Jun 18, 2009

How I Fixed "IE 7 cannot open the Internet site - Operation aborted" error!

It all started from a reader’s email this morning. Duane Cantera reported: “When I try to open this web page I get an error message in internet explorer and the operation aborts.”

Emails like these are strange. They can send a blog owner into panic mode much quicker than an earthquake warning can possibly do; I was no exception. Before I knew, I had already opened Internet Explorer 7 and was opening the URL. The page started loading, as my eyes remained glued to the monitor screen and for a moment my heart raced like a speeding bullet. And boom! IE 7 crashed with “Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site. Operation aborted.” message [here is a screenshot]. Clicking the OK button displayed "The page cannot be displayed" instead, thus restricting anybody from opening the blog URL! This was really shocking as well as unexpected for me. Shocking, because my blog was crashing in Internet Explorer [around 35-45% of my visitors use IE, mind it]. And unexpected, because I had NOT touched my blog template (HTML code base) in months, thanks to my current hectic schedules. And still here I was. All I could remember, my blog was working fine in IE 7, the last time I had checked. Hence, I was spellbound regarding what must have caused this. Instinctively, I did a Sitemeter and Google Analytics check and saw a 40% decline in my blog’s recent page visits. Damn! Must have been due to this IE crash.

But when all this was happening, the tester inside me was telling me not to panic and be rational. Quickly, I did a Google search for the above error message in IE and came up with some informative references. It looked like; it was an old bug in IE and could happen if your web page had many JavaScript code snippets (which I had many). But, still I had not edited my blog template in months. So the chance of this being a regression bug was almost impossible, in my case. Few more minutes of Googling and I came to know that this error has been reported and is now a "Known Issue for Blogger".

» I tried to follow Blogger’s recommendation to remove the “Follower’s widget” but in vain. I could not get rid of the crash.
» The more I searched in Google, the more suggestions I saw; to move all your JavaScript tags below the body tag, adding defer="defer" to your JavaScript tags… I tried them all, but still in vain.
» Even I saw suggestions to redirect the readers to Mozilla page to download Firefox. I considered this option for a while but felt that it would be too intruding for the readers.
» I searched for a patch from Microsoft so that I could redirect my readers with IE 7 there. I could not get hold of one. Instead, I came across a suggestion from Microsoft to upgrade to IE 8 instead.


I was getting tired and frustrated by now and decided to get back to my blog template code and see if I could find out the cause that was causing this mysterious crash. All I knew at this point was that this was happening due to a bug in IE 7 that caused errors while parsing the JavaScript. I didn’t have the luxury of loosing 40% of my blog readers just because Microsoft IE 7 had a bug in it and was having trouble parsing my blog template. As far as I knew, IE was able to parse my blog template till recently. As I had not made any changes myself, it had to be some third party script that must have changed and was causing this error out of the blue.

Initial investigation/testing into this issue suggested that:

» This was a problem with ONLY Internet Explorer 7 (and earlier versions) and not in Firefox, Chrome, Opera or any other.
» My blog’s homepage was opening fine in IE 7, but not the individual archived "post pages”. This gave me a test idea. I tried opening the label pages. And wow! They opened fine in IE 7.

This showed that it must be some JavaScript code snippet that was there on my “post pages” but was not on the “home”, “label” or “search” pages and was causing IE 7 to crash. I do use conditional display of some JavaScript widgets in my blog [using b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"' tag]. But before scanning them, something else struck me as the possible culprit that differentiated my blog “post page” and rest pages. It was the “Comment Form”! Few months back, I had switched to the “Embedded Comment Form”. It had been working fine after an initial glitch (even in IE 7). But, it was also the one thing that stood out as the difference (as far as JavaScript code was concerned) between my “post pages” and rest pages. So, as a test, I changed my comment settings from “embedded comment form” to “pop-up”. And hurray! When I opened my “post pages” in IE 7, I no more saw any crash/errors. So I conjecture that Google/Blogger must have made some server side changes that affected it’s JavaScript code snippet that handles the “embedded comment form” and in turn it was crashing IE 7. I personally liked the embedded comment form and found it more user-friendly than the pop-up version. But for now, I have to change back and wait until either Blogger fixes it’s JavaScript OR Microsoft fixes the bug in IE 7 (the chance is low, as they have a newer non-crashing version in form of IE 8). So, I am hoping that Blogger fixes their embedded comment form code soon so that I (and many bloggers like me) can again use it without crashing our blogs in IE 7!

I must admit, it was a great and thrilling experience. Being a tester, it was frustrating to see my own blog crashing like a pack of cards in Internet Explorer. Though, the problem was with a problematic parsing error on the part of IE and a possible JavaScript error at Blogger’s end, ultimately I was loosing visitors to my blog. And it really feels great to have fixed the problem at my end in just 6 hours [Microsoft is yet to fix it in IE7 even after 1 year, and Blogger is yet to come up with a solution, mind it :)]! If you are a blogger and experiencing this problem, try if this post can help you fix it. And thanks a ton to Duane, for alerting me about this error.

