Troubleshooting and Solutions for mysql_fetch_array Expects Parameter 1 to be Resource Error

This guide will walk you through the troubleshooting process and solutions to fix the mysql_fetch_array Expects Parameter 1 to be Resource error in your PHP application. This error typically occurs when working with MySQL databases in PHP, and the functions used to fetch data from the database are not returning the expected result.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Error

The mysql_fetch_array Expects Parameter 1 to be Resource error occurs when the mysql_fetch_array() function is expecting a resource (typically a result set from a MySQL query), but it receives something different, such as a boolean value.

Here's an example of the error message:

Warning: mysql_fetch_array() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /path/to/your/file.php on line 10

Possible Causes and Solutions

Missing or Incorrect Database Connection


One of the most common reasons for this error is not having a proper database connection established. If the connection to the database fails, the mysql_query() function will not return a valid resource, resulting in the error.


Ensure that you have a valid database connection before executing any queries. You can do this by checking the return value of the mysql_connect() function. If it returns false, the connection has not been established.

$conn = mysql_connect('localhost', 'username', 'password');
if (!$conn) {
    die('Could not connect to the database: ' . mysql_error());

Make sure to replace 'username' and 'password' with your actual database credentials.

Incorrect SQL Query


Another common reason for this error is an incorrect or malformed SQL query. If the query is incorrect, the mysql_query() function will return false instead of a valid resource.


Double-check your SQL queries and ensure they are correct. You can test your queries in a tool like phpMyAdmin or MySQL Workbench before using them in your PHP code.

If you're not sure what's wrong with your query, you can use the mysql_error() function to get more information about the error:

$result = mysql_query('SELECT * FROM non_existing_table', $conn);
if (!$result) {
    die('Invalid query: ' . mysql_error());

Using Deprecated Functions


The mysql_* functions, such as mysql_connect(), mysql_query(), and mysql_fetch_array(), have been deprecated since PHP 5.5.0 and removed in PHP 7.0.0. If you're using PHP 7 or newer, these functions will not be available, causing errors.


Consider using the MySQLi or PDO extensions instead:

Both extensions offer better performance, security, and support for modern MySQL features.


What is a resource in PHP?

A resource is a special variable in PHP that holds a reference to an external resource like a file, socket, or database connection. Resources are created and used by special functions, such as mysql_query() and mysql_fetch_array().

Why is mysql_fetch_array() not working?

If mysql_fetch_array() is not working, it could be due to an incorrect database connection, an erroneous SQL query, or using deprecated functions. Reference the solutions provided in this guide to resolve the issue.

Can I use mysql_fetch_assoc() instead of mysql_fetch_array()?

Yes, mysql_fetch_assoc() is an alternative to mysql_fetch_array(). It returns an associative array of the fetched row, whereas mysql_fetch_array() returns an array that can contain numeric, associative, or both types of keys. However, note that both functions are deprecated and should be replaced with their MySQLi or PDO equivalents.

How do I check if a query returns an empty result set?

You can use the mysql_num_rows() function to check if a query returns an empty result set:

$result = mysql_query('SELECT * FROM your_table', $conn);
if (mysql_num_rows($result) == 0) {
    echo 'No rows found';

Note that this function is also deprecated, and you should use mysqli_num_rows() or PDOStatement::rowCount() instead.

How can I fetch all rows from a MySQL query result in PHP?

You can use a loop to fetch all rows from a MySQL query result:

$result = mysql_query('SELECT * FROM your_table', $conn);
while ($row = mysql_fetch_array($result)) {
    // Process the row
    echo $row['column_name'];

Remember to replace the deprecated mysql_* functions with their MySQLi or PDO equivalents.

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