This TechNote provides tips on how to troubleshoot general Adobe Contribute connection issues.

Contribute Version

CS4, CS5

You can connect sometimes, but not always

If you connect even once, then your settings are correct. When the same settings connect only part of the time, the reason is usually because the server goes offline or there is traffic on the network. Try connecting at a different time of day and contact the system administrator for the company hosting your site.

You cannot connect at all

Review your Contribute connection configuration under Edit > My Connections. Use the following questions to target your review.

  1. Is the web address entered correctly in the Connection Wizard? URLs can be case sensitive.
  2. Is the name of your server entered correctly? Server addresses can be case sensitive.
  3. Are the login name and password entered correctly? These entries are case sensitive.
  4. This dialog box will show if Contribute cannot find the folder automatically. Are you sure of the folder name or path you entered in the FTP dialog box? Use the Browse or Choose button to find the web folder and click OK to let Contribute write the path.

  5. Make sure that site folder and file names do not contain spaces or special characters. Special characters include ? * - & ^ % $ # or any non-alphanumeric character other than an underscore (file_name), which is acceptable.

    If you aren't sure of the folder settings, ask the server's administrator for help. Your administrator may refer to this folder as the Host Directory.

Connection Errors

Follow these steps if you have tried all the suggestions above and are receiving connection errors or still can not connect.

  1. Verify that your computer can access the network and that the server responds to network traffic

    The instructions below assume you use ping to check.

    Note: If the server doesn't respond, consult your system administrator.

    To use ping to check your connection, open the command line terminal using the instructions below as appropriate for your platform, then type ping hostname (wherehostname is the host address of the server, for example, and press the Enter or Return button.

    • Open the Terminal on Mac OSX: From the desktop, go into Applications > Utilities, and open This should give you a command line prompt similar to the following: Welcome to Darwin! [localhost:~] dr_unix
    • Open the Command Prompt on Windows: Click the Start button in the Windows toolbar, then choose Run. Type cmd for Windows XP and Windows Vista

    If the machine hostname responds to network traffic, the results are typically similar to the following:

    Pinging hostname [] with 32 bytes of data: Reply from bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=255 Reply from bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=255 Reply from bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=255 Reply from bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=255

  2. Try connecting to your server using another application or method

    In order to verify your connection settings, it's a good idea to try connecting to your server using another application or method outside of Contribute.

    • FTP: To test an FTP connection, use the command line or a third party FTP client. Several FTP clients are available for free or as shareware on the internet. WS_FTP is a common FTP client for Windows.
    • WebDav: Use Goliath or DAV Explorer to test a WebDav connection outside of Contribute.
    • LAN (Local Network): Try browsing to your site through the network. On Windows you can do this by mapping a network drive or using using the Run command found in the Windows Startup menu. To use the Run command, go to Start>Run and type the path to your server directory. For example, \\yourservername\yourdirectory. On the Macintosh platform, you can use connect to server.

    If you do not have the information or knowledge to follow the above directions, contact your site administrator for assistance.

  3. Use the Connection Information dialog box's Advanced settings

    Click the Advanced button next to the "How do you connect to your web server?" field in the Connection Information dialog box.
    • If you cannot see the folders on the server when you click the Browse button, try toggling the Passive Mode checkbox (if it is unchecked, check it; if it is checked, uncheck it).
    • If you are behind a firewall, check the Use firewall/proxy settings when connecting checkbox and click the Firewall Settings or Proxy Settings button to enter firewall information. Ask your local network administrator for help with these settings.
  4. Check the server permissions

    A server is a computer that many users share. In order to prevent people from interfering with other users' files, different read, write, and execute permissions are given to every user or group of users for different files and folders. Different levels of permissions can be set for files or folders.

    All Contribute site files and folders need to have read and write permissions set. One possible reason for permission denied is an insufficient set of permissions for your account. Contact the system administrator for the company hosting your site for more information.

Note: For detailed information on settings in the Connection Wizard, refer to "Connecting to a website" in the Contribute Help menu.