Update1! Looks like the fix was not good enough to support IE 8! This is irrespective of Microsoft's claim that IE 8 has the fix that should take care (handle parse errors more gracefully by hiding them to the status bar and allow the user to continue browsing the web page) of the issue in IE 7. Thanks to Mistah Bonzai for alerting me about it. I have upgraded to IE 8 now and I could reproduce the "Aborted Operation" error, even though I was on Windows XP. Damn! Now what? Well, I don't know! Let me investigate more into this and I will update this post as soon as I have new information.

Update2! Looks like Blogger (read Google) and IE (read Microsoft) have signed a secret "no-offense; let's be friends" agreement! Out of curiosity, I reverted back to the Embedded Comment form recently and now IE seems to behave nicely without any "Operation aborted" error. I have confirmed this in IE 6, 7 and 8. And all 3 of them work fine with Blogger's Embedded Comment form now. I am hoping that this is a permanent fix. I will keep testing this compatibility from time to time and update this post in case I find anything unpleasant.

Happy Testing…



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24 Comments:

Yogindernath on June 18, 2009 at 9:39 PM said...

Hello Debasis,

Even I faced the same issue with my Software Testing website few months earlier and I had figured out the issue..Thats great to see that you resolved the issue at the earliest.. As a blogger, personally i can say it can be very frustrating if the visitors are not able to open our website/blog..

Its my first visit to your blog and found quite interesting.. Great site and all the best.

Regards,
Yogindernath


Prabhath Murthy on June 19, 2009 at 12:06 AM said...

Hi Debasis,

It's nice to see the way your filtered out the root cause of the issue.

That is one of the good quality any testers should have - Analysis of the root cause because that helps in finding other related bugs.

Good post and good catch from Duane :)

Regards,
Prabhath Murthy


Pradeep Soundararajan on June 19, 2009 at 5:42 AM said...

The good thing about this blog post is - it doesn't say "these are things you must follow as I did" and just presenting the experience as it is and allowing the readers to take what they want from it.

I think increasingly bloggers might want to consider being influenced by just presenting the experience as it.

I used to do that but was quick in realizing my mistake. I do not do it unless there is a damn need for that.


OTB on June 20, 2009 at 8:20 AM said...

Thank you for this really thorough post. I spent a couple hours trying to figure out what went wrong with my blog in IE (since I use Firefox and hadn't noticed for weeks). I finally was able to trace it to my Javascript Twitter widget, so I removed it and it seemed to work in IE. But changing the Comments to a Pop Up enabled me to re-add my Twitter widget without problems, so I'll leave it like that until Blogger/IE fix it, if ever.


indianraga on June 22, 2009 at 10:05 PM said...

Same error happened with my blog :

http://indianraga.blogspot.com

The main page opened without any error, but all the individual post pages were giving the error. I too found that the 'embedded comment form' was the culprit. In fact the comment form did not show even the dropdown options for the commenter.

Another thing that I noted was that this only happenned when you were not logged into your blogger account. Once you login, the problem disappeared. But what about the visitors among whom many are not even registered with blogger.

This has happenned only lately. A few days back all was hunky dory.


Mistah Bonzai on June 23, 2009 at 10:08 PM said...

Not to rain on your parade but... I get the dreaded "Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site xxxx" "Operation aborted" error when opening this page - http://software-testing-zone.blogspot.com/2009/06/howto-fix-ie7-operation-aborted-error.html. In fact it is the first page I have discovered that can reliably reproduce the error. I'm researching the cause of intermittent occurrences of this error in IE8/Windows 7 (Build 7100).

The error occurs for me fairly infrequently and almost always when backing up to a previously loaded page. I suspected some sort of script error wherein the state was lost or output redirected to another object. However loading this page causes said error to be displayed every time. Once the "OK" button is selected the page clears, I get the "Internet Explorer cannot display the web page" header and the "Diagnose Connection Problems". Digging down into the diagnostics I discover that no problems are detected although I have to kill that instance of IE as it can no longer connect to the internet.

Well there ya have it. I'll keep checking back with Google Chrome in hopes that you discover the cause. 'latah Mistah Bonzai


Debasis - The Bug Hunter! on June 24, 2009 at 12:56 AM said...

@ Yogindernath,

Thanks for dropping by. On another topic, when I click on your Name (which is supposed to take me to your website), I am getting a "Not Acceptable" error from the web server. Additionally, a 404 error is also being generated. However, selecting the URL from the address bar and hitting {Enter} takes me to the site. Note, simple page refresh (F5) does not! Being the site owner, you might want to know why!!!


Debasis - The Bug Hunter! on June 24, 2009 at 1:39 AM said...

