Flickr pictures won't display
August 7, 2012 1:01 AM   Subscribe

Forgive me if this is a) really basic and b) has been asked before (I have searched the questions, honest!). My mother has a Pro Flickr account, but is unable to view her pictures, getting only the broken image link in the photo box. How can I fix that please?

Flickr support (god help me!) have suggested a few things - clear cache, uninstall browser, new browser, change browser settings, upgrade Java - which we've done, but nothing seems to work. The Flickr test page they directed us towards shows a line of red Xs on Cache 1, with check marks everywhere else, but I can't find out what that means.

My mother is running Windows Vista and prefers IE7 as her browser because she's used to it, but I've tried Firefox and Chrome and they don't work either. Any help appreciated, and I know I'm lazy.
posted by Myeral to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Have you seen this thread? This suggests a router issue, which would seem to match what you are saying about the problem happening regardless of browser type.

Does this problem occur regardless of the computer your mother uses? Does it occur if she accesses the site from a location outside of her home?
posted by oclipa at 1:45 AM on August 7, 2012

Hi Oclipa. Thanks for the response. I think she may have had someone turn off her firewall already, but I'll check, and if not let you know if it helps. It is only on her own PC that she encounters the problem.
posted by Myeral at 2:07 AM on August 7, 2012

Myeral, I wouldn't touch the firewall. You want that on.

Install another browser on her PC and test from there. Then right-click to get the image URL and try visiting that directly. See which error you get.
posted by devnull at 2:24 AM on August 7, 2012

Rather than disabling the firewall (which, as devnull says, is really not recommended), you could try changing the DNS settings. For example, you could try using the Google DNS servers.
posted by oclipa at 2:32 AM on August 7, 2012

@devnull: I have already installed two browsers - no joy. I think a friend of my mother (I am not living in the same town as her) disabled her firewall for testing and then re-instated it - no joy there. I thought the same friend could do that again armed with the Flickr help thread supplied by oclipa.

Then, I'll see if someone can take a look at Google's DNS servers.

Thanks for the help so far...
posted by Myeral at 5:47 AM on August 7, 2012

From another computer, are the photos visible? Can you share the url of an account or of a photo?
posted by artlung at 7:56 AM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Check her account payment status. If she let her Pro account expire at some point, then she would revert to a free account with only some of her photos remaining visible. If this is the case, Flickr says that the disappeared photos will come back once she re-ups the account payment.
posted by D.Billy at 5:49 PM on August 7, 2012

@artlung: the photos are visible from another computer, but I don't know if that is the case via the same router.

@D.Billy: account status is fine for a while yet.
posted by Myeral at 12:34 AM on August 8, 2012

Are there any other sites or Internet things which misbehave? Any other behavior that's unusual on this computer? And when did this symptom start?
posted by artlung at 5:07 AM on August 8, 2012

@artlung: it's only Flickr. Even the pictures which she receives in upload notification emails from Flickr are visible. It's been going on for some months. When clicking on the image link in Flickr, you can't do anything with it either.

This is my last attempt to fix it, then I'm going to get her to cancel her Pro membership.
posted by Myeral at 8:13 AM on August 8, 2012

Okay, So she can get to
She can log into flickr?
She can see, say, her activity?
She can load a page like:
But she can't see an image, so she can't get to
Can she load this url?
And all these results are identical in Chrome, or Firefox, or (Safari or Internet Explorer)?

Is this Windows or Mac (you say "PC" but that /can/ be used interchangeably, and you're absolutely certain no filtering software is installed, correct? No I have met folks who by definition block flickr because flickr sometimes hosts photos which are "artistic."
posted by artlung at 9:30 AM on August 8, 2012

@artlung: she can log on to Flickr. She can see activity on her account, such as view stats, etc. Pictures in Flickr are never visible, whether they are in her own account or someone else's. Where the pictures should be are the right sized boxes with the broken image link icon displayed.

Pictures elsewhere (such as in emails) are visible.

She is using a Windows (Vista) computer. I haven't tried Safari, but IE, Chrome and Firefox return identical results, i.e., no pictures.
posted by Myeral at 12:44 AM on August 9, 2012

Myeral, you're not really doing muich to help yourself here. We need an error message.

Get the URL to a *picture* (not the page it is on) and try to access it. Tell us what error message you get.
posted by devnull at 2:03 AM on August 9, 2012

You say "The Flickr test page they directed us towards shows a line of red Xs on Cache 1, with check marks everywhere else, but I can't find out what that means. "

The test page in question is this one: And what they mean is some mechanism has been used to specifically block certain urls. Their FAQ page has an entry for Help! My images are all red x's (or broken icons, not loading, etc.).

I suspect accidentally some blocking software got triggered somehow for a certain domain.

You didn't address my questions above, the specific questions:

1. Can she can load a page like:

2. Can she can't see this image:

3. Can she load this url?

4. When was the last time you checked all these in Chrome, or Firefox, or Internet Explorer simultaneously?
posted by artlung at 6:20 AM on August 9, 2012

@artlung: the problem I have is that I am remote (by a few hundred miles) from my mother's PC. It's not until somebody who has a little confidence can sit down at her computer while I guide them that I'll be able to work through some of the things you've suggested. I hope that this might be possible over the weekend.

I appreciate your efforts in trying to assist.
posted by Myeral at 12:28 AM on August 10, 2012

Ah, that makes things much more difficult to reliably troubleshoot. Bummer.

While you're there you might consider (assuming you consider yourself regular PC tech support) looking at services like GoToMyPC or similar so you can assist remotely. I believe Windows has some of those tools in by default as well.

Good luck.
posted by artlung at 12:21 PM on August 10, 2012

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