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)