Topic: Can't login - "Cookie has not been set" - *Solution*
Symptoms/Prerequisites: - You live in the USA or Canada. You are running Windows XP SP2 or older. You do not have Windows Automatic Updates turned on and have not installed all the Windows update patches. You manually set the clock forward one hour (to the correct local time) since the new Daylight Savings Time date: March 8, 2009.
Have you discovered that, just recently you can no longer login to a PunBB 1.3 (or FluxBB 1.3) forum? Do you now get the following message?:
"You appear to have logged in successfully, however a cookie has not been set. Please check your settings and if applicable, enable cookies for this website."
Did you check to see if cookies were enabled and found that they were already enabled? Is this frustrating to you? This is what I recently experienced and after a bit of research, have found a solution.
User workaround 1: - select the "Log me in automatically each time I visit." checkbox when logging in. This gives a 2-week expiration for cookies which allows you to login with no problem.
User workaround 2: - Leave the Windows local time set one hour slow and let it automatically "Spring Forward" on its pre-programmed date: the 1st Sunday of April (Apr 5, 2009).
Administrator solution: - Forum administrators should set the "Visit Timeout" value to greater than 1 hour - say 1.5 hours = 5400 seconds (default is only 1800 seconds which is too small). And the developers should set the default value higher for future 1.3 software releases.
Description of the problem: - To make a long story short, the problem is related to Daylight Savings Time (DST) and Windows XP users living in locations (such as the USA) where the government has changed the date on which the time change occurs. In the USA the date to "Spring Forward" was changed from the 1st Sunday in April to the 2nd Sunday in March. (We are in this time period right now March 24.) It turns out that Windows XP has a patch to fix this problem that is automatically installed if you have the "automatic updates" turned on. But if you (like me), do NOT have auto updates turned on, you may not have this patch installed. (You can read about this Y2K-like problem and get the DST patch here.)
The login problem only occurs when you (as a good time-keeping citizen) manually set the Windows clock to the correct local time when the time change occurs (the 2nd Sunday in March). The Windows clock becomes effectively one hour fast (with respect to UTC), and the PunBB cookie default "Visit Timeout" expiration time is set to be 1/2 hour (1800 seconds) into the future from the time of login. Thus, cookies are arriving at the browser pre-expired by 1/2 hour and login fails because the cookie is not set. (This behavior occurs with Internet Explorer (version 6 and 7) and Opera (9.x), but does not occur with Firefox (2 and 3))
After April 5, this problem should automatically disappear.
Edit 2010-03-15: - Well, its that time of year again! Same problem, different year. (see my second post below - post 8). This problem will exist this year from March 14 until April 4, 2010.