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Plea for help from vkaryl's daughter, browser issues
quiltlady
Status: Curious
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Germany
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Hello all,

My mom, vkaryl, told me to register here and lay out the problem completely at your feet and see if anyone here had any advice or suggestions. She and I have hit the troubleshooting brick wall here. Here's the situation at the moment:

I'm running FF (1.5.0.4) on WinXPHome, and I have Apache 2.2.2 installed. On two of my websites, I have Wordpress installed. When I'm doing any kind of updates to either of these sites, sometimes if I refresh the browser window when viewing a page on the site, the browser will hang up and time out trying to reach the site. Then I can't get into any sites at my shared IP address from my computer for a while (not even sites that don't have WP installed or my mom's sites!). Sometimes, I'll get the page but with only some of the css formatting and none of the graphics, and sometimes I get the "timed out" message from FF. I can reach any other page at any IP on the net fine, just can't get to any sites at my IP addy.

It seems that sometimes I can get back in after a couple of minutes, but other times, it's longer and the first time this happened it was hours and I thought it was the server (since we've had those issues in the recent past) so I didn't even try to reboot (my bad). I finally did a reboot after I talked with mom and she could access the sites just fine. Rebooting fixed it that time, and at times since then, but sometimes if I just wait it out, it fixes itself. When FF is locked out of that IP from my desktop, IE and Opera are too, but I can reach the sites fine from my other computers in the house with no problem, on either FF or IE.

That being said, I was finally able to duplicate the problem on my laptop, while I was testing extensions. I thought I had it narrowed down to Fasterfox, since that was the only extension loaded when I duped the problem, but I uninstalled Fasterfox on my desktop, and it still happens even without it.

Other than being able to get it to happen on the laptop, I've not been able to really pinpoint what set of circumstances causes this to happen. It's not a memory issue, AFAIK, nor do I have another specific program open everytime it happens.

What I've done: upgraded all programs and extensions (where available), created a new XP user ID, and thus a new FF profile, uninstalled extensions and reinstalled one by one to try to narrow it down. None of this helped. Just when I think Iíve got it solved, it happens again.

Mom says Iíll probably have to just reformat the HDD and start over, but if I have the problem on my laptop, it canít be my computer.

Anyone have any thoughts? Iíd be eternally gratefulÖ
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jeffd
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
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hi quiltlady, this issue won't be related to firefox since it also affects the other browsers. If you close firefox and then can't access the sites from other browsers, it's not firefox related.

When you say you 'running apache 2.2' on your computer, do you mean that you are running a test server? Or that you are actually hosting your websites on your computer, to the internet? Live, that is?

I hope it's not the second case.

I can't say more until I understand exactly what it is you are doing, why apache is on your computer, what it's doing, and if this only happens to sites only served up by your local apache.

Needless to say, or maybe needed to say, the thought of apache 2.2 and windows xp home makes me shudder slightly.
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quiltlady
Status: Curious
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Germany
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Hi jeffd,

Thanks for the quick reply.

Yes, I'm running a test server. Sorry. I should have prefaced my whole story with the fact that I know just enough about all of this stuff to be moderately dangerous, and my terminology is sadly lacking. I know what I have, I just don't know what to call it, if that makes any sense, and the Apache thing confuses me a bit, I'll admit. And, my mom would never let me do the second case, anyway! ;)

I've been running everything together just fine for quite a while, and didn't make any changes to anything before this happened. Should have said that earlier, too.

If there's any other info you need, just shout. Thanks again.
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jeffd
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
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When you say that 'vkaryl could access the sites just fine' do you mean you are serving these sites from your test server to the internet?

And are these sites the only ones that are being affected?

When you can't access these sites, can you access other sites not served by your server?

When you say it's a test server, do you mean it's only accessible over your local network, or that other people can also access it?

Are you behind a firewall router? I don't mean the windows xp thing, I mean a real hardware router.

Since it was working and now it isn't, there are two components, maybe 3, that could be the problem.

Suspect 1: a windows xp update
Suspect 2: an apache 2.2 update
Suspect 3: a 3rd party firewall update, like zonealarm.

Personally, I would not be running apache 2.2 as a test server because almost no web hosters out there run it.

If your pages are running live on the web, accessible to other people outside, and beyond, your router, or if you have no router, the odds that your computer will be hacked and taken over are very close to 100%.
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quiltlady
Status: Curious
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Germany
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Hi again,

Sorry about my ineptness, here. No I'm not serving the sites from the test server to the internet. I have Apache installed to view my sites on localhost on my own machine before ftp-ing to the server online. When vkaryl could access the sites, I mean that she accessed them on the main server where we host our sites.

