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My employer, a University, regularly hosts conferences and other events. While websites for these sites are hosted on our domain, they frequently request customized .com urls. We then forward these domains to the specific site.

Recently, we discovered a problem, where a page will not load if the following conditions are met(using a current example):

  • website is created on our CMS for a conference
  • a domain is created and forwarded to
  • The user enters into their address bar using IE7 or IE8
  • The user has * listed as a "trusted site" in IE security settings (the case for nearly all on-campus computers)

When this happens, their browser will correctly transfer to the page, however the page is blank, returning only:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<META content="text/html; charset=windows-1252" http-equiv=Content-Type></HEAD>

Is there any know solution to this problem? Or am I missing something completely?

Note: Tested websites do load correctly in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari

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What kind of redirect is being used? – Pekka 웃 Oct 6 '11 at 18:16
Hmm. No-repro for Internet Explorer 8 64-Bit German (I don't think the language matters here though). Odd. Have you tried this outside campus, from an ISP that has nothing to do with your Uni? Just to exclude the possibility of proxy problems and such – Pekka 웃 Oct 6 '11 at 18:21
Just to confirm, if you remove * from trusted sites, does it work? – Toby Nov 28 '11 at 23:53

1 Answer 1

Your friend in this kind of situation is cURL.

A really really quick tutorial... Use curl's view headers only option (-I) to see what headers the server returns on your published domain:

curl -I

I got this response, which says that a Permanent Redirect 301 is being sent to the browser, along with the target URL:

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 15:13:04 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.48 (Unix) PHP/4.3.6
X-Powered-By: PHP/4.3.6
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1

So then copy the target URL and do the same:

curl -I

Which gives me the server response for the target URL:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Length: 0
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.3.6
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 17:52:19 GMT

I see that you got it working! I bet it was a PHP error that was causing the "empty" response.

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