A few days ago I upgraded our MediaWiki installation from 1.13.2 to 1.26.0, and PHP from 5.3.10 to 5.6.14. No change to web server and OS (IIS on Windows Server 2008). No change to MySQL (v5.5.22).
When going to a valid page, it generally works ok. When there is anything wrong with the URL (e.g. article name is misspelled - even wrong case), the page fails with a 500 server error. Nothing is written to the PHP log file. (I also can't use colons in the URL (such as for category links). I need to encode to %3A in order for that to work.)
The crash does not happen somewhere mid-way through the MediaWiki code. If it did, I might be able to debug and pinpoint where the problem is. I have confirmed that every line called by index.php finishes and then the server returns 500. It is as though the MediaWiki code inserts something into the output buffer that causes the PHP interpreter to crash as it is processing the output buffer.
I can't provide the URL, sorry. This is a wiki in a private network and not accessible on the Internet.
Does anyone have any ideas for how to troubleshoot this?