Quick Tips: Netscape Error Messages



    Here are the four most common error messages which you might encounter when using Netscape:


    404 Not Found
    The requested URL was not found on this server.

    You can get this message by following links provided by search engines as well as from following links on regular Web pages. What this means is that the Web page that you had hoped to see has either moved to a new address, you were given an incorrect address, or that the page no longer is being maintained by whoever originally put it out there (and so no longer exists on the Web).

    Sometimes I have seen intriguing links listed by search engines that, when I first followed them, produced this message. I have successfully figured out where the page moved to sometimes (or perhaps just got lucky!). What I do, if I really want to pursue such a link, is to put my cursor at the end of the address in the Location box and backspace until I get to the *root* address. There have been times that the page had simply moved to another subdirectory at the same site.

    (See also Quick Tips: Ready Reference on the Web for tips on decoding URLs.) Most of the time, when you get this message, though, you are dead in the water and might as well write off that link.


    Netscape is unable to locate the server. The server does not have a DNS entry. Check the server name in the location (URL) and try again.

    Again, this can mean that the URL you have is an incorrect address. The way Netscape finds Web pages for you is that it queries a Domain Name Server (DNS) computer. It asks the computer what the numerical address is for the name address in the link. If it does not get a reply, the DNS computer had no record of the name. So you might be dead in the water again.

    As more and more people are on the Internet, some of these DNS computers are getting overwhelmed. If your Netscape has not heard back from the DNS computer within a certain time limit, it assumes that the DNS computer was, in effect, sending a negative reply. This may not be the case. The DNS computer may simply not have replied yet because it was still answering all the other people's Netscape queries from each of their computers.

    One way to test whether the DNS computer is being slow to respond is to ask next for something like the AltaVista or Yahoo! Web page. You know that it is highly unlikely that either of these have let anything go wrong with their Web sites.

    If Netscape comes back and tells you that AltaVista does not have a DNS entry, you know that it was not a bad link but rather a too-slow DNS computer. If you cannot link to anything, take a break and try again later.

    Once this happened to me and I finally decided that the computer at my Internet Service Provider was *down* (or nonfunctional). I could not link to any Web page nor could I connect to read my email. One day later, all was back to normal without my having to do anything. (Evidently, my Internet Service Provider had cleared up whatever temporary problems they had been having.)


    There was no response. The server could be down or nor responding. If you are unable to connect again later, contact the server's administrator.

    This has some good aspects. You were not told that the Web page did not exist nor were you told that you had a bad address. Servers, like other types of computers, require maintenance from time to time. Plus, sometimes the server is SO busy it ignores requests until it deals with the requests that it already has. The server could have been too busy even to stop and refuse to take the query. This message assumes that the next time you try this link, it will most likely work. Only if it fails later should you be concerned. So put this link aside and come back to it later.


    Netscape's network connection was refused by the server. The server may not be accepting connections or may be busy. Try connecting again later.

    This message means that you have both a good address and the server is, in fact, working at this time. However, you might be seeing this error message more and more often in the future.

    Some Web pages are extremely popular. Most Web pages can only handle so much traffic at the same time. It has been my experience that if you get this message, if you are persistent and keep trying the same link over and over, you will eventually get through.

    If you have to get an error message, this is the best of the four to get. Most often, after I finally get through and the Web page FINALLY loads, I am favorably impressed with the Web page and readily understand its popularity.


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