once you install that, you'll be good to go.
UPDATE: Since the launch of the x64, experimental version of PHP 5.6 (and above) this post requires the following update: if you're using an 64-bit PHP build, you have to install the 64-bit Visual C++ package, available through the same download link mentioned above. As the two packages can coexist without hassles, our suggestion for 64-bit based installations is to install both as long as x64 PHP builds will be marked as "experimental", so you'll be able to switch back to the x86 version whenever you need to.