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I have been having issues with asking questions on SE lately. Started about 2 weeks ago. I'm not sure if upgrading to FF 4 did it or if the site was updated. Anyways, just about every time I ask a question I hit submit and get a 404 error.

In fact, I'm writing this question for the second time right now. It happened again. Sometimes it takes a good 5-10 minutes to write a well formatted question for complex stuff. I really don't enjoy doing it 2x. Even though there appears to be an AJAX powered autosave going on, hitting the browser's back button does not recover the question. But, I am sometimes able to hit ask question again and recover some of the original question.

This happens with all SE sites.

My configuration
Firefox v4.0.1


  • Fiddlerhook
  • Firebug
  • 1.7.0
  • Java quick starter 1.0
  • Microsoft .NET framework assistant 0.0.0
  • web developer 1.1.9

Disabled AddOns

  • McAfee SiteAdvisor Enterprise
  • Widgi Toolbar Platform 4.3

OS: Windows XP

Note, this error appears to be based on time. When I make short edits, maybe < 1min I have never had an issue. Maybe the autosave feature has something to do with the failure.

I opened a new question on meta-stack for testing. After 45 minutes of testing I experienced a failure of some kind in every browser I used for testing.

Here are the Test Results
started writing question at 12:41pm. Submitting question at 12:47pm.

Using IE7. Attempt 1....Success.

Edit 1: Using IE7. Attempt 1 edit failed. Had window opened for 2 minutes. Error "page not found". Attempt 2 success. ~30 seconds editing b4 submit.

Edit 2: Using IE7. Question opened at 12:52. Submitted at 12:53. Attempt 1...Success

Edit 3: Using FF. Question opened at 12:53. Submitted at 12:59. Attempt 1...Fail. Page not found. Attempt 2 approx 30 seconds later. Success

Edit 4: Using FF. Question opened at 12:59. Submitted at 1:01. Attempt 1...Success.

Edit 5: Using FF. Question opened at 1:01. Submitted at 1:04. Attempt 1...Success.

Edit 6: Using FF. Question opened at 1:04. Submitted at 1:11. Attempt 1...Success.

Edit 7: Using Opera. Question opened at 1:12. Submitted at 1:18. Attempt 1...Fail. Attempt 2...~30 seconds later.

Edit 8: Using Opera. 10 quick edits. first 9 success. 10th failed "Oops! Something Bad Happened!" "The error could not be recorded (displayed?)". "Something is wrong on our end and has been recorded..." in message.

Edit 9: using safari on iphone. Opened at 1:23pm submit at 1:29. Attempt1...Success.

Edit 10: Safari desktop. Site down for maintenance error. Opened at 1:33. Attempt 1 fail. Attempt 2 fail (2 minutes later)..."page not found". Attempt 3...30 seconds..Success

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Client-side configuration, please (OS, Browser, AddOns etc.). –  Time Traveling Bobby May 20 '11 at 14:00
You seem to be insinuating that this is FF4 specific. Can you please confirm this by using a different browser for a while? For example, Google Chrome. –  BalusC May 20 '11 at 16:57
@Chichiray - I only mean to convey my own experience. I have no idea what other browsers are affected, if any. I will try IE7 next time I have a question to ask. –  P.Brian.Mackey May 20 '11 at 17:38
@Chichiray - Question updated with more thorough tests. For what it's worth I've had similar problems with comments. Roughly, that's 6 failures in 10 edits. Given one of them was a quick 10 edits I'd say that's about a 50% rate of failure. –  P.Brian.Mackey May 20 '11 at 18:42
OK, that's thus not browser specific. Are you behind a (company) proxy or something? –  BalusC May 20 '11 at 19:04
@Chichiray - There is some kind of network security yes. Being that I have 0 access to network and hardware...I don't know if it's a proxy, but my gut says yes. We have to authenticate via NTLM to access any public websites. I could try these tests again on my home network, but I dunno if I'll have the time to do it soon. –  P.Brian.Mackey May 20 '11 at 19:07

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As long as you have tried in a clean, from-scratch install of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc --

I believe there is a proxy, firewall, etc interfering with your connection to us.

We have seen this before -- badly written corporate "protection" firewalls will block (via timeout) things that look like scripts, etc.

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