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Proxy Server Troubleshooting

Setup instructions  |  FAQ  |  Report a problem

Checklists

Known problems


Checklists


I followed the setup instructions, but my configuration changes haven't taken effect

Symptoms:

  • The Browser Configuration Check program consistently reports that your browser is not configured correctly, even when you run it right after you restart the browser;
    and
  • When you click on the link to an article database or other licensed resource, you see the vendor's "subscribe" or "log in" screen.

Checklist:

  1. Be sure you have followed the setup instructions exactly. Check to make sure you have entered the correct "automatic proxy configuration" URL into your browser settings:

    http://proxy.lib.berkeley.edu/proxy.pac

  2. Be sure there are no spaces or extra characters to the left or right of the URL.

  3. Before closing the configuration dialog box, be sure to click the OK, Apply now, or Reload button if provided.

  4. Be sure you are using a browser that supports Automatic Proxy Configuration. In Windows, you can use Netscape version 2.0 and up or Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0 and up, but certain versions of Internet Explorer versions 4 and 5 have problems even in Windows.

    On a Macintosh, no version of Internet Explorer supports Automatic Proxy Configuration. Use Firefox, Safari, Mozilla, or Netscape for this purpose.

    AOL's browser (a highly customized version of Internet Explorer), will not work with the proxy server. Use a different browser instead.

  5. Make sure that cookies are enabled in the browser


My browser is set up correctly, but the resource vendor's system doesn't recognize my login

Symptoms:

  • The Browser Configuration Check program reports that your browser is configured correctly;
    however
  • When you click on the link to an article database or other licensed resource, you see the vendor's "subscribe" or "log in" screen.

Checklist:

There are generally two possible reasons for this problem:   faulty networking settings, and the presence of a firewall.

Network Settings
Be sure your computer's networking environment is set up to match the type of service you get from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If your ISP provides you with the same IP address and hostname each time you connect ("static IP"), your computer's network settings should specify that IP address.

On the other hand, if your ISP provides you with a different IP address and hostname each time you connect ("dynamic IP", used by most dial-up, DSL, and cable services), then your computer needs to be configured to "Obtain an IP address automatically" from your ISP.

In particular, if you have a laptop computer which you have used on the UC Berkeley campus, you may have configured it with a static UC Berkeley IP address. If so, your browser will assume it's on the UC Berkeley network and never request the proxy service.

Here is how to check and re-configure your network environment.

Windows Vista:

  1. Click on the Start button, then select Control Panel.

  2. Click on Network and Internet.

  3. Under "Network and Sharing Center", click on View network settings and tasks.

  4. Under "Tasks" in the left sidebar, click on Manage network connections.

  5. Right-click on the connection you want to use, then select Properties from the menu.

  6. From the list, select Internet Protocol Version... and click the Properties button (repeat this process for each version listed).

  7. Follow your ISP's guidance in entering the proper settings for IP addresses and DNS servers. With most dial-up, DSL, and cable services, the correct options will be "Obtain an IP address automatically" and "Obtain DNS server addresses automatically".

  8. Click OK, then OK again to install your settings.


Macintosh OSX:

  1. Select System Preferences from the Apple menu or the Dock.

  2. Under Internet & Network, select Network.

  3. Select the type of connection you are using, then click the Configure button.

  4. Follow your ISP's guidance in entering the proper settings. Under "Configure IPv4:", select "Using DHCP" if your ISP uses dynamic IP addresses, or "manually" for a static IP address.

For other operating systems, please consult the vendor's documentation and your ISP for help in configuring your network settings.

Firewalls
Many companies have firewalls to prevent outsiders from accessing their internal networks. If your computer is behind such a firewall, you may not be able to use the proxy service.

Some ISP's use firewalls or caching servers to minimize the amount of data their servers have to obtain from sites on the internet, thus increasing their apparent speed. In this situation, your browser may not be able to engage the Library's proxy server.

In either case, your system administrator should be able to clarify whether a firewall is blocking your access, and to discuss options with you.

As internet security has become a major problem, many users are choosing to run personal firewalls on their own computers. Some users have implemented firewall products such as Black Ice, Zone Alarm, and Symantec without negatively effecting their use of the proxy server. However, it is possible that the presence of a personal firewall may interfere with the browser's ability to access the proxy server.

If your browser is configured correctly but fails to engage the proxy server, this may be due to the presence of a personal firewall. If you are willing to run your system without the firewall, you may be able to determine whether this is the problem by turning the firewall off.

Some users have reported that wireless routers may also interfere with the browser's ability to access the proxy server. Clearly not all wireless routers have this effect. You may be able to determine whether the wireless router is the cause by disabling the wireless, and connecting by means of a conventional wire.

The Library is unable to provide specific recommendations for configuring wireless routers or personal firewall hardware or software.


The proxy server rejects my username and password

Symptoms:

  • You get prompted over and over again to enter your username and password;
    or
  • You get "Proxy authorization failed", "Invalid login", or a similar message.

Checklist:

  1. If you are getting prompted over and over again to enter your username and password, make sure you're using the right username and password!

    If you are logging in with a CalNet ID:
    • Make sure that the "Caps Lock" key on your keyboard is not in effect.
    • To test whether your CalNet ID is still valid, click this link and log in.
    • Note: To protect your privacy on a shared computer, quit the web browser when your session is finished.

