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What Does That Error Message Really Mean?

Jul 17, 2008
Surf the 'Net for about 10 minutes and chances rate very high that you'll encounter an error of one kind or another.

Whether the error message pops up on your own computer or on a website loaded in your browser, knowing what the error means can help you solve the problem much faster and avoid hours of frustration (especially in a situation where nothing you do will solve the problem).

The following represent some of the more common error messages you may encounter while surfing the Internet and what (if anything) you can do to correct the situation.

Error: 404 File Not Found

This means the web server cannot find the file or web page you tried to pull up in your web browser.

Almost nothing you can do will correct this situation. Try hitting your web browser's "Refresh" button to see if the page will load. If not, email the website operator to let them know of the problem and then move on.

Error: 500 Internal Error

This error usually occurs when you fill in a form on a web page (contact form, shopping cart, feedback form) and click the submit button.

This means the server or the script handling the form on the server has a major problem. Again, there's nothing you can do so just email the website owner and move on.

By the way, resubmitting the form a dozen times, banging your hand on the keyboard, and yelling at your monitor won't fix the problem!

Error: 408 Request Timeout

This error usually occurs when you try to download a huge file or large web page and, for whatever reason, the connection times out.

Simply hit your browser's "Refresh" button and it should pick up the download again where you left off.

If not, contact the website owner and inform them of the problem or check back later.

Error: Host Unavailable

Grab a cup of coffee on this one and fall back to reading the newspaper.

You can try hitting your "Refresh" button a couple of times, but, for all intents and purposes, this means the server has gone down.

Try again in a few minutes on the off-chance you tried to access the website just as the owners were restarting the server or temporarily disconnected it from the Web.

If this doesn't work, the phone rates your best course of action to contact the website owner since it's a safe bet their email won't work either.

Error: Unable to Locate Host

This message usually means one of three things: the web server is down; your Internet connection is dead; you typed in the web address incorrectly.

To correct the problem, first try retyping the web address into your browser's address bar. If that doesn't work, try surfing over to another website to make sure your connection is live.

If you can't load any websites, contact your Internet service provider (ISP) for technical assistance.

As a general rule, if you encounter an error while surfing the web, try these steps in order to fix the problem:

1. Click your Web browser's "Refresh" button.

2. Verify that you typed in the correct URL (web address)

3. Close down and restart your Web browser completely.

4. Contact the website owner to alert them to the problem or request help.

5. Contact your ISP for help.

(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
About the Author
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use fr-e articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links...

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