So basically IE 7 is just bad. We all knew it, but this is just one aspect that confirms it.
My boss and co-worker dealt with the error last week. IE7 on the third request to a web server would fail. No real good reason, it just would. Now being a Mac guy this just fueled my fire. I hate errors that just happen, with no real good explanation behind it and by no good explanation I mean IE7 should just work, and not be breaking on a simple web request.
To top it all off we are a website that sees millions of sessions a month. Call center = not happy. Also noting there are more people using IE7 then I would have ever expected. Really people IE7?
My co-worker James Peckham
blogged the issue and resolution already so I'll just quote and post a link. Thanks for the leg work James.
I saw this awesome issue where IE 7 hangs indefinitely and stops
responding on the third request for a page. Yes the 3rd request.
IE7 is limited to 2 active connections per server inside one browser
window (including all tabs) and these connections were being wasted in
unresponsive requests for favicon.ico.
Here's what I learned.
At the time I did not know that IE browsers attempt to retrieve favicon.ico from ther root of your website every time they make a page request. (How to add a favicon to your website)
Also, I did not know that this generated a 404 error in the IIS log every single time they tried to retrieve it unsuccessfully.
I did not know that some web application firewalls (firewalls that
constantly learn and update themselves to prevent security breaches)
will actually stop responding to requests that are consistently turning
up 404 as a safety measure.
Columnist Ivan Ristic comments on web security "The
point is that you are not looking for a single suspicious action any
more - you are using counters to look for anomalies. Other examples
include looking for IP addresses with too many failed requests (too
many 404 responses typically point to web application scanner
activity), enforcing session inactivity timeouts, session duration
timeouts, and so on."
Lastly, and the final piece of the puzzle. I did not know that:
Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) has an extremely long time out for requesting favicon.ico. ("a hex with a lot of F's" said the Microsoft Support Engineer)"