I need a lifeline here. I'll try to be brief as I have run a variety of tests to fix my problem, but alas I'm no further ahead.
My setup is a windows shared hosting account with Godaddy (and no I cannot switch to a linux account). I have installed wordpress on a domain and have had no problems.
Recently, I purchased a plugin for backlinks, automatic backlink creator, and I went to install and activate the plugin. Keep in mind to this point I have no plugins installed at all so this is as fresh as it gets.
Fast forwarding here, I install the plugin and when I go to activate it, the page hangs for some time and then I get the dreaded 500 internal server error. This error is kinda useless as is so I find on godaddy's site some code to create a web.config file so that when the error occurs I can get a much more elaborate error message than just showing up as server 500 error.
Once I uploaded the file and tried to activate the plugin again, it hung for a bit and then finally threw the 500 error but with some extra info:
HTTP Error 500.0 - Internal Server Error
C:\php5\php-cgi.exe - The FastCGI process exceeded configured activity timeout.
Now what's interesting here is that this error only shows up for the automatic backlink creator plugin. I can install and activate any other plugin (I tried a bunch to be sure) without any problems whatsoever.
FYI I'm currently using PHP 5.2 and WP 3.2.1
I did try modifying my web.config file to see if I could extend the activity timeout for fastcgi but no luck (I even tried creating an applicationHost.config file but that too did not work - I'm not an expert in this stuff so I might not have coded it properly).
And thinking about more, it's strange that any other plugin I have tried works like a charm. And to boot, the help desk tells me I am the only person out of thousands of people to experience this problem. Argg!!
I appreciate any suggestions or thoughts or code that might fix my problem.