MozillaZine

Operation timed out

User Help for Mozilla Firefox
Dawna
 
Posts: 6
Joined: April 15th, 2005, 10:31 am

Post Posted April 15th, 2005, 10:36 am

Hi there,

I am trying to use Firefox as my main browser, but when I try to access web pages like Google Mail and Hotmail, I end up getting a message like this:

The operation timed out when attempting to contact www.google.com

This seems strange to me, since when I first started using Firefox I was able to access these sites with no problem. ](*,) Is there a setting problem or something?

Thanks,
Dawna

Guest
Guest
 

Post Posted April 15th, 2005, 10:41 am

Checking DNS issues

The set of problems reported in this thread appears to overlap with the set of problems discussed in the following thread which by now has bulged to more than 600 posts:

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=143802

The principal problem discussed in that thread is erratic behavior of Fx in connecting to a website, i.e. connecting to and loading websites very slowly, at times connecting slowly and then again connecting quickly, or failing to connect altogether. For example, people have been getting the following kinds of error messages:

"The connection timed out in trying to connect to <name_of_website> ...", or "looking up <name_of_website> .... [10-15 sec wait] .... <name_of_website> could not be found. Please check the name and try again".

In the great majority of cases the problem turns out to be due to either a software firewall that hasn't been properly configured to allow Fx access to the Internet, or to DNS lookup failure. Both are easy to fix. How to properly configure your firewall (in many cases ZoneAlarm is the culprit) has been described in quite a few posts in the quoted thread; see the first half dozen pages. Below I'll describe how to deal with DNS lookup failure.

First, to diagnose whether you're dealing with a DNS lookup problem, do the following:

In Fx's URL field, aka "location bar" (the space into which you type a hostname) type http://www.google.com and hit <Enter>. If Fx can't load the Google homepage, then there is a problem. Now, clear the URL field, type http://64.233.167.147 and hit <Enter>. [You can also simply click on the highlighted URL's in this post.] If Fx can load the Google homepage now, then the problem is a failure of your ISP's DNS nameservers to resolve the hostname that you wish to access.

The DNS nameservers are like a telephone directory service; their purpose is to convert the easy to remember hostname "www.google.com" to the IP address "64.233.167.147" that is actually used by the servers and routers on the Internet. If the DNS nameserver is dead or unresponsive, "www.google.com" will get you nowhere but "64.233.167.147" will bypass the nameserver and get you to Google more directly.

A DNS lookup problem could be caused by actual failure or misconfiguration or overloading of your ISP's DNS nameserver. When such a failure is intermittent, overloading of the server is a likely cause. Many broadband providers have experienced such intermittent failures lately. Examples are OptimumOnline, Verizon, Comcast, RCN, Roadrunner.

How to fix it:

1. Call your ISP's tech support and ask them whether any of the DNS nameservers that your machine automatically connects to through DHCP are experiencing problems (overloading or failure because of Internet attacks) and if so what they are planning to do about it. Unfortunately, many people report that this may be a waste of time: your ISP may not acknowledge that a problem exists or their tech support may be ignorant and isn't able to help you. If you can't get satisfaction from them, forget about using their DNS nameservers and go to step 2.

2. Rather than using your ISP's DNS nameservers, use stable, reliable and non-congested alternative nameservers such as public nameservers or those of a major university nearby. A list of public nameservers can be found at http://www.broadbandreports.com/faq/7472 , e.g.

199.166.24.253 (PS0.NS1.VRX.NET) - Toronto, ON, Canada
199.166.27.253 (PS0.NS3.VRX.NET) - Richmond Hill, ON, Canada
199.166.28.10 (PS0.NS2.VRX.NET) - Apopka, Fl
199.166.29.3 (NL.PUBLIC.BASESERVERS.NET) - Nederlands
199.166.31.3 (NS1.QUASAR.NET) - Orlando, FL, USA
195.117.6.25 (ZOLIBORZ.ELEKTRON.PL) - Poland
38.113.2.100 (NS1.JERKY.NET) - Boston, MA, USA
213.196.2.97 (PAN.BIJT.NET) - The Netherlands
199.5.157.128 Detroit
204.57.55.100

