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Can't download .exe files from IE (under Windows 98)

Posted on 2004-11-02
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I know this is an old question and I have spent the last hour reading old threads on this problem but to no avail.

 To summarize: whenever I try to download an .exe file, IE shows a blank page with  only a little default .gif picture at the top left of the screen. Even if I click on this , nothing happens.

  I have had no rpoblems with spyware or any malware. My gut feeling is that  IE somehow is set up to refuse .exe downloads as a safety measure.

In one thread, someone suggested to remove the .exe  extension from the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Plugins/Extension

I did that and it did not help. (I then thought that I had to reboot for the effect to take place but when I rebooted the .exe. had been brought back. I removed it again, open IE and try to download a .exe file but the same problem happened. Maybe I have to do something else to permanently remove the .exe extension from the registry?)

Someone else (sramesh2k) mentioned that the .exe extension had to be removes from a list of unsafe extensions in the file shdocvw.dll. I tried to have a look but it shows up as mostly garbage when opened with wordpad.  The same person gave the following link to help with the problem: http://is-it-true.org/nt/registry/rtips324.shtml,  but when I tried this I got a list of stuff not relevant to the present problem (I am guessing that this site is changed periodically and the original, relevant information has been moved).


I hope someone can help.

Patrick
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Question by:plab
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Expert Comment

by:SheharyaarSaahil
ID: 12480204
Hello plab =)

have u tried this,

Blank Web Page with Placeholder Icon and You Cannot Save a File to Disk
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=316537
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Expert Comment

by:hoonexpert
ID: 12480550
Why dont u use some download manager for this like download accelator, flash get and many more.

Manish.
Baroda.
India.


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Accepted Solution

by:
BillDL earned 500 total points
ID: 12480831
Be careful of download accelerators.  many of them install known parasites or spyware.  Indeed, some versions of FlashGet offer either to install with the known "CyDoor" spyware, or a free version that has to be registered.

Anyway, this question is asking for a fix for the problem rather than a workaround by installing something else.

plab.

What version of Internet Explorer is installed, and what updates have you installed?
Click IE's Help > About Internet Explorer menu option, and take note of the version numbers.  Post them here.

Start > Run > and type MSINFO32 > click "OK"
In the left pane, find "Software Environment > Software Updates"
There will be a sub-"folder" named "W98" or W98.SE", open it out
Hang the mouse over each of the listed updates and note the "Q" number, or just move the vertical bar across to the right (or use the horizontal scroll bar) and read them.

Post the list of Q numbers here.  One of them could easily be applying a restriction.

Do you have a Firewall installed and running on the computer?

Do you know for absolute certain that the target of the link is an .exe file?
Right-Click on one that is causing problems in this way, select "Copy Shortcut", and paste it here so we can test this out.

Right-Click one of the links and select "Save TARGET As".  Does it find an .exe file and show the "Save As" dialog asking you where you want to save the file?

It sounds to me like what you might be seeing is a red, yellow and blue cube-shaped icon in the top left of your screen.  Is this correct?  To see what I mean, go to Tools > Internet Options, and click the "Security" tab, and click the "Custom Level" button.  The icons under the "ActiveX and Plugins" section near the top is what I am referring to.

It would be helpful to know what settings are enabled in that dialog, because this might be where the restriction is being set.

DON'T start playing around with those settings for now, just cancel back out of the "Custom Level" dialog and tell us what it was showing as your currnt settings.

If so, then there is a possibility that the link LOOKS like it is directly to an .exe file, but instead is trying to run a script or ActiveX object.

A lot of download links are disguised by displaying different text, and run a JavaScript (or Visual Basic Script) to activate the download.

Have you tried Right-Clicking the link and selecting "Properties", or "Copy Shortcut".  In the "Properties" dialog, you can scroll over the "Address (URL)" text and see what is right at the end of that web address, or just paste into Notepad and read it.  Try this on some of the problem url's to ensure that they point to the .exe file.

Are you sure what you are seeing is a .gif image?  Right-Click and see if you have the "Save Picture As" option.  Right-Click and select "Properties".  Is it a .gif file, and what is the path to it?  I mean, is it a local file on your computer, or one from a web address?

Was your computer once connected to a network, or used in a corporate environment?

Does it have multiple user login profiles, or just you?

let us know these things while I look to see what registry restrictions may have been set.
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 12481004
From a security point of view, you might find this page interesting:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/154036/EN-US/

Here's something to try for yourself.

In Outlook Express, start a new email.
Open the "Format" menu and click "Rich Text"
On the "View" menu, click "Source Edit"
This should show 3 tabs along the bottom of the window "Edit, Source, and Preview".
Make sure the "Edit" mode tab is selected
Paste a link to a website into the email (sometimes you have to add a space after it to create a link from the text string)
Try pasting the link http://www.winguides.com/downloads/registry.exe
Now click the "Preview" tab.
Click on the link and see what happens.

