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Chapter 13. Road Service for the Infobah... > Solve-It! Web Browser Problems

Solve-It! Web Browser Problems

The focus of this section is clearly on the Web browsing part of Web browser software (as opposed to a browser's newsgroup or email features). Still many of the points covered will have a general applicability to these other components, as well as to any online software.

TAKE NOTE — Web Troubleshooting Basics

It is a maxim of all troubleshooting that a multitude of symptoms have a minimum of causes. Or, to put it another way, most problems, despite how varied the symptoms may appear, can usually be solved by a small number of general fix-its. So, before you begin a hunt for a specific solution to your specific problem, give these general troubleshooting tips a try:

Try again If a Web page won't load for some unspecified reason, select to reload it: click Reload (Navigator) or Refresh (Explorer). If necessary, halt the current attempt to load the page first, by clicking the Stop button or pressing Command-period.

If the page still won't load, try again an hour or so later. The vast majority of these problems clear up by themselves, as they are due to temporary glitches on the Internet or at the Web site you are trying to view.

If this does not fix the problem, check to see if the same problem occurs on other pages. If the problem appears to occur on any and all Web pages and/or if you get an error message that indicates that a connection was not established, you have a problem with your connection. This is covered in Chapter 12.

Give the browser more memory Browsers tend to be memory hogs; they will benefit from memory far in excess of the minimum they claim to need. And the more plug-ins you use, the more memory you will need. Whether it's an inability to launch a browser, a crash while using a browser, or an unacceptably slow speed of loading pages, increasing your browser's memory allocation is likely to help.

To increase a browser's memory size, go to the Get Info window of the browser and increase its Preferred Memory size. If you don't have enough memory to spare to do this, get more physical RAM (using virtual memory to get the additional memory may work, but having more physical memory is much preferred).

Reinstall or update the software Many problems are solved by getting a newer version of the browser. Check to see if one exists. If not, it may be that your current copy has gotten corrupted in some way. To fix this, you can simply reinstall the same version again, from the original Installer. It is preferred to actually delete the currently installed software before reinstalling (by dragging the existing files to the Trash or using the Uninstall feature of the Installer utility), but this should not be necessary in most cases.

If you do delete files, be careful not to delete the Bookmark and Favorites files, unless you don't care if your list of Bookmarks is lost. In particular, for Netscape, save a backup copy of the Bookmarks. html file that is in the User Profile folder with your Profile (as located in the Preferences folder of the System Folder). There are likely to be other Bookmarks.html files on your drive. But this should be the critical one. If in doubt, open it in your browser to see if it lists your current Bookmarks. For Explorer, save the Favorites.html file in the Preferences/Explorer folder. If need be, return the back-up copies to their System Folder location after reinstalling the browser software.

With Netscape, you may also want to delete the Netscape Preferences file; this alone can eliminate a variety of problems, saving you the hassle of a reinstall of the complete software. With Explorer, try deleting the file called Internet Preferences (used by the Internet control panel). However, if you do this, you will need to re-create the settings in the Internet control panel.

One problem with reinstalling can occur if you have updated your software with Smart/Active Updates from the Web. In this case, your original version of the software (as contained on a CD-ROM disc most likely) does not contain the version you are currently using. In this case, you would need to reinstall the update files from the Web again - which can be a time-consuming pain (especially via a dial-up modem connection). Alternatively, you can download the complete new version and install that.

  • SEE ALSO Fix-It #5 for more on memory, including special issues involving temporary memory, memory leaks etc. as they apply to Internet connections and Web browsers.



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