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Some images don't load in facebook on multiple browsers


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#1 liontaur

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:13 PM

Good morning all, it's my first post here so be gentle ;)

 

Probably about a month ago my wife and I noticed that not all images were loading in facebook, most images do but some don't. My wife always uses IE 11 to browse and I always use Chrome and firefox. The image issue is the same on all three browsers. This is on a Windows 7 Pro system. Facebook looks normal when we look at it on our iPads, iPhone and android phone when they're on our wifi.

 

I originally had my router/firewall (pfSense) configured to use Google's public DNS servers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) so I changed them to our ISP's (Shaw) DNS servers so now the router gets the DNS via DHCP. That didn't fix it.

 

I brought another Windows 7 Pro laptop home from work and it was able to view facebook fine using our wifi. That was using Chrome and Firefox (can't remember what version but most likely the latest as it was last weekend and firefox is set to autoupdate).

 

Last night I wiped the computer and installed Windows 7 Pro fresh, installed all the windows updates, flash, adobe reader, chrome and the same antivirus (MS Security Essentials). I didn't test but went to bed figuring it was resolved. My wife tried facebook this morning on the computer and said it was still doing the same thing. I fired up Chrome and confirmed that both browsers were still experiencing the same issue.

 

I fired up a Windows XP virtual machine in virtualbox on this computer and it was able to browse facebook normally with all images showing up. That VM uses a bridged adapter for it's network.

 

I've gone through and checked a bunch of my facebook profile pictures and the ones hosted at both https://scontent-b-sea.xx.fbcdn.net and https://fbcdn-sphotos-?-a.akamaihd.net (question mark signifies g, f, d, and a as there's servers with those letters).

 

But all the images that do not load are hosted at https://scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net. That's my only clue so far.

 

I can ping the above server and get the following response:

 

Pinging scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net [31.13.76.4] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 31.13.76.4: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=88
Reply from 31.13.76.4: bytes=32 time=21ms TTL=88
Reply from 31.13.76.4: bytes=32 time=26ms TTL=88
Reply from 31.13.76.4: bytes=32 time=23ms TTL=88
 
Ping statistics for 31.13.76.4:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 21ms, Maximum = 26ms, Average = 23ms

 

When I ping scontent-b-sea.xx.fbcdn.net I get similar:

 

Pinging scontent-b-sea.xx.fbcdn.net [31.13.76.20] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 31.13.76.20: bytes=32 time=23ms TTL=88
Reply from 31.13.76.20: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=88
Reply from 31.13.76.20: bytes=32 time=72ms TTL=88
Reply from 31.13.76.20: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=88
 
Ping statistics for 31.13.76.20:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 22ms, Maximum = 72ms, Average = 34ms
 

I've got nothing in my hosts file. No rules in my router/firewall other than a port forward so I can access a server I have in the basement via SSH.

 

My network layout is pretty simple, there's the cable modem which connects to my pfsense router/firewall which connects to a Netgear GS108T switch. My computer connects to that switch as does my FreeBSD server. For wifi, I have a Linksys WRT310N router which connects to my Netgear switch.

 

I'm really running out of ideas here. So please throw some ideas at me.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

 

Edit: I should clarify that my wife and I have separate facebook accounts and this affects them both. I haven't tried with any other facebook accounts but maybe i'll invite some friends over to try.


Edited by liontaur, 07 June 2014 - 12:20 PM.


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#2 deanf

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:57 PM

I'm having exactly the same problem and have traced it to the server you reference.  I wish I had an answer for you and I.



#3 VA7SQR

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 04:03 PM

I've been following this thread for a little over a week now, as I, too have been having the same issue. I still don't really know what the source of the problem is, but I believe I've finally found a workaround. I created an account here so I could share it with you :)

 

Backstory:

It suddenly came to me today that I hadn't tried using a proxy server, so I fired one up and all the missing images loaded on Facebook for the first time in over a month! I did a little more poking around, testing different domains with and without the proxy and discovered that when the proxy was on (when my IP was in California instead of Vancouver, Canada) facebook uses the domain scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net instead of scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net. AND if I opened the 'broken' image in a new tab on its own and changed the domain to scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net, the image would load even without the proxy.