I suggest that what you SHOULD see is a brief flash of what looks like Internet Explorer is about to open, and then a download prompt should show with the following options:

Run this program from its current location
OR
Save this program to disk.

There should also be a tick-box that says "Always ask before opening this type of file".
Is that box accessible, or is it greyed-out?

I often use Outlook Express and a Right-Click > Save target As to download from links to files that I don't want to "open" in IE.  For instance, many image types will open in IE, whereas I might want to download them.  The same goes for .pdf and .doc files where Adobe Acrobat or Word would open within IE to display the file.

If you close Outlook Express, the download will stop, however.

Try creating your own .html file eg. on your desktop.
Open NotePad and type the following into it:

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Link Tester</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<P>
<A HREF="http://www.winguides.com/downloads/registry.exe">Innocent Link</A>
</P>
</BODY>
</HTML>

Save it as something like "Link_Tester.html" after changing the "Save As Type" field to "All Files (*.*)".

Test this out using a known web address from one that has caused you problems, and tell us what happens when you then double-click this html file, and click the link.

To change the link, just use Internet Explorer's "View" menu, and select "Source" to open it in NotePad.  Click File > Save and then refresh the screen to effect the change.

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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 12481089
You are obviously conversant with using REGEDIT to make registry modifications, judging by what you have said.

Could you please find the following keys in the left pane of Regedit, and then use the Registry > Export Registry File menu option to export the contents of each of those keys to files:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions

Right-Click each .reg file and select "Edit" to open in Notepad, then copy and paste the contents here.

I want to see if you have a restriction in there that is overriding any others, such as "AlwaysPromptWhenDownload" set to Zero so that you aren't seeing a prompt.

The following registry setting would prevent downloading:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3
Name: 1803
DWORD Value named "1803".
If set to Zero, then downloads will be Enabled, but if set to 3, then downloads will be Disabled.

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Author Comment

by:plab
ID: 12488826
Hi BillDL,
             First, than you very much for taking so much time to try to help me out. I appreciate it. And thank you for the detailed steps, I am very ignorant of computers so it's useful to have clear instructions.

Btw, something that I realized. May be totally irrelevant, but just in cases.
This problem is with a laptop from work that I carry with me. I brought it home and used a software from my IP provider to be able to  connect to the Internet. I think that this software reinstalled IE on my laptop (well, I am sure because at the top of IE it now says "IE provided by " the name of my provider. Now, I can't honestly say if the problem started when IE was reinstalled because I don't remember if I ever tried to download a .exe file before the change of IE occurred. So, should I simply try to reinstall IE? If yes, I would need to know how to make sure that I uninstall everything correctly so that there is no problem upon reinstallation! Anyway, let me now address your questions.


  I have no idea how to quote a previous post! So I will indent your questions,



                                 What version of Internet Explorer is installed, and what updates
                                have you installed?
                                 Click IE's Help > About Internet Explorer menu option, and take
                                note of the version numbers.
                                 Post them here.


Version 6.0. No updates at all.



                                     Start > Run > and type MSINFO32 > click "OK"
                                      In the left pane, find "Software Environment > Software
                                      Updates"
                                       There will be a sub-"folder" named "W98" or W98.SE", open
                                     it out    
                                      Hang the mouse over each of the listed updates and note
                                  the "Q" number, or just move the
                                  vertical bar across to the right (or use the horizontal scroll bar)
                                  and read them.

When I did this, there was no Software Updates folder!!


                                   Post the list of Q numbers here. One of them could easily be
                                    applying a restriction.
 
                                 Do you have a Firewall installed and running on the computer?

No


                               Do you know for absolute certain that the target of the link is
                              an .exe file?
                               Right-Click on one that is causing problems in this way,
                                 select "Copy Shortcut", and paste it here    
                                so we can test this out.

I have tried at least half a dozen sites and I always get the same problem when I get to the actual download.

An example is http://gulus.usherb.ca/pub/appl/ssh/putty/latest/x86/putty.exe



                              Right-Click one of the links and select "Save TARGET As". Does it
                                 find an .exe file and show
                              the "Save As" dialog asking you where you want to save the file?

I am very sorry but I am not sure what you mean by "right-clicking the link". You don't mean clicking in th eactual address bar, I assume. If you mean clicking on the little picture I get, I am not offered the possibility to save anything at all.

                             It sounds to me like what you might be seeing is a red, yellow and
                            blue cube-shaped icon in the
                             top left of your screen. Is this correct? To see what I mean, go to
                            Tools > Internet Options, and
                              click the "Security" tab, and click the "Custom Level" button. The
                              icons under the "ActiveX and
                               Plugins" section near the top is what I am referring to.

