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Why am I unable to download files?

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I am having problems downloading powerpoint files and word files. When I go to download the file, it saves it as a "application/octet-stream" which I am unable to do anything with. It only started after I upgraded to Firefox 5. I have asked this question numerous times on this forum over the past few weeks and have not gotten a reply. I have been using firefox for years and have not had this problem until the 5 update. Please help.

All Replies (20)

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I just downgraded to Firefox 3.6 and everything works again. Let me know when Mozilla gets it's shit together with Firefox 5.0 and 6.0 and maybe I will upgrade.

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Let us know when you decide to Upgrade back to Firefox 6.0 so that we'll be able to resolve your problem.

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mha007, If you can tell me how to correct the issue, I will upgrade today.

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I have already attempted all of these, numerous times. I have even uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox 5.0 and 6.0 more than once each. My problem was not corrected until I downgraded to 3.6, thus leading me to believe it is an actual problem with the Firefox 5.0 and 6.0 software. My IT department believes this to be true as well. However if you know of anything else I can try please let me know, I do love Firefox and would like to use the most up to date version. Thanks.

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-> Create a New Profile as a test to check if your current profile is causing the problems.

-> Basic Troubleshooting: Make a New Profile

-> If that New Profile works then you can recover your Bookmarks and Passwords from the Old Profile.

-> Recovering important data from an old profile

Check and tell if its working.

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The new profile did not work. I tried to download a ppt file and the download window says "You have chosen to open" file name "which is a: application/octet-stream from" website "What should Firefox do with this file?" and then gives me the option to open with or save file. And I have to go to the browse, then go through all the folders to find office, then select ppt because ppt is not an initial program choice. I am able to download all files with Firefox 3.6 and IE (which is the worst browser ever). This is the same download message I have been getting since the upgrade to 5.0. I was excited to see the 6.0 upgrade thinking this issue might have been resolved, but unfortunately it was not. I know of other people with this same issue, they just switched browsers to Chrome (which also sucks).

Modified by cjw4614

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It is possible that your anti-virus software is corrupting the downloaded files or otherwise interfering with downloading files by Firefox.

Try to Disable the real-time (live) scanning of files in your anti-virus software temporarily to see if that makes downloading work.

Disable Virus Scanning in Firefox preferences - Windows

Managing File Types

Check and tell if its working.

Modified by Hasan

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I disabled the virus scanning software in firefox preferences. I did so even though I knew it would have no effect, considering it will not even begin the download of the ppt file, it does it as an application/octet-stream, and the scan does not occur until the file is downloaded. It did not solve the problem. The other two links you gave did not have a fix either. However they did provide some info about MIME types, saying it might be a server issue, but I do not think this is the case because Firefox 3.6 and IE will recognize the file type for download so the server has to be sending off the correct MIME for the file location. I think Firefox 5.0 and 6.0 are having problems recognizing the MIME that the server has connected to the links.

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-> Start the Profile Manager

-> Start Firefox in Safe Mode by holding down SHIFT key while starting Firefox

  • As an alternative method, by using Win + R key combination and enter one of the following in the Windows Run box:
    • firefox -safe-mode
    • "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -safe-mode
    • "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -safe-mode
  • Firefox Safe Mode window will appear -> select ALL options and click Make Changes & Restart

Now check and tell if its working.

Modified by Hasan

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No sir, that did not help.

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this would be my last suggestion. I am not much sure about it but Do this:

-> Scan your Hard Disk for Errors

-> Do a MALWARE check with these Malware Scanning programs. You need to scan with all programs because each program detects different Malware. Make sure that you UPDATE each program to get the latest version of their Databases before doing a Scan.

There are also specialized forums for Malware Removal such as those listed below, where you might be able to get more help:

Check and tell if its working.

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I am grateful for your help, but I am not doing all of that. I do not believe it is a problem with my computer, I know other people who are having the issue. I am just going to downgrade to 3.6. And if I lose support and the issue is not corrected on the latest version of Firefox then I will have to learn to like chrome or IE. Thanks.

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What is the problem?

You write: When I go to download the file, it saves it as a "application/octet-stream"
So I assume that there isn't a problem with downloading and saving the file.

With what file extension are those files saved?

To make Windows recognize the file as Power Point files you need to make sure that the file has a .ppt file extension. That should be enough to make them work. Firefox will always only offer to save files send by the server as "application/octet-stream" to disk.

Modified by cor-el

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That is correct, it saves it as an "application/octet-stream" Which once saved on my desk top is useless. It can not be opened with anything, even if I try to force it to open with powerpoint or word, depending upon what it was supposed to be. However if I force firefox to open link with the powerpoint or word then I can save it after it opens. When I try to download it, it does not recognize the extension or it loses the extension, .ppt or .doc. So when it downloads it to my desktop or folder it does not have an extension.

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When you go to the Applications tab in your Options panel, are PowerPoint and Word in that list of applications?

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Yes, I can download ppt and doc files from some sites and not others, sometimes I can download some from one site, but not others from that same site.

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What happens if you add the .ppt file extension yourself while saving the file?

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Are they all .ppt, or do some have the .pps extension?

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I am able to download the files if I right click, save link as, and add the ppt or .doc. But if I just double click and hit save file it loses or never picks up the extension.

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