Why can't Internet Explorer upload?
October 24, 2005 8:08 AM   Subscribe

TechFilter: Why can't Internet Explorer upload?

I am a MIS tech. I have one user in the building that is unable to upload files via "upload" or "attach" buttons in MS Internet Explorer 6.01 in Windows XP. For instance, if she would try to add an attachment to an email in gmail or yahoo the operation fails. In gmail a message is returned stating that it should be tried again, in yahoo the operation tries for an indefinite time period without ever completing. Gmail and Yahoo are are just two examples. This operation will not work on any page with a button that provides this functionality.

The PC has all of the latest service packs and security patches applied.

Here is what I have tried to resolve the issue (all to no avail):
1. Re-applied Windows XP Service Pack 2.
2. Created a new profile (this issue occurs for all users, including admins, of said PC).
3. Reset all of the options for secured browsing within IE.
4. System restore to a date before the problem was evident.
5. Cleared history, cache, downloaded programs, ssl state, forms and passwords, etc. in IE.
6. Scanned for virus, spyware and adware.

I have Googled for this issue and have foud little else that applies to the situation. When they seem to apply the solution is usually along the lines of all that I have already tried.

I am trying to avoid a wipe and reload. Unfortunately, due to company policy, using a different browser such as Firefox is not a viable solution.

So has anyone else had this problem? What has been done about it?
posted by horseblind to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
I should also add that I did search Microsoft's Knowledge Base and Experts Exchange. In neither case was I able to find a solution.
posted by horseblind at 8:21 AM on October 24, 2005

I had the same prob, the only solution was to wipe the box and reinstall xp

sorry..... :(
posted by phredhead at 10:02 AM on October 24, 2005

Why don't you take a netmon sniff and look at what happens on the wire? Not the advice I'd usually give, but since you are an MIS tech, I'd assumed you have the expertise.

My bet: after your extensive troubleshooting of client side, you should start looking further down the stack. Is there perhaps a firewall on the way that is blocking some of the HTTP verbs?
posted by blindcarboncopy at 10:08 AM on October 24, 2005

Does this user have difficulty transferring files from his machine other than HTTP upload? Could point to an MTU issue somewhere along the chain.
posted by kindall at 10:40 AM on October 24, 2005

Try adding google and yahoo to your trusted sites and see if that changes anything?

(You have to use secure login, as a trusted site has to be https, but both yahoo and google have that option.)
posted by Boobus Tuber at 11:18 AM on October 24, 2005

These features probably use Java. If some program has loaded a different version of Java, it could cause trouble. Try uninstalling & reinstalling Sun Java(free). Popup blockers or anti-spyware software may be blocking popups. Uninstall via control panel, add/remove. Conversely, spyware may have broken Java, popups, or made weird changes to IE and/or TCPIP. Be aggressive about finding & killing spyware. I find Spybot and Adaware to be trustworthy.
posted by theora55 at 11:22 AM on October 24, 2005

How large is the file you’re trying to attach? I’ve seen this problem when trying to send a file larger than the limit (10MB for Gmail).
posted by hilker at 11:57 AM on October 24, 2005

Did you make sure that it isn't a proxy/proxy-client related issue?
You also try "sfc.exe /purgecache" followed by "sfc.exe /scannow"
You can try uninstalling IE's security updates which might have caused that.
Take a look at the Winsock LSPs to see that there's nothing strange there (you can do that with SpyBot advanced mode).

Then again, you will probably spend more time solving this than reinstalling the system.

If you'd talk to your boss and say "the Internet Explorer policy is going to take 10 hours just to fix this issue, and over 300 hours have been spent this month on spyware and other IE issues" I think they might reach the logical conclusion.
posted by Sharcho at 12:58 PM on October 24, 2005

I had this problem with gmail. An intesive google search led me to a suggestions to try https:\\www.gmail.com versus http:\\www.gmail.com. Changing to a secure connection worked for me.
posted by forforf at 1:38 PM on October 24, 2005

Everybody, thanks for the great tips.

I have ruled out possible firewall issues. Since we have customer sites that are affected, changing to \\https: sites is not always a valid option. I have run sfc, again to no avail. For test purposes I have installed Firefox and it performs satisfactorily. I have been very aggressive with Virus, Spyware and adware scanning (and to boot, I am the best on our team at solving these types of issues). I have tried most every suggestion listed here but to no avail. I have one more round of testing (networking issues) to run in the morning. If that does not pan out I will wipe and reload. The time on this issue has just about exceeded its value. Furthermore, despite the contray claims of the user, we believe that the issue is really only affecting personal use, not business use of IE. Time to cut the losses.
posted by horseblind at 1:49 PM on October 24, 2005

I was having the same exact problem. What fixed it, after extensive port sniffing and such was to download Dr. TCP and set the MTU size to something under 1500... I went with 1452. I'm amazed as hell that it worked, and spent hours on this last night and this morning. Now my connection is top notch.
posted by moonbird at 7:09 PM on October 24, 2005

Huh? Java? No way. Most webmail sites use straight HTTP file upload, no java involved. (They may augment the site with Javascript, but that is completely and utterly unrelated to Java.)

I second the suggestion to take a packet capture from the wire. Load Ethereal (or equivalent) and try the file attach procedure. Let it run for a while, and then stop the capture. Then click on one of the desired packets and choose "Follow TCP stream" and Ethereal will reconstruct all the packets into a stream. Look at it. This will require knowledge of the HTTP standard, so you may have to do some reading. But it is the definitive method for finding out why something won't work. However, it may be a lot more work to find out the reason than to reload.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:24 PM on October 24, 2005

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