SBS 2003 – Remote Web Workplace stuck at "loading”

This whole problem still puzzles me but I thought I’d recount it here in case it’s of use to anyone

We got a call from someone who was doing some work at home and wanted to use Remote Web Workplace but was having problems accessing her computer

I went though all the usual checks to make sure the Active-X control was enabled, she’d added the page to her trusted sites, etc but still no joy

The description she gave me was along the lines of this,

“When I put my user name and password in the main part of the goes page white, then when I click on the main menu option it lets me in. Then when I try to control my computer and I click the connect button it just sits there doing nothing”

Very odd

So we got some remote control software loaded on her PC and I logged in to take a look

I logged in and as she said after I’d logged in nothing was displayed. What I did notice though was the status bar at the bottom of IE

“Waiting for http://customersdomain.com/remote/winxp.gif

IE was trying to download something so i pressed the ESCAPE key to cancel the download and sure enough the menu appeared

I then tried to remote control a PC and the same thing happened. I pressed escape and the Remote Desktop session appeared and I was able to login ok

So I had a workaround to get her onto her computer but I needed to figure out what was going on here

I had a look at the security software on her PC (McAfee) and I couldn’t see anything that would cause any issues. I temporarily disabled the software just so I could try it but still no joy

I tried logging in from various different PC’s at various different locations and they were all fine

So I turned my attentions to the server.

The browser was obviously waiting for something so I grabbed the IIS logs and trawled through them

I made a beeline for the WINXP.GIF file I’d seen earlier

cs-uri-stem sc-status sc-substatus
/Remote/images/winxp.gif 200  

 

Code 200 indicates a success so nothing strange going on here so I filter out all the 200 codes (and eventually the 300 codes as they are just redirects) and the only codes in the 400 range (client errors!) I got were

cs-uri-stem sc-status sc-substatus
/favicon.ico 403 6

 

This file was directly after winxp.gif

Favicon is used so website can have custom icon when you bookmark their page

image

Some Favicon examples

I know remote web workplace doesn’t have a favicon so I moved onto the error code

403.6 forbidden: IP address of the client has been rejected

So I went to some our own SBS and checked the IIS logs to see what response we usually get to favico.ico

cs-uri-stem sc-status sc-substatus
/favicon.ico 404 0

 

Everyone who has every used the Internet will have see error 404 before

404 : File or Directory Not Found (funny 404’s here)

I checked on some other servers and they all report 404 for the favico (since there isn’t one) as does the server with the problem. It just seems to be this specific person

So I went back to the PC and checked her favourites. Sure enough she had saved the link for remote web workplace so she didn’t have to type it in every time

I deleted the bookmark, restarted the browser and tried again and I got in first time without any problems

I’m still not entirely sure WHY this happened as plenty of people have that bookmark. I can only speculate that she has software on her PC that is doing something with her favourites

I just wanted to make sure she could get onto the system ok. I haven’t heard of any problems since

What’s even more weird was that I re-added the bookmark after I’d logged in ok and the problem didn’t reappear

Strange, strange, strange

If you have any opinions on why this happened or what caused it please let me know!

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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3 thoughts on “SBS 2003 – Remote Web Workplace stuck at "loading”

  • I know this is an old post now, but I’m really glad someone else has witnessed this problem – I thought I’d gone mad!

    What’s strange is I discovered that logging on as an Admin account worked fine, and I can logon using the users account from anywhere else without a problem.

    Very, very strange indeed – I will try deleting the bookmark tomorrow as a very last attempt, fingers crossed!

  • Unfortunately that that didn’t help this time mate. But I have now resolved it – although it makes no sense at all.

    Upgrading the driver for his Netgear WG111 wireless usb adapter has sorted it, how mad is that! The previos driver worked perferctly except for connecting to a PC in RWW as this particular user – as I said, it even worked fine with the Admin account.

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