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Cannot find server error


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#1 Loramir

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 11:05 PM

Hi :) Hopefully somebody here can help out; I've been Googling this for ages now and can't find a solution.

My internet has been a bit glitchy lately - many sites initially show "Cannot find server" errors, but upon refreshing, load just fine. It's done this before for a day or two and then cleared up. However, there is one site that continues to give me a "Cannot find server" error in both Firefox (3.0.1) and IE7. The weird thing is that it only does this on my computer; on two other computers using the same wireless network, it loads fine.

The site is subdomain of potsdam.edu; a student site, I believe. However, the entire potsdam.edu domain will not load in any browser on my computer, though it does on both of my family's other machines. I can reach the site through a proxy; however, there's a file I need to download at the site, which the proxy I used wouldn't allow. I suppose I can just download the file on a different computer and transfer it to mine, but I'm very curious as to why this one site doesn't work.

I initially assumed the site was just down, and that the other glitchiness was simply my ISP, which is often slow and unreliable, or my router. However, since I realized it was only my computer, I assume it must be something to do with my settings or caches or something. Other people's issues I've found while Googling seemed to be fixed by flushing the cache, but mine was not. Many were also assumed to be connection issues involving their ISP, but since the other two computer who have no problems are using the same network, that manifestly can't be the case.

I have made no major changes to my computer in the last few days; I think Firefox updated itself to 3.0.1, but I believe the internet was fine for a few days after that. The only program I have installed was my brother's Sims game, which shouldn't affect the internet.

Details:
-Windows Vista Home Premium SP1
-Firefox 3.0.1 & Internet Explorer 7.0.6001.18000
-Roadrunner Turbo & Linksys router
-No firewalls (Windows Firewall is off) and no specific Internet malware-scanning programs enabled. I think Windows Defender is running, though it's not in the system tray, and Norton 360 is running because I'm not sure how to disable it, but I don't think it interferes with Internet browsing.

Things I have tried:
-Rebooting my computer
-Flushing Windows DNS
-CTRL + Refresh to override cache
-Clearing browser caches
-Running Firefox in Safe Mode
-Checked host file (normal)
-Pinging potsdam.edu (Could not find host)
-Running a traceroute to potsdam.edu (Unable to resolve target system name)

Anyone have any other ideas? I suppose it's not urgent, but I am concerned there might be other sites that it will do this on. It seems my computer is simply stubbornly refusing to admit that this site exists.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT I've found another site that is doing the same thing, the website of author Lauren Willig. This is more unusual, because I visit it on at least a weekly basis. The potsdam.edu site I had never visited before the last two days, but this one has worked in the past. I believe the last time I visited was around the middle of last week or maybe a little before. At least that's the last time it loaded. I thought it had simply been down the last few days, as it has in the past (or maybe not--perhaps it was just my computer then too), but then I thought to try it on a different computer, where it works fine.

Edited by Loramir, 29 September 2008 - 11:49 PM.

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#2 tallin

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 12:09 AM

Hi Loramir, :welcome:

Please as a start, download and run either of these programs.

ATF.exe by Atribune

OR

Cleanup 4.5.2.

I would also suggest you do the following:

  • Start
  • Settings (I do not have Vista, so these could be different)
  • Control Panel
  • Internet Options
  • Content tab
  • Clear SSL State
Post back with an update please. The Senior techs are all asleep at this time, so there will be further responses when they come online.

I would like to commend you on your articulate post with mostly all information needed to receive help here.

kind regards,

Edit:The most basic item...... have you turned off you router, waited 20 seconds and then turned it on again.

I would also like you to consider installing a firewall urgently. I run ZoneAlarm Free on my systems with great success.

Edited by tallin, 30 September 2008 - 12:22 AM.


#3 Loramir

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 12:34 AM

Ran ATF.exe, both the main list and the Firefox-specific one, and cleared the SSL state, but still neither site will work.

Most other sites seem to be working reliably - earlier I kept getting "Cannot find server errors," but if I refreshed or clicked the Go button in the address bar, they'd show up. That hasn't happened in a while, although I haven't been as active in the last few hours as I was earlier.

Still, those two pages won't load at all. The status bar will say "Looking up [url]..." for a while, but never get past that and then it gives me a "Cannot find server" page.

As long as none of the sites I use frequently are affected, it's not an urgent problem, so there's no hurry :) I'm fixing to go to bed anyway, as it's 2:30 AM here!

Thanks!

#4 Loramir

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 12:38 AM

I've just tried unplugging the router and plugging it back in, which had no effect. I didn't really think it would, since other computers on the network don't seem to be affected. I do usually have ZoneAlarm running, too - I just had it disabled while I was working on possible solutions, in case it was somehow involved.

#5 Ztruker

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 08:17 AM

Hi Loramir, try opening a command prompt and entering

ping www.postdam.edu

You should get a response similar to thise:

Pinging www.postdam.edu [208.69.32.132] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 208.69.32.132: bytes=32 time=40ms TTL=50
Reply from 208.69.32.132: bytes=32 time=40ms TTL=50
Reply from 208.69.32.132: bytes=32 time=39ms TTL=50
Reply from 208.69.32.132: bytes=32 time=39ms TTL=50

Ping statistics for 208.69.32.132:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:


If you don't get a response, try these commands:

ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /registerdns

then try the ping again,

Rich

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#6 Digerati

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 08:43 AM

No firewalls (Windows Firewall is off) and no specific Internet malware-scanning programs enabled.

