Please help me make my Audible membership audible
January 1, 2017 12:03 PM   Subscribe

I signed up for Audible's 30-day free trial membership this morning, but can't get the free book I got from it to play on my laptop. Their tech support staff told me it's a problem with my computer. Help?

I've tried to download Audible's AudibleManager on my computer (a Dell Vostro on which I use Windows 7 and Chrome) and get nothing but this error message:

Failed to extract data file from resource. Error 5.

We tried to arrange for me to share my computer screen with the tech person so that she could fix the problem remotely, but despite a couple of tries I couldn't get their software to work on my computer -- I forget the error message from that.

The tech support person told me to try a different browser. I tried to download Firefox Mozilla and got this message:

Can not create temp folder archive.

That's when tech support told me the problem was my computer, and that I probably needed a Windows update. I checked and my computer updates, which are scheduled to take place automatically, are up to date.

My computer skills are pretty limited and have no idea what to try next. Suggestions?
posted by orange swan to Computers & Internet (20 answers total)
Have you tried re-downloading the file, perhaps to a thumb drive? How much space do you have on your disk? (context)

Do you have a smartphone? The Audible app, while kind of clunky and crappy, should work.
posted by My Dad at 12:07 PM on January 1, 2017

I do not have a cell phone or tablet or any other kind of device -- just my laptop.
posted by orange swan at 12:10 PM on January 1, 2017

It's possibly a permissions issue.

When downloading Audible, does it auto-run after downloading with Chrome? If so, try to download and save it to a location known to you. Once its finished downloading, find the file in (Windows) Explorer (the filesystem) and right click on it, select "Run as Administrator."

This might give the program privileges to create a temporary folder.

I remember having similar problems installing Audible (and if you manage to get your free audiobook but have issues listening to it via Audible or otherwise, memail me; I have a solution for that).
posted by porpoise at 12:27 PM on January 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have tried saving the AudibleManager download to locations other than the one it auto-delected (C: Program Files) and I just get the "Failed to extract data file from resource. Error 5." message again.

I've also tried uninstalling four programs that I don't use or need at all and that were listed in the C:Program Files folder in order to create some room for this new program, in case that is the issue, and I'm still having the exact same problem.
posted by orange swan at 12:53 PM on January 1, 2017

According to this: your TEMP environment variable may not be set right. Worth a try.
posted by Obscure Reference at 1:07 PM on January 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

I reset the variables according to the instructions in the video, and I'm still getting the same error messages when I try to load either AudibleManager or Mozilla Firefox.
posted by orange swan at 1:22 PM on January 1, 2017

I bet your disk is full. Use WinDirStat if you can find enough free space to install/download+run it.
posted by bergnotburg at 1:24 PM on January 1, 2017

I got yet another error message when I tried to run WinDirStat, but I poked around a bit and found a file cleaning option on my computer, and used that. I've rebooted and I'm still getting all the same error messages. It certainly didn't hurt to create some space, but my best guess is that this is a permissions issue, and I don't know how to resolve it.
posted by orange swan at 5:44 PM on January 1, 2017

Open My Computer on your computer's desktop and see how much hard drive space you have left. Let us know how much space you have.
posted by gregr at 5:55 PM on January 1, 2017

A few things to try:

1. Disable UAC to see if that might be blocking you from running unknown programs: (Ignore the "vista" in the link, it also has win 7 steps)

2. Check to make sure you are an administrator.

3. Check for and virus or malware. Ask MeFi's own Deezil has some good instructions here:
posted by nalyd at 5:59 PM on January 1, 2017

It says there's 373GB free out of 453GB. It's not a space issue.
posted by orange swan at 6:00 PM on January 1, 2017

Is it a work computer? Sometimes sysadmins restrict what types of files may be downloaded from the internet, and what is not allowed.
posted by seawallrunner at 6:24 PM on January 1, 2017

1. My UAC was already disabled.

2. I am an administrator.

3. I'm working my way through Deezil's instructions. I suppose if I never do get to listen to my book, at least all this maintenance stuff is good for my computer, sigh....

This is my own computer.
posted by orange swan at 6:32 PM on January 1, 2017

Have you tried using the cloudplayer yet instead? Look at your library here:

And click the "Play" button under the cover thumbnail. That might work without having to figure out what's going wrong with the desktop app.
posted by foxfirefey at 6:41 PM on January 1, 2017

I can't get the CloudPlay option to work either. It says it has a problem connecting to the server.
posted by orange swan at 6:44 PM on January 1, 2017

has a problem connecting to the server

It's possible that it's entirely on Audible server-side; the executable file that you download from Audible might be incomplete/corrupt (server times out, Chrome assumes file transfer is finished); for compressed files, the "header" stuff might be ok, but the "data" part of the file may be incomplete or corrupted.

However, that you aren't able to install Firefox kind of discounts this.

Can you download and successfully install VLC Player? (don't worry if you already have it installed, it'll either just cancel or update to the current version (don't worry if you don't already have it installed, it's benign and you can get rid of it cleanly and it's actually a pretty darn good video player).
posted by porpoise at 6:56 PM on January 1, 2017

I just tried to download and install VLC Player, and got an "error writing temporary file" message.
posted by orange swan at 7:03 PM on January 1, 2017

Ok, wow, this is a headscratcher.

If you haven't done so (after all this "maintenance" that you've been doing =), it might not be a bad idea to create a restore point, or better yet a full backup (of your data, at least - worst case scenario you don't need it, and it's probably routine time to anyway). Cloud (you might need to install software for some solutions though), optical data (DVD/BD discs), external harddrives (cheap! these days).

Googling through "error writing temporary file" errors, it appears that a corrupted user profile can produce this behaviour.

Microsoft's guide on how to fix a corrupted user profile.

Neosmart (dunno who they are) has a slightly more detailed guide.
posted by porpoise at 7:34 PM on January 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Do you happen to have something like CryptoPrevent installed? It tries to stop Cryptolocker infections by preventing executables from running in temporary locations. This could prevent the installation of normal trusted software in some cases.
posted by Nerro at 10:38 AM on January 3, 2017

It appears that porpoise hit on the problem and the solution. I used Microsoft's guide to fix a corrupted user profile, and was able to download Audible Manager and Firefox using the new user profile I created. I'm also going to finish up with deezil's virus-fighting toolkit.

Thanks all, and especially porpoise!
posted by orange swan at 4:25 PM on January 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

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