Friday, September 21, 2007

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage...

Bookmark this post! No, seriously, sooner or later the simple advice given here will come in handy, I promise you that... Who hasn't gotten that frustrating message "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" from time to time? Usually it means very little: either the website you're trying to load a page from is down, or the webpage in question doesn't exist any more, or your computer isn't connected to the Internet or you've copied or typed the page's address wrongly. Nothing that can't be remedied quickly and nothing to worry about. Yet for thousands (and probably many more) the message is a real problem and the source of serious frustration, despair even. And that befell to me a couple of days ago...

It first occurred whilst trying to load the comment section of a post on this blog and access was denied. Nor could I log into Blogger dashboard. I checked service of, which appeared to be down, although all the blogs were up and running and other pages from the domain remained as accessible as ever. I put it down to a fluke and decided not to think much more about it.

But the problem not only persisted, unusual for, which despite very public criticisms is not a service that shows huge amounts of down-time, other problems started to occur as well. It started to dawn on me that I was perhaps the one of the few who couldn't access Blogger, as I could see that others were merrily posting blog posts in Blogger, as well comments, including some in my own inaccessible (well, to me) comment section!

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Other problems typically occurred when trying to log into an account page or drilling down in an eBay page. I was also (and still am today) unable to login to my MSN hotmail account, so I'm a little incommunicado right now.

Googling for notes on this type of problem using "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" showed that this is quite a common occurrence, albeit one for which there is no simple remedy. Here are the search results: 1.56 million webpages, including some hyper-detailed trouble-shooting, from many, many different sources. I won't bore you with the details of my own quest to solve this nuisance problem and will cut to the chase quickly. Suffice it to say, I contacted my ISP to check connectivity which was fine, followed Microsoft's own trouble-shooting guide which yielded nothing, eliminated temporary Internet files, then IE history, then IE cookies and even passwords, all to no avail!

Then I found a Yahoo! help group, which suggested something simple by means of a patch: install another browser as an alternative to IE. I chose Netscape Navigator which turned out to be quick to download and easy to install. Bingo, the "missing webpages" were all there! So the problem clearly lies with Internet Explorer although the cause of the problem probably lies elsewhere in a hitherto unknown corner of the innards of my machine...

Right now, this is merely a patch, as I still can't log into my MSN hotmail account, so expect more developments in the coming days...

One possible option to use a Reset Internet Explorer Settings (or RIES), find Microsoft's own recommendations here. From that page:
Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Internet Explorer 7 in Microsoft Windows Vista have many security enhancements that make Internet Explorer 7 less susceptible to spyware and to malware. Typically, badly written add-ons can affect the browsing experience in Internet Explorer 7. RIES enables Internet Explorer 7 to recover from such situations.

Needless to say, a RIES eliminates all information stored in IE 7, including temporary Internet files, cookies, history, favourites, form fills and passwords, so it's rather a last resort.

Anyone with similar experience, please share it with us below...


At 4:39 PM, Blogger Baconeater said...

I use Firefox but some sites I go to require IE still so I have both.
Firefox is very blogger friendly.

At 1:21 AM, Blogger Becky C. said...

Firefox is a superior browser. I don't know why everyone doesn't have it. As bea said you do sometimes need IE, but that is not a problem.


At 11:22 PM, Blogger SEAH said...

I've switched to a combination of using Firefox and Google Chrome. I simply can't stand IE, and the only time I ever use it is to test my pages. Even on my own Blogger-hosted pages, which I know are live, I get this crazy error.


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