If turning off the firewall made no difference, turn it back on. Also, Norton 360 includes a firewall too, so make sure are using only one firewall.

FTW - when I ping www.postdam.edu, I either get the same error as you, or the request times out. So there is something wrong with that site. Tracert times out as soon as my ISP tries to hand it off.

I am showing 72.215.225.9 for that url - was the 208.69.x.x IP just for example?
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#7 Loramir

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 09:09 AM

Pinging potsdam.edu on my computer gives me the error: "Ping request could not find host www.potsdam.edu. Please check the name and try again." I get the same thing after flushing and registering DNS. Pinging it on one of my family's other computers, it can at least find the site, but times out. Even if there is an issue with the site, it seems odd that it would still load on both of our other computers but not mine. All are using Firefox 3.0.1 and Norton 360. The only major difference is that mine is running Vista and the others are all XP. Would that have anything to do with it?

#8 Loramir

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 09:26 AM

I am showing 72.215.225.9 for that url - was the 208.69.x.x IP just for example?


I think that may have been because Ztruker actually pinged postdam.edu rather than potsdam.edu.

#9 Digerati

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 10:14 AM

Even if there is an issue with the site, it seems odd that it would still load on both of our other computers but not mine.

It's not loading. It is timing out.

The only major difference is that mine is running Vista and the others are all XP. Would that have anything to do with it?

I am using XP Pro and I just tested it on XP Home with IE8b2, and another XP Home with IE7. That site is down.
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#10 Loramir

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 10:31 AM

The site doesn't seem to be down - it does time out on my other computers when I ping it, but if I go to potsdam.edu in Firefox on those computers, the site does load, and all links work and such, so it's not just cached. On my computer, though, it still says it "Cannot find server." It will work on my computer through a proxy site, but not directly.

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#11 Digerati

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 10:52 AM

:blush: My mistake pots, not post. Yes, clicking on your link and I get in. Sorry about that confusion. But I still time out on ping, but site owners can block acknowledgments so that is not conclusive. Hmm, I don't have Vista machine here to test with either. Are you have problems with any other sites?
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#12 Loramir

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 11:52 AM

An author's blog that I have visited regularly in the past is doing the same thing - laurenwillig.com. I have visited this site on probably a weekly basis for a few months. I have noticed some downtime before - at least I thought it was down; perhaps it was just my computer being weird like it is now. For the last few days I'd been assuming it was just down, but then I tried it on one of our other computers, and it's not down.

Unfortunately I don't know anyone else with Vista to test it either. It seems it would have to be something to do with Vista, or either with my computer in general. It just seems odd that the laurenwillig.com site has worked fine in the past, and suddenly quit. I haven't changed any settings or even updated any Firefox extensions recently, or installed any new programs other than a game of my brother's. I don't think Windows has installed any updates on its own, either.

Though even if it had, I can't see how that or a change in settings or something would affect only a few sites but not others. Most of the sites I visit work fine, though some initially give a "Cannot find server" error, but work fine upon refreshing. For these two sites to be not working seems completely inexplicable. :wall:

#13 Loramir

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 01:32 PM

I've found a thread on Mozilla's support forums where a lot of people are having similar problems, but no one seems to have a solution. Some of them are getting "Connection Interrupted" errors, which I am getting on one site. There was a suggestion about disabling IPv6 through about:config, which I tried, but it made no difference. There are now 3 pages I've tried that simply won't load: potsdam.edu (Can't find server), laurenwillig.com (Can't find server), and us.creative.com (Connection Interrupted).

I am completely at a loss, and I can't see any way around it - it seems to affect both browsers, so there's simply no way to access these pages on my computer, other than through a proxy.

#14 Ztruker

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 06:09 PM

Loramir, take a look at your hosts file. It's located in C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. See if there are any entries in there that are for any of the sites you are having problems with.

You may have to show hidden and system files to access it though.

Open Control Panel then Folder Options and click on the View tab.
Select "Show hidden files and folders"
Uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types"
Uncheck "Hide protected operating system files (recommended)" (click Yes when prompted)

Rich

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#15 Loramir

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 08:04 PM

I'd already done that, but I just checked again and it's all normal. All it's showing is:

127.0.0.1 localhost
::1 localhost

I found some people with similar issues at this Mozilla Support thread, but no one seems to have any solution other than disabling IPv6, which I've done to no avail. Most of it's just whining. I thought about posting in the MozillaZine Firefox forum, but I decided not to since it doesn't seem to be a Firefox-specific issue, as the same thing happens in IE.

Firefox upgraded to 3.0.3, which also had no effect. I can't think of any changes I've made in the last week or so, other than installing The Sims for my brother. I can't see how that would affect the Internet at all. Other than that, I don't think Windows Update has installed anything, or even any Firefox extensions have been updated. I am completely stumped as to why the sudden change (at least going by laurenwillig.com - it's the only one I had previously visited and I know it worked a little over a week ago).

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