Our web site is working great for 99.99% of our users, but a few people (all of whom use Internet Explorer) are running into an error. Most pages on the site load fine, but for one specific page (the same page for all affected users), all they get is:

Internet explorer cannot display the webpage

It doesn't matter whether the page is accessed over http or https - it fails to load either way. Every other page on the site, as far as I can tell, works fine for them. Not only that, the same users can load that specific page fine in Firefox.

I've checked the web server logs and I can't find any smoking guns there. The site is running IIS on Windows Server 2003.

Is there any way to get IE to give the user more information than just "cannot display the web page"? There's a "More information" button, but all it tells you is to make sure that your DNS servers are working, make sure you're not working offline, etc. :(

  • can you add a link? – Moshe L May 8 '12 at 17:34
  • Unfortunately the link needs a username and password linked to one of our software licenses to use. I've tried it myself using IE and the same credentials as our users, and it works fine for me. :( – Colen May 8 '12 at 17:39
  • yet another feature of Microsoft ;-) – alexus May 8 '12 at 17:44
  • In Fiddler - it is the main website or some of the linked files (JS, for example)? – Moshe L May 8 '12 at 17:47

Personally, this is the point where I'd crack out either Fiddler or Wireshark to see the actual request / response that is being delivered to the server. IE can be next to useless in terms of telling you what's going on (IE9 is better with the dev tools), so proxying the request or packet sniffing is the only way forward.

  • Thanks - unfortunately the error is only occurring on user's machines that we don't have access to. Is there an easy way to capture the data other than asking the user to install fiddler? – Colen May 8 '12 at 17:43
  • You could try wireshark on the server, assuming you know the IP address of one of the clients. – growse May 8 '12 at 18:34
  • This is a great answer. This is exactly what I would do, even if it meant having to make a site visit to the customer. When my car engine needs repair I have to let the mechanic drive it to figure out what's wrong. the same principle applies here. Go see the customer, run Wireshark on the customer computer (or your preferred capture program) and take it for a test drive. Look at the HTTP Get request and Response for clues as to what's happening. – joeqwerty May 8 '12 at 19:07

I had a very similar problem developping in perl / CGI, and just found the cause thanks to fiddler. In my case, we had enabled perl warnings which were returned by IIS as Misc headers. IE would fail when the number of warnings was too high.

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