I added a simple echo $i." "; to the populate loop. It just quits around the 28430-28470 mark, the number varies.
I can enter the phpmyadmin web front end and add another line with no problems.
Is there something in the server config that doesn’t allow this much data to be added at once? It is hosted by a company rather than being on my own box, but they are always eager to help with issues like this.
Rather than pester them, I modified the populate_db.php to not drop or create the table and to start from the point the previous run left off. It completed fine.
If I can provide any information as to why this happens, for your troubleshooting purposes, I will gladly help.