IE6 HTTP Bug with HTTP_Accept request header

Something I bumped into today: The first time Internet Explorer loads a URL, it sends an “HTTP_Accept” request header with the list of MIME types it accepts, like so:
HTTP_ACCEPT = application/vnd.ms-excel, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint, application/msword, */*

Any subsequent request of the same URL, though, only sends “*/*”:
HTTP_ACCEPT = */*

Of course I watched this through an ASP page which wrote out Request.ServerVariables("HTTP_Accept").  I wasn’t sure if it was IIS or IE‘s fault tho, so I checked the raw headers with Fiddler, and it’s definitely IE.

What’s especially strange is that I can find little or no mention of the problem. Anyone else heard of (or conquered) this?

It rather messes up a page I’m working on…

UPDATE: See here for a bug and workaround demo article I just put together.

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3 Responses to IE6 HTTP Bug with HTTP_Accept request header

  1. Shekster says:

    I have found the same problem and only have found notes that <a title="" href="" ><acronym title="Internet Explorer">IE</acronym></a> mishandles HTTP_ACCEPT, but no info on why or how to fix it.
    <br>Did you find anything further since this post. If so, I’d appreciate relaying anything useful. Email below.
    <br>Thanks,
    <br>shekster@dcitel.com

  2. Rob says:

    Thanks Shekster,
    <br> Unfortunately, it sounds like you’ve seen more than I have. I’d be interested in seeing those notes, and in anything else you find.
    <br>

  3. Eric Lawrence says:

    Unfortunately, this is a limitation in Internet Explorer 5/6/7.

    I’d be interested to hear about the problems you’re encountering due to this limitation.

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