    If you are logging in with a library PIN:
    • Make sure that you are using the number printed on your current UCB Library Card or Cal 1 Card.
    • If needed, reset your PIN by clicking on the "Forgot your PIN or don't have a PIN?" link on the Login to My OskiCat screen.
    • Make sure that the email address is the one associated with your Library account. If you're not sure which email address you use for this purpose, log into My OskiCat and use the address displayed there.

  2. If your username and password were accepted but you see a message such as "Proxy authorization failed", your Library privileges may have expired or your affiliation with UC Berkeley may not warrant access to the proxy server.

    Only UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff, and some other individuals affiliated with the University, are eligible to use the proxy server [Details]. If you have questions concerning your eligibility for Library services, please contact the Privileges Desk in Doe Library (510-642-3403).


The proxy server is working very slowly

Symptoms:

  • Very slow response times when waiting for a login prompt, or after logging in.

Checklist:

  1. Use the Report a Problem form to make us aware of this issue.
  2. This problem may not last long. However, if you need access quickly, try our Virtual Private network (VPN), an alternative method for accessing licensed resources.



Known problems


Problems accessing URLs that begin with "https"

Browsers configured to use the proxy will give an error message such as "Proxy Server Refused Connection" or "Internet Explorer unable to open webpage" when you try to access a resource URL that starts with "https".

If you encounter this error, please try accessing a different resource whose URL does NOT begin with "https" (such as the Oxford English Dictionary). You will be asked to log into the proxy. After you've logged in, please access the resource with the "https" URL again. Subsequent access to "https" resources within the same browser session should not trigger this error.

Alternative: use the Virtual Private network (VPN).


Access to JSTOR from Mac OS X

Several Mac OS X users have reported difficulties accessing JSTOR. We advise users experiencing this to install a VPN client and use the campus VPN (and disable the library proxy).


Laptops with static UC Berkeley IP addresses

Laptops which are configured with a static UC Berkeley IP address have problems using the proxy server. If you plug your laptop into the UC Berkeley network on campus, and you're not using the DHCP service (formerly LIPS), then you probably have a static UC Berkeley IP address.

If you're using Windows, you can check by going to Start > Control Panel > Network > TCP/IP > Properties. Look under the IP Address tab to see if there is an IP address specified there.

You can let us know about problems by using our Problem Report Form. Please include the fact that you're using a laptop with a Berkeley IP address.


Incompatibility between Macintosh and Internet Explorer

No version of Internet Explorer for the Mac supports "automatic proxy configuration". Use Firefox, Safari, Mozilla, or Netscape for this purpose.


Other problems with Internet Explorer

With the library's new proxy server, introduced in April 2012, some Internet Explorer (IE) users may be unable to access licensed resources. This is likely due to their security settings in IE. If you experience this problem we suggest following these Microsoft instructions to add the following URLs to your "Trusted zone":

   proxy.lib.berkeley.edu
   proxy2.lib.berkeley.edu
   proxy3.lib.berkeley.edu
   proxy4.lib.berkeley.edu

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) may have compatibility issues with some websites, causing them to display incorrectly. For possible solutions, see this Microsoft help page. Another option is to use a different browser such as Firefox or Chrome for this purpose.

Some users of Internet Explorer 7 and 8 with the CalNet proxy URL have reported that they sometimes cannot get a CalNet login prompt when trying to access a database. Repeating the proxy setup process may help. Another option is to reset the browser to its original defaults; however, this will remove all modifications you have made, including add-ons, toolbars, and privacy/security settings.

Some versions of Internet Explorer 4 and 5 may not work with the proxy server. If you experience problems, we recommend upgrading to a newer version or using a different browser.

Some users of Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows computers report that the proxy server requires them to log in repeatedly.

Normally, a browser requests the proxy server's automatic configuration script only once, at the very beginning of a browser session. However, occasionally Internet Explorer 6.0 starts requesting the proxy server's configuration script - thus requiring a new login - repeatedly, every couple of seconds.

The Library has not been able to reproduce this problem, and we currently do not know why Internet Explorer 6.0 sometimes behaves in this manner. It may be due to bugs in the program or in security patches, or to user-installed browser enhancements (such as "FunWebProducts") which modify the behavior of the browser.

If you encounter this problem, we can only recommend that you re-install Internet Explorer, or use another browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.


Problems with Safari

Safari 2.x and 3.x work with the proxy server in Mac OS 10.4.3 or above. With earlier versions of OSX, it required proxy users to log in repeatedly during a session.

Earlier versions of Safari do not support Automatic Proxy Configuration and will not work with our proxy server.

We have not received enough information to evaluate the performance of Safari for Windows with the proxy server.


Problems with Netscape

Netscape 2.x or later should work with the proxy server. However, Netscape is no longer produced or supported. Archived versions are available, but we recommend using a different browser for this purpose.

Netscape 4.01a's Automatic Proxy function does not work properly in some configurations. If you experience problems, we recommend using a different browser.

Netscape 4.x crashes on the Macintosh (but only on the Macintosh) when configured to use the proxy server. If you experience this problem, we recommend using a different browser.


Problems with AOL

AOL uses a proprietary browser that does not support Automatic Proxy Configuration and will not work with our proxy server. If you connect to the Internet through AOL, we recommend installing a different browser for this purpose.


Reporting Other Problems

If you encounter other problems, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If your situation is not addressed there, feel free to submit the Proxy Server Problem Report Form. To help us analyze your problem, please submit this form from the machine on which you are experiencing the problem, and as close to the time the problem occurred as possible. The form gathers information about your operating system, browser, and Internet connection that may help us resolve the issue.

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