The Connection Failure dialog box appears when connected to a network

Occasionally, the Connection Failure dialog box appears even though you are connected to an active network connection. This sometimes occurs when Contribute is installed on a computer with other applications that regularly access the network.

Click OK to close the Connection Failure dialog box. If the Connection Failure dialog box continues to appear, verify that your computer is connected to the network. If you are using a dial-up connection, check that you have successfully established a dial-up connection.

If Contribute is disconnected but doesn't display the Connection Failure dialog box, Contribute attempts to connect to the first of your website connections. If it fails and there are more websites to which to connect, Contribute displays a Connection Failure dialog box that asks whether or not you want to continue trying to connect to the remaining sites.

If you click Yes, Contribute will display the same dialog box for each website (provided you click Yes each time). If you click No, Contribute disables the remaining sites. Again, Contribute will automatically connect to the first of your sites. If you only have one website connection defined, the Connection Failure dialog box will not be displayed. If you are disconnected from the network and want to work offline, but Contribute doesn't display the Connection Failure dialog box or Working Offline page, choose File > Work Offline.

The Dial-up dialog box is displayed when connected to the network

By default, the Internet Explorer browser is configured to automatically dial a network connection if a connection is not present. In some instances this can cause Contribute to attempt to dial a network connection when it's launched. To prevent this from occurring, you can update the Internet Explorer connection settings to never dial-up a network connection. Follow the steps below to disable dial-up networking in Internet Explorer:

  1. If it is not already running, launch Internet Explorer.
  2. Choose Tools > Internet Options. The Internet Options dialog box is displayed.
  3. Click the Connections tab.
  4. Under Dial-up settings, select either "Never dial a connection" or "Dial whenever a network connection is not present."
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Click OK.

Contribute reports that the user is not in a valid permission group

This can occur if the permission group the user belonged to is deleted by the administrator. If you created your own connection, you can launch the Connection Wizard, create a new connection and select a valid permission group in which to belong. If you used a connection key, you can request a new connection key from your administrator containing correct connection information.

Unable to view the My Connections dialog box

If you cannot view the My Connections dialog box or edit your connections, Contribute may be in offline mode. Verify that you are connected by choosing File > Work Offline and deselect the Work Offline option if necessary.

Cant move to the next panel in the Connection Wizard

If you are unable to navigate to the next screen of the Connection Wizard, the connection information may have been incorrectly entered. Verify that you have correctly entered the website URL and network path. If both of these items are correct, verify that the website is online using your computers web browser.

Connection Wizard cant locate the remote folder

When you enter FTP connection information into Contribute, the Connection Wizard verifies that the FTP folder is the same folder that contains your websites files. If these folder paths dont match, Contribute is unable to write to the page displayed by your browser. For this reason, your FTP folder must have proper read/write access.

To ensure that the website and FTP folder are the same, Contribute uploads a temporary file using the FTP host information you provide. The Connection Wizard uses the sites URL to "guess" the FTP path. Contribute then attempts to read the temporary file via HTTP using the site URL you provided. If Contribute succeeds in locating the temporary file and the paths match, the Connection Wizard creates the connection.

If the paths dont match, the Connection Wizard prompts you for the correct FTP path. To ensure that you are entering the correct FTP path, use the Connection Wizards Browse or Choose button to locate and select the FTP folder. If you cannot see the folders on the server when you click the Browse button, try toggling Passive Mode checkbox. This option is in the previous screen so you will have to click the Back button to open the Advanced Options dialog. If Passive FTP is unchecked, check it. If it is checked, uncheck it.

If the path to the folder is correct, ensure that the folder has the proper read/write permissions for the user. If you are creating an anonymous FTP account, the server must be configured to support delete, rename, and overwrite privileges for the anonymous user.

Contribute freezes when sending a connection key

If you use a web-based mail program (such as Hotmail or Yahoo!), or use a mail client that Contribute is unable to recognize, the Export Connection Wizard freezes if you try to automatically attach and send the connection key via e-mail. To prevent this, save the connection key to your local computer and manually attach it to an email message that you create using your e-mail client.

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