If One File On Your Web Server Gets Corrupted…

… it WILL be your trial executable, without fail.  Murphy’s law.  One freaking byte on disk got corrupted at some point within the last week and I just found out about it today, by someone who was kind enough to write in and say “Heya, this won’t install, says the file is corrupted.  And I downloaded it three times”).  One quick download later and I was able to reproduce the error, which is funny because I haven’t uploaded anything to that directory on the server in literally weeks.  Did a quick hex diff and, boom, one byte out of place, which called NSIS to say “Uh oh, checksums don’t match, I’m out of here”.  *sigh*  Well, better to know about it and be able to fix it than to not know about it, right?

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6 Comments on “If One File On Your Web Server Gets Corrupted…”

  1. Dan Says:

    It will be interesting to see if this has any effect on the second half of October sales. Also, are you pretty much advertising with just adwords and the like or are you doing any other type of advertising?

  2. Ali Says:

    I still don’t fully understand it. Did you upload the file to the web server and during the transfer it got a little corrupted, or did it get corrupted by itself sitting on the hard drive of your web server?

    If its the second, how’s that possible? (Never heard of something like that before). You might want to investigate this since if your .exes can get corrupted by themselves, you could lose a lot of sales and otherwise cause a bad impression.

  3. Patrick Says:

    >>
    It will be interesting to see if this has any effect on the second half of October sales.
    >>

    They’ve been fairly limp for the last week or so. I know it was working at the start of the week.

    Ali: It got corrupted on the hard disk. Random bit swaps on physical media and in memory are very possible.

  4. Jorge Santos Says:

    Didn’t you, by mistake, transfer the file by FTP in ASCII transfer mode?…

    Sorry, had to ask!… 🙂


  5. I always download the trial file after an upload and do an MD5 checksum. I also post the MD5 checksums on my website. After reading this, I probably should download the trials every week and do the MD5 checksum. These things can cost you a lot cause it will take some time before someone actually complains about the download.

  6. Patrick Says:

    Nope, the file was definately borked after it arrived at the server, not in ASCII transfer (I make mistakes like that ALL the time, which is why I immediately do a download&install cycle after any push to my website). It has been up there for 3 weeks happily generating sales until midway through last week when they slowed to a trickle (probably Download.com downloaders and folks who had had the executable from before).


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