The other day, my PC died. After some angst, I was able to fix it by replacing the power supply. After starting the PC, I fired up Firefox to check my email. That’s when the first error message popped up. I was presented with this lovely error dialog.
Lovely. This came from Xmarks, a browser add-in that I use to keep my browser books marks synchronized across multiple machines. Which is a really cool thing to have, but I digress. Still, check it out.
I didn’t play too much attention to it when I saw it. I just figured it was a glitch on the Xmarks site and cancelled out of it. I should have paid more attention to it, that dialog had the clue to explain what the problem was.
After cancelling that dialog, I went to my webmail account. I host my rajapet.net email account through Google Apps and I have HTTPS url to get into the email. That brought up the “This connection is Untrusted” dialog.
Oh joy. I just figured that their SSL certificate had expired and I clicked through that one. I went to my GMail account and the same thing happened. I tried a few other sites, every site that used a SSL certificate did the same thing. What did I break?
When I followed the motherboard vendor suggestion of resetting the bios, that included resetting the clock. My PC date was set to January 1st, 2001. That was causing the SSL certificate grief. When you get a SSL certificate for your site, it has a starting and ending date. Lets take a close look at the error message from the Xmarks add-in.
The earliest date that this certificate would be considered valid for was 2/6/2009. Had I paid closer attention to the error dialog, I would seen that my clock was off. I went into the Windows clock applet and synched up with a time server and everything went back to normal. Then I rebooted the machine and went into the BIOS settings to make sure everything was the way I liked. File this as an ID10T error.