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I just spent a while figuring out how to re-create the Magento shopping cart on my own server for testing/tweaking before upload, so the below might help anyone else!

General setup and database

  • Download the contents of the database by exporting as an sql file from the remote server
  • Create local database and import the sql file to create your tables
  • Under the ‘var’ folder, delete ‘cache’ and ‘session’ folders entirely
  • To hook up system with your local database, edit the file found at app>etc>local.xml (I recommend saving a copy of the remote file as local_remoteserver.xml for your own records)

Clean Url’s

  • If clean urls have been set up, but are not working on your server, try editing the htaccess file.

Your Rewrite rule may look like this:

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php?q=$1 [L,QSA]

Edit it to read:

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /subfolder/index.php?q=$1 [L,QSA]


If it looks like this:

RewriteRule .* index.php [L]

Edit it to read

RewriteRule .* /subfolder/index.php [L]

Admin login problems

403 error page

Edit cookie settings at app>code>core>Mage>Core>Model>Session>Abstract>Varien.php

Change this:


To this:


Helpful page at

PHP memory limit error

Check your .htaccess file, and uncomment:

# php_value memory_limit xM
# php_value memory_limit xM
# php_value max_execution_time x

The same as above, just a hash symbol and space before the line, ignore the x I just don’t know the original values! By un-commenting this you avoid conflicts with your local php.ini file.

PHP Curl error

Using xammp, just uncomment the line




Located at xampp\apache\bin\php.ini, and then restart the Apache service.

Helpful page at

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