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Tips &Tricks

ERROR - ERROR & Other Terrors

    This month I thought we would explore some common errors and what to do about them when you get one. One thing to remember about most of your online errors is that they are not fatal, they are merely a means of letting you know that for some reason the page or destination you requested is unreachable at the moment. Retrying the link or address a second time will usually bring the document or site up.

  1. "Unable to Connect with Server"
    1. This error could be due to any one of several different things. The server could have simply lost your request in which case you could simply try connecting again, many times this will take you directly where you wanted to go.
    2. The DNS database may be old, (DNS databases are maintained by each ISP, at the point where you log in. These should be refreshed daily, however some ISP's choose to update only once or twice a week). This should only affect sites that are new or recently moved.
    3. The server you are trying to contact may be offline for maintenance or repairs, in which case all you can do is to try again at a later time.
  2. HTTP: 400 - Bad Request
    1. Usually caused by an invalid URL or a non-existent site name. You may have typed the name or another part of the path incorrectly. Try retyping the address again being careful to check the spelling and the full path to the document you want.
    1. This error is caused by accessing a site that 1) either has no default document, 2) requires a username and password, or you attempted entry into a secured server without using a secure protocol, (for example - you may have typed http:\\www.whatever.htm instead of the required https:\\www.whatever.htm - notice the "s" in the second example, the "s" tells the server that you are requesting a secure connection and that your browser is in a secure mode, therefore the server must use the secure protocol)
    1. This is a throwback to the days of the BBS, where you were required to pay subscription fees for the use of the service. Today the vast majority of these type errors come from adult oriented sites, and a few other subscription based web sites. Basically it is telling you that you need to go to the main or home page of the affected site and either 1) apply for access and establish an account for billing, or 2) your account has been closed or held for some reason, you will need to contact the administrator or billing department for the site to determine your account status.
  5. HTTP: 404 - File Not Found.
    Sorry, the file you have requested cannot be found on any of our servers. Please check the file name and try again.
    1. This could be caused by a bad path, improper spelling or the file itself may not exist.
    2. If you got this error from a bookmark or a favorites link, then the file has been either moved, renamed or deleted.
    3. If you get this error trying to access a page within a site from a link within that site, then the navigational structure has an error. Please notify the webmaster of the affected site, he/she may not even know that the error exists.

    In all cases, when you get an error on the first attempt to access a page or site, always go back one page and try again. Some errors are caused simply by the amount of traffic on the network at the time of your request. With millions of information packets flowing around the net at any given time, it is inconceivable that all would be error free.

    For further information or to answer other questions log into the Webopedia - The online encyclopedia of the internet.

DNS - Directory Name Server, The server that maintains the directory of site names translated to the actual port numbers where that site is located. For example, our DNS would translate to

decorative horizontal rule - electrical cable

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Last Revised: August 31, 2015 02:48 AM.

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