Choose two or three addresses from this list that are closest to you. If you go this route, make sure the servers you chose are current, i.e. ping them or run nslookup on them, e.g. nslookup 199.166.24.253

3. Or, to find the IP addresses of the nameservers of a big university nearby, run the following command on the command line (in Windows go to Start > Run > enter "command", this opens a DOS window)

nslookup -type=NS <domainname_of_university>

To find out what to enter for <domainname_of_university> google for a big university nearby, go to their homepage and examine their web address. Generally, the last two address fields is what you want. Examples would be mit.edu, harvard.edu. umich.edu, caltech.edu, utexas.edu.

For MIT or Harvard you would type on the command line:

nslookup -type=NS mit.edu
nslookup -type=NS harvard.edu

The "authoritative answers" to this command will give you the IP addresses of their nameservers. E.g. for MIT or Harvard:

BITSY.mit.edu internet address = 18.72.0.3
STRAWB.mit.edu internet address = 18.71.0.151
W20NS.mit.edu internet address = 18.70.0.160

ns2.harvard.edu internet address = 128.103.1.1
ns3.br.harvard.edu internet address = 128.119.3.170
ns.harvard.edu internet address = 128.103.201.100
ns1.harvard.edu internet address = 128.103.200.101

4. Next, open the network configuration dialog in your operating system, go to the dialogs that assign DNS nameservers and enter two or three of the IP addresses chosen from the list of public nameservers or from the entries you obtained with the nslookup command.

For Windows XP, you would go to Control Panel > Network and Internet Connections > Network Connections > double-click on the icon of your currently used Internet connection > General | Properties > General | Internet Protocol > click on Internet Protocol > Properties | General > check the box "Use the following DNS server addresses" > enter the two or three nameserver addresses you chose above.

Make sure you force your machine to use the specified nameservers by unchecking any box saying "DNS automatically provided through DHCP" or checking any box saying "override DHCP DNS servers", or whichever way your OS may provide to give you this option.

5. An alternative solution (which is available for Windows but not for Linux or MacOS) may be to install the program TreeWalk DNS which can be downloaded from http://ntcanuck.com/ . I haven't investigated exactly what this program does. It may simply automate the change of the DNS configuration in Windows (you wouldn't have to go through the above steps manually), and it may enter their own DNS nameservers (or it may set up a nameserver on your own machine). A number of people have found this to be an easy fix to the DNS lookup problem but you don't know in what ways this program changes your network config, and this solution may work fine until 10,000 other people dissatisfied with their ISPs sign up for ntcanuck.com and crash their servers. You may be better off to custom pick a local university nameserver.

6. If changing the DNS nameservers fails to correct the problem, you may want to uninstall your current version of Fx (1.0 or 1.0.1) and go back to the last version of Fx that doesn't appear to have this problem, i.e. v. 1.0PR (for PreRelease), also called v.0.10, or an even earlier version. You can find them here:

http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/ ... /releases/

E.g. v.1.0PR = v.0.10 is here: http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/ ... ases/0.10/
For Windows download Firefox_Setup_1.0PR.exe, for Linux firefox-1.0PR-i686-linux-gtk2+xft-installer.tar.gz

General comments:

It looks as though recent versions of Fx are not well tuned when it comes to dealing with problems in DNS lookup. Perhaps Fx times out too quickly as it's trying to get through to the ISP's nameservers when the lines are congested. This problem may have been introduced, or aggravated, with the final release of v.1.0, and it's still there in v.1.0.1. It may be the result of a trade-off for increased browser security (IE: browse but die, Fx: live but don't browse). Other browsers, Mozilla included, seem to be better able to deal with congested or low grade DNS nameservers. Anyway, until this problem is fixed by the Fx developers, it can probably be patched either by using less compromised nameservers or by going back to older versions of Fx.

