Facebook: Upload Failed

I wrote about reasons for using Facebook some time ago. I won’t repeat these things her. I will merely reiterate that it is a social communication platform. For many people this is the only internet based communication platform that they care to learn how to use. And so, I use it too.

For example, if I wanted to share some pictures with friends and family I could upload them to a proper picture sharing service like Flickr. This way anyone who wanted to snag a full resolution copy could do that at any time. But that route is full of roadblocks.

For one, none of my family members has a Flickr account. Therefore they won’t be able to see my private Halloween gallery. I don’t want to set it to public so I would have to create invitations for everyone involved, send them out in a batch. Then I would have to respond to emails from people who inadvertently locked themselves out, or whose email client mangled the invitation URL. And of course everyone would ask me why I just didn’t upload the pictures to Facebook like a normal person. So yeah… You get the picture here.

Few days ago I was uploading pictures to Facbook waiting for them to be mercilessly squished, compressed and mangled beyond recognition when I got this error:

Facebook Error Message

Facebook Error Message

Funny thing is that this dialog shows up AFTER the upload is complete. So you get to watch a progress bar for 10 minutes before it lets you know if failed to upload and save a single pic. Great!

Initially I thought that this was a Facebook glitch but on a lark I decided to test it in IE8. It worked.

WTF in HELL? This made me really, really angry but after about 5 minutes of nerd raging I realized that a high profile site such as Facebook would not let such an annoying bug to affect their Firefox user base. That stuff just doesn’t happen at that level – outrageous, browser based bugs get stomped really fast because they tend to create a very vocal community uproar and negative coverage in industry press. Or at least that’s what I told myself.

So I started looking more into this issue and identified several failure points:

  1. Facebook image uploader is a Java applet – so it could be Java glitch
  2. My Firefox just upgraded to 3.5.5 so this could be a FF bug
  3. I was using Vista 64 bit which just doesn’t fucking work half the time
  4. All of the above

Some googling led me to believe that this is #4. In fact, it seems to be an issue that dates back to the days when the OS was still called Longhorn. I just never encountered it because I don’t upload pictures to Facebook that often. And it’s not that I choose not to or anything. I just happen not to have a life. So yeah.

Anyways, I found couple of suggestions on how to fix this issue. One suggested to run Firefox as Administrator and try to upload that way once. Allegedly that will allow the Java plugin to re-set it’s registry entries and will work correctly from that point on. That didn’t work either. Still, it’s worth a try if you are experiencing this bug.

I tried upgrading my Java but that didn’t do anything as I already had the most recent release. Eventually I stumbled upon a suggestion which did work:

  • Delete your cookies and Temp files

Yep, it turns out that it is just that simple. I cleaned out the temp files and cookies using the built in FF feature, restarted the browser and the upload feature started working again. Sometimes the simplest solution is the one that works the best even if it seems like the problem is way more complex. Fucking Occam and his fucking razor.

I’m posting this here for future reference and the good of humanity in general.

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5 Responses to Facebook: Upload Failed

  1. I was using Vista 65 bit which just doesn’t fucking work half the time

    There’s your problem. You’re running a 65-bit OS on a 64-bit computer! :-)

    Reply  |  Quote
  2. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Chris Wellons:

    Oh crap! Good catch man. I am totally downgrading it to 64 bit now. Where is my bit bucket. :P

    Reply  |  Quote
  3. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    So if you slipped on your bathroom floor, is it Vista’s fault as well? :D

    Reply  |  Quote
  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Mart:

    Are you kidding, last time I slipped in the bathroom I hit my head on the sink and invented the flux capacitor. Then I went in time and stopped WWIII. I’m sure as hell not going to give Vista credit for that.

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  5. chris UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    err wow i feel dumstruck

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