why does ie8 "cannot display the webpage" page coceal the actual error

Discussion in 'Internet Explorer' started by Guest, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Instead of telling you what actually happened (such as: dns lookup failed,
    server rejected tcp connection), which is useful information, it shows a
    static page of guesses. Is there any way to change this?
    Guest, Mar 30, 2009
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  2. What page?
    PA Bear [MS MVP], Mar 30, 2009
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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Not sure what you are asking. I am referring to the ie8 "cannot display the
    webpage" error page.
    Guest, Mar 30, 2009
  4. Cite a webpage (link; URL) where you encounter this error.

    What anti-virus application or security suite is installed, is your
    subscription current, and is it supported in IE8? What anti-spyware
    applications (other than Defender)? What third-party firewall (if any)?
    Were any of these applications running in the background when you installed

    Has a Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this machine
    (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when you bought it)?
    PA Bear [MS MVP], Mar 30, 2009
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I guess you didn't understand the first post, I am not asking for help
    accessing any given url. I am asking why the error page conceals the cause
    of the problem and if there is any setting that will force it to reveal it.

    You can generate the error page by navigating to a non existent host (dns
    error) or a non listening port on a real host (tcp connection error). The
    ie8 error page will not tell you what actually failed, dns, tcp or whatever
    other subsystem.
    Guest, Mar 30, 2009
  6. If you choose not to quote my entire replies and only answer selective
    questions, I can't help you. Good luck.
    PA Bear [MS MVP], Mar 30, 2009
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "PA Bear [MS MVP]" <>
    Newsgroups: microsoft.public.internetexplorer.general
    Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 6:04 PM
    Subject: Re: why does ie8 "cannot display the webpage" page coceal the
    actual error

    You have shown no sign of even understanding the question. That is why you
    can't help.

    If anyone from MS is reading, IE8 certainly knows what type of failure was
    encountered, DNS lookup, TCP connection, etc. There should be at least an
    option to show this information to the user.
    Guest, Mar 30, 2009
  8. Try to go to settings (Internet options), Advanced, disable Show Friendly
    HTTP error messages.

    But when it's a script fails, and IE displays little cute "Operation
    aborted" box (and then resets already shown page), I agree, it sucks.

    Alexander Grigoriev, Mar 31, 2009
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I already tried that and it has not effect. Both dns and connection errors
    still produce the generic "cannot display" error page with no information.
    Are you getting something different?
    Guest, Mar 31, 2009
  10. Guest

    Max Burke Guest

    My 2c worth...
    I find that this error is completely random, it can occur on any web
    page. Pressing F5 or CTRL F5 IE8 connects to the web page.
    The next time I go to that web page it doesn't happen (I dont get the

    The symptoms are:
    You click on a link in Google and IE8 immediately says 'cannot display
    web page' with reasons why (offline, web site down, etc), and possible
    Or you type in a url and it happens. Or you click on a favourites
    icon/link and it happens

    Pressing F5 or CTRL F5 forces IE8 to display the website.

    Some of the websites it has happened on are:

    My homepage: http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/~mlvburke (just happened
    now as I'm typing this, F5 fixed it)
    Major Geeks: http://www.majorgeeks.com/
    Google home page (NZ Google and Google.com)
    Wikipedia home page

    And numerous other websites since installing IE8 RTM

    I haven't been able to determine any pattern to it, and it's the last
    annoyance with IE8 RTM that I want to fix. The URLMON crashes seem to
    have stopped, I haven't had any for the last 3 days.

    I have re-installed Spyware Blaster with it's immunise option disabled
    and IE8 is working fine with it installed.
    Max Burke, Mar 31, 2009
  11. Guest

    Smirnoff Guest

    I'm sorry to hijack this thread but I too have a problem with a certain
    web page:


    First IE8 tells me it cannot display the webpage. Then I press F5 and it
    tells me Java and cookies are not enabled (they are) and then that my
    browser is incompatible and I should upgrade. I'm running IE8 so I don't
    know how to upgrade any further.

    Also, the https:// address is listed in my Trusted Sites.

