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We have a product written as an ASP.NET website deployed at over 70 sites.

Recently, one site reported an issues where IE8/9 browsers would hang at certain post-back points, and would require the browser to be physically closed to get it working again (it would look like it was taking a long time to load, but refreshing the page, or even typing in a URL from a different site in the address bar would not work).

Exactly the same site with Chrome/Firefox had no problem. I used Fiddler2 as an intermediate proxy to see if I could track down the cause, but as soon as it was running, the problem would no longer occur.

To make matters worse, some machines, also running IE8/9 did not have the problem. A deep analysis of what had changed revealed the following: 1. The Website has not been updated in over a month 2. The Windows machines were centrally updated, and had not been updated just before the problem started 3. The machines that exhibited the problem, seemed to have on older version of the Java Runtime, as an update had been blocked, or failed.

When the JRE was updated on the affected machines, the problem was resolved. The client is now trying to do a risk analysis, and figure out what happened, but I am at a loss because our application does not use JAVA in any form, so I don't see why a JRE update would affect the running of it. Also, this problem did not occur at any of our other sites, or at least has not yet. And it happened literally overnight - everything was working on the Wednesday, and broken on the Thursday.

Our product uses a number of components some open source, some commercial, none of which I believe require JAVA: Infragistics Web Controls 12.1 AjaxControlToolkit 4.1 jQuery 1.8.2 jQuery UI 1.8.16 jQuery Validate 1.9

And a number of small jQuery plugins: plupload, cookie, hoverIntent, maskedinput, placeholder, potato.menu

If anyone can help me explain why things suddenly stopped working, and how a Java Runtime update could fix a site that doesn't use JAVA, I would be deeply grateful.

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I had this same problem last week after the Windows Updates from March 11, 2014. My site was ASP.net web forms running ssl and pages all of the sudden started to hang not not respond. Shutting down the browser would fix the issue, but it would soon come back after trying again. Updating the Java engine did not work for me and when I used Fiddler, the problem went away and the site worked fine.

The problem turned out to be mixed content between http and https. There was an iframe in the master page whose source was set dynamically based on the user's request, however, when the iframe was not set, the default for src was "/" which went to the root of the website. On the production server requests to the root were redirected to another website altogether, that was non-ssl. This caused a mixed content situation in IE and IE was not showing the prompt to the user to allow mix content, it would work once or twice then hang.

I changed the default src for the iframe to a specific page within the site and everything started working.

What I recommend would be to make sure that there is no mixed content on your site.

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  • Thanks for this, it at least makes me feel a little less crazy knowing that the symptoms are being experienced elsewhere. The site in question is Intranet only so there is no SSL, but it does use IFrames, so I will look into seeing if there could have been some other browser prompts that could have caused the hanging. – Nikolaus Mar 19 '14 at 4:50

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