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Friday, June 06, 2008

Strange and annoying alert box

The_URL_is_not_valid_and_cannot_be_loaded.jpg The URL is not valid and cannot be loaded.

I just started getting this today when I click on some links, but not all. Despite saying that the the URL cannot be loaded, it loads anyway.

It started happening after I upgraded my AVG antivirus software. I have since disabled that software (for this and other reasons), but the alert box is still happening. I suspect the new AVG software changed my browser settings somewhere. If so, that really pisses me off.

Anyone else seen this?

Posted by Marie at June 6, 2008 12:43 AM


i haven't seen that, but i upgraded to avg 8 and hated it. i switched to avast. configuration is a little weird but it's free and unobtrusive.

Posted by: jason at June 6, 2008 5:45 AM

Marie, can you faithfully reproduce the error? As in, does it happen when you load Firefox (assuming you still use it), or when you go to certain webpages? If you're using Firefox, can you get the same error in Internet Explorer, etc?

If you only have one of the two, get the other one, install it, and try to get the same error.

..does that make sense?

And Jason: I ditched AVG for Avast 2 years ago. 2 weeks ago, I just ditched Avast for NOD32, because Avast failed to stop a couple of viruses from hitting my computer. The Free antivirus programs are nice, but you get what you pay for. And NOD32 is less obtrusive than even Avast.

Posted by: ben at June 6, 2008 8:08 AM

Actually, the more I read, the more I know you have Firefox, and Firefox is where you're getting the problem. What have you installed lately in Firefox (a theme, or a plug-in?)

Or, try this:

Post back and let us know.

Posted by: ben at June 6, 2008 8:11 AM


This has been happening to Aubrey and me, too. We both first noticed it on her Springfield Daily Photo blog. I couldn't find a solution. I'm going to look at Ben's suggestion. Here's the thing: it started happening to both of us, but neither of us have made any changes to our browser or to our Antivirus software. Interesting.


Posted by: John at June 6, 2008 8:23 AM


I tried the solution that Ben provides in the link above, and it didn't work for me. My keyword.enabled setting is already set to true, so that's not it.

The search continues.


Posted by: John at June 6, 2008 8:40 AM

MOM, this was happening to me too last night.

Posted by: allie at June 6, 2008 10:11 AM

Interesting. I'm getting it here:


in both Firefox and IE. Well, in IE, it doesn't give the alert box, but instead, starts to load the page, then right when it's all but finished loading, poof, it goes to to this page:

The address is not valid
Most likely causes:
* There might be a typing error in the address.
* If you clicked on a link, it may be out of date.

She has a lot of sidebar links and widgets, one of which could be the culprit. But, until yesterday, I never had a problem. Also, hers isn't the only page this has happened on. It's just the only one I can remember at this time.

Okay, I also have an un-updated version of Opera. I'm going to try it. BRB.

I'm beginning to think it's something on the page. The old version of Opera says how many of how many images are loaded. It's stuck at 107/114. Perhaps the key is to find another page that throws that error and compare what's on that page with what's on the 411mommy page.

Posted by: Marie at June 6, 2008 10:12 AM

Allie, did you upgrade AVG?

That upgrade is the only thing I can remember doing since this started happening. I have very few themes or plug-ins. Ah. Damn. I just noticed. When opening the themese and extensions (add-ons) thing in Firefox, right there at the top is AVG 8.0 Safe Search Guard Against Clicking Malicious Links. I am going to disable it and reboot the whole computer.

Interesting, that page in Opera is now up to 108/116. That's really taking a long time.

Posted by: Marie at June 6, 2008 10:19 AM

Since it is happening in both Firefox and IE, I have a feeling to really get rid of is going to entil changing the registry. Not one of my favorite things to do.

Posted by: Marie at June 6, 2008 10:21 AM


I get it at the 411 Mommy site, too. What's interesting for me is that it doesn't happen for me in Internet Explorer, only Firefox.

Posted by: John at June 6, 2008 10:35 AM


Since you mentioned widgets on 411 Mommy, I noticed that two of Aubrey's sidebar widgets (NOAA Weather, and her date and time widget) are not loading. Wonder if the widgets could be the problem?


Posted by: John at June 6, 2008 10:44 AM

John, I'm still getting it on the 411mommy page and on Aubrey's. Interesting to note, on the 411mommy it happens when the page is about 9/10ths loaded. On springfieldildailyphoto it happens before anything starts to load - even the HTML.

So, having disabled that in the Firefox plugins list, made it disappear from the list, but didn't get rid of the action.

I haven't tried it in IE since the reboot. But, I know it'll be the same.

I absolutely detest software that makes such a drastic change to a person's computer without asking first. I am convinced this is going to take some registry editing to finally be rid of it.

Posted by: Marie at June 6, 2008 11:35 AM

Just to recap.

1. It started happening to me after I upgraded AVG.
2. It's happening to John and Aubrey, but they didn't change their anti-virus software.

3. It's happening to me in both Firefox and IE.
4. It's not happening to John in IE.

5. Noticed some folks on ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=306804 are getting the same alert box in Firefox. One would think someone running Ubuntu wouldn't have the same troubles as someone running Windows XP (what I'm running).

No real pattern there.

Posted by: Marie at June 6, 2008 11:55 AM

Here's another interesting observation. I'm running XP, and I have an old version of IE, just in case I need to use it for anything. My old version of IE works fine. However, when I switch to Aubrey's Vista machine, which has the newest version of IE, I have problems loading the pages in IE. Very peculiar.

Posted by: John at June 6, 2008 1:32 PM

I posted this over at the Just Two Guys blog a few minutes ago. Maybe the problem is not ours, Marie. Maybe it's with widgets that aren't loading properly.

"This seems silly to me, but I just asked Aubrey if I could remove the widgets on her site that weren't loading. One was a NOAA weather widget, and the other was a date and time widget. Actually, when I opened the Date and Time widget to remove it, I got the same "URL is not valid" warning. I blasted both of those widgets, and I don't get the warning any more."

Marie, if you don't mind, see if you still get that warning when you visit Springfield Daily Photo.

Posted by: John at June 6, 2008 2:33 PM



now loads perfectly.

Posted by: Marie at June 6, 2008 2:43 PM

http://411mommy.blogspot.com/ is the only site causing that message box to appear on my computer. AVG was updated this morning. but since last night, this has not occurred. this is making me nervous. im not as computer savvy as you. i will call you later for an update. i love you.

Posted by: allie at June 6, 2008 4:30 PM

Huh... well, at least it's been narrowed down to certain websites. Most likely means it's not YOUR problem, it's just going to be annoying until webmasters of said pages take necessary action.


Posted by: ben at June 7, 2008 1:18 PM

In the future every home will have multiple fiber optic lines, and if one goes down the system will self heal.

Until then, we is in the stone age.

Posted by: jeromeprophet at June 12, 2008 1:26 AM

411mommy needs to go 404.

Posted by: at August 3, 2008 9:06 PM

Why? What's the problem?

Posted by: Marie at August 3, 2008 9:19 PM