Note: This blog post is from 2014. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.
[Originally posted in Dec 2014, updated as recently as Apr 2021]
Has this happened to you? You wanted to update the JVM which CF uses to use a new version...
- so you found some resource on the web showing how to update, and it seemed simple enough
- and then you tried restarting CF and wham, it won't start, or the admin won't open, or code starts failing
- and maybe it's that things didn't fail immediately, but within hours or days folks report things breaking since you made the change
- and now you're stuck wondering, "what happened? and how am I supposed to fix this?"
It's a tough position to be in, and tragic of course if CF won't start. But no, you do NOT need to reinstall CF!
Often it's just one thing you did by mistake, though there are indeed several possible reasons why your attempt to update CF's JVM can fail or lead to unexpected problems. And as you google about, you may find all kinds of helpful but often misinformed or spartan suggestions that may or may not help much.
So I offer here over a dozen of things you can and should consider/look at, some of which you may quickly recover from or be able to undo (depends on what you did). And all this applies to Lucee, Railo, and BlueDragon as well, though folder locations will differ.
If you're facing this bind right now, you can skip over the following to the the section, "Seeing better error info, when the CF service won't start", and then the section after that "So what went wrong?", where I present each likely problem and solution.