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Files not downloading, or extensions mangled, in IE 11.


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#1 quanin

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 10:53 AM

Long-time occasional reader, first-time poster, so I apologise if I'm not doing this exactly right as yet.

 

I can usually figure my way through OS issues, whether it's virus, spyware, Windows just being Windows, whichever. But this is a new one if you're me. On Windows 7 64-bit, IE 11 will sometimes decide not to download a file when I tell it to. There's no error message, no download prompt, it just sits there - and very occasionally will decide to refresh the page. Right-clicking and "save as" brings up a dialogue where the filename's been sufficiently mangled such that IE isn't entirely sure what I want to do with it. For example, if I'm downloading combofix.exe from this site, IE will change the filename to combofix_exe instead.

 

A restart usually fixes it, at least temporarily, which tells me something either Windows or IE isn't letting go of during daily use might be possibly complicating matters somewhat. I can also, if I don't feel like (or for whichever reason can't at the moment) letting the system restart, run IE as administrator and it'll occasionally let me download what I'm after. For clarity, this is *any* file of *any* type, not just applications - MP3 files, PDF's, take your pick.

 

I initially suspected spyware or something, since I've seen that do similar tricks before. Ran MSSE, Super Antispyware and Combofix, two of which I had handy and one of which I paid for years ago so thought I might as well take it for a spin and see what it turns up.

 

MSSE and SAS came back clean. Combofix found sfamcc00001.dll, sfareca00001.dll, and one other that it removed - but these two kept coming back. Google took me to this Bleeping Computer thread, which pretty much confirmed I wasn't dealing with an infection issue (related: SpeedFan could probably stand to document those files somewhere useful). So now I'm stumped.

 

Besides infection scans, I've:

* Double checked IE settings (reset them twice, for safety)

* Confirmed the option not to save encrypted pages was disabled (An old IE workaround that doesn't seem to apply in my case)

* Tried with protected mode turned off (another workaround that didn't fix the issue)

* Ran with no add-ons (basic troubleshooting step, which also doesn't fix the problem)

 

What makes me suspect something's dangling that ought not to is, as I said, I can restart the machine and things will behave as expected. It's just somewhere along the way IE reverts to mangling files for no apparent reason. IF I can provide anything more useful, I'll be more than happy to. Unfortunately, since this isn't exactly something I'm sure on how to pull a log from, what you see at the moment is what I've got.



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#2 splico

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 11:07 AM

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/318378

 

Repeat all the steps including using System File Check. Additionally when restarting IE did you turned on the option Delete personal settings check box, sometimes that helps. If that doesn't solve the issue then I don't have other ideas, maybe someone else will.


Edited by splico, 07 December 2014 - 11:07 AM.

 "Helpdesk: There is an icon on your computer labeled "My Computer". Double click on it.
User: What's your computer doing on mine?"


#3 quanin

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 01:10 PM

I did clear my personal settings the second time I reset IE with no effect. But this morning I also developed the thought that perhaps this is Windows having a moment. When I installed this OS initially, I went through the usual update routine. Install a batch, restart, install some more, restart, and so on. For whichever reason, and I'm not sure if it was Windows just being Windows or not, it had me install IE 9, then 10, then 11 in that order. So I was wondering if perhaps during the process something didn't quite sit well in 9 or 10 that was, then, migrated with everything else when I installed 11. So I completely uninstalled IE, forced the OS to give me 8. Then I ran through its default setup, just to make sure everything worked and all that. Things behaved as I expected them to. So I bypassed Windows update entirely, grabbed the IE install from Microsoft's site, and jumped straight to 11. IE 8 let me download and run it as IE should, so that told me right there it was working at least that well. Of course I'd just restarted, so that could have also been pure luck on my part. I'm back on IE 11 now, so we'll see if after a few days' usage I'm having the same issue. In the meantime, I'm open to suggestions should this weirdness crop up again.



#4 quanin

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:42 AM

Okay, I've managed to reproduce it, and this time I think I have an idea the cause. I usually keep several IE windows open, so this isn't a large issue. I'll have links sent to me that are sometimes direct links to files, be they applications, PDF's, whichever. If I have an IE window open, my settings are to open those links in the current tab/window. However, if I don't have IE running at the time, or if I set it to use a new tab/window for links I'm not opening directly from IE, it shows me the download viewer instead with the prompt for opening/saving etc. If I close that window without selecting an option, then the next time I run IE, I can't download anything (it presents at the situation I described above). This leads me to believe something is hanging when I just close the window, so it can probably be easily worked around. But aside from restarting the machine, is there anything I can do to clear that off? Since often times it will present itself when I'm right in the middle of something and restarting isn't convenient at the moment - I accidentally, albeit somewhat intentionally, reproduced it this time.






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