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Troubleshooting ALEX

  • The first thing to check if some features of ALEX don't seem to be functioning or displaying properly is your Web browser. Earlier versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer do not support some of the JavaScript features used by ALEX, and much of ALEX depends heavily on JavaScript. Therefore, updating your web browser to any version of Internet Explorer 5.5 or above (5.1 for Macintosh users) or Netscape 6.0 or above will correct many problems.

    1. To see which version of web browser you have:

    1. Open Internet Explorer, click the "Help" menu, and choose "About Internet Explorer." The text within the resulting dialog box should give the version number. It should say version 5.5 or higher.
    2. -OR- Open Netscape, click the "Help" menu, and choose "About Netscape."
    3. Mac users: Open Internet Explorer. Click "About Internet Explorer" in the "File" menu in OS 9 or earlier, or "Explorer" menu in OS X. Check the version number.

2. After checking your version number, if you find you need to update:

    1. In Netscape, in the "Help" menu, choose "Software Update," or go to and click “Download Netscape 6.2 now.” This is a free download.
    2. For Internet Explorer, visit and click the “Download now” link to download the latest version. This is a free download. It should automatically install.
    3. Then go back and check your version number again to be sure that you now have the correct version.

  • If you already have the correct version of Web browser, your next troubleshooting step should be to check to see whether "Cookies" are enabled. In the Tools menu within your browser, choose Internet Options. Click the “Privacy” tab. Set the slider to “medium.” If that doesn't help, set to “low.” If the problem is still not resolved, reset the slider back to “medium,” then go to the next step.
  • Check your Java settings. In the Tools menu within your browser, choose Internet Options. On the “Security” tab, click the “Custom Level” button. Check “Microsoft VM” Java permissions. If on high, move to medium. If on medium, move to low. -OR- scroll down the list to enable “scripting of Java applets.”
  • If this still does not correct the problem, you may not have Java installed on your computer or you may not have the most up-to-date version. Download and install the latest version of Java at The name of the file you need is presently called: Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition. This is a free download.
  • If ALEX seems to be running v-e-r-y slowly, you may be able to speed up your Web browser’s performance by emptying your browser cache, and, if that doesn’t improve the speed, deleting your cookies. You might also try checking to see whether you have several browser windows open and if so, close extraneous ones. As a last resort, close your web browser down and reopen, or reboot your computer.
  • It is good practice to always keep your computer updated with the latest bug fixes by running Windows update regularly. If all else fails with the above troubleshooting steps, it may help to download and install the most current updates. In your web browser, go to the Tools menu, select “Windows Update,” and follow the directions given on the Microsoft Windows Update page.

More troubleshooting information available in the Frequently Asked Questions help file at

Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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