Monday, March 19, 2012

Error 310 Redirect Loop

The interwebs is flooded with different documented issues about the 310 error in various web browsers and on various web sites. Here is what the error says exactly in Safari, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer:image
This webpage has a redirect loop
The webpage at
HTTP://WEBSITENAME has resulted in too many redirects. Clearing your cookies for this site or allowing third-party cookies may fix the problem. If not, it is possibly a server configuration issue and not a problem with your computer.
Here are some suggestions:
Reload this webpage later.
Learn more about this problem.
Error 310 (net::ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS): There were too many redirects.

I have seen this error more often in Google Chrome than Internet Explorer and Safari. One strange thing here is that you will never, ever, see this error in Firefox due to its software design. So, if you get this error in IE or Chrome, try to access the website in Firefox and you will see that the site works just fine. Why does this happen? Well, first lets fix the problem then I will explain why this error is happening.
To fix the problem:
  1. Close all web browsers on your computer.
  2. Clear out ALL cookies and browser cache data for each web browser on your computer. Do not be selective on what data you want to wipe out, just wipe ALL of the cache and cookie data from the computer.
  3. Verify that the time on your computer is set for the correct time zone, day of the week, as well as the correct hour and minute. Synchronize your computer with the public NIST time server if needed.
  4. REBOOT your computer.
  5. Attempt to log back in to the website that you receive this error.
So now lets discuss why this error happens. The text in the 310 error itself is misleading. When you read “it is possibly a server configuration issue and not a problem with your computer”, this is only partially correct. Yes, there was a configuration change on the server (probably an updated security certificate, or one of the links to a web page is getting redirected to a new server, or DNS records for the website have completely changed), but your web browser on YOUR computer has some old data that it is not letting go of. Such data may include old session information in a cookie for that website, or or an older version of data stored in the browser cache. Forcing your browser to retrieve the new data from the website corrects the problem and the only way to do that is to completely wipe out all relevant information about that website from your computer. Clear out the browser cache and delete all cookies.
So, sorry to break it to you but the problem has nothing to do with the server configuration. The problem is the web browser on your computer.
-Joe