    I run XP Pro, SP3. Avast, Spybot S&D and Spywareblaster were all
    disabled prior to IE8 install. I use Windows firewall and IE8 installed
    without problems.

    Would appreciate somebody checking out the above site.
    Smirnoff, Mar 31, 2009

  12. That sounds as if it could be a problem with DNS responsiveness.
    If so, you could preload the lookup using a ping -n 1 (e.g. in a cmd window)...

    <cmd_output OS="XPsp3">
    E:\>ping -n 1 homepages.paradise.net.nz

    Pinging britney.paradise.net.nz [] with 32 bytes of data:

    Hmm... in fact that output (and nslookup) shows that the host name that
    you are using is an alias for the name that would cache the IP address,
    so you would have to ping -n 1 it too...

    <cmd_output OS="XPsp3">
    E:\>ping -n 1 britney.paradise.net.nz

    Pinging britney.paradise.net.nz [] with 32 bytes of data:

    Then you can use ipconfig /displaydns to see how long those would
    be cached for (their Time To Live value):

    Record Name . . . . . : homepages.paradise.net.nz
    Record Type . . . . . : 5
    Time To Live . . . . : 85900
    Data Length . . . . . : 4
    Section . . . . . . . : Answer
    CNAME Record . . . . : britney.paradise.net.nz

    Record Name . . . . . : britney.paradise.net.nz
    Record Type . . . . . : 1
    Time To Live . . . . : 86304
    Data Length . . . . . : 4
    Section . . . . . . . : Answer
    A (Host) Record . . . :

    .... evidently a *long* time but only useful if you get that lookup for
    the canonical name cached. ; )

    Another, simpler, connectivity test would be trying to open
    the site's favicon.ico file, assuming there is one...


    Nope but it got a real HTTP 404 (as shown in the IE window's
    Title) which would be almost as good except that there would be
    no reference to the canonical name so its lookup wouldn't be cached.

    This is strange. I'd have to trace it with netcap to see for sure
    what is going on. I tried ipconfig /flushdns and then


    to see if that would be a way of both testing connectivity
    from IE and getting something useful into the dnscache.
    Again, this resulted in an HTTP 404 but ipconfig /displaydns
    showed no record of the lookup that IE would have had
    to have done to see that response! Probably the TTL value
    was so small that I wasn't able to get my ipconfig /DisplayDNS
    command issued in time to see it still there. In any case
    that wouldn't help you with any subsequent lookups, so it
    looks as if the ping -n 1 britney... could be the only
    workaround you might have available...

    Ha. I tried it again, and it got cached with the same big TTL
    that we saw after the ping -n 1. Also, I tried it with
    just the host name (no favicon.ico) and got redirected here:


    but the A (Host) record for the britney host was still cached
    with the long TTL. YMMV. ; )

    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle
    Robert Aldwinckle, Mar 31, 2009
  13. Guest

    Steve Hebert Guest

    You're right - the 'show friendly error message' option seems to have no effect.
    Steve Hebert, Apr 6, 2009
  14. Guest

    Steve Hebert Guest

    Actually, after some further testing, I have to take that back (my shoot from the hip test was flawed). DNS errors (or webservers that don't answer but have correct name resolution) always show the 'cannot display - diagnose connection' page. But other real server errors that return http status codes to the browser are returned correctly if the 'show friendly http errors' is turned off.


    You're right - the 'show friendly error message' option seems to have no effect.
    Steve Hebert, Apr 6, 2009
  15. Guest

    ReBoot Guest

    IE8 does display something useful. Namely the big button which is there to
    run a network issues scanner/solution finder. Have you tried that one?
    ReBoot, Apr 6, 2009
  16. Guest

    Rob ^_^ Guest

    And which OS version and SP level are you talking about?
    Rob ^_^, Apr 7, 2009
  17. Guest

    nhoel Guest

    Im on the same situation, though my problem is the errors on the webpag
    that im coding doesn't shows up. I just did what Alexander said -unchec
    " Show Friendly HTTP error messages" and my coding errors showed up.


    -Nhoel of 'Keywordspeak.com' (http://keywordspeak.com
    nhoel, Sep 9, 2009
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