In case you aren’t aware, Internet Explorer cannot (upto version 7, i.e IE7) cannot download objects larger than 4 GB in size. When you attempt to download a file from the Internet by using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) in Microsoft Internet Explorer, you may find that the download does not complete. As a result, you cannot download the file. This behavior can occur if you try to download a file that is larger than 2 gigabytes (GB) in Internet Explorer 6 or is larger than 4 GB in Internet Explorer 7.
The core of the problem lies in HTTP Keep-Alive. If you aren’t aware, HTTP operates on the request and response paradigm. A HTTP client generates a request and sends it to a server which understands HTTP, the server then answers the request and sends back a HTTP response.In the original implementation of HTTP, each request created a new socket connection to the server, sent the request, then read from that connection to get the response.While this approach was dead simple to understand and implement,it definitely left a lot of TCP level overheads on both the client and the server, thereby making them slow. In order to solve this problem, Keep-alive connections ( or the persistent connections) were brought in. Keep-alive connections enforce re-using connections to the server.
If you are a webmaster and offer objects ( files) for download which are larger than 2GB and upto 4GB, following hack (pseudo algorithm) can help your objects get downloaded on IE 6 ( IE 7 supports upto 4GB by default).
1.) Identify the User-Agent of the incoming HTTP request.
2.) If the requesting User-Agent matches the wildcard expression *MSIE*, disable Keep-Alive on your webserver.
If you are using IIS ( Internet Information Services) webserver, follow the steps below to disable keep-alive
1.) Open Internet Information Services Manager.
2.) Right-click the Web site that requires the change, and then click Properties.
3.) Clear the HTTP Keep-Alives Enabled check box that is located on the Web Site tab, and then click OK.
As per Microsoft, Windows Internet Explorer 7 can reliably download files up to 4 GB in size without the previously described change to the server. There is no workaround to enable Internet Explorer 7 to download files larger than 4 GB in size. Windows Internet Explorer 8 can reliably download files over 4 GB in size without the previously described change to the server.
If you are an end user having issues with downloading large files when using Internet Explorer, i strongly suggest that you use a download manager. I recommend Orbit Downloader which allows you to download large files as well as streaming media (audio and video, as well as flash SWF) from video sharing and other sites.
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