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selected users on IE8 can't access web site but can with Firefox

Posted on 2014-01-02
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Last Modified: 2014-02-01
We have a secure HTTPS website. One client with many users is experiencing connectivity problems and gets blank pages or "internet can't display the page". Pressing F5 sometimes helps but not always. These users can access the website using Firefox with no problem.

Users from other clients using IE8 don't experience this problem.

Any ideas?
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Question by:julianc98
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13 Comments
 
LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:ivanoviola
ID: 39751736
Check to see if checking or unchecking Compatibility View helps. You can find it under the tools menu in IE. Sometimes there is an icon in the address bar.

IV
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:comfortjeanius
ID: 39751740
Did you try resetting Internet Explorer Settings

Windows key + r

Type: inetcpl.cpl -------> click on "Advanced tab" --------> Under "Reset Internet Explorer's settings to their default condition.  Click "Reset...."

In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, click Reset.

Click Close and then click OK two times.
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Expert Comment

by:Sudeep Sharma
ID: 39751785
Are the Windows XP system upto-date with Microsoft patches?

Sudeep
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39751791
You may also be able to access the site by going to IE, Tools, Internet Options, and Security tab. Click on Trusted Sites and add the site there.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39752041
In the last couple of years there have been quite a few "Root Certificate" updates.  They are 'Optional' updates and must be downloaded and installed to keep the security certificates up to date.  If the site is asking for a cert that is newer than what the computer has, then they will not be able to connect.

Firefox has it's own Root Certificates but IE and Chrome use the Windows system certificates.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39752125
There was another post about a newer version of IE not accessing sites and the user solved it using Trusted sites as I noted above.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39752169
I don't believe you can make it a Trusted site without having an SSL/TLS cert that works with that site.
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Author Comment

by:julianc98
ID: 39752492
Thanks everyone for you suggestions which we will investigate

the problem is becoming more intriguing as we have done further investigations and the results are as follows.

We have  a live and demo site hosted by 2 different hosting companies with supposedly identical setups and web applications. Only difference being different firewalls and the live site having a SSL EV certificate and the demo site a normal SSL certificate.

IE8

User A -> Live site -> pages don't load. sometimes works after pressing F5 refresh

User A -> Demo Site -> OK

User B -> Live and demo site OK

Firefox Works fine fine for User A on live site.

What possible settings could cause this inconsistency?

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39752522
Look in the lower left corner of the browser window and see if there is a yellow triangle that indicates an error.  Click on it if it is there to read what the error is.
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Author Comment

by:julianc98
ID: 39770628
We have finally tracked down the problem by sending one of our guys to the client. When we asked them to turn off the anti virus it worked perfectly.

It appears that there is a setting in McAfee which does script scanning on URL. Once this was turned off, our site worked perfectly.

Very frustrating after diverting a huge amount of resources to this problem!
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Expert Comment

by:comfortjeanius
ID: 39772192
Congrads!!!!!
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Accepted Solution

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julianc98 earned 0 total points
ID: 39811572
We have managed to identify that the main problem appears to be due to the way that IE8 handles request/response cycles timeouts for communication between the PC and our servers. If there is any long delay in this request/response then IE8 will terminate the session thus giving a blank page to the user. Firefox handles request/response timeouts more efficiently and therefore users only experienced problems very occasionally.

We worked with our hosting company and they have increased the packet payload size on the firewall to allow more packets per payload.

This speeded up the site for those using IE8
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Author Closing Comment

by:julianc98
ID: 39826041
Brilliant solution!
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