 

So it seems for some reason (probably redundancy?) every image Facebook has saved on the scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net server, which doesn't seem to be working for us for whatever reason, is also saved on the scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net server, which does work.

 

The Fix:

We need to tell our computers to go to scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net instead of scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net.

I did this using the hosts file; the IPs for the two servers are

scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net          31.13.76.4

scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net           31.13.70.40

 

Therefore I added the following entry to my hosts file:

31.13.70.40 scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net

Now all the images that didn't load before load fine on the scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net server, without a proxy.

 

 

Hope this fix works for you guys too, unfortunately it's based on the assumption that the IP addresses for these two servers are static, which I don't think is much of an assumption at all, but I could be wrong there. If anyone knows of a better way to do this, I'm all ears.


Edited by VA7SQR, 18 June 2014 - 04:14 PM.


#4 liontaur

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 11:47 PM

Therefore I added the following entry to my hosts file:

31.13.70.40 scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net

Now all the images that didn't load before load fine on the scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net server, without a proxy.

 

Nice! Thanks for that one VA7SQR. I edited my host file with the same entry and all the images are back too... What I found strange is that it's not browser specific. Like I said, browsing on our tablets and phones works just fine, but that just could be because they're all using facebook apps, I haven't tried going through the browser on mobile devices. Also, when I brought a work laptop home it displayed all images as well. Maybe it's certain user agent strings? I don't know. Either way, thanks a bunch for this!



#5 magmar

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:30 AM

For VA7SQR

 

Like everyone else I have tried everything possible to get Facebook photos to load consistently. It loads my photos from fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihid.net. I think I got that correct. How would I find out if there is an option domain to use like you did. I am located in central Florida.

 

I am somewhat computer literate for an old man (74), but think I can figure out how to make the change once I have the information. Thanks.



#6 VA7SQR

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 01:29 AM

So the URL for the photos that don't load starts with fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihid.net?

First of all, try changing the domain slightly to fbcdn-profile-b.akamaihid.net, or other combinations, and see if that helps. It's a longshot, but if it works you can skip the next paragraph.

I used a VPN proxy to find the other domain, and what that does, in a nutshell, is make it look like my computer is in a different physical location than where it actually is. The service I used is called Hotspot Sheild, and just the free version because I use it quite rarely. What you have to do is download and install that (make sure to deselect any "special offers" like web toolbars or what have you as those can be quite annoying and hard to remove), then run the program, log on to Facebook, and see if the photos load.
 
If they do, you need to find the Internet Protocol address of whatever domain replaces fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihid.net. Open a photo that doesn't load when the proxy is turned off in a new tab and look at the domain. It should be different than fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihid.net. Next open the command line (search for "CMD" in the start menu) and type "ping [new domain]" -with brackets excluded, of course. For example, after pressing enter my command line would have looked like this:

C:\Users\VA7SQR>ping scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net

Pinging scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net [31.13.70.40] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 31.13.70.40: bytes=32 time=41ms TTL=88
Reply from 31.13.70.40: bytes=32 time=48ms TTL=88
Reply from 31.13.70.40: bytes=32 time=42ms TTL=88
Reply from 31.13.70.40: bytes=32 time=42ms TTL=88

Ping statistics for 31.13.70.40:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 41ms, Maximum = 48ms, Average = 43ms

It's the set of four numbers (in my case "31.13.70.40") that you want. This is the IP address of the new domain. Open Notepad and open a file called "hosts", located in the folder C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\. Make a new line at the bottom and add "[new IP] fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihid.net". Save the file, turn off the proxy, and reload Facebook. The images should load normally on the new domain.

