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Shopping cart emptying randomly on new accounts


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I am having intermittent problems with the Shopping Cart being emptied when a customer is creating a new account.


It happens under these circumstances:


1. A customer who has not created a profile adds something to their shopping cart.

2. Customer clicks on Checkout. At this point one of two things happens:

- sometimes the contents of the shopping cart summary in the left hand column remain there

- other times the shopping cart is emptied.

3. On the occasions when the shopping cart is emptied, the customer fills in their name and address etc, clicks continue and of course gets a message saying shopping cart empty. If the shopping cart did not get emptied in step 2 everything proceeded as it should to the checkout confirmation stage.


At step 3 things are not consistent. Sometimes everything works okay, other times there are problems. I have not been able to determine the exact conditions under which the shopping cart is emptied. It appears random.



I have seen other postings relating to this but I seem to have everything set up okay (see below).


Any ideas anyone?

thank you in advance




My settings:

1. I use SSL. When the customer clicks on checkout, the address bar changes from http:///shopping_cart.php to https://www./create_account.php


2. Session settings in admin panel are:

Session Directory /tmp

Force Cookie Use False Info

Check SSL Session ID False Info

Check User Agent False Info

Check IP Address False Info

Prevent Spider Sessions True Info

Recreate Session False Info


3. configure.php settings are:

define('HTTP_SERVER', 'http://); // eg, http://localhost - should not be empty for productive servers

define('HTTPS_SERVER', 'https://); // eg, https://localhost - should not be empty for productive servers

define('ENABLE_SSL', true); // secure webserver for checkout procedure?

define('HTTP_COOKIE_DOMAIN', '');

define('HTTPS_COOKIE_DOMAIN', '');

define('HTTP_COOKIE_PATH', '/');

define('HTTPS_COOKIE_PATH', '/');

define('DIR_WS_HTTP_CATALOG', '/');

define('DIR_WS_HTTPS_CATALOG', '/');

define('DIR_WS_IMAGES', 'images/');


4. my SSL certificate is made out to

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