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Certificate FAQ

 

  1. I can't remember which browser I used to apply for my certificate
  2. My computer I used when requesting a certificate has gone / has had its Operating System re-installed
  3. My laptop was stolen/my machine was compromised
  4. The computer with my certificate has died / been re-installed
  5. I want to access the grid from my laptop as well as my desktop, do I need another certificate?
  6. It's asking me for a master password - what's that?
  7. Nothing happened when I clicked 'Retrieve Certificate'
  8. It says 'Error -12227' when I try to renew my certificate
  9. I get the 'Secure Connection Failed' error when I go to the CA Web Interface to apply/renew or test my certificate using Mozilla Firefox, and I already have downloaded the eScienceRoot and the CA Certificates into my browser!
  10. It says error when I download a certificate - may already be in browser
  11. I am leaving my institution/ I no longer need a certificate - what do I do?
  12. I've tried everything and it still doesn't work!

I can't remember which browser I used to apply for my certificate

A: If it's simply a case of whether it was Firefox or IE, you can try retrieving your certificate in each of them and then checking to see which one has it in the certificate store (see How To guide).

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My computer I used when requesting a certificate has gone / has had its Operating System re-installed

Because your private key is stored in your browser, if you lose that browser and all its configurations before retrieving your certificate, you will be unable to import your new certificate. In this case, you will have to ask your local RA operator to revoke your certificate and then request a new one.

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My laptop was stolen/my machine was compromised

As soon as you know your machine has been compromised or that your private key may be compromised, you must contact your local RA operator and ask them to revoke your certificate. You can then request a new certificate, which will require a visit to your nearest RA operator in person. If you still have access to your private key then you can also revoke your certificate yourself (see Revoking a Certificate).

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The computer with my certificate has died / been re-installed

You should import your backup certificate (assuming you did create one when you installed your certificate) into your new browser. If you didn't create a backup then you'll have to ask your RA Operator to revoke your certificate and then apply for a new one.

I want to access the grid from my laptop as well as my desktop, do I need another certificate?

No, one will suffice, backup/export your certificate (to a memory stick for instance) and then import it into your new browser.

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It's asking me for a master password - what's that?

This is a Firefox feature, used to protect passwords and private keys it stores. If you cannot remember your master password, then you will be unable to access your private key and will have to ask your local RA operator to revoke you certificate so you can then request a new one. To request a new one from the Firefox browser again you will have to reset your master password otherwise the same problem will occur again (please note this will cause you to lose all your stored passwords and private keys stored in your browser).

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Nothing happened when I clicked 'Retrieve Certificate'

Believe it or not this is actually a good sign! There will be no message to tell you if the certificate import was successful. You can check your certificate is in your browser by following the How To below.

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It says 'Error -12227' when I try to renew my certificate

This error means that the browser is not presenting your certificate to the website correctly. Please check that:

  1. your certificate is in your personal store
  2. your certificate is currently valid
  3. you are choosing the correct certificate (in Firefox, set it to 'ask me every time' - see How To guide).

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I get the 'Secure Connection Failed' error when I go to the CA Web Interface to apply/renew or test my certificate using Mozilla Firefox, and I already have downloaded the eScienceRoot and the CA Certificates into my browser!

  1. Go to Tools > Options on Windows, Edit > Preferences on Linux or Firefox > Preferences on Mac, then go to Advanced > Encryption, click on 'View Certificates' and then the 'Authorities' tab.
  2. Find the entry 'eScienceRoot' and edit 'UK e-science Root' to what is shown on the picture below (only tick "This certificate can identify web sites):

 

 

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It says error when I download a certificate - may already be in browser"

The first thing to do is to check if the certificate is already in your browser - see the How To guide.

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I am leaving my institution/ I no longer need a certificate - what do I do?"

If you are certain you no longer need your digital certificate, please revoke it as soon as you no longer use it (see Revoking a Certificate).

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I've tried everything and it still doesn't work!

Email the helpdesk, explaining your problem and the error messages (if any) you receive.

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by Dr. Radut