 

Hope that's helpful! If I didn't explain it well enough or misunderstood your problem let me know and I'll take another stab at it. I also assumed you're running Windows here, if you're not these steps may not work as well.

Let me know how it goes :)



#7 fanciladi

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 01:00 PM

I had this problem the end of June and early July 2014.  I used your fix:  31.13.70.40 scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net in my host file and it worked wonderfully.  Now I'm having the same problem again and it's been going on about 3 weeks.  Apparently the fix isn't working.  I took it out to see if that helped and it didn't, so put it back in.  I am not a computer whiz, but know a little about computers...very little of the internal works of them.  I did right click on the pictures in Facebook showing and the pictures not showing and went under properties to see what was different.   

 

 

Showing:  https://fbexternal-a.akamaihd.net/safe_image (first part of it)  Showing:  https://fbexternal-a.akamaihd.net/safe_image  ( first part of it)

 

Not showing:  https://scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos  (first part of it)  Not showing:  https://scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos  (first part of it)

 

 

Don't know if this helps or not.  Don't know what else to do right now...it's very frustrating, to say the least.  I've reset my modem, plus I clean out my temp. files and etc. frequently.  I have reported this to Facebook almost daily with uploaded screenshots and have heard NOTHING!!!  I've also searched and found nothing.  Since your fix I tried earlier worked I thought I'd come back here and join in the conversation to see if you have any other ideas.  Maybe you've addressed this above and I missed it or didn't understand it...which I do frequently. :/ 

 

 

Also was on a FB blog with others who are having the same problem now and we've had no answers from FB.  :( 

 

 

Oh, and in the last few days the pictures I post myself are not visible to me!  I know they are there, since I get comments on them.  It's frustrating and upsetting to see here a picture and there a picture and miss many in between!   

 

 

Any help would be very much appreciated.

 

 

Thank-you!!!   



#8 VA7SQR

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 05:16 PM

Hm, that sounds frustrating.

 

It seems Facebook has changed some of their IP addresses. Try using this line instead:

31.13.70.7 scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net

 

The fix also stopped working for me about a month ago, but I found that I simply removing the line from my hosts file solved the problem for me; and as I am not experiencing the problem myself I can't be 100% sure this new fix will work. If it doesn't, you can try the instructions I posted above, and use the command line to ping scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net. You do not need a proxy for this, skip that step and keep your normal internet settings. If, somehow, you get a different IP address than 31.13.70.7, you can try it instead and it should fix the problem.

 

If all that fails, hit me up again and I'll do my best to come up with something new.

Good luck :)



#9 fanciladi

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 06:48 PM

Thanks for your reply.  I tried the:  31.13.70.7 scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net in my host file and it didn't work. 

 

 

I think I'm not understanding all of this.  I went ahead and downloaded the Hotspot Shield that you mentioned before trying the ping thing.  After downloading that program all of my pictures on FB are showing up.  I'm happy about that, but wondering if I did something wrong by doing that.  Not really understand exactly what the program does besides help me see my pictures.  My Norton Security Suite said it was safe.  There weren't any boxes to uncheck for extras, thankfully, during the install.  It is saying I have 3 days on this elite trial.    

 

 

I am a bit confused on this.  The ping thing wasn't clear...please don't laugh too hard...lol...I'm being honest.  I don't think I did that right...I used ping scontent-a-lax.xx.fbcdn.net in the 'run' box.  I got a fast little black box that I had to do a quick screenshot of to see what it said...3 lines saying "general failure" and something else came up, but I wasn't fast enough to get it in the screenshot.  I tried that more than once.  I probably did it wrong.  :/  

 

 

I'm happy about seeing my pictures now, but hope it isn't temporary.  Totally confusing to this 'older' lady.  I appreciate all of your help and I think I'd better read up on that Hotspot Shield.

