Using Underscore in Server Names Breaks Internet Explorer (IE)

Occasionally we’ll get a support request from an organization that’s attempting to evaluate OfficeStatus, but they are experiencing strange behaviors when attempting to access the OfficeStatus web interface from IE (Internet Explorer).

Typically the scenario goes something like this:

  • Accessing the OfficeStatus web interface from IE fails. Specifically, they can’t get past the login page.
  • Accessing the OfficeStatus web interface from other browsers (e.g. Chrome, etc.) works fine.
  • Accessing OfficeStatus via the Windows Client also works fine.

When a customer experiences the above set of symptoms, usually we discover that they’ve installed OfficeStatus Server on a Windows Server machine that has an underscore in its name. It turns out that Internet Explorer will not accept cookies from a server if the server name contains invalid characters¬†(such an underscore). And without cookies, the OfficeStatus web interface cannot function (because it cannot persist state).

More information can be found in the following Microsoft knowledge base article:

The workarounds are as follows:

  • Rename the domain name and/or server name, and use only alphanumeric characters.
  • Browse to the server by using the Internet Protocol (IP) address rather than the domain/server name.
posted by admin at 7:18 pm


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