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"Is Not a Valid Win32 Application" when installing - WHAT'S HAPPENING? HELP!

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mouser:
I'm getting a continual trickle of users who are getting this error when trying to download and run the installers to my programs.

The proximal cause of the problem is very clear: It happens when the setup file does not download completely.

It also only seems to happen with Internet Explorer (maybe only version 7? not sure).

The real question is, why on earth is Internet Explorer messing up and only downloading part of the file and then thinking it has downloaded it all?

And how can I fix this?
(yes i know i know, i already recommend FireFox to people who experience the problem but it's not the perfect solution).

jgpaiva:
Opera! :P Just kidding.

Are you sure that iexplorer says it has finished downloading? Couldn't it be that the server is stopping the downloads before they are finished? I'm not sure what would happen in that case, but maybe iexplore would say it was done.

tranglos:
This won't help much, but I've just downloaded ProcessTamer and Screenshot Capror successfully using IE7 on XP SP2. Both installers ran fine. I thought also maybe the server was reporting a wrong file size, and checked that too, but no.

Did you ask if the people having this problem are running an AV scanner or any similar software? A common firewall maybe?

Also, you might try checking your server logs, though I'm not sure if Apache logs any information that would identify aborted downloads or disconnects. Perhaps it's worth a try.

f0dder:
Hmmm... sounds weird. Normally with installers, there's a .exe stub and the archive is simply appended to that - with such an approach, unless the download stops/is corrupted very early, you shouldn't get bitching about "not a valid win32 application". If your installer embeds the archive as a Win32 PE resource, then it's a different issue, but I don't think it does since WinRAR can extract from the installers...

I doubt it's a MIME filetype association thing, but that's perhaps something to investigate as well; if the browser thinks it's being served a text file, it might do LF->CRLF translation, and that would certainly mess up things. Perhaps you could ask one of the people experiencing the error to email you the setup archive, and you could compare the first few kilobyte of it with an uncorrupted install file?

tranglos:
I doubt it's a MIME filetype association thing, but that's perhaps something to investigate as well; if the browser thinks it's being served a text file, it might do LF->CRLF translation, and that would certainly mess up things. Perhaps you could ask one of the people experiencing the error to email you the setup archive, and you could compare the first few kilobyte of it with an uncorrupted install file?
-f0dder (January 04, 2008, 05:58 PM)
--- End quote ---

Could be, but DC http server indicates content type correctly. This is the header sent for http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Mouser/screenshotcaptor/downloads/ScreenshotCaptorSetup.exe:


hdr>Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2008 01:07:12 GMT
hdr>Server: Apache
hdr>Last-Modified: Mon, 08 Oct 2007 02:38:33 GMT
hdr>ETag: "5d0139-886000-47099829"
hdr>Accept-Ranges: bytes
hdr>Content-Length: 8937472
hdr>Connection: close
hdr>Content-Type: application/octet-stream


Mouser, how many reports of this did you get? Are those IE7s running on Vista?

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