It's not that icon. I seen an icon which shows a tiny red square above a tiny green circle and a tiny blue triangle.


                                 It would be helpful to know what settings are enabled in that
                               dialog, because this might be
                                where the restriction is being set.

I had "average security" (sorry I don't recall the exact English term, my IE is in a different language). Then I put all the ActiveX stuff and JavaScript etc  as "Ask". That way I figured out the problem would be solved, I would be aked for permission and then be allowed to download the .exe files. But it did not help.


                                   DON'T start playing around with those settings for now, just
                                    cancel back out of the "Custom
                                   Level" dialog and tell us what it was showing as your currnt  
                                   settings.


All the ActiveX stuff is on either "Active" or "Ask" (I am translating, hopefully you'll know what I mean!)

Transfer of documents is on "Active"  Java scripts are on "Active"  Active scripting is on "active".  Java permissions
Is on medium safety.  Everything that I saw that could be related to running (scripts, ActiveX Java etc) or downloading have been put either "Active" or "Ask".



                                         If so, then there is a possibility that the link LOOKS like it is
                                       directly to an .exe file, but
                                     instead is trying to run a script or ActiveX object.

Interesting. But as mentioned above, I tried to allow everything, at least after asking.

                                   A lot of download links are disguised by displaying different text,
                                   and run a JavaScript (or
                                  Visual Basic Script) to activate the download.

Ok. Maybe there is still something that could be disactivated and I did not realize it?

                                     Have you tried Right-Clicking the link and selecting "Properties",
                                      or "Copy Shortcut". In the
                                     "Properties" dialog, you can scroll over the "Address (URL)"
                                    text and see what is right at the
                                     end of that web address, or just paste into Notepad and read
                                    it. Try this on some of the
                                      problem url's to ensure that they point to the .exe file.

Sorry again, I am not sure what you mean by clicking on the link &#61516; Sorry! Clicking the address bar??

But I provided an address above and you will see that the address ends with a  file .exe
It's always addresses like this that give me this empty page with the little icon.


                             Are you sure what you are seeing is a .gif image? Right-Click and
                             see if you have the "Save  
                             Picture As" option. Right-Click and select "Properties". Is it a .gif file,
                             and what is the path to
                             it? I mean, is it a local file on your computer, or one from a web
                             address?

I was a bit cavalier about this, sorry!  I only said .gif because it does look like a .gif. But it actually looks more like an icon put there by the browser. If I right-click, I am not given the possibility of "Save As". I am certain it's not on the web site but it's put there by IE.

                                    Was your computer once connected to a network, or used in a
                                     corporate environment?

Yes, it was (this is a laptop from work that I am carrying around). But I did connect at home using my personal connection to the Internet and the problem was still there (even though I can download .exe files from my home desktop). So I think it's a problem with the computer, not a network issue.

                                  Does it have multiple user login profiles, or just you?

No.

                                  let us know these things while I look to see what registry  
                                  restrictions may have been set.

Ok. Thanks a lot again!!

Pat
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Author Comment

by:plab
ID: 12488911



Hi BillD,

here are answers to your questions (which I have indented)


                                              You are obviously conversant with using REGEDIT to
                                              make registry modifications,
                                              judging by what you have said.


                                               Could you please find the following keys in the left pane
                                               of Regedit, and then use the
                                               Registry > Export Registry File menu option to export
                                             the contents of each of those
                                             keys to files:


                                             
                                       HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet  
                                      Explorer\Restrictions

There is no Restrictions subfolder!!

                                          HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions

Strange, there is no Internet Explorer folder!!! Under the Microsoft folder I only have "SytemCertificates"!


                                          The following registry setting would prevent downloading:

                                      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows
                                      \CurrentVersion\Internet  Settings\Zones\3

                                       
                                     HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows
                                      \CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3

                                        Name: 1803
                                         DWORD Value named "1803".
                                         If set to Zero, then downloads will be Enabled, but if set to
                                       3, then downloads will be
                                        Disabled.


They're both zero!!


Thanks again for your time.

Pat

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Author Comment

by:plab
ID: 12488970
Hi BillDL,



                  From a security point of view, you might find this page interesting:

                  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/154036/EN-US/

Interesting. I tried their test (disabling Java applets and active scripting) and I still could not load a .exe, however.


                   Here's something to try for yourself.

                   In Outlook Express, start a new email.
                   Open the "Format" menu and click "Rich Text"
                    On the "View" menu, click "Source Edit"

A problem.. I will sure look dumb but I have never used Outlook before so maybe I am missing somehing obvious. But when I opened Outlook and started a new email, clicking on Format only gave two choices: Font, and Paragraphs (with little icons like in Word). On top of that, the two were greyed out. No "Rich Text" in sight!


