George Mason University

 

Troubleshooting Off-Campus Access to E-Content

To provide off-campus access to restricted databases, we use a proxy server...specifically, one named EZProxy (pronounced "Easy Proxy"). Validation occurs as we query the campus LDAP directory server.

Click here if you want to check your IP address.

If you have forgotten your email account password,

or never activated your email account, visit this site and follow the appropriate link:

https://mail.gmu.edu

Here are a few of the most common problems/questions we've encountered from users...

 

1. I never see the page where I am supposed to enter my username and password.

If you don't see a page (entitled "University Libraries Database Gateway") where you're asked for your Mason email username and password, then the problem is either:

a) You didn't use a link to the database that routed you through our proxy server. This could happen if you bookmark a database or if you're not using a URL that begins with this stem:

http://mutex.gmu.edu/login?url=

b) Your computer is behind a firewall. If you just get a blank page that eventually times-out with a "destination unreachable" message, you're probably the victim of a firewall on your local network. See the firewall section (#8) below.

2. I got an EZProxy Hostname error. What do I do?


You will get an EZProxy Hostname Error page when you attempt to access content on a computer host that has not yet been set up for use by our proxy server. The proxy server administrator must specify all the domains (i.e., silverplatter.com) and computer hostnames (i.e., spweb.silverplatter.com) for which the proxy server should be used. In this case, all the online library resources.

Database vendors often change domain names, or pull content from new computer hosts without ever informing libraries. Thus, when a hostname error occurs, EZProxy's configuration must be updated to include the new host for proxying.

To expedite correction of this error, please note:

* the name of the resource you were trying to access
* the computer hostname line listed on the error page
* and report it to the library systems office, email either Wally Grotophorst or Lara Bushallow.

This problem will be corrected as soon as your notice is received.


3. I got an EZProxy Cookie Error. What do I do?

Our proxy server sends a "cookie" to your browser to indicate that you have been validated by the proxy and are authorized to access the restricted databases or other resources. This cookie cannot be used for any other purpose, and will be deleted when you close your browser. If your browser has not been set to accept cookies, you will see this message and will not be able to access any of the library's databases from off-campus. You will need to set your browser to accept cookies, and then try logging in again.

Internet Explorer 6.x
Click on TOOLS > INTERNET OPTIONS> PRIVACY. Set the privacy slider to Medium or lower. Select ADVANCED for additional cookie control.

Netscape 7.x:
Click on EDIT > PREFERENCES> PRIVACY & SECURITY (click on arrow to open a menu). Select COOKIES, then choose: ENABLE ALL COOKIES.

4. What about NetZero HiSpeed, Google Accelerator or Juno SpeedBand ?


Google Accelerator? Turn it off when using our databases.
NetZero? If you are getting error messages with NetZero HighSpeed, try turning off HiSpeed in NetZero's toolbar.
Juno? Try turning off high speed, but also look to see if your proxy server is turned on; if it is, turn it off. You can enable these features again when you are through using the library's databases.

5. Pop-up blockers?


Disable the pop-up blocker while you are using our databases. You can always go back and enable it again for general Internet use. For personal firewall software, such as Norton Security, make sure that cookie blocking is set to "none" and that the browser privacy box is unchecked. You can always go back and recheck these later. Ad blocking software may have settings that block cookies. Set the program not to block cookies.

6. Corporate Firewall


We have recently (12/22/08) modified our proxy server configuration and are now able to send all traffic to your browser on port 80 (the standard web port). This should eliminate issues with local firewalls, unless you're following an old URL that still contains the port 2048, as in this example:

http://mutex.gmu.edu:2048/login?URL=http://www.2facts.com

If the URL you are trying to use contains the port number, remove :2048 from the URL and it should work fine despite your local firewall's settings.

Note: Your network will also need to support traffic on port 443 (for secure signon). This should not pose a problem since even very restrictive networks generally keep port 443 open for secure traffic.

7. Script errors?

* Error message: "Error has occurred in script on this page."


If you get this error, check another library database such as EBSCOhost or FirstSearch. If you can use these, you don't have Javascript enabled on your machine. To enable Javascript:

Internet Explorer: Click on TOOLS> INTERNET OPTIONS> SECURITY> CUSTOM LEVEL. Under SCRIPTING, select ENABLE for all.

Netscape 7.x:
Click on EDIT> PREFERENCES> ADVANCED> Scripts & Plugins. Select ENABLE JAVASCRIPT FOR NAVIGATOR.
* Issues between the NETZERO ISP and EZProxy
There are known conflicts between our proxy server software (EZProxy) and the Netzero Internet Service Provider. A possible solution is provided below: (for use With Internet Explorer verison 5.5. and 6)

Follow these steps:

1. Launch Internet Explorer
2. Go to Tools | Internet Options...
3. Click on the Connections tab
4. Scroll through the Dial-up settings to locate NetZero, then click on NetZero and click Settings...
5. Under Proxy Server, click Advanced...
6. In Exceptions, scroll to the end of the list, then type a semi-colon (;) followed by the host name of the EZproxy server
(e.g. type: ezproxy.dom.edu). All the other sample entries have an asterisk (*) in front, and although it won't hurt, that isn't required for this entry.
7. Keep clicking OK until all the windows close and you are back in Internet Explorer.

At this point, access to our proxy server should be restored.

8. Problems with Article Links in Emails (From Off-Campus)

Q. When off-campus, clicking on an article link in an e-mail that I sent to myself from an article citation database sends me to a page where they ask for username and password information? What do I need to do to get the article?

A. You are attempting to link to a paid database resource, but you are not going through our proxy server. Therefore, you are not being granted access to the requested resource. Follow the below directions.

Add this url:

http://mutex.gmu.edu/login?url=

IN FRONT OF any URL that needs authentication IN THE location bar at the very top of the browser (where you type in an internet address). For instance, if you send yourself an article link in EBSCOhost it will have the following similar URL:

http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=8227851&db=aph&site=ehost

Follow these steps:

1. cut and paste the article link into the location bar
2. paste the ezproxy url in front of it with NO SPACES in between the two urls (http://mutex.gmu.edu/login?url=)
3. hit return on the keyboard.

The URL should look like this:

http://mutex.gmu.edu/login?url=http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=8227851&db=aph&site=ehost

9. Article Links in Blackboard?

Note to instructors who use Blackboard: You can allow your students to have off campus access to articles by following the directions above (#8) when you compose links for your students. You may also create links within your course pages to the library's databases by copying and pasting the URL from the library's website.

Need additional help? Contact the Digital Programs and Systems Division.