 

 

If you have some more info, I'd be glad to hear it.  Although I'm more than a 'bit' confused on this, I do know that where you put the DVDs in my tower isn't a 'cup holder'.........lol.... 

 

 

Thanks so much!!!



#10 VA7SQR

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 07:30 PM

No worries -actually you've almost got it. To use the ping command, you have to open the command line. In the "run" box, type CMD (it may also be CMD.exe) and press enter. A window like this should appear [picture]. That's the command line. In there, try typing ping google.com and press enter, just to make sure it's working. You should see a bunch of numbers and four 'replies'.

 

Since 31.13.70.7 didn't work, it's a good thing you downloaded Hotspot Sheild (HSS). With HSS running, open a Facebook photo that previously wasn't loading and copy the domain (that's the first part of the web address after "www", so example.com is a domain, but example.com/webpage is not) into the command line. The domain should be different from scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net.

Sidenote: to paste text into the command line you can't use ctrl+v, instead you have to right-click, paste.

 

So now you should have ping newdomain.net in the command line. Running that command should produce the IP address of that new domain. Use that new IP address in your hosts file like you did before, then disable HSS and reload Facebook.

 

Hopefully that makes sense and all your photos load.

Basically, with the hosts file you're telling your computer that every time it wants to go to scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net, which is the domain that is not working, to instead go to a different one that does. When Facebook shuffles their server domains, which is what seems to have happened to us last month, the instructions in our hosts files become outdated and stop working. This is why we have to go through all this trouble to update the instruction :)

Hotshpt Sheild is a bit harder to explain, but suffice it to say it works in a comparable manner to the hosts file.


Edited by VA7SQR, 31 January 2015 - 07:35 PM.


#11 fanciladi

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 10:25 PM

Thanks so much.......I'm not going to get to it tonight and I hope to tomorrow.  I appreciate your patience and help.  I did save your picture and I hope that was ok!  I will reply back when I get this done!!!  Thanks again!!!



#12 fanciladi

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 06:39 PM

I’ve been working on this this morning as I could…

 

I used:

C:\Users\Corrine>ping scontent-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net

 

Pinging scontent-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net [31.13.71.7] with 32 bytes of data:

General failure.

General failure.

General failure.

General failure.

 

Ping statistics for 31.13.71.1:

       Packets: Send = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss).

 

I also tried: ping scontent-a-mia.xx.fbcdn.net and got same results with that one.   

 

 

These two addresses were what I found on the pics I couldn’t see before installing Hotspot Shield and saw afterward.  The funny thing was that (scontent-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net) was what I saw today AND (scontent-a-mia.xx.fbcdn.) I saw yesterday on the same pictures.

 

I have 2 x TB…tired brain and tired butt…LOL…  Maybe I’m still doing something wrong????? I’m still seeing those pictures with the help of Hotspot Shield program and will continue to check pictures properties to see if there are different addresses to try.

 

 

Now with Hotspot Shield, I notice that the pictures load but they load slower than they used to before all of the mess.  Even on this link https://images.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi&gws_rd=ssl where I look for pictures on different subjects they now load slower…a lot slower.  Maybe that’s just a coincidence.  That’s one of my favorite picture search sites…

 

I have seen more complaints on the FB blog now with others having this problem.  I get the complaints in my e-mail.

 

If you have any other ideas and/or see I’ve tried it wrong, please let me know.  Thanks again for your help.      


Edited by fanciladi, 01 February 2015 - 06:43 PM.


#13 VA7SQR

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 05:35 AM

You figured it out! Well done.

 

To answer your question about Hotspot Sheild, HSS doesn't magically make those (not working) domains work, instead it forces your computer to use different domains that do work. It does this by routing your internet connection through another computer. It's sort like if you you were in the library and wanted to read a book, instead of reading the book yourself you would have someone else read it and then relate the events back to you (you can see how that would be inefficient). This is the reason your internet connection slows down while using HSS, and also the reason why HSS is not a permanent solution. If this paragraph confuses you then don't worry about it; it's probably not all that important anyway.