Thanks again for your hard work! Sorry it's so difficult. I don't mind reinstalling IE now that I realize it's a though problem. I will check if Ihave IE on a disk somewhere.


Regards,

Pat
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Author Comment

by:plab
ID: 12489756
BillDL,


      I am sorry, I messed up when I replied to your post concerning Outlook Express. I had used Outlook, and not Outlook Express (to be honest, I did not even know that something called Outlook Express existed! You see how unsophisticated I am!)

Ok, I did what you suggested. Here's a reminder:


                                Here's something to try for yourself.

                              In Outlook Express, start a new email.
                               Open the "Format" menu and click "Rich Text"
                              On the "View" menu, click "Source Edit"
                                  This should show 3 tabs along the bottom of the window "Edit,
                                   Source, and Preview".
                                  Make sure the "Edit"  mode tab is selected
                                    Paste a link to a website into the email (sometimes you have to
                                    add a space after it to create a link from the text string)
                                      Try pasting the link    
                                      http://www.winguides.com/downloads/registry.exe
                                      Now click the "Preview" tab.
                                     Click on the link and see what happens.

                                     I suggest that what you SHOULD see is a brief flash of what
                                   looks like Internet Explorer is about to open, and then a
                                   download prompt should show with the following options:



(I did not include the rest)


    I tried all this and here's what happened: after clicking on the link, IE seemed to be trying something for a few seconds (the globe was spinning) and then I finally got exactly the same thing as usual: the darn little icon!!!!!!


By the way, I have tried many different sites with downloadable .exe files (spybot, stinger etc etc), always the same problem.

And I then tried a .zip file, and exactly the same icon appeared.


Hope this may tell you something!

Thanks again,

Pat
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 12490600
Thank you for that feedback, pat.  It is helpful when people respond so fully.

There isn't really any need to quote previous suggestions, you can easily refer to "your suggestion about Outlook Express", or "Re. point No. 1 in the 3rd comment above".  That would be perfectly adequate.

Your company laptop is obviously used to being connected to a network, I would think.  I assume that you are able to take it into work and plug it into the network in some way.  The usual way would be by connecting a plug into the Network card which is probably incorporated into the laptop.

As such, company Network Administrators usually place restrictions on what certain users on that network should be able to access while connected to the network.  Some of those restrictions may have been set in the registry on the laptop, but most would be set because you would have to log into the network by a user name.  Users are placed into groups with various "permissions" set for that group.  Some need greater access, while others are limited to all but the most basic access.  These access restrictions are referred to as "policies".

The first thing I have to ask is whether the systems administrator has set up the laptop to allow internet access, and to allow you to download files from the Internet.  You have described yourself as being "ignorant of computers".  In a technical sense perhaps you have not been exposed to many things, but probably no less than most corporate or home computer users.  That is probably the strongest reason for administrators to restrict access to various functions.  After all an inquisitive mind, without a full understanding of the dangers in downloading files into a network, could wreak havoc to a company's network.

Anyway, that aside, I wonder if it would be better for you to approach your company's IT Department and ask them to configure the laptop to allow file downloads.  It would keep you right and might save you from dismissal  :-)

OK, one step at a time.

The Internet Service Providor's (ISP's) installation routine will have certainly installed Internet Explorer 6 on the computer.  Windows 98 installs version 5.0 and Outlook Express 5.0.  If a more recent version of Microsoft Office than Office 2000 is installed, then it may have updated Internet Explorer to a higher version like 5.5.  MS Office will also have installed MS Outlook.

Normally upgrading Internet Explorer 5 to 6 is unproblematic, but not always.  If there are processes running on the computer at the time of installation that use Internet Explorer's resources, then they can hinder the updating of files needed by IE 6.

What you have to know is that, by connecting to the Internet with IE 6 and no security updates or patches installed, you could be leaving your system open to invasion by malicious websites, trojans, and such like.  IE6 has greater functionality than version 5, but that comes with extra risks.  As is often the case with updated versions of applications from Microsoft, there are often patches that need to be installed to rectify problems that weren't realised at the time of release.

I would recommend that you run Windows Update and allow it to scan your computer and suggest a list of updates that it thinks you need.  The problems with Windows Update are:

1. It will suggest a LOT of updates and some of them might not even be applicable to your use of the computer
2. Allowing updates to install automatically over an internet connection can be problematic if you don't have a fast connection or the connection is severed as sometimes happens.  This can leave you with a half-baked mess.
3. The fact that the computer is preventing the downloading of files might also restrict Windows Update from downloading and installing the updates.

