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The Internet Explorer error “HTTP 408/409 Server Busy” - “The website is too busy to show the webpage”

This Internet Explorer error message occurs when a HTTP 408 or HTTP 409 error occurs.

The descriptions “Server Busy” and “The website is too busy” are misleading because HTTP 408 errors arise when the client (e.g. your web browser) is too slow for the server, and HTTP 409 errors arise when there is a conflict in accessing information on the server. Servers use HTTP 503 errors to indicate that they are busy.

What you can do

For HTTP 408 errors:
  1. If you repeat your attempt to access the web server, then it might succeed if Internet Explorer manages to complete its request in a more timely manner, e.g. because it has better luck in information that it sends not being lost in the network and not incurring delays when waiting for acknowledgements from the server.

For HTTP 409 errors:

  1. You might want to retry later, or
  2. Use a monitoring service to inform you when the conflict is resolved.

Extra information

Microsoft Knowledge Base article 319378: “You receive an HTTP 408 or 409 error message when you try to connect to a Web server through ISA Server 2000
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