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The mystery of the 503 backend read error.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I have experienced this occurrence with great regularity over the past few weeks. Always happening sometime after midnight. It's impossible to use TES on my PC when this happens, but I can access it OK on my kindle, as I am now doing.

    It's almost as it someone has flipped a switch to prevent the nocturnal trolls from posting, or maybe to prevent my treating them with the disdain they deserve.

    What's it all about?
  2. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I've had this happen a few times, usually after midnite as well.

    (PS. Am in UK, not a troll, stayed up late to watch a movie and now unable to sleep)
  3. By_the_Shiny_Brook

    By_the_Shiny_Brook Established commenter

    Biles likes this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    @TES_Rosaline I've had the same problem but in fact anytime of day, most usually late evenings but have even had it during the day when I've been home.
    Using Firefox on a laptop computer- if that makes a difference.
    cissy3 and kibosh like this.
  5. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter


    cissy3 and kibosh like this.
  6. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    cissy3, magic surf bus and kibosh like this.
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    As far as I can recall, 'Guru Mediation' was an on-screen crash error message which was used by Commodore in their Amiga desktop computers. No idea why TES are using it unless their software is much older than they would like to admit.
    ScotSEN likes this.
  8. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I've been getting it too (IE and GoogleChrome) at any time of the day. Can take ages to get logged on.
    ScotSEN likes this.
  9. Lascarina

    Lascarina Star commenter

    Some of it most certainly is!;) Ha ha- chuckling here at my own joke.:D
    ScotSEN likes this.
  10. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    I remember reading The Mystery Of The 503 Backend Read Error when it first came out. Not one of Agatha Christie's more successful efforts. (The mouse did it.)
    ScotSEN, Noja, kibosh and 4 others like this.
  11. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I've had that a lot too. Either that or the page simply won't load. Annoying!
    ScotSEN and cissy3 like this.
  12. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    I get it quite frequently and only ever with TES during login. In my experience, refreshing the browser usually, but not invariably clears it and I can login.

    Googling shows a 503 error to be a standard server error message if something goes wrong with attempting to fetch data from the origin servers (the origin server being the first in line i.e the TES main server).

    The 503 Back-end Read error:
    "This happens if there is a timeout issue with your backends when requesting content to be stored in the cache. It can also be due to any other network error that might cause a read to fail when our cache servers attempt to fetch content from your origins. These errors occur periodically due to transient network issues, such as router failovers, packet loss, and origin overload."

    Interestingly the source also explains that:
    "changing a few quick settings can prevent these errors from happening."

    Scramble the TES geek squad please.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I've been misreading the error message - I thought the guru was too busy meditating about problems with his back end to handle my log-in request.

    Ommmmmmm.... Ommmmmmm....
    ScotSEN likes this.
  14. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    And a Back-End? fFom what I can gather, is an originating database - which would make sense if the errors occur at login after messages for authenticity are probably routed to a particular database.
    ScotSEN likes this.
  15. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    The confusing part is that I am experiencing the back-end read error when the site is quiet but never when it's busy.

    Something else I've been finding that may be related to the back-end error is that I'm now being logged out quite frequently despite remaining active on the forum.

    Back in the day, it was possible to remain logged in as long as you liked, then the system was changed so you automatically got logged out if there hadn't been any activity for something like 20 minutes. By activity, I mean either posting or navigating around the site. I will sometimes get logged out immediately a post gets accepted, which doesn't make sense.
    cissy3 likes this.
  16. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    I think that problem particularly affects those of us who write a high percentage of posts which don't make sense.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

  18. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Happened this morning to me too.
  19. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    The automatic logout and forced re-logins also struck me as a possible cause of errors, but I am no expert on such things. It does seem logical though that to constantly monitor login times per user, force logouts and authenticate re relogging-in must need a good degree of background network activity.

    As to timing, the error seems to be quite random to me, and I tend to post daytime and peak time evenings. But many systems to their automatic maintenance and back-ups in the wee hours, so possibly it is more frequent then?
  20. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I thought you were on your fifth (is it already?) address because you had been trolling... o_O
    sabrinakat likes this.

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