Perhaps you should leave this until after the problem is rectified, but avoid too much browsing and exposing the system to risks for now.  This is especially true as you do not have a firewall installed to provide some level of protection.

From what you have described about the Custom Security Settings, it seems to me that your adjustments should have shown you a prompt asking if you wish to allow a download.  So it must be some other restriction.  I will explore the possibilities in a minute.

When I suggested that you RIGHT-Click on a link, and select "Save Target As". What I meant was this.  The text on the next line is a link to an .exe file:
http://www.winguides.com/downloads/registry.exe

Instead of clicking normally on this link with the left mouse button (assuming you are right-handed and have your mouse set that way), click on it with the RIGHT mouse button.  This will show a pop-out menu:

Open
Open in New Window
Save Target As
Print Target
-----------------
Copy Shortcut
-----------------
Add to Favorites
-----------------
Properties

The "Target" is the file that the link points to.  If it is a simple link to another web page, then the "target" will be whatever_filename.html.  In the case of the above link, the "target" is the file named "registry.exe".  The full web address to that file is known as a URL (Uniform Reference Locator) and you will usually see this appear in the grey bar at the very bottom left of the Internet Explorer page when you hover the mouse pointer over a link without clicking on it.  You will see the pointer arrow change to a hand icon.

Make sure that you can see this by clicking the "View" menu, and then clicking on "Status Bar".  Not all links will show a url in the Status bar, because this can be prevented by whoever wrote the web page.  I am always suspicious when a proper url doesn't show, because I like to know EXACTLY what the link is pointing to.

I could easily create a web page with a link that showed up as a standard blue underlined link which said "Harmless Innocent File", but in reality the "target" could be a file infected by a virus, or any other malicious file that could damage your computer.

I could also create a page with a link that said "http: // www . trusted-site.com/NakedPopStar.gif" and make it point to a web page instead.

You have told us that you can't remember ever having downloaded an .exe file as this is new to you.  This is all the more reason to be cautious.  Always hold the mouse over a link and look in the Status bar BEFORE clicking on it.

I said earlier "A lot of download links are disguised by displaying different text, and run a JavaScript (or Visual Basic Script) to activate the download".  What I meant by this was that some people don't want you to see the "target" or url in the Status bar, and use a code within the web page so you can't find this out.

In this case, you might see "JavaScript(void)" or something similar in the status bar where you would expect to see the full web address, even though the link on the page tells you something else.  With those type of links, it is impossible to use the Right-Click > Save Target As option to download what you think is the target file.

Anyway, this is just a bit of explanation.  You have provided a link http://gulus.usherb.ca/pub/appl/ssh/putty/latest/x86/putty.exe that I have confirmed is an .exe file named "putty" that is live and I've just downloaded it (again - I already have that program).

It sounds to me like you are copying web addresses (url's) into the address bar from some other source, and then clicking the "Go" button.  If you are like me, and often copy url's into NotePad for later use, then this would be a logical approach where you want to download a file without actually opening a web page containing a link on it to that file.

That was my reason for suggesting the use of a link in a new email in Outlook Express. The "Preview" tab is actually showing you what is really a web page with a link on it.  You have, however, confirmed that this is a problem with Outlook Express because it didn't work.

I am still puzzled by the icon you are seeing on your screen, which you describe as "a tiny red square above a tiny green circle and a tiny blue triangle".  I will try to find out what that icon actually is, and what is showing it.

It is also equally puzzling that the only sub-key of the:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft
registry key is "SystemCertificates".  There should be a LOT MORE sub-keys in there.

The HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key, and all its sub-keys, contain the settings that will be applied to ALL USERS of that computer.

The HKEY_CURRENT_USER stores the settings that affect whoever is logged in and using the computer.  You have said that you are the only user profile on the system, so this is strange to me.

The fact that you do not have a "Restrictions" sub-key of:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
confirms that no restrictions have been placed on you as a user for your use of Internet Explorer functions.  There are some settings that are overridden by restrictions set elsewhere in the registry, but this will get too complex if I ask you to start checking for them.

The "Zones" that were mentioned in the other registry keys I quoted
HKEY_??_??\..\Internet  Settings\Zones
are the 4 icons that you will see in the "Internet Options > Security tab".

When you open this, it will always select the first one named "Internet" (Globe Icon), and the "Custom Settings" that you were looking at are for the "Internet Zone".  Each Zone also has its own Custom Settings.

Click on the "Trusted Sites" and "Restricted Sites" and, for each one, click the "Sites" button to see if there are any sites listed.  The level for Trusted Sites is usually set to "Low" but this will only apply if there are sites listed that should be considered trusted, otherwise the setting means nothing.  The same is true for Restricted Sites, but this is usually "High".

If there are any sites listed in "Restricted Sites" then remove them, click "Apply", close and reopen IE, and see what happens.

