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SWF files will not open locally

Posted on 2005-03-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
Using Windows XP SP2 with Internet Explorer 6 with all updates.
When SWF files are saved locally, they will not run.
When a SWF file is opened, a IE window opens and quickly says 'done' at the bottom but nothing opens - just a blank page.
Flash and shockwave files run fine when viewed on-line or in a game or screensaver.

This issue started occurring recently and may be related to an IE security update three weeks ago.
I have tried every possible combination of security settings including defaults within IE. I have tried all the changes recommended by Macromedia. I Also disabled the ZoneAlarm Firewall and made sure no pop-up blockers were present.
In IE Tools - Internet Options - Advanced, I have made sure that there is a check in front of 'Allow Active Content to run in files on My Computer' and I also made sure all Add-Ons are Enabled.

I have tried with several different files that opened fine in the past and tried with fresh versions. I even tried uninstalling and then reinstalling both the Flash and Shockwave Players.
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Question by:mrparrot
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lherrou earned 1000 total points
ID: 13536117
Just to clarify, you are able to view Flash normally when you are browsing the web, but when you save a swf file locally, you cannot view the file using a web browser?

Have you tried using the stand-alone Flash viewer? Macromedia distributes this to Flash designers to use and supply with SWF files as a stand-alone player you can use instead of a browser. If you search the web (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=saflashplayer.exe+download&btnG=Google+Search) you should find multiple copies for download. Make sure you get the latest version, currently v.7.

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by:mrparrot
ID: 13541295
Thanks lherrou,

Yes. The problem is that they open on-line but not locally. My latest suspicion is that a registry setting was changed by the Microsoft SpyWare Beta, QwikFix or an IE update.  I've since removed those two tools, BTW.

I also found that the issue occurs after a clean boot with nothing running in the background.

Thanks for the link.  I searched all over on my own and came up empty-handed (obviously I just didn't know where to look).  I think you've found the best solution.  So far, the only other ideas involved a reinstall of XP or SP2.  I'm forwarding the stand-alone player to the pc that's affected and will try it out tomorrow to be sure.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:lherrou
ID: 13541386
Not being an XP user,  it's hard for me to say what may have happened, but I suspect you may be on the right track.

You could try uninstalling IE, and then re-installing it. If you want to do that, before you start make sure you have a Windows XP disk available. Then go to Start -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs, and then click on Add/Remove Windows Components. Find Internet Explorer (should be near the top), unclick it's checkbox, and then click the "Next" button. Once you have removed, follow the same steps to re-install, re-checking the IE checkbox, and clicking the "Next" button. You should be prompted for the CD, and the installation should be the older version which was on the CD - but registry settings, etc are likely to be persistant.

I strongly recommend Firefox as a replacement for IE, it is a very reliable browser, quicker to render a page after downloads than IE, and works for almost all sites except certain ones with Active X controls. In the last year, my bank has changed their website so Firefox users can access it. It is a lot less vulnerable than IE as well. http://www.getfirefox.com.
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Expert Comment

by:webwoman
ID: 13541636
What are you grabbing? It sounds like you might be grabbing only the HTML, and NOT the SWF file. Or, you're grabbing just the SWF and trying to make it run in the browser -- it won't. It needs the HTML that calls the plugin to know what it is.

Grab both the HTML AND the SWF file, and open the HTML in the browser, not the SWF directly.
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Author Comment

by:mrparrot
ID: 13550901
Thanks for all the help and ideas.

As far as reinstalling IE goes, with XP SP2, that requires a reinstall of SP2. This is because IE is no longer listed in Add/Remove after you update. There is also no Repair function within the browser.  This makes for another good case toward migrating to Firefox.

After spending quite a bit of time researching and discussing the issue with other techs, I have concluded the problem lies with either a corrupt portion of Internet Explorer or a now missing registry entry.  The concensus is that a reinstall of SP2 would correct it but I have chosen to go a different route.

I downloaded and installed the stand-alone Flash Player (SAFlashPlayer.exe from Macromedia) which opens faster than IE and seems to do the job perfectly. Thanks again 'lherrou!'  It was a simple procedure to associate SWF files with the new program. Since all I was concerned about was being able to view SWFs locally again, this seems to be the best solution.

Thanks again for all your help!
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