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Fixing system clock stopped Opera 36 crashing

  • Earlier this week, Chrome-based Opera 36.0.2130.80 crashed repeatedly for me as soon as I tried to load almost any web page, or follow almost any link, with the uninformative message "Opera has encountered a problem and needs to close". I blamed it on some kind of unknown file corruption since it showed up after several consecutive power outages took down my Windows XP PC while Opera was running. As it turns out, the problem was caused by the system clock on my PC: it had reset itself to a year-2004 date during the crash recovery process. Setting the system clock to the correct time and date restored Opera to normal behavior.

    During the down time, I tried unsuccessfully to access these forums using a previous version of Opera (the great 12.17) and was plagued by certificate problem error messages. These turned out to be date related - the certificates all were for time periods "in the future" - which put me on to the system clock problem. Fixing the clock fixed both browsers' problems.

    While I am posting this message for the benefit of anyone who might have the same problem, it seems too bad that 36 would crash so mysteriously while 12 would keep plugging along (complaining all the while about all the bad certificates). If anyone is still maintaining Opera 36, perhaps they could do something about the crash behavior and have the browser generate a benign error message instead of crashing.

    Thanks -