I DON'T think that this is the issue here though.

Try clicking the "Default Level" button in the Internet Options > Security tab, click "Apply", close and reopen IE, and see what happens.

The fact that it is not only .zip files that are being prevented from downloading IS significant.  Here's something to try out that might provide a better idea if ALL types of files are being stopped.

Click on the following links and report back what happens:

1. http://www.xenini.com/montazhat/fun-in-the-beginning.jpg

2. http://www.xenini.com/montazhat/UnwantedEmail.gif

3. http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/img_png/pass7.png

4. http://laps.fsl.noaa.gov/albers/slides/ast/places_test.tiff

5. http://isabel.dit.upm.es/extras/isabel_utilities/AutoCD_patch/EPREP/instructions.txt

6. http://www.apexawards.com/A2003_Win.List.pdf

7. http://www.army.mil/cfsc/documents/recreation/BrochureTemplate_Instruct.doc

8. http://www.ksu.edu/hr/forms/addpay.rtf

9. http://www.hotspot-locations.com/modules/AboutUs/example.csv

10. http://www.karmyntyler.com/downloads/Commercial_DEMO_MP3.mp3

11. http://info.eesoh.com/eesohdocs/site/presentations/2004%20EESOH%20Summit/30jun/DEMO.pps

That's just a selection of different file types to test Internet Explorer's behaviour.

Reinstalling Internet Explorer MAY help to restore settings that have maybe been altered somehow, and there is also a "Repair" option that might work.  The problem is that, if this bahaviour is the result of a registry restriction, then reinstalling probably wouldn't change the restriction.  This might be the reason that you are having the problems, even after your ISP Software reinstalled IE.

While I am trying to identify the icon you are seeing, from your description given, let us know the results of clicking the links above.
0
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 12490705
Here's a related question that prompts me to ask another question:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Miscellaneous/Q_20940480.html

Did this computer have (or does it still have) NetScape Navigator installed?

This is another web browser, in case you have never used it, and the resolution to the question on the above page shows that there was some conflict between NetScape components and Internet Explorer.
0
 

Author Comment

by:plab
ID: 12496542

Bill,

            It worked!!!!
           
  I right-clicked on the link and it allowed me to download the .exe file!!!
  Sorry I was so slow in getting what you meant by "clicking on the link". As soon as I started reading your explanation, it was obvious that you meant what it says!! But I simply didn't realiize that one could download something targeted by a link without having to access the web page itself using the browser!


  Anyway, it worked perfect. The file was downloaded and I was able to run it on my computer. That was very important to me because I needed to install putty in order to be able to connect to a cluster  on which I will be running simulations.

So you obvioysly will get the 500 pts. However, I don't know if you still want to try to solve the problem. It's ok with me if we leave it at that, but it's also ok if you want to ask more questions and try to figure out the problem. I now have reached my goal, but I sure would be learning a lot if we were to press on.

  I have learned a lot from your last two posts!  I'll give a more thorough reply a bit later (I wanted to let you know asap that your trick had worked), but here is some info.
 I have been able to download with no problems all the links you gave to me. So .gif, .jpeg, .pdf, MP3 etc did not pose any problem.

Also, about downloading .exe files, I did not mean that I had never downloaded any before, I meant that I don't think I had downloaded any *with this computer* before the new IE  was installed. I  had downloaded many programs both at home and at work before (like Python, Spybot, etc).

Also, there are no sites in the restricted zone.

And Netscape has never been installed on this computer.


I'lle get to your other comments soon.

Meanwhile, thank you for all the very very useful information. I am learning a lot from you!

I could click on the "accept" button, but does it close off the thread automatically? I'll wait to see if you want to leave the discussion at that.

Thanks again *very* much.

Pat

0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 12502242
That's good news Pat, at least you are able to download the files you need using this workaround.

By accepting a comment as the answer, and allocating it a grade, it does not close the thread.  Comments can still be added to it.  What it DOES do, is change the status from "Unlocked" and awaiting solution, to PAQ (Previously Asked Question) and it will no longer be listed in the open questions under the Windows 98 topic area.

Administrators don't really like it when too many comments are placed in a PAQ'd question, because it is regarded as closed and takes up extra space on their servers needlessly.

If a question lies open for 21 days with no comments, then the "Cleanup Volunteers" will visit it and place a comment about how they think it best to close it.

I apologise if my comments sounded as if I was addressing a "newbie".  At first you seemed to be experienced in modifying the registry, but I wondered about your comment about never having downloaded an .exe file, and decided to play it safe.  I see now that you are a competent computer user with some technical knowledge.  Always better to be safe than sorry, I think.

