What's wrong with my FF? It won't open pages that IE will.
March 31, 2004 11:07 AM   Subscribe

Ok, I love Firefox. I have been using it since it came out. The question I have is that every now and then I will go to load a page and it says Cannot Resolve Host. Yet if I open it in IE it loads perfectly fine. Now this wouldn't be that big of a deal if it happened seldomly, however this happens after about 5 minutes of heavy website browsing. All of a sudden NO domain can be reached until I fire up IE first.

I do not have this problem with IE, nor do I get this problem on my mac with Safari or IE Mac. My question is, Did I screw up a setting somewhere in Firefox that it just hangs? Does anyone else suffer from this same problem? And is there a solution?

As an added note, it crapped out on my when I pushed the preview and spell check buttons for the post.
posted by thebwit to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
This occasionally happens to me when using Mozilla, though it's more like every five hours than every five minutes. I don't believe it's a Firefox problem so much as it is a Windows issue. Internet Explorer, being integrated into the very kernel of Windows in a variety of ways, including some rules governing the establishment of connections (the whole "detecting proxy settings..." thing when IE first starts up, etc.) tends to not suffer from this issue because, I believe, it's the piece of software writing the rules.

I have no concrete explanation for the behavior, but it's certainly not limited to Firefox.
posted by Danelope at 11:28 AM on March 31, 2004

This has never happened to me but I'm sure getting sick of Firefox's quirks. The biggest problem I have with it is right here on Metafilter. When on the Blue, I cannot follow any links from the front page. I can go to the comments on a thread and from there click the links in the FPP and they will work, but they never work when i'm at the root metafilter.com. I don't understand this at all but it's consistent.

I think my problem and the one you posted are because it's still in beta (it is, isn't). The problem is that the bugs are so bizarre as to not seem to be repeated on other computers (no one I know experiences my bug, for instance).
posted by dobbs at 11:43 AM on March 31, 2004

that should read "it is, isn't it?"
posted by dobbs at 11:46 AM on March 31, 2004

dobbs: WFM. Very weird though. Try asking at the MozillaZine forums. Have you tried deleting your MeFi cookies?
posted by turbodog at 11:51 AM on March 31, 2004

thebwit: I get that problem too, but only occasionally and only when I try to use the back button to go a URL with a slash at the end, i.e. http://www.foo.com/candy/. It's similar, but not nearly as severe as the problem you have.

dobbs: I do not have the experience with FireFox. Are your personal MeFi prefs set to open new windows? Is there a FireFox prefs conflicting with that?
posted by o2b at 11:53 AM on March 31, 2004

Those getting tired of fighting FireFox may want to try Opera before defaulting to MSIE. It's rock solid these days, and it has some excellent little features missing in FireFox.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:48 PM on March 31, 2004

I have the "cannot resolve host" problem with Safari, and to a lesser degree Firefox, and almost never with IE.

I wonder if it's some weird DNS resolution problem. It's the kind of murky, ill-defined problem that our support desk routinely ignores.
posted by mecran01 at 12:48 PM on March 31, 2004

Do you use the Tabbrowser extension? If so, there is a conflict with that extension, so it doesn't work with Firefox:


I use Firefox on Windows XP Pro, and like Danelope, I'd say it's more like every five hours than five minutes.

The preview and spell functions use javascript, so I suspect there is some sort of problem with the way your Firefox install handles javascript. First, of course, make sure it's enabled:

Tools>Options>Web Features>Enable javascript

You can install a javascript console extension that will let you view any errors. Poorly-formed nonstandard javascript code will sometimes not work in Firefox. (I say "poorly-formed" since javascript is a Netscape invention, and technically, Firefox supports it better then IE.)

It would be unusual that you'd encounter poor script so often - so I doubt that's it.

There are other sites that timeout if they use a certain type of SSL application that functions only in IE. You run into this some with online banking sites, or if you try and order something from buy.com. This is just the occasional thing though, so it's probably an extension or something in the javascript handler is messed up. I'd suggest saving your profile, then try a download and fresh install with no extensions. Then add your extensions back one-by-one and see if any of those are an issue.
posted by sixdifferentways at 1:00 PM on March 31, 2004

Just for the record, I use Firefox with Linux, and I have never seen a problem like this. It lends credence to the suggestion that this is a Windows-only problem.
posted by salmacis at 3:07 PM on March 31, 2004

Just for more of the record, I use firefox with XP and Win2K, and I've never seen this, ever. The only times I get "cannot resolve host," I look up and see Troubling Lights Or Lack Thereof on either the router or the cablemodem.

I'd suspect it's not a firefox problem -- something in the network configs getting busted or malwared or something like that? Or something in cablemodem software that turns off unless it gets pinged by IE every so often?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:21 PM on March 31, 2004

I use Firefox with the Tabbrowser extensions on Win2K and XP Pro and have noticed a few weird JavaScript issues (stuff trying to open new windows sometimes can't, chrome that goes "bump" in the ether), but I haven't had DNS issues. You can try turning off the error popup messages (it's somewhere in about:prefs) to see if you get more info.

You're not running a tricked out Hosts file, are you? ipconfig /dnsflush might help too.
posted by yerfatma at 4:22 PM on March 31, 2004

Also, for the record, I'm on OS X, not windows.

o2b, yeah they open in a diff window, but that doesn't seem to be the problem as they open in a diff window from within threads no prob--or from FPP's on the green and brown.

I will try deleting my cookies. Hadn't tried that.
posted by dobbs at 4:59 PM on March 31, 2004

Here is what looks like another instance of this same problem and a potential solution. It does seem to point to a system-wide DNS failure or caching issue, which I generally resolve by bringing up a command prompt and typing:

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /renew

I'll have to remember to try this method the next time the problem comes up. (It's usually gone soon enough that I don't get around to dealing with it.)
posted by Danelope at 8:47 PM on March 31, 2004

Isn't that ifconfig? Mac OSX is BSD boxen underneath.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 PM on March 31, 2004

On Windows 2000/XP, it's ipconfig.
posted by Danelope at 9:56 PM on March 31, 2004

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