@ Pradeep Soundararajan,

I'm glad that you liked the presentation style of the post. But, do help me understand your following paragraph!

I think increasingly bloggers might want to consider being influenced by just presenting the experience as it.

I have no idea on what this was supposed to mean. Blame it on my mediocre English! :(

I used to do that but was quick in realizing my mistake. I do not do it unless there is a damn need for that.

> Used to do "what"?
> Which "mistake"?

I could be wrong, but I feel you mistyped something in either of the above two paragraphs. Because to me they appear contradictory! Looking forward to hear from you.


Debasis - The Bug Hunter! on June 24, 2009 at 1:41 AM said...

@ OTB,

I am glad you could fix your blog template so as not to crash IE! Thanks for leaving behind your observations as comment.


Debasis - The Bug Hunter! on June 24, 2009 at 1:42 AM said...

@ Indianraga,

Glad that you could figure out the problem at your end and could find out a workaround. Thanks for confirming that this was working until recently and has been crashing now!


Debasis - The Bug Hunter! on June 24, 2009 at 1:48 AM said...

@Mistah Bonzai,

Oops! Thanks for informing. I asked my followers at Twitter, and looks like it is indeed crashing sometimes in IE 8/Win 7! :( Looks like it's time to upgrade to IE 8 and investigate. I wonder, if it crashes in IE 8 ONLY when the user is in Win 7! Thanks again for reporting. Let me see what i can do about it.

Note to Self: God, don't give me more and more reasons to hate IE and love Firefox!


hyokon on July 9, 2009 at 7:19 PM said...

Thanks a lot. I had the same problem and changed the comment setting as you did. And it worked for IE7. I am not sure if the problem still exists with IE8, which I will try asap.


Ganesh Raman on July 10, 2009 at 8:02 PM said...

Hi
I am Ganesh Raman, I am an QA. I went through your blog, this is really a good and informative blog. Especially i liked your this write-up where you have about "IE7 Operation aborted error"
.
i really like the way u had presented your post. But i think it will be really much better if you added few more stuffs with this article...Im also Posting my blogs @ http://softwaretestinginterviewfaqs.blogspot.com When you find time do visit my blog and give your suggestions Too…..

Thanks In Advance
Ganesh Raman
http://softwaretestinginterviewfaqs.blogspot.com


Mob on August 24, 2009 at 7:52 PM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

teju on October 1, 2009 at 12:45 AM said...

adding defer tag solved problem on my blog http://moviesnwallpapers.blogspot.com


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Debasis,
I am an amateur Home-PC-User and having the same error, 'operation aborted', while opening www.indianraga.blogspot.com.My PC is very old.

System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 2 Dec 2009, 18:49:22
Machine name: L6P8P2
Operating System: Windows 98 (4.10, Build 2222) A
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
Processor: Cyrix 6x86MX, MMX
Memory: 248MB RAM
Page File: 78MB used, 1414MB available
DirectX Version: DirectX 6.1a (4.06.03.0518)
DxDiag Version: 4.06.03.0518

I think it has 'ie6'. But, few months back, it wasn't giving any problem. Now, it's giving problem with quite a few sites, like with www.esnips.com also.
My repairer is not able to solve the problem.
He suggests upgradation only.
Would you please suggest me 'what to do'?
I request you email me and thanks.
Regards,
warmly,
deepak
deepak2101@yahoo.co.in (My e-mail add.)


グリー on August 6, 2010 at 12:48 AM said...

グリーで提供しているのは他社にはできない出 会 い。質の悪い出 会 いよりも質の良いものを提供しております。体験してもらえれば違いは一目瞭然


Inventory Management Software on January 17, 2011 at 12:58 AM said...

Thanks for sharing your post and it was superb .I would like to hear more from you in future too.


Tron Master on October 20, 2011 at 2:02 PM said...

Awesome knowledge... definitely something I will use. Very good resource. I used emr software before and it helped out a lot... a lot of useful info there too. Thanks for the story!


Vani on February 28, 2012 at 8:17 PM said...

just linked this article on my Facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.
Flip Books Software


inventorysource on March 5, 2012 at 2:09 AM said...

This is really a nice information. Sharing this blog must necessary. This will help to get full knowledge for their coming future. Thanks once again.........


AG on April 7, 2012 at 10:44 PM said...

Information
Informatics Advanced World collects and shares highly scalable Informatics Data and organizes it for good interpretation, simple and understandable presentation so that any one can easily analyze and spread such Information.


SAM on June 19, 2013 at 9:19 AM said...

Hi,

I am having same problem when loading with IE..... can you help me find and resolve the problem...

My BLOG... www.traderadda.com


Lalit Raghuvanshi on August 22, 2013 at 11:33 PM said...

Hi..i m facing the same aborted issue in my blog www.webcodeexpert.com in IE 8 also.can u plz suggest me how to resolve the issue..thanks in advance


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