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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Delay on opening installer after download (in Chrome)


I wanted to ask if someone of you also has noticed this long (sometimes several minutes) delay before your installer is executed after downloading?

The installer of my software is also signed with a valid certificate but unfortunately this doesn't avoid this crazy delay. I can imagine if this happens to people who are trying the tool for the first time they simply think the download link is somehow broken. Instead the browser (I just noticed this in Chrome but didn't check IE or Firefox often enough) is just pondering about something... Of course I can't tell how often this might happens so I'm afraid the delay occurs in 9 of 10 cases ;)

Anyone who had/has the same issue? Any input is much appreciated :)

xmlbuddy Send private email
Thursday, January 29, 2015
I can't say I have seen this before. However, I tried your download in Chrome and did have to wait about 90 seconds before the installer launched.

Chrome evidently does some post download activities on a file otherwise the "This File isn't commonly downloaded" issue wouldn't occur.  Are you doing anything funky with the .exe? Using any suspect DRM that might be confusing Chrome? Are you using a less well know installer that might be causing Chrome to sniff harder?
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Thank you for trying my installer Andrew!

I'm using InnoSetup to generate the installer executable. In addition I only sign the installer and not the .exe files which are packed into the installer. Don't know if this could be a reason for this.

I have about 150 to 200 visitors a day and more than 300 downloads a week. Does this still qualify for "not often downloaded"? Maybe.
xmlbuddy Send private email
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Something else came to my mind. I replaced the installer today with a new release.

Maybe this only happens if the download is a new executable and after a while this issue disappears again?
xmlbuddy Send private email
Thursday, January 29, 2015
I'm curious why you would not sign your packaged executables. I realize it is an additional step before compiling the installer but it is additional reassurance to your users they are receiving the real goods. I use K-Sign (and Inno Setup) and there is no additional cost associated with signing all the contents.
Patrick Hughes Send private email
Friday, January 30, 2015
@Patrick No special reason beside lazyness. And yes, there are no additional costs involved. But the question is, would this avoid the delay before the installer is executed in Chrome? I can't imagine that Chrome is really looking inside of the installer file.

Maybe it happens always when the installer is replaced with a new version and the file size and modification dates are different.
xmlbuddy Send private email
Friday, January 30, 2015
The trouble with Chrome and indeed Google, is that we don't actually know what they are doing!

It's possible that Chrome is looking inside the .exe installer as it is essentially zip file. They could be doing this to protect Chrome users from know malware.  It could also be that they are comparing digital signatures between the installer .exe and the contents. This might be raising a red flag that results in further comparison checks against the safe browsing database they use.

This is of course entirely speculation on my part. However, I do sign the .exe inside the installer and I don't see this issue. I also released a new version a few days ago. I'd recommend you try it and see if it makes a difference.

It would be nice if we didn't have to speculate so much about this stuff!
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Friday, January 30, 2015
I don't have any answers for you but I can tell you what I witness from viewing my web stats. I've got a feedback page that is only accessible to a user that has downloaded my software from when it is uninstalled and it has the initial install date formatted as a query string.

Now I do not know if what I see is the results of some one using Google as a proxy or however all this stuff works, but I have seen Google (Mountain View) download and a visit from Google (Mountain View) to my feedback page with a formatted query.

Is Google downloading, installing, testing, then uninstalling my software?

You be the judge.
Patrick Hughes Send private email
Friday, January 30, 2015
Thanks a lot Patrick and Andrew!

You are right, I will also sign the .exe files in my next installer package. How do you say in English... better safe than sorry :)

I've also seen those downloads coming from Mountain View for my software. But I don't track the uninstallation in detail so I was never sure what they are actually doing...

Btw, On trying the download again today I just had to wait a few seconds...
xmlbuddy Send private email
Friday, January 30, 2015
I would also submit it to VirusTotal (owned by Google) to have it scanned for viruses. I doubt that Google checks downloads against the list of scanned files, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they did.
Nicholas Hebb Send private email
Friday, January 30, 2015
Oh, and it also doesn't hurt to submit your app for whitelisting by Symantec:

Nicholas Hebb Send private email
Friday, January 30, 2015
I've noticed the same delay in GomPlayer http://www.gomlab.com/eng/
Atanas Krachev Send private email
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Funny, the installer of the desktop app from VirusTotal is not signed...
xmlbuddy Send private email
Tuesday, February 03, 2015

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