Problems with Google Chrome? Try This

I was having problems with Google chrome. I’m on PacBell -> SBC -> I mean ATT DSL here in California. For some reason, after a little while, the browser would start failing on all sorts of URLs. After experimenting a while, I noticed that it was due to the DNS resolver on my Windows XP box. It was negatively caching a lot of entries. This means that it tried to lookup some name (like www.wikipedia.com), and then couldn’t get an answer. So the resolver then remembers that it never got an answer and for the next 5-15 minutes immediately responds to Google chrome with a ‘no such name’ response, without asking the internets. I could test my theory easily by doing a ‘ipconfig /flushdns’ in a CMD shell window (or what they used to call a DOS prompt). Every time I did that, the page that wasn’t working would load. Still, if the images on the page were on a different domain… they would break. I got frustrated and started digging into the problem.

I did some searching and found that Chrome has this neat new feature called DNS Prefetching to improve the perceived performance of web browsing. Essentially, it tries to lookup all the DNS names on a web page while you are on it. After I flushed the DNS ‘one more time…’, and then disabled this feature in the options… everything started working great.

I don’t have time tonight to diagnose where the problem lies, but hopefully this will get resolved in the future.

(p.s. this was written in a more layman style, since some of my posts get read by people trying to solve a particular problem. apologies if this was a bit too wordy for the 3 highly technical readers out there)

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Problems with Google Chrome? Try This

  1. Jim Roskind says:

    Thanks for reporting this issue. I tried to transcribe it into a bug on chromium.org, and perhaps you can add some additional details.

    Please visit:

    http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=3819

    Thanks for using Google Chrome, and thanks in advance for submitting any more details which might help us resolve such a problem.

    As I tried to note in the bug report, there are two caches, one in the application, and one in the OS (which you were able to flush). I suspect that the additional problems you saw after doing a “ipconfig /flushdns” were a result of the application cache. You can flush that cash by exiting and restarting Google Chrome (note that Google Chrome can be configured to re-open all your original tabs on restart, if you chose to experiment with it.)

    You may also be able to get some data from examining either “about:dns” (which reports stats on your DNS resolutions, or by looking at “about:histograms/DNS” which provides more details, without describing specific host names.

    I’m most concerned about how/why you are getting bogus “name not found” resolutions from your network. IF you feel up to the task, you might try using something like Wireshark to confirm that your system is indeed getting such negative resolutions.

    One other thing that suddenly dawned on me… perhaps you might also add to the bug report any anti-virus or firewall software that you are using, as that may also play a role.

    Thanks again for your help,

    Jim

    Opinions expressed are mine, and not my employers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.