Clicking EDIT on a node gives a 500 error

So there are lots of references to this issue, most of them very specific to one problem - and mine was no different.

Generally, if you look for references to the HTTP 500 error - or WSOD (White Screen Of Death) - in Drupal, you'll find it relates to the .htaccess file - but thats not always the case, and a closer look at the log files will help you here.  What I found is obviously going to be specific to MY situation, so if this doesn't help then sorry - keep Googling - and remember to check your error log! (often found in /var/www/[sitename]/logs/error.log).  The last two lines in my error log kept reccuring with each attempt to edit a node:

[Mon Apr 09 22:28:35 2012] [error] [client a.b.c.d] PHP Notice:  unserialize(): Error at offset 2 of 1443 bytes in /var/www/[thesite]/www/includes/ on line 559, referer: http://www.[thesite]

[Mon Apr 09 22:28:40 2012] [error] [client a.b.c.d] PHP Fatal error:  Call to undefined function image_gd_check_settings() in /var/www/[thesite]/www/includes/ on line 69, referer: http://www.[thesite]

There are two issues here, the second one is the key to the 500 error though.  What it instantly pointed out was that the issue was something to do with the image settings.  My first concern was that it was worried about GD settings - when I generally use ImageMagick... and a quick check found the settings were indeed set to use the GD libraries for image manipulation.  I can only assume the customer was fiddling with the back-end... so I switched it back, then realised that I had updated the core - which will have wiped out the file that needs to be copied to the includes folder... so I copied that over (as per the instructions on the status report page) and everything burst back into life.

The first error, just for interests sake, generally appears when you have a non-standard character somewhere on a page - something that doesn't fit the character set of the database you're using.  I never quite found out exactly why it was occuring here - but it went away once the image libraries were sorted.

Hope that helps someone out there... 

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