For some fuller explanations, visit http://www.experts-exchange.com/help/
and http://www.experts-exchange.com/help/closing.jsp#3

I would really like to find out why this is happening on your computer, and would be happy for you to leave the question open so that I can come back with more possible solutions.  There's no great rush to close it, because the question hasn't been fully answered or the problem completely solved.  You are using an interim workaround.

Just to explain my reasons for posting those random links to different file types.  On my computer, a bmp and png image file will not open automatically as an image in Internet Explorer if I click on it.  It will always ask me if I wish to download the file OR "run it from source".  That 2nd option is a dangerous thing to do unless you are certain that the "target" file is something that will not mess with your computer.  Running an .exe file from source poses a great security risk.

Different types of files on your computer are "associated" with particular programs that are installed and configured on that computer.  For instance, if I DOUBLE-Click on a .jpg file in Windows Explorer (NOT Internet Explorer) or on my Desktop, it will open in Paint Shop Pro.  I can easily change this to Internet Explorer, Windows Paint, or whatever other program I wanted to open the file.  Double-Clicking a file carries out what is known as the "Default Action" which is usually the "Open" action.  In some cases, where a particular file type such as .vbs (Visual Basic Script) or .reg (Registry Script) has the potential to wreck your system files or registry, then the "Default" action can be changed to something like "Edit" which would open it harmlessly in NotePad.

These changes can be made through the user options in the program that you want the file to open with, by modifying the registry if you know how to do it, or from the "Folder Options > File Types" dialog.  This is available in Windows Explorer's "Tools" menu, or from the "Start Menu > Settings" option.

This is where Internet Explorer (and web pages in general) are different.  The "Link" I was referring to is known as a "Hyperlink".  This is identified by the way it is coded in the html code that makes up a web page, and also emails that are able to display "rich text" format rather than "plain text".  Microsoft Word and some text editors also support hyperlinks on a page.

The next time you open up your "Favorites" pane in Internet Explorer, what you are seeing is a list of files with the .URL file type that are being displayed from the C:\Windows\Favorites folder (or one allocated per-user profile) in WINDOWS Explorer.  This folder has special attributes set which allow it to display in Internet Explorer the way it does.  The "url" file extension is always hidden in Windows Explorer, so you will just see the file name and the "e" icon.

If you were to:

RIGHT-Click on your desktop
Select New, then Shortcut
Type in a web address and click "Next"
And name the file whatever you want

You have created a new .url file that should open the target set in it.  A web address (url) ending in "filename.htm" (or .html and several other web page types), will open that file from wherever it is on the World Wide Web.

The windows registry stores the actions for the URL file type when "opened".  It refers to a url file by the name "Internet Shortcut" and this includes hyperlinks shown on web pages.  By clicking on a hyperlink, you are actually telling it to carry out the default action set by the type of URL.

I will examine some of these registry keys to see if I can determine what might be the problem

In the meantime, perhaps you can locate the file c:\windows\system\urlmon.dll.
RIGHT-Click > Properties > Version tab.

What version is the file?
0
 

Author Comment

by:plab
ID: 12510622
Hi Bill,


  Thank you very much for all the info. I am new to this site (I just subscribed a few days ago because I really needed to get my research going!) so your explanations were very useful.

You wrote

              "I apologise if my comments sounded as if I was addressing a "newbie".
              At first you seemed to be experienced in modifying the registry, but I wondered
              about your comment about never having downloaded an .exe file, and decided
              to play it safe.  I see now that you are a competent computer user with some
               technical knowledge.  Always better to be safe than sorry, I think.

Please don't apologize! *I* am the one who said that I was ignorant about computers. And I *am*! Especially about Windows (I learned most of my computer knowledge during my universities years on Unix machines). anyway, the only reason I specified this was to let you know that I had downloaded .exe files in the  past so that the problem was not due to a really dumb mistake that I could have done if I had never  donethis in the past.


Your next comments on the operation of double clicking are *extremely* interesting. Thank you so much for typing all this, I am learning a lot!




As for urlmon.dll, it is version 6.00.2800.1106

Thanks again Bill!

Pat
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 12531876

Pat,

This is a real weird one.

Does right-click and "Save Target as..." work?

Maybe worthy of extreme measures...??

Could you, please, download and install Firefox (a nice web browser) from here:

http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/1.0/win32/en-US/Firefox%20Setup%201.0.exe

(righ-click and "Save Target as")

Info available here:

http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/

See if you manage correct downloads with Firefox.

Zee
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 12542252
Yes, blue_zee, that was the workaround that allowed Pat to continue with essential downloads for study.

Right-Click > Save Target As works on all common file types.
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:blue_zee
ID: 12542614

Bill,

From all the info above, I believe the problem is IE specific (hence the Right-click > Save functioning). Do you agree?

The test run with Firefox will surely work.



