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Unable to open local files and directories through embedded web links.

Posted on 2012-03-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
We recently started having issues with links on an internal web page which points to shared directories and files (Word, Excel, etc.) on our LAN.  When we click on any of these links, nothing happens.  Note: If you manually type the link in the browser address bar, then it will bring up the directory or load the file but it will not work by clicking on the link.  All of these links use to work. We currently have both Windows XP and Windows 7 running on various workstations in our office.  This issue occurs on both platforms. I also tested these links with Internet Explorer 9, FireFox 10, and Google Chrome 17 and the results were the same.  Our network infrastructure consists of ISA 2008 for our firewall and proxy server, Windows 2003 for our domain controller, DHCP and DNS server.  The local Intranet site is also running on a Window 2003 with IIS Manager.  
Can somebody give me some guidance on what I need to do to resolve this issue?

Thank you.

This is the source code for the page that contains the links.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<title>Common Drive</title>
<link href="../CSS/InternalDevStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
</head>

<body class="InternalDev">
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<table width = "100%" border = "10">
  <tr>
    <td align="center" width = "99%" colspan="3">What's This????<a href="sWhat.html"><br />
      <img border="0" src="../Images/whats.gif" width="90" height="67" /></a></td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td align="center" width = "33%"> PTAB<br />
      Staff<br /><img src="../Images/staff.gif" alt="Publish documents to or share documents with other PTAB staff members" width="64" height="64" /></td>
    <td align="center" width = "33%"> Internal<br />
      Forms<br />
      <a href="file:///Q|/INTERNAL FORMS/"> <img src="../Images/forms.gif" alt="Access Internal Forms" width="64" height="64" /></a></td>
    <td align="center" width = "33%"> Internal<br />
      Publications<br />
      <a href="file:\\fee\spcommon$\&quot;INTERNAL PUBLICATIONS&quot;\"> <img src="../Images/IntPub.gif" alt="Access Internal Publications:  Net Pay, Time Sheet, Absence/Leave Request, Travel Voucher" width="64" height="64" /></a></td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td align="center" width = "33%"> Clerical<br />
      Staff<br />
      <a href="File:///q:\clerical"> <img src="../Images/clerical1.gif" alt="PTAB Clerical staff members publish/share documents with other PTAB Clerical staff members" width="64" height="64" border="0" /></a></td>
    <td align="center" width = "33%"> Hearing<br />
      Officers<br />
      <a href="file:///Q|/HEARING OFFICERS/"><img src="../Images/hearing1.gif" alt="PTAB Hearing Officers publish/share documents with other PTAB Hearing Officers" width="64" height="64" /></a></td>
    <td align="center" width = "33%"> Human<br />
      Resources<br />
      <a href="file:///Q|/HUMAN RESOURCES/"> <img src="../Images/HumanResources.gif" alt="PTAB Human Resources staff members publish/share documents with other PTAB Human Resources staff members" width="64" height="64" /></a></td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td align="center" width = "33%"><br />
      Fiscal<br />
      <a href="file:///Q|/FISCAL/"><img src="../Images/Fiscal.gif" alt="PTAB Fiscal staff members publish/share documents with other PTAB Fiscal staff member" width="64" height="64" /></a></td>
    <td align="center" width = "33%"><br />
      Executive<br />
      <a href="file:///Q|/"> <img src="../Images/Executive.gif" alt="PTAB Executive staff members publish/share documents with other PTAB Executive staff members" width="64" height="64" /></a></td>
    <td align="center" width = "33%"> Information<br />
      Services<br />
      <a href="file:///Q|/INFORMATION SERVICES/"><img src="../Images/IS.gif" alt="PTAB Information Services staff members publish/share documents with other Information Services staff members" width="64" height="64" /></a></td>
  </tr>
</table>
</body>
</html>
0
Comment
Question by:srulison
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3 Comments
 
LVL 83

Accepted Solution

by:
Dave Baldwin earned 250 total points
ID: 37732140
In Firefox, any page that is loaded with 'http' is not allowed to access a page linked with 'file'.  That has been their policy for years.  I don't have IE9 but I believe that Chrome and Safari have the same security policy.  It is to prevent web sites from accessing your local file system.
0
 
LVL 51

Assisted Solution

by:ahoffmann
ahoffmann earned 250 total points
ID: 37732353
> href="file:///Q|/HEARING OFFICERS/
the syntax is different for FF and IE
as DaveBaldwin explained, FF does not allow to access file: when the page is loaded with http: (or i.g.: access must be the same schema and the same FQDN), this is part of the same origin policy, same applies to Chrome
however, in FF you can tweak the configuration to allow such access
    netscape.security.PrivilegeManager.enablePrivilege('UniversalPreferencesRead');
    netscape.security.PrivilegeManager.enablePrivilege('UniversalXPConnect');

(not sure if FF > 4 still allows this at it is a security issue)
0
 

Author Comment

by:srulison
ID: 37737244
Thank you both for responding to my posts.  I apologies for taking so long to respond.  I was pulled away on something else this weekend and I was just now finally able to get back to this.  If I'm hearing you both correctly, most, if not all, of the web browsers no longer permit accessing local drives through a web page.  FireFox may be able to be tweaked to get around this security setting but IE cannot. While I have FireFox and Chrome installed on my PC, most of the staff in our office just has the latest version of IE.  So really if there is no way to modify the html document or the IE settings to allow this on IE 9, then we will have to find a different way to distribute these documents.  

I understand why they changed the browsers application to no longer allow this but it was a really nice way to present, organize and publish documents and forms for our staff.   I suppose we could place these documents up on an ftp server.  

I'll leave this question open for a day longer and if no other solution is proposed, I will accept the answers provided. Thank you again for your help.
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