Blank IE8 / PageTest.exe

I have set up a couple of hosted WPT instances on raw machines and VMs and have a vexing problem where sometimes I cannot get the IE instance launched by urlBlast.exe to connect and get content. I have tried both PageTest.exe and the default browser (IE8) and both have the same symptoms. The url:blank page loads and then the actual page load times out on ‘connecting’. I added debug=1 to my urlblast.ini and fired up Dbgview.exe to look at the often helpful debug statements there but nothing is jumping out.

I should add that this in on XP, with server and agent on the same machine, and using both the old WPT and the most recent ( 2.1.1 ) version.


Hmm, that’s REALLY strange and not something I’ve seen before. Any other software also installed on the system?

Vanilla XP installs with latest patches, firewall disabled, etc. To add to the amusement/frustration levels one of the installs that was not working yesterday started working today. I have no explanation. The good news is that I can just use that image for my purposes, but I’d love to figure out exactly what is going on in case I need to set up a box again.

Next step is to run tcpdump and see if there is something obvious going on.


Update: I played around with just about all of the bits and pieces I could think of and finally stumbled upon a combination that works. When I do not run the ipfw.cmd commands at everything works beautifully. This is true at startup or manual. Something about the rules are causing the hang to occur. I have performed no further debugging of this yet, but will do so time permitting.

The ipfw+dummynet service is installed and associated with the ‘NIC’.