Pat,

Next, I would suggest the drastic way:

Make sure you have downloaded the IE6 setup files first, see here how to do it:
http://www.broomeman.com/support/wsiedown.html

Write down where you download them.

Backup your Favorites folder.

Use IE Eradicator to completely delete Internet Explorer. Get it here:
http://www.litepc.com/ieradicator.html

Run IE6 setup.

Reboot and test.

Zee
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 12572461
plab

As far as the icon is concerned, I have identified it.

Go to Control Panel > Internet Options > "Advanced" tab.
Scroll down to the "Multimedia" section, and you will see the settings:
"Show Pictures"
"Show image download placeholders".

If "Show pictures" is unticked, then it will show a blank box the same size as the image would be shown, but there will be an icon in the top left of that space:

Blue pyramid with a green ball above it slightly offset to the right, and above that will be a red square slightly offset to the left.  Familiar?

To display the image that should be there, you can normally RIGHT-Click in that space and select "Show Picture".  These settings are intended to speed up the display of web pages so they show text only.

Now, why does Internet Explorer think that the url's to .exe and .zip files should be displaying an image instead of downloading a file?

One thing I can think is that, if the file is not at the web address where the link says it should be, then what you MIGHT be seeing is an "error" page of some kind.  Normally you would see a message box coming up that tells you that the file cannot be located.  After that, Internet Explorer would normally load a page giving you what is known as a "404 Error - Page not found".

A 404 Error page is referred to as a "friendly error", and can be displayed from the files on YOUR computer (local file) OR from the server that should have hosted the file (remote page).

A "local page" is loaded from the resources within one of your system files, and all images and text should display normally unless the file from which the page shows is corrupt in some way, and the image is not able to be found in that file.

There are loads of different error pages that can show from local pages in the file SHDOCLC.DLL:

The page cannot be displayed - res://C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SHDOCLC.DLL/dnserror.htm

Action Cancelled - res://C:\WINDOWS\system32\shdoclc.dll/navcancl.htm

404 Error - res://shdoclc.dll/404_HTTP.htm

etc.

It is possible that your own Internet Service Provider's installation software has replaced the 404 error page to a more graphic one with a full image that exists as an actual image file somewhere on your system.  If the registry still points to this "local" 404 page, but it (and the image that loads in the page) has been moved, than this MIGHT account for the blank page but no image to show.

If the 404 page is loaded from the server that was supposed to host the file you tried to download, then they often have some large images that display, and perhaps your Internet Options are set to NOT "Show picture".

As an example type http://www.google.co.uk/test.zip into your address bar and click the "go" button.

What you should see is a page that looks like this:

Google ---> (Brightly coloured large letters)  Error (in a blue band)
Not Found ---> large black letters
The requested URL /test.zip was not found on this server. ---> standard text
Blue Line under it all.

In this case, all the stuff on the page is made up of standard text that has been formatted to show multicolour and different sized fonts.  Imagine that the "google" was an image though, and you had the setting to "Show Pictures" turned off.  You would see a box around the size of the "google" logo, and that small icon you have mentioned would be at the top left of it.

There is also a setting in "Internet Options" under the "Browser" section in the list of options in the "Advanced" tab named "Show friendly http errors".  Normally this option is ticked so that the 404 errors display.  I have never tested what happens when it isn't ticked, but maybe you should just check this setting to see how it is set on your system.

One other possibility is that maybe you are typing an incomplete web address into the address bar, and Internet Explorer thinks that it should be performing a search.  Depending on what is set as your "Search Page" in the registry, parhaps the results page is either not being found (404 error from that site) or a "No Results" page uses an image instead of text.  Just a possibility, and you can check it out by opening Internet Options again and looking for the setting under the "Search from address bar" section.  Set it to "Do not search from the address bar".

I still believe that something has happened to the actions associated with the various file types on your computer when they are accessed from a url (link).

Could you please provide the URL's to a couple of the files that you were previously trying to download.  I am curious to see if I can access them.

I should have asked for this a while back.
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 12572467
Oh, sorry.  You DIS supply one link that wasn't working:

http://gulus.usherb.ca/pub/appl/ssh/putty/latest/x86/putty.exe

Click the link again and allow the page to load with that icon in it.

use Internet Explorer's "View" menu and select "Source".  This should open in NotePad.

Use NotePad's "Edit" Menu.  Save the file by any name as a .txt file and email it to me.  I will add my email address temporarily to my Profile which can be accessed by clicking on my user name or here:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/viewMember.jsp?mid=897440

I suggest emailing it to me as an attachment, because it is likely to be a long file.  However, if it is short enough, perhaps you could paste it here.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 12672633
Thank you, plab.  Pity we couldn't discover a complete solution.
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