PHP not parsing POST data?

If your PHP (or any other server side code) is receiving a single $_POST field of raw data, looking more or less like this, instead of receiving your form fields nicely:

——WebKitFormBoundaryVmWPyJJIBR3n18Wk
Content-Disposition: form-data; name=”form-file-1″; filename=”my document.doc”
Content-Type: application/octet-stream
——WebKitFormBoundaryVmWPyJJIBR3n18Wk
Content-Disposition: form-data; name=”form-field-1″

form-value-1
——WebKitFormBoundaryVmWPyJJIBR3n18Wk–

(that WebKitFormBoundary is probably the sign that you are using Chrome)

Then, chances are your javascript is overriding the content-type header. Check out the request headers, and if you find anything looking like this:

Content-Type:application/x-www-form-urlencoded;

or really anything else which is not this:

Content-Type:multipart/form-data; boundary=—-WebKitFormBoundaryVmWPyJJIBR3n18Wk

then you need to fix the content-type header. It might be simpler than you think; try setting it to `false` (in jQuery / Prototype / …) or disable anything javascript is setting there. The browser will take care of it better than what JS is doing.

In my case, I was getting this problem because I was using the js FormData object to extract form data and then sending it the same way it used to do with “regular” form data. Turns out the content-type header should be set differently. Maybe I saved you a couple of hours of searching.

  • Sang Nguyen

    Thank you very much!
    Your post saves my day!