Monday, December 31, 2007

2Wire Error Message Seems To Filter Content (UPDATE)

UPDATE 8/08: After many variations of workarounds, a user over at IMLocation found what would seem to be a definitive solution:
First, go into the Management Console of your 2Wire at the address: 
http://gateway.2wire.net/management
Now, in the Advanced tab, click Configure Services. Once you are there, de-check the boxes for all “notifications” about connections or the like.
Thanks to SeanStreiff for the update and majestico for the solution.


I'm working from St. Louis on holiday, using my parents' ISP, SBC Global. Parsing their service is a 2Wire modem/router that fancies itself an intelligent component, sending error messages and blocking traffic where it should be acting as an open gateway. Ironically, all these messages come from the local url gateway.2wire.net, even as it stops your communications.

As Vincent Gable explored here, there are so many problems with this error, it's hard to know where to begin.

First, it's an error message that leads with a "Success" headline, telling the user, "The error has been successfully resolved." If that's the case, why can't I reach the page I navigated to?

Second, the message urges you to quit in order to continue: "Please close down your browser and restart it to continue browsing online." So apparently the error hasn't been successfully resolved, because I have to restart. That would indicate there's still a problem.

Third, the "masthead.gif" at the top contains confusing directions and grammatical errors. It tells the user, "Internet Explorer may display a security message that is prevents [sic] the file download needed to proceed with AT&T Yahoo! Registration." What? a) This gif shows up in both Firefox and Safari; b) "that is presents..." may as well read "all your bases are belong to us..."; c) "file download" is redundant; and d) I didn't navigate towards anything resembling AT&T or Yahoo! registration. Oh, and the arrow icon points to the current tab, as if an error message will be popping up there for some reason.

Fourth, beneath that line, another message tells you, "If you see the message, click the message bar [file icon] and select 'Download file...' to continue." Hmmm. a) no message ever appears; and b) why would I want to download a file to complete a registration I didn't navigate to?

Fifth and finally, this success/error message pops up at random and seems to act more like a content filter than anything like to a technical resolution. It seems to happen on certain pages, while others load normally. The only bug is the page itself, declaring it has resolved a bug. It also eats your url, so you can't click "Back" to return to your page. Most infuriatingly, why is my modem sending me messages? It should be a portal, not an autonomous component arbitrating the data passing through it. This makes me especially uneasy because it's AT&T, who is complicit with delivering personal information to the NSA.

Consequently, I haven't been able to reach my business webmail and other sites I need to. Thanks for your defective design, 2Wire and AT&T. Your "Success" message has kept me from working all day.

11 comments:

Paul said...

Does anyone know how to bypass this idiotic message?

mohammed said...

paul,

to bypass this insanity you must clear your browser's cache.

to do this (firefox only):
1. go to preferences
2. privacy tab
3. under "private data" click "clear now"

rob getzschman said...

thanks mohammed. Googling error messages is always the best way to troubleshoot, and finding a workaround like this will probably be helpful to everyone else. You'd think 2Wire or AT&T would have a resource, but invariably the ether is more useful than the manufacturers.

Jason said...

fix for safari is to delete the Safari plist file
com.apple.safari.plist
it can be found under:
~/Library -> Preferences

~ is your username

seanstreiff said...

mohammed and rob, are you using older versions of firefox? In version 2, "preferences" no longer exists.

More importantly, I wonder if this 2Wire msg can be stopped without clearing the browsing history. The default is to clear not just the cache, but also a bunch of other stuff (all those checked checkboxes). Just clearing cache does not stop the 2Wire msg., at least not for me, using version 2.0.0.12 of firfox.

Jason said...

Okay so apparently the plist fix will not fix the problem 100% of the time.

if deleting the plist file does not solve the problem here is an alternate solution.

open the terminal (located in applications\utilities)

type this "dscacheutil -flushcache" without the quotes

hit enter.

that should work. It also should fix the problem for firefox.

I have also written an automator program that will delete the plist file and run the terminal command. You can download it at this location

seanstreiff said...

Thanks for more info, Jason. I'm running WinXP (fully updated), not a Mac OS, so... well, the next time I see the nasty 2Wire msg I'll poke around in the Windows equivalent of a "terminal" and look for a cache-flushing operation, but I don't recall ever seeing such a thing there. Anybody know more about dealing with this problem under WinXP?

Mark B said...

FWIW, the message times out after a minute or so. It's still ridiculous.

SeanStreiff said...

I recently found this suggestion:

majestico Says:
May 11, 2008 at 10:09 pm

it took me 6 months but i found a solution:

First, go into the Management Console of your 2Wire at the address: http://gateway.2wire.net/management
Now, in the Advanced tab, click Configure Services. Once you are there, de-check the boxes for all “notifications” about connections or the like.

This post is at:
http://imlocation.wordpress.com/2007/09/21/error-message-rouges-gallery/

SeanStreiff said...

(Oh, but I haven't had this change in place long enough to see if it helps.)

reddy said...

go to http://gateway.2wire.net/xslt?PAGE=J01 and disable maximum protection and click allow all traffic