Resolving Web Page Issues By Turning On Script Error Notifications In Internet Explorer
Posted by William Diaz on July 12, 2011
…and you don’t necessarily need to know a thing about web scripts!
My issue started when I came in one morning and went about making some aesthetic changes to one of our SharePoint pages. First, I needed to clean up some of links in the navigation pane on the left hand of the site but all I saw was this:
I should have seen all the various navigation menu heading and links like below:
Furthermore, the drop menus for the SharePoint sub-sites was not displaying normally from the top navigation bar like you see here:
The issue was specific only to my workstation and you may normally see this when jscript.dll is not registered. But that was not the case here. To start troubleshooting, I went into the Advanced tab of the Internet Explorer and checked the option to Display a notification about every script error and also unchecked both options for Disable script debugging:
In IE 8 or IE 9 this has the effect of warning you of script issues in web pages and will ask you if you want to debug the script, which of course, we are not going to do. After applying the change, and reloading the Help Desk site I encountered the following dialog:
The error details aren’t specific enough for me so I select Yes to the box to launch the built in developer tools for IE and I am taken to line 1946 and the problem code:
Excellent! IMNControlObj.OnStatusChange=IMNOnStatusChange; makes perfect sense.
Just kidding. I mentioned you don’t need to know anything about web scripting because you can actually (Insert favorite search engine provider her) it and find no shortage of search results:
After a few clicks, I found that a common theme to resolving involved running a repair of Microsoft Office. One repair and restart later the problem was resolved.
Let try this technique again. One of our smaller offices started complaining when an often visited Internet resource started to exhibit hang-ups when loading, sometimes causing IE to become unusable. This was accompanied by the following warning: “Windows Internet Explorer – Stop running this script? A script on this page is causing Internet Explorer to run slowly…”
Selecting Yes or No would cause IE to take up to 30 seconds or longer before it would become responsive, and this needed to be done each time the page was loaded, leading to several minutes of wait time. Sometimes the page would load, then error, and fail to display the page.
With a few exceptions, scripting errors are coding issue and the user is at the mercy of the web master or web page owner until they can debug the script. However, sometimes, the issue may be with lack of support for certain browsers, often older browsers since they may not support some of the features that newer browsers do. In house, we still use IE7, so that could be the case here. Again, I enable the option to Display a notification about every script error to start the troubleshooting process.
I am going to use IE8 to troubleshoot this issue1, and after loading the page with the notification option turned on I get the following:
How cool is that? I am pointed to a Microsoft KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927917. The article suggest to upgrade the browser to IE8, contact the web site owner to correct the script, or any other number of workarounds proposed in the article. Since I am seeing the issue in IE8, workaround 3, method 1 would be the best option until the script issue is resolved.
1 IE 7 also has the same option to display web page script error notifications but it is not as robust as IE8 or 9. This is because IE 7 does not have native developer support, although there is an add-in available for IE 7 developer tools but it will not jump to buggy code like above or point you to a Microsoft KB.