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Corrupt downloads, Please help!

Last response: in Windows XP
January 2, 2007 11:48:12 AM


I'm using WinXP Home and I've got a really annoying problem- basically everything I download that is over ~15Mb becomes corrupted. I'm on ADSL, have tried using a different router, have swapped out the motherboard (another Asus) and have run AVG. I'm guessing either my computers infected with a virus, the integrated LAN corrupts things, or I'm just getting shitty service from my ISP.
What is the main culprit for consistent corrupt downloads? :( 


More about : corrupt downloads

January 2, 2007 12:21:49 PM

are you using a download manager by any chance or just your browser?
January 2, 2007 12:59:53 PM

Using firefox and IE6.
Download managers have the same result. :( 
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January 2, 2007 1:07:59 PM

do you have a software firewall?
January 2, 2007 1:12:16 PM

No. I tend to disable all firewalls.
January 2, 2007 1:18:02 PM

you got enough free space?
January 2, 2007 1:27:22 PM

Sure do, 37 Gb free.
Thanks for the quick replys.
January 2, 2007 3:18:09 PM

With a download manager, and swapping with known good hardware - you still have the same result.

LAN hardware inherently doesn't corrupt things; and your ISP is just a transfer agent. I'm assuming Grisoft found nothing? So a virus isn't your problem. It may be some malware program screwing with you; but:

Try these maintenance tips first.
1. Start - Run - (type in) %temp% - empty it out
2. Go to C:\Windows\Prefetch - empty it out
3. Go to C:\Windows\Temp - empty it out
4. Right-click your "C" drive - Properties - Tools - Error Checking - check both boxes and reboot. The Chkdsk utility will run (30-45 minutes)

I strongly urge you to "purchase" excellent defrag, and registry overhaul apps. I recommend Raxco's Perfect Disk, and Registry Fix at $40 & $37 respectively; lifetime (use them on any new comp you upgrade to). Both quick downloads. Burn them to a cd right away. The best money you'll ever spend in keeping your machine in tip-top shape. Personally and commercially (hundreds of units), I've used these two with 100% satisfactory results. None of my babies crash.

DO NOT TRIAL THEM. BUY THEM! And use them right away. The trials are "lite" versions doing half of what the fulls do.

After you've completed all of this, what should be weekly routine maintenance, turn your Firewall back on. What's with that? That's just tempting fate.

Now try a large download.

BTW, what's your hd capacity? and your memory? did you also disable your pagefile?
January 2, 2007 9:57:09 PM

Not sure how old your mobo is, but does it have a nforce chipset? If so, update the drivers and get rid of the nvidia firewall if the update tries to install it.

If not, try adjusting the MTU on your router. I suggest setting it at 1454.
January 3, 2007 2:43:26 AM

I'm pretty sure this is a virus or malware doing this, but none show up after virus scans.
Can anyone recommend a decent free virus/malware scanner?
I've tried AVG, Avast, AdAware and Spybot.
Trend Micro housecall doesn't seem to work properly.

@ pscowboy

HD: 76Gb
Ram: 2x512Mb pc2-5300
I Tried your maintenance tips and haven't messed with the pagefile.

Thanks for the responses.
January 3, 2007 6:50:38 AM

Go to and do the free Spy Sweeper scan. (I seriously doubt that a free app would dig up the problems that SS finds.)

It could solve your dilemma if it's malware. If it works, consider buying it. I highly recommend it - use it on all my customers' comps.

SS is $30us. SS & Virus is $40us.

Exit is dead-on about the nVidea software firewall - very buggy. Use XP's firewall.

XP's default MTU is 1480, which, in almost all single-user cases is okay. Print out the documentation at these two sites, and then check your setting. You will be in the Registry - take care to only dabble with the stuff described.;en-us;283165
This second one flips to a generic site. May not be much help.

Do this ping test to determine your optimal MTU size:

I used the Google ( site instead of expedient to test mine. Expedients' kept timing out. My optimum number was 1472 - then you're supposed to add 28 - giving me 1500; which is exactly what my router is set to.
January 5, 2007 5:20:53 PM

might i inquire as to whether its a reputable source you are having issues with downloading from or if it is simply a torrent or something like that..

just checking to make sure your sure its not the source of the download which is possibly the issue and what type of files we are talking about here....

remember i am pretty sure we are not supposed to be talking warez here!!!
January 6, 2007 8:46:14 AM

The source of the file makes no difference. :?
If anything, p2p and torrents seem to be more reliable than downloading through a browser.
January 8, 2007 5:19:48 PM

not necessarily if you only have a source with a partial file then u would get the same issue once u go to open it, in that respect the source has everything to do with it wouldnt you say?
January 9, 2007 2:18:37 AM

The source has nothing to do with it at all. I am dowloading from reputalble sources.
I haven't actually tried using p2p software since the problem started.
Everything I download with IE or Firefox or whatever is corrupt.
The files are .exe's, installers, zips, .rars etc
Any ideas? :( 
January 12, 2007 5:46:44 PM

hmmm thats very strange, are you storing everything to one single hard drive or do you have others? Just wondering if perhaps there is some data corruption on the hard drive your storing them to?
January 12, 2007 6:25:32 PM

You know that all downloads go into a "Temporary Internet File" first - then, when completed, get transferred to your designated Download folder.

If you've used up the allocated space for these TIF's, could be the reason the large downloads all fail. The browser only knocks off the oldest date after you reach maximum - which probably isn't near enough space for the biggies.

You could set your browser to delete these files upon shutdown. You could also significantly increase the amount of disk space allotted to them.

You find all of this stuff in Tools - Internet Options - usually part of the General tab. I would delete ALL of the TIF's right away -then check on the space parameters that are set up.