 

So, if I'm understanding this right, scontent-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net and scontent-a-mia.xx.fbcdn.net (from now on I'm just going to call them "lga.net" and "mia.net" for simplicity) are the domains that aren't working, but some photos were on lga.net the first day, and mia.net the second. If that is the case, then the fact that you can not ping either domain is to be expected (they are, after all, 'broken' domains). However I'm not entirely sure why some photos seem to have "changed domains", unless HSS was running when they changed, in which case that makes perfect sense and is exactly what HSS is supposed to do. In either case, I don't expect it to be super consequential at this time.

 

 

Anyway, back to fixing your problem....

 

HSS is useful to us because it forces your computer to use different domains than the ones which are not working. What you need to do is turn off HSS and find one picture which is not loading, and record the broken domain (in your case it sounds like it should be either lga.net or mia.net). Then, turn HSS back on and find the same pictures as before. You can't simply reload the picture, you have to go back to Facebook and find it from the start. When you do, assuming the photo has loaded, you should notice that it's now on a different domain than before.

Example: With HSS off, you browse your news feed until you find Jim's post, which has a picture you can't see. You discover the picture is on the domain lga.net, then turn on HSS, restart your internet browser, and find the same post. Now you can see the picture, except its domain has changed to "xxx.net".

 

Now, load the command line. You also don't need HSS anymore so you might as well turn it off now, too. Ping xxx.net, and use the IP address from the results in your hosts file. Continuing my example, the command line should look something like this:

 

C:\Users\User>ping xxx.net
 
Pinging xxx.net [12.34.56.78] with 32 bytes of data:
reply
reply
.....etc, etc
 
And the hosts file entry should look something like this:
 
12.34.56.78 lga.net
 
That's it, you're done. Save the hosts file and restart your browser again. The photos should and fine now. You'll need to repeat the process for every 'broken' domain you find, in which case simply add another line in your hosts file under the one(s) you already made.


#14 fanciladi

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:10 PM

Thanks VA7SQR for the info...   Your instructions were very clear.  I followed your instructions step by step and every time I would ping a site, I'd get 'general failure' and 100% loss.  I tried the same picture before activating HSS when it wasn't visible and used 'that' web address AND again after activating HSS  when it was visible and used 'that' (which was different) web address and both results were the same...general failure and 100% loss.  I even tried some other web address from random pictures visible with and without HSS on my Facebook Timeline and in my albums.  Nice thing is that I've gotten used to pasting with the right click now...lol...took me a few times to remember that...lol...  I'm hoping maybe it's some very obvious dumb thing I've been doing by following your great instructions that is why I get those results from my ping tries. 

 

Needless to say, I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong; have a setting on my computer that is causing this; or Facebook doesn't like me.  With HSS activated I had to sign into Facebook since it seemed to them I was using a different computer.  I got a login alert:

 

Login Alert

 

Hi           ,

 

Your account was recently logged into from a new browser or device. Was this you?

New Login

February 2, 2015 at 9:55am

Near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

IE on Windows

Check Login

Manage Alerts

 

A little unsettling...but, figured it was the HSS program. 

 

Thanks again for your help...I appreciate it a lot.  Hope something turns up so that FB starts working the way it should.  I'm getting a very foggy brain... :/  

 

 



#15 VA7SQR

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 06:21 PM

Oh, I see.... That's really odd, I'm not sure why you can't ping even the "working" domains.
Maybe send me the domain(s) of the photos that only load when HSS is on, and I'll see if I can ping them from here and then send you the IP addresses.

 

Incidentally, it turns out lga.net and mia.net lead to the same IP address (in other words they mean the same thing), which explains why you may see those two domains interchangeably.

Also, you can ignore Facebook's error message; that's just another side effect of using HSS.






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