Yesterday, a friend of mine came to me with a strange but interesting issue on his Windows 7 machine. Many secured (https enabled) sites were not loading properly; whereas Google.com worked fine, but not any other Google services. They either result in a web page not found error or load partly and fails to login.
As an initial triage, to check for consistency, I verified if this issue exists across all browsers – and yes! IE, Firefox and Chrome resulted the same.
Ping to google.com was successful with no delay; But telnet facebook.com 443 failed. This made me confirm that the issue is close to the traffic towards https. I also made sure firewall was turned off while testing this.
Next, I thought if his Airtel 3g dongle modem had some issues and thus I tried connecting to my BSNL Wifi. Whoops! it behaved the same way.
Google results suggested me to change the default DNS to either openDNS (188.8.131.52) or Google’s (184.108.40.206) and to my destiny, it didn’t help me either.
After a while, out of no where, my instinct suggested from my past experience that I fixed a similar kind of issue by changing the System date and time while I was using Windows.
.. .and voila!! I see the same issue here. His system date and time in his laptop was set way behind the actual date (May be it’s time to replace his CMOS battery or whatsoever). After setting the right time and enabled auto-sync with the internet, all websites started loading as expected without any issues.
Uff! Seriously, a change in date could impact this bad? Doh, whatever.. I fixed it and left the room like a boss 😉