These sites at my shared IP addy are the only ones affected.

Yes, I can access all other sites not served by my server when these sites are not accessible.

My "test server" is only accessible to me on my machine. I've never tried to access files on my laptop or other household computers across my network. I guess "test server" is not the right term here, is it?

I am behind a real hardware firewall router.

I didn't update Apache until after this started happening, I only updated to try to fix the problem. I don't have zonealarm at all. I'm not sure whether windows updated right before the problem started.

My pages are not running live on the web. I have the pages here, which I update, then send to the server hosting the sites.

Thanks for your help!
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jeffd
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
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Oh, ok, that's all good news.

If you didn't update apache, and you aren't running zonealarm or anything, and this is only related to your local machine running test version of your local site, then this is almost definitely a windows xp 'upgrade' issue.

It's very hard to say what exactly it is, but it is NOT firefox, this is related the actual serving of the web sites.

You don't need to reboot when this happens, you can use the apache monitor program, which sits in your system tray, and you can stop and restart apache from there.

Right click on the Apache System Tray icon and choose "Open Apache Monitor". Then click the "Stop" button to stop Apache, or restart.

Of you can do it from control panel -> services -> apache

Just start it and restart it.

If that fixes the problem you've localized the issue. All you are probably doing by rebooting is restarting apache, which then fixes the problem.

I'm not familiar enough with windows xp home and apache to say where the source of the problem is, but it's almost for certain related to xp home, some security issue or other, apache has had problems with xp for a while, I never even bothered trying to run apache on xp, I just stuck to windows 2000 and never had a single issue with it ever.

I'm not at all surprised to see you having issues with windows xp home though
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quiltlady
Status: Curious
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Germany
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Okay, I just had the problem, stopped Apache from the Services area, and restarted and it didn't fix the problem.

The problem occurs when I try to refresh/reload the page from the hosting server on the internet, not on localhost. Can Apache on my local machine be interfering with page loading from the internet?
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jeffd
Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
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Oh, it's on the remote version?

That's interesting.

To see if apache is related, stop it.

Then try loading/refreshing the page from the internet again.

If it fails to load/refresh, then apache is probably not the direct cause, but it may be the indirect cause.

Second question:

How are you calling your local site version?

What do you type into your browser address bar to get them?

If you named them the same and set hosts file to request those from your local machine, xp is just gettting confused.

What is the contents of your /windows[or WINNT]/system32/drivers/etc/host file?

Paste them here.
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quiltlady
Status: Curious
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Germany
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Stopping Apache didn't help the problem, still can't access the sites if I'm locked out.

If I try to load this file: "http://localhost/website/driventoquilt/public_html/"

which is also on the driventoquilt.com site as index.php, my local machine has to go out to the site and access a file there that's a php included file to be able to load the file on my localhost. So, when I'm locked out of my remote server, I can't load my local file. I can load other local files from other sites that are also on that remote server, as long as they don't access sites on the remote server for includes.

I call the local file as you see above, adding the filename if it's not the index file. So are you saying that I should not just call my file on localhost index.php if the file on the remote server is called that? I just upload the files as is, and what I have on my local machine is an exact dupe of what is on the remote server. I don't understand what would cause XP to decide to be confused about the filenames suddenly, when it's been fine with my present mode of operation for over a year.

My hosts file looks like this:

# Copyright (c) 1993-1999 Microsoft Corp.
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
# For example:
# 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # source server
# 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # x client host
127.0.0.1 1.httpdads.com #SpySweeperCASS
127.0.0.1 207-87-18-203.wsmg.digex.net #SpySweeperCASS
127.0.0.1 a.mktw.net #SpySweeperCASS
127.0.0.1 a.tribalfusion.com #SpySweeperCASS
127.0.0.1 a207.p.f.qz3.net #SpySweeperCASS
127.0.0.1 a3.suntimes.com #SpySweeperCASS
127.0.0.1 actionsplash.com #SpySweeperCASS
127.0.0.1 ad.abcnews.com #SpySweeperCASS
127.0.0.1 ad.adsmart.net #SpySweeperCASS
127.0.0.1 ad.adtraq.com #SpySweeperCASS

and more of the same, for pages and pages. Is that bad?
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quiltlady
Status: Curious
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Location: Germany
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Hi again,

another weird thing: My husband is busy setting up a new site on the same remote server from our laptop computer. When I'm locked out of the server, so is he, which is not what it was doing before. Up to now, whenever I tested for that, I was able to access the remote server from the laptop even when locked out on the desktop.

That's why this has been so frustrating, it seems like it keeps changing.
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