As a signed in user when I click on "Ask a Question" (which goes to the page https://stackoverflow.com/error?aspxerrorpath=/questions/ask) I get an "Oops! Something Bad Happened!" error.

I've had an SO account for quite a while, sign in using a Google account, have always been able to ask questions before, have good karma/score, and I'm on Chrome/OS X 33.0.1750.146

We apologize for any inconvenience, but an unexpected error occurred while you were browsing our site.

It’s not you, it’s us. This is our fault.

Detailed information about this error has automatically been recorded and we have been notified.

Yes, we do look at every error. We even try to fix some of them.

It’s not strictly necessary, but if you’d like to give us additional information about this error, do so at our feedback site, http://meta.stackoverflow.com.

  • I second that.. I have the same problem right now! I can only ask on meta stackoverflow!
    – amyassin
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 15:05
  • 11
    Site has just gone into 'read only' mode... or at least that's the message I got a moment ago. Seems normal again now.
    – PaulG
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 15:07
  • Didn't get that message, but the status twitter feed says that they're up for something: twitter.com/StackStatus/statuses/443399022012030976
    – amyassin
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 15:15
  • Now it is back online.
    – Praveen
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 15:35
  • No, it's still in read-only mode.
    – devnull
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 15:54
  • I see it in read-only mode, but I'm also seeing questions asked or edited within the past minute.
    – Mooseman
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 16:04
  • 7
    There's a drinking game in all of this, somewhere.
    – user50049
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 16:05
  • 2
    It's up, but very slow at the moment.
    – Mooseman
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 16:09
  • 3
    Good for you that the site was down. You just asked a Nice Question that you didn't even start with :)
    – devnull
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 16:16
  • 1
    And who knows it might turn into a Good Question if the site were to be down a little longer!
    – devnull
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 16:17
  • Works now! Back to the track. Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 16:27
  • Still down for me. The error page is the only thing I can get as a signed-in user. I can see the site in a private window, but signing in through the private window returns only the error page. I've cleared cache, removed cookies, . . . Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


We are having issue with a deploy at the moment and are working hard to fix it as soon as possible. A build fixing out this particular issue is going out in a moment.

Update: We are stable now. All Q&A services are now updated.

We had a fun fire fighting day as we struggled to keep the sites up after completely replacing our caching layer (and bit bits handling redis connectivity). If you're curious as to if Stack Overflow (and all the other sites) can run on just 2 web servers, the answer is still yes:

Uh oh, oh no, Stack Overflow!

If you're curious, no, it doesn't well run on just 1 server. We checked.

It was a combination of race conditions, 1 botched boolean operator (out of thousands of lines of new code), a bad double lock check, web sockets blowing past 260,000 simultaneous connections (which exceeds some linux networking limits) - and some of that completely hosing the web server local cache and hitting redis for everything, which it wasn't as happy with.

  • 6
    They're now fixing a particular issue with the fix for the first particular issue, if you're particularly interested in particularities, or not particularly, depending on your particular case.
    – user50049
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 16:07
  • 4
    @Tim (or Nick of course) I'm curious to know what can cause such a thing? Surely not a simple null pointer somewhere? ;) Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 16:16
  • 10
    @ShadowWizard Of course not. It would have to be a Stack Overflow Exception.
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 17:03
  • 1
    @Servy right! Should have known that. :D Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 18:33

They are deploying an emergency fix for Stack Overflow now.


They are deploying other stability improvements to their new caching layer, still keeping an eye on things here.


Things they learned today:

  1. Stack Overflow runs okay on 2 web servers
  2. Lack of L1 cache can take out all but 2 of our web servers
  • I got Something is technically wrong. Thanks for noticing—we're going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon. when I visited the url. :P
    – Bibhas
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 18:11
  • I saw same few seconds back, wait for a while
    – Ajay S
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 18:12
  • Everything is falling apart.
    – Bibhas
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 18:15
  • because Twitter is currently down for maintenance.
    – Ajay S
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 18:25
  • 3
    Maybe twitter went down after its devs couldn't find proper code, with Stack Overflow down. ;) Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 23:00

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