"Page cannot be displayed" error during SSL 3.0 Server session time-out

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Article ID: 305217 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q305217
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SYMPTOMS

When Internet Explorer version 5.5 Service Pack 1 or later tries to POST data, GET data or set up an HTTPS connection with the connect command, Internet Explorer generates an error message that indicates that the page could not be displayed. This problem does not occur in Internet Explorer 5.5.

CAUSE

This problem can occur when the Web server issues an SSL 3.0 closure alert as the port is being closed on the server, because of a possible session time-out. This closure alert is sent across as a Zero Byte Encrypted packet, however, the complete closure message occurs by using 2 different packets. The closure alert arrives with the TCP Flags ".AP..." (Ack Push) to instruct the program that the SSL 3.0 session is closing and another packet with the TCP Flags ".A...F" (Ack Fin) to instruct the TCP layer to close the port on the client computer.

Because the closure alert arrives and the RESET and FIN TCP flags are not set within that packet, there is no way for Wininet.dll to determine that this is not program data, and because of this, the Keep-Alive port is left open on the client until the next Socket Receive call.

This causes the problem to occur because Internet Explorer has two Keep-Alive ports open to the server and the Retry count is equal to 2. When the Socket Receive occurs after the first attempt to send data, the SSL 3.0 closure alert is processed and the TCP closure is processed causing the first Keep-Alive port to be closed and the Retry count to be decremented. Because the retry count is not 0, there is another POST attempt that uses the second Keep-Alive port. However, this too does not work because it has also been closed on the server (again the SSL 3.0 Closure Alert and the TCP Closure packets for this second port as processed on the Socket Receive for the port) and the retry count is decremented again. At this point the retry count is now 0 and the error message is generated that indicates that the page could not be displayed.

RESOLUTION

Service pack information

A code change has been created to try to reduce the number of failures that are seen with Internet Explorer and SSL 3.0 closure alerts. To take advantage of this change, obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Windows 2000. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260910 How to obtain the latest Windows 2000 service pack

Hotfix information

A mitigation hotfix is now available from Microsoft, but it is relevant only to the problem that is described in this article. Apply it only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix may receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next Internet Explorer 6 service pack that contains this hotfix.

To request this hotfix immediately, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

Important Install the February, 2003 Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer before you install this fix. For more information about this update, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
810847 February, 2003, Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer
If you installed this fix before you installed the February, 2003 Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer, you must reinstall this fix.

Internet Explorer 5.01 on Windows 2000 Service Pack 3

The English version of this fix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

 Date        Time    Version         Size      File name
-------------------------------------------------------------- 
13-Jan-2003 10:03   5.0.3513.1300   461,072   Wininet.dll 
				

Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2

The English version of this fix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

 Date        Time    Version           Size      File name
-------------------------------------------------------------- 
13-Jan-2003 10:34    5.50.4925.1300    482,064    Wininet.dll 
				

Internet Explorer 6

The English version of this fix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

 Date        Time    Version           Size      File name
-------------------------------------------------------------- 
13-Jan-2003 10:05    6.0.2725.1300     583,680     Wininet.dll 
				

Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1

The English version of this fix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

 Date        Time     Version           Size      File name
--------------------------------------------------------------
13-Jan-2003 09:34     6.0.2800.1157      585,728      Wininet.dll 
				

WORKAROUND

To work around this problem, use either of the following methods:
  • Disable SSL 3.0 closure alerts at the server.
  • Change the Iplanet keep-alive time-out setting from 30 seconds to 300 seconds.
For more information about how to configure this value, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
183110 WinInet limits connections per server

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows


After you install the hotfix, you may still see failures. The hotfix is only a mitigation fix. In an attempt to resolve the failures that you may see after you install the hotfix, set the following DWORD keys in the Registry Editor to an equal value, such as 4:
  • MaxConnectionsPerServer
  • MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server
To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following subkey in the registry:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
  3. If you do not see the MaxConnectionsPerServer or MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server subkeys, add the subkeys. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD.
    2. Type MaxConnectionsPerServer, and then press ENTER.
    3. Type MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server, and then press ENTER.
Note By changing these settings, you cause WinInet to go against the HTTP protocol specification recommendation. You should only do this if it is required. Then, you should avoid standard Web browsing while these settings are in effect.

Microsoft is currently reviewing this behavior and looking for a more viable solution in future products.

To determine if you are seeing the SSL 3.0 closure alert issue with Internet Explorer, follow these steps:
  1. On the server, turn off SSL 3.0. Then, turn on SSL 2.0 to prevent the closure alerts from being sent.
  2. On the client, set the MaxConnectionsPerServer value to 1.
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

Properties

Article ID: 305217 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 13.5
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
    • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
    • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
    • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
    • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
    • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
    • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
    • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
    • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Keywords: 
kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbwin2ksp4fix kbbug kbenv kberrmsg kbfix kbie550presp2fix KB305217

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