My own experience with Fx precisely parallels that of hundreds of other people who have been complaining in this thread about Fx not connecting to websites. I've been using Fx for ages, both under WinXP and Linux; I never had any major problems with DNS lookup. I installed Fx 1.0 a few weeks ago, and it ran fine at first. Then I experienced one episode of constant failure of Fx to load webpages which lasted about two days. I called my ISP (RCN); they claimed there were no problems with their lines or servers. Then Fx again worked fine for a while. Then one week ago, the same problem reappeared: "page not found", or "waiting to load page", then timeout, and instant loading of the page on the second or third try (Fx presumably managing to get the copy of the resolved name now cached on the server). While Fx flailed, all of my other browsers (Mozilla, Konqueror, Opera, Dillo) loaded the exact same pages instantly. Finally, Fx became virtually nonfunctional and wouldn't load any pages, and Opera was beginning to slow and eventually also fail, then Mozilla failed and eventually even the lightning-fast Dillo failed. I hypothesize that at this stage the RCN DNS nameserver had become totally gummed up. In fact, the Linux command "dig" told me that it couldn't locate a DNS nameserver.

At this point, I uninstalled Fx 1.0 and reinstalled it: no change. Uninstalled 1.0 and installed 1.0.1. The new version ran fine for the first 3 hr session but next morning it was totally gummed up. I went through practically all of the two dozen remedies proposed in the thread referred to above; none of them really worked. Uninstalled 1.0.1 and installed 0.93; it worked. Then installed 1.0PR: it also worked. Reinstalled 1.0.1 and used the MIT nameservers: this worked. Went back to the RCN nameservers which now worked. Presumably, the congestion had cleared, or RCN had fixed their servers.

I'm just waiting for the RCN servers to flail again, then do some net diagnostics and packet sniffing, as well as switching to the MIT nameservers. That should nail down my diagnosis. Next, I'd like to figure out how to tweak Fx 1.0.1 in its DNS lookup timings to make it more forgiving (as 1.0PR presumably is), or else entice the Fx team to fix this problem which can be extremely frustrating and appears to affect a lot of people, regardless of platform (Win, MacOS, Linux).

Supposed remedies that had no effect on my system:

with "about:config" disabling IPv6
uninstalling extensions
changing Java Script settings
clearing browser cache
with "about:config" change pipelining and/or http timeout settings
stopping or even uninstalling my firewall (Firestarter for Linux)
fiddling with the setup of my router
installing a virgin copy of 1.0 and creating a new profile (i.e. renamed my default folder, hence no user configs were carried over, no previous themes, extensions, bookmarks, caches, cookies, etc.)

..... etc. etc. etc.: no change

[Using Fx 1.0.1 under Linux (Xandros 2.0.1), with Netgear RP614 router, 3Com cable modem, 5 Mbps broadband connection, ISP is RCN]

stupiduser
Guest
 

Post Posted May 25th, 2005, 3:24 am

too complicated for me..i am just beginner ...is mozilla not interested to fix this problem?

hellene

User avatar
 
Posts: 5130
Joined: March 20th, 2005, 5:29 pm
Location: Bradford W.Yorks

Post Posted May 25th, 2005, 3:26 am

It's not Mozilla's problem. That's the problem.
I don't know how to do any of this stuff, I just hire the guys that do
Have you considered reading the HELP folder. Right there on your menu bar.
Image by Juniper http onic.net/~daylight/ - Xmas special by Ol Grumpy

JimmyJ
Guest
 

Post Posted May 28th, 2005, 6:53 am

i had the same problem and it turned out to be the linksys router, i updated the firware and everything works again,, this problem started right after installing a panasonic dvd ram drive

Guest
Guest
 

Post Posted May 28th, 2005, 5:35 pm

Re: Timeout connections.

<i had the same problem and it turned out to be the linksys router, i updated the firware and everything works again>

Upgrading the firmware of my linksys router seems to have help solve my timeout issue problem, atleast I have had no problems for the last hour or so. Upgrading the firmware has sped up my internet connection, quite a bit, too. Thanks to all. Maybe someone can start a linksys headline that can be accessed via a search querie. I bet that would help a lot of people. Thanks again.

meskir
Guest
 

Post Posted May 28th, 2005, 9:19 pm

This problem message doesn't appear randomly for me, it has been happening for some time now, and it's only for one specific site:a forum.
And how do I upgrade that firmware thing.

hellene

User avatar
 
Posts: 5130
Joined: March 20th, 2005, 5:29 pm
Location: Bradford W.Yorks

Post Posted May 29th, 2005, 8:16 am

meskir, if it only happens in one site, the most likely cause is the site, not your router, firefox, the alignment of the planets etc.

Can you ever get onto the forum? If no - the forum is probably down.
If yes, but only after several tries, the likelihood is that the forum server isn't big enough to cope with the demand from the forum users, or it has a fault, or they ran an upgrade that has downgraded instead.
I don't know how to do any of this stuff, I just hire the guys that do
Have you considered reading the HELP folder. Right there on your menu bar.
Image by Juniper http onic.net/~daylight/ - Xmas special by Ol Grumpy

Hunne
Guest
 

Post Posted May 29th, 2005, 9:09 am

Dawna wrote:The operation timed out when attempting to contact www.google.com Is there a setting problem or something?

Thanks,
Dawna


yes it's a setting problems. it times out to a certain time because it thinks the time passed was the correct one. to avoids this just set your pc clock one year back.

Guest
Guest
 

Post Posted May 29th, 2005, 8:06 pm

In response to the following posts (see below), I have to say that I know the webmaster for the forums I am trying to log onto (it's a small site with some of our friends), and I'm still having problems.
I don't have problems with any other sites.
The forum can handle the load.
It is not down (we are looking at it on his computer now).
This has been happening for the last week.
If you can advise me, I would be ever so grateful!!
Thanks.

meskir wrote:
This problem message doesn't appear randomly for me, it has been happening for some time now, and it's only for one specific site:a forum.
And how do I upgrade that firmware thing.

hellene
User Support Moderator wrote:
meskir, if it only happens in one site, the most likely cause is the site, not your router, firefox, the alignment of the planets etc.

Can you ever get onto the forum? If no - the forum is probably down.
If yes, but only after several tries, the likelihood is that the forum server isn't big enough to cope with the demand from the forum users, or it has a fault, or they ran an upgrade that has downgraded instead.

Guest
Guest
 

Post Posted May 29th, 2005, 8:11 pm

ALSO, I should note that this website has the same problem in Safari (I'm running Panther on my ibook). Just noticed. Oof.

Guest
Guest
 

Post Posted June 1st, 2005, 5:15 am

Does this site work for you?
forum.emuvortex.net or emuvortex.net/forum

polix
Guest
 

Post Posted June 1st, 2005, 5:48 am

I get the same probleme with any google website but not with IE

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=273842

if we get different routine for different product that will push a internet where "who pay get better performance" ??

Dan_Francis

User avatar
 
Posts: 3383
Joined: April 11th, 2005, 11:05 am
Location: United Kingdom

Post Posted June 1st, 2005, 5:55 am

polix wrote:I get the same probleme with any google website but not with IE

http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=273842

if we get different routine for different product that will push a internet where "who pay get better performance" ??


Not relevant at all. It's always been the case that websites often use browser detection code both for bad (commercial) reasons but also to determine what mode of their site it should render because of different requirements.
Pentium 4 3Ghz HT, 1Gb DDR400Mhz Ram WinXPSP2
Firefox/1.0.4, Thunderbird/1.0.2, Deer Park Alpha/ 1

hellene

User avatar
 
Posts: 5130
Joined: March 20th, 2005, 5:29 pm
Location: Bradford W.Yorks

Post Posted June 1st, 2005, 5:58 am

Anonymous wrote:Does this site work for you?
forum.emuvortex.net or emuvortex.net/forum

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

Y:\>ping www.emuvortex.net

Pinging www.emuvortex.net [208.53.171.48] with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 208.53.171.48:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),

Y:\>

In a word - no.
I don't know how to do any of this stuff, I just hire the guys that do
Have you considered reading the HELP folder. Right there on your menu bar.
Image by Juniper http onic.net/~daylight/ - Xmas special by Ol Grumpy

Return to Firefox Support


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 21 guests