Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When downloading files from our web server often files will only download files part of the way, then end as if they finished downloading leaving a partial file. Has anyone heard of this issue or know a possible way to fix it?

For example if you start downloading a 100MB file it may download ~36mb, then finish (no error, it just finishes as if the file was completed). When you try to open the file of course it's corrupted or has some error that goes to say that the file isn't all there. We've verified the files on the server are good by copying them back from the server directly and working with them.

it seems to occur related to how many users are downloading a file. When tested on files not being downloaded by anyone it happens less, and having multiple users download files simultaneously at different sites it happens much more often.

We've tested from multiple sites and it occurs seemingly anywhere. The server is running Windows 2000 IIS; unfortunately it cannot be upgraded anytime soon due to the funding/red tape issues.

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Try installing a download manager. I like GetRight, but it's your choice.


What I'm going for, which wasn't clear in my original answer, is to see if this does allow for a complete download. If not, you're narrowing down the problem. You may have network management software that kills large traffic. With the download manager, you're able to have multiple connections to the server, which can help with controlled testing.

share|improve this answer
Well that might help to fix one client at a time, but it wont fix the issue on the server – Bob Nov 1 '10 at 16:00
I've updated my answer. – user3914 Nov 1 '10 at 19:10
Ah I see... I tried downloading it using GetRight, it got to ~37%, then tried to resume, and got stuck saying the server was busy for a while and finally resumed downloading the file (still trucking along after two resumes). For kicks I had it downloading the .net SDK from MS as well to server as a control file, which went along fine and finished in one try. – Bob Nov 1 '10 at 20:32
Now you will need to look in the IIS log file, to see if there's an error message at the point where the download fails. – user3914 Nov 1 '10 at 20:41
Will see what I can come up with on that route, thanks! – Bob Nov 1 '10 at 21:32

try to change the file extension to .zip or .exe and try to download -

if works, that means IIS thinks this files are not binary and handle them as ASCII and transfer stops when sees EOF

There should be some MIME type definition (I am not familiar with IIS)

share|improve this answer

Is this a file that is being generated when the user requests it? If so, look in the event log to see if IIS terminated the process that was generating the file.

DAMHIKT... (Don't ask me how I know this)

You may need to extend your process timeout period on the server to allow for a full download.

I'd also recommend migrating off of W2k if at all possible.

share|improve this answer
My answer was a lot more convoluted, but this is what I was going for too. I'd suggest @Bob take note of the recommendation to move off W2K. – user3914 Nov 2 '10 at 0:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.