Common Installation Problems

Common Installation Problems

While the basic install process for Associate-O-Matic is not difficult, sometimes problems do crop up. These can have a variety of reasons, from errors in uploading the files, server configuration, or just overlooking the obvious. Many times, actually reading the error message shown (if any) will give you everything you need to sort it out. Listed below are some of the more common difficulties you may encounter.

1. “I’ve unzipped the files, but there are no folders”: The folders are included, but not all unzip programs will unpack folders. If you have just a long list of files, your Associate-O-Matic store will not work. Delete the files (except the .zip file!) and try again. Windows has a built-in unzip program (right-click on the file name, then look for Extract in the menu), or you may need to either adjust your unzip program to include folders. When the files are unzipped correctly, you should have a directory structure similar to this:

  • aom (folder)
  • ioncube (folder)
  • admin.php (file)
  • LICENSE.TXT (file)
  • shop.php (file)

2. “I’ve uploaded the files, but I can’t find them”: When uploading the files, they need to go in the correct place. The most common is the public_html folder. On Windows servers, this may be the httpdocs folder. GoDaddy has a html folder. If you attempt to upload the files in a higher level, or another folder, the files will not be accessible, and you’ll receive a “File not found” error message when you try to find them in your browser.

3. “I’m seeing a strange message about ioncube”: The first thing you need to check is to see if your webhost already has ioncube installed. If they do, they should be able to help you activate it for your site. Usually it involves creating or editing a php.ini file (or a php5.ini file on some servers).

If not, your /ioncube folder will contain a file named loader-wizard.php. You need to point your browser to this file (if your site is ‘’, then the file would probably be found at ‘’. The wizard will probably have you download a zip file containing ioncube loaders. Unzip this file and upload the loader files into your /ioncube directory. The wizard will then give you a line of code that looks something like this:

  • zend_extension = /home/filepath/to/your/website/ioncube/

And instruct you on how to place it in the php.ini file. At first glance it may seem like a complicated task. But what you’re doing is simply downloading, unzipping and uploading some files. Then copying a line (the wizard will provide) into a file. That should do it. Some webhosts (GoDaddy) will require some extra tweaking. See #6 below.

4. There’s a message that I need a file named aomtrial.license”: This message only applies to the 30-day Trial version. The image below shows the download area where you got the Trial version zip file. For some reason, many people fail to notice the large blue button beneath the first two.

Download buttons for the Trial version & aomtrial.license file

Click the button and download the file. Then upload it to your website, in the same area as the shop.php and admin.php files. Do not change the file name! It must remain as aomtrial.license – if you deviate from the file name in any way (such as ‘aomtrial-license.txt’, etc.) it will not work.

5. “The aom folder is missing or inaccessible”: If you have the files uploaded correctly (correct folder and directory structure), you may need to adjust the file permission settings for the /aom directory folder. The default setting is 755 (or 0755). This setting determines who can access the files. Other settings include 775 (more accessible) and 777 (fully accessible). Some webhosts will not allow you to use 777 because of the increased security risks. The admin.php and shop.php files are generally 644 (or 0644). Often these will not work if you set them to 777. With webhosts that use cPanel, clicking on the folder or file name will display a menu. One of the options is the permissions setting. Other webhosts (such as GoDaddy or any Windows server) have wildly different methods. Check with your host if you’re not sure how to set file permissions.

6. “When I try to save anything in my control panel, I’m kicked out and nothing is saved”: This situation is almost always a problem. Create a blank file in your directory (where the admin.php and shop.php files are) named aom_debug.txt. Then go to your AOM control panel login screen. You may see error messages similar to this:

Warning: [function.[obfuscated]: open(/home/content/b/o/o/mywebsite/html/temp/sess_b36082dc457920122174109cd0e872d5c, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in /home/content/b/o/o/mywebsite/html/admin.php on line 0

Warning: [function.[obfuscated]: Cannot send session cookie – headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/b/o/o/mywebsite/html/admin.php:0) in /home/content/b/o/o/booknook10/html/admin.php on line 0

Warning: [function.[obfuscated]: Cannot send session cache limiter – headers already sent (output started at /home/content/b/o/o/mywebsite/html/admin.php:0) in /home/content/b/o/o/booknook10/html/admin.php on line 0

What’s happening is that AOM saves data from the session in a particular folder (usually a /tmp directory). If it can’t find the folder, nothing is saved and you get kicked out of the control panel. With some servers, you need to contact the webhost and ask them to verify or correct the folder required to save PHP session data. The first line of the error message shows you where the program is expecting to find it: /home/content/b/o/o/mywebsite/html/temp.

Other times, you can create a /temp directory and include the path to it in a session.save_path command, which you would then place in your php.ini or php5.ini file:

  • session.save_path = “/home/content/b/o/o/mywebsite/html/temp

This will tell PHP and AOM where to stash the session data, allowing you to make and save changes in the control panel.

7. “I have some sort of strange AWS error on my site”: The most common form of the AWS error looks like this:

Application Error: AWS.InvalidParameterValue: IMtwoQJSZwgUy0jCLzg+WX2YLGgkk8Q98bo+rkZWofo= is not a valid value for Signature. Please change this value and retry your request.

Application Error: AWS.InvalidSignature: The request signature we calculated does not match the signature you provided. Check your AWS Secret Access Key and signing method. Consult the service documentation for details.

There are several things to try and rectify this situation:

  1. Make sure you have entered your AWS keys correctly!
  2. If you are using PHP4, upgrade to PHP5. This takes care of the majority of cases.
  3. Some users report that if they get this error after copying sites (usually into subdirectories), generating and using another set of AWS keys via their Amazon Associate account will correct the error.

A variation of this error looks like this:

Application Error: AWS.InvalidSignature: The request signature we calculated does not match the signature you provided. Check your AWS Secret Access Key and signing method. Consult the service documentation for details.

Application Error: AWS.TimestampExceedsTimeToLive: Timestamp 2010-07-22T16:04:06.000Z is more then 900 seconds before current time 2010-07-22 17:06:32Z.

The key to this one is the Timestamp. If we compare the two shown:


2010-07-22 17:06:32Z

We can see that the time is off by just over 62 minutes (16:04 vs. 17:06).  Go to the Amazon Time Offset area under the Amazon tab of your AOM control panel:

Amazon Time Offset

If there is any number in the box other than zero, change it to 0 as shown above. Save and see if that corrects the problem. If it’s already at zero, then enter the difference between the Timestamp times, in minutes: 62. Save and see if the error message goes away or not. You may need to enter is as a negative number (-62) if the first time shown is later than the second time.

Hopefully if you do encounter any of the errors shown above, this will give you a way to correct them. For any other problems, please open an AOM Support ticket.

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5 thoughts on “Common Installation Problems

  1. Hi,

    I’m a newbie. I keep getting this error when I try to see what is in my first category:

    Request has expired. Timestamp date is 2010-10-14T21:06:03.000Z.

    The server is busy. Please refresh this page in a moment.

    My understanding is that this is an Amazon error. Is that true? Is anything going on in the background, or will I have to click and click until something gets populated?


  2. mcarp555

    As the last line of the post states, for any other problems, please open an AOM support ticket.

  3. what is the guide to change the aom template?
    and where can I get it?


  4. I try to complete all box but it still keep me see below please advice.

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

  5. I am getting this error:
    The request must contain the parameter Signature.
    And I see no products from my catagory any idea?


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