Whenever I use Stack Overflow or related sites from work the site does not display properly. At first I figured it was part of my company's mission to eventually block any site that could be useful in getting actual work done, but other folks can access the site fine. I've cleared my internet files, cookies etc. Any insight into what is happening and how to fix it is appreciated.

I'm using the same computer from my home network fine so I think something is getting blocked. Here's a screen shot of what I see:

enter image description here

And here's the error messages:

Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR
3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; InfoPath.2; .NET CLR
3.0.30618; .NET4.0C; .NET4.0E; MS-RTC EA 2; SLCC1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; Tablet PC 2.0; MS-RTC LM 8) Timestamp: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 13:31:24 UTC

Message: Invalid character Line: 1 Char: 1 Code: 0 URI: http://cdn.sstatic.net/js/stub.js?v=005820c36f6e

Message: 'StackExchange' is undefined Line: 20 Char: 9 Code: 0 URI: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/powershell

Message: Invalid character Line: 1 Char: 1 Code: 0 URI: http://cdn.sstatic.net/Js/tageditor.js?v=8813fe530cd0

Message: 'StackExchange' is undefined Line: 185 Char: 5 Code: 0 URI: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/powershell

    <script type="text/javascript">
    StackExchange.init({"stackAuthUrl":"http://stackauth.com","serverTime":1308144196,"styleCode":true,"site":{"name":"Stack Overflow","description":"Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers"},"user":{"isRegistered":true,"guid":"58b700e7-2fe4-45a7-a737-2d817c641a15","gravatar":"\u003cimg src=\"http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/30f62a443fa50812e6274f8afa8a5479?s=50&d=identicon&r=PG\" height=\"50\" width=\"50\" alt=\"\"\u003e","profileUrl":"http://stackoverflow.com/users/135965/chad-miller","fkey":"ec57bf7b9c9c5f4e378a0e00c8af499d","inboxUnviewedCount":0}});
  • If you're able to use a non-IE browser, does it also have problems?
    – Matt Ball
    Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 0:53
  • I wish I could use a non-IE browser, but stuck with IE 8. If I use the same laptop from home on my home network--works fine Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 1:06
  • Do you have Fiddler?
    – SLaks
    Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 1:46
  • 1
    And if you do have Fiddler, it does have a rule to "disable compression" or somesuch; do you get the same error even with gzip disabled? Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 6:47
  • I had the same issue. By downloading Fiddler2, applying the 'Remove All Encodings' rule on the Rules menu, and clearing IE's cache the problem was removed. Now I need to try to convince someone to fix the root cause... Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 7:35
  • hmm, I cleared IE cache usign Fiddler2 and its working. Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 18:50

3 Answers 3


You have a proxy that is messing up the Javascript on http://sstatic.net.

What response do you get for http://cdn.sstatic.net/js/stub.js?v=005820c36f6e?
(In particular, the first few characters)

I get

window.StackExchange={};if(top!=self){top.location.replace(document.location);alert("For security reasons, framing is not allowed; click OK to remove the frames.")}StackExchange.init=(function(){var a=function(e){if(!window.jQuery){if(document.readyState!="complete"){setTimeout(function(){a(e)},1000);return}var d=document.createElement("div");d.id="noscript-padding";var f=document.createElement("div");f.id="noscript-warning";f.innerHTML=e+" requires external JavaScript from another domain, which is blocked or failed to load.";document.body.insertBefore(d,document.body.firstChild);document.body.appendChild(f)}};var c=function(){$(document).keyup(function(d){if(d.which==27){$("#lightbox, .error-notification, .popup, .share-tip, .esc-remove").fadeOutAndRemove();$(".esc-hide").fadeOut();if(window.genuwine&&genuwine.isVisible()){genuwine.click()}if(window.profileLink){profileLink.hide()}}})};return function(d){StackExchange.options=d;var e=d.serverTime-(new Date()).getTime()/1000;a(d.site.name);$.ajaxSetup({cache:false});StackExchange.init.createJqueryExtensions();$(function(){c();StackExchange.using(StackExchange.options.user.isAnonymous?"anonymous":"loggedIn", ...
  • I get bunch of errors when clicking the stub.js link above. On another machine a home using FireFox I get the same output as you. Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 18:40
  • What's the contents of the file in Fiddler?
    – SLaks
    Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 18:57
  • Well it seems to workign now. I can post the Fiddler contents, but I thinking maybe I didn't clear my cache correctly or IE didn't, but Fiddler did. Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 20:14

Doesn't your corporate proxy dropping "gzip" header?

I guess those file always returns gzipped contents, so you got error on first character which is in binary.

Message: Invalid character Line: 1 Char: 1 Code: 0

  • Not sure, I'll ping my network guys Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 18:42

Coming in late, but I discovered that on my own work PC, this problem was caused by turning on "InPrivate Filtering" in IE. Turning that off